Reply To: Hospital Pharmacy — GBS and Vaccination: Usually Unrelated

April 8, 2012 at 9:03 am


Your remark is inaccurate.  I do not say people are wrong for believing that their GBS was caused by a vaccine.  If you review the posts above, you will find that I wrote to Haynes that he may be right on that point.  I do not know the cause of GBS or CIDP for anyone, and do not presume to diagnose anyone else’s medical condition or to give medical advice.  All I do on the question of causality is to call attention to the statements of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Institute of Medicine, and other similar bodies.  This is consistent with the mission of the Foundation to “heighten awareness and improve the understanding and treatment of GBS, CIDP and variants.”

It does not matter what the cause of any particular case of GBS actually is, or what anyone believes is the cause, because the treatment and prognosis are the same, and because those who suffer from peripheral neuropathy deserve the same care and sympathy whatever the cause of their ailment.

That does not mean that differences of opinion should not be expressed, particularly when the facts are misstated, and where this could lead to conclusions which are harmful to others, as this would be contrary to the mission of the Foundation.  It is in the nature of an open forum that differences will arise and be expressed, and people who participate should expect this.  I make an effort to express my differences politely, and if others are “upset” as you say by a mere difference of opinion, then I see it as their problem, due to unreasonable expectations of a public forum.

Others are not so polite.  In this thread Haynes has accused me of being on someone’s payroll merely for expressing a different point of view.  This is offensive, but I shrug it off as it means nothing when it has no basis in fact.  More offensive, however, is that he has impugned the integrity of the many medical researchers who work on vaccines by implying that they are in it for the money rather than out of a sincere desire to contribute to the betterment of the human condition.  I find it an odd standard that allows many dedicated medical professionals to be maligned indiscriminately while objecting to statements which offend merely for being contrary.

By the way, the JAMA article to which you linked was linked by me in a recent thread in this forum.  I found it interesting because it offers an explanation for the 1976 anomaly.  The report is the work only of its authors, not the AMA.  In any case, its conclusions are consistent with those of the Institute of Medicine.  I do not draw my own conclusions on this subject — I defer to the IOM.