Should Google censor anti-vaccine claims?

Should Google censor anti vaccine claims?One of the reasons there is such a movement against vaccines is the democratization of information, perpetuated by search engines like Google.

Do a search for “autism” and “vaccines,” for instance, and you’ll be greeted with a wealth of information linking the two, despite the fact that any connection has been scientifically disproven.

A fascinating piece in Slate asks whether search engines themselves have a responsibility to screen for scientifically credible information.

It’s a tricky situation, one that only got to this point because of the ineptness of the scientific establishment to better utilize the online medium as a way to strengthen scientifically-sound claims. In its absence, celebrities like Jenny McCarthy, and outlets like the Huffington Post, have shrewdly used the web to popularize evidence-bereft alternative medicine, or to perpetuate the autism-vaccine myth. And they’re tremendously influential, as the Internet gives them an audience of millions.

As the Slate piece says, it’s unlikely that those who believe that vaccines cause autism will ever be swayed, no matter how strong the science is against them. The best strategy is to prevent more people to be convinced by their views.

No one is asking Google to censor anti-vaccination views. But, look at what they do for searches like, “how do I kill myself.” Up top, you’ll see a number for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline:

Should Google censor anti vaccine claims?

It would not be unreasonable to have similar warnings for those who do a search for “do vaccines cause autism,” for instance, guiding readers to more scientifically sound claims.

However, with the introduction of social search in Google, it appears the trend is going the other way. Search results will soon be  populated by entries from within a user’s social circle, potentially strengthening the echo chamber. Without hearing about contrasting views, more will potentially be poisoned by those who spread false health information.

But we only have ourselves to blame for this. If doctors and public health officials had established a strong web presence to counter the claims from vaccine denialists from the beginning, we wouldn’t be relying on Google to clean up this mess.

 is an internal medicine physician and on the Board of Contributors at USA Today.  He is founder and editor of KevinMD.com, also on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn.

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  • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice Robertson

    But this is a form of mind control on the part of doctors and government agencies who use BigPharma financed studies to come to conclusions that are not done well.  Anyone who truly studies this issue should have major concerns.  You want to use censorship to persuade minds in your direction?  And aren’t we seeing the results of a CDC that covers up in the name of a greater type of good.  The consequences of your suggestion would have major repercussions on freedom of thought.

    Years ago vegetarians and alternative medicine were spoke of in the same manner.  Think of what you propose here.  Thinking here…okay… a type of direction towards doctors prescribing statins instead of helping your body do what it does naturally.  Think of what type of mind think doctors would have supported twenty years ago….it would not have been exercise, diet, or fish oil….it would not have been helping the patient to help themselves.  Science caught up with medicine in this area….we know that long term use of the drugs doctors support tend to, ultimately, do harm to the patient.  Look at someone like Paula Deen who may have been on statins, we know she was promoting a lack of personal responsibility…but what is her answer….more drugs (and money and doctors are right behind this)….who knows the statins may have helped bring diabetes on….along with other bad choices.  Statins are over prescribed and a false type of security for most…not all.  So, should we have those searching about heart disease directed to a coupon for statins that probably won’t help anyways.  This is far too relative in a day and age when money drives research and consumers use the internet to get the info they need and the exercising of their personal liberties to get the unfiltered truth and make their own decisions.

    So how about we take your idea and put it on searches for statins….for other drugs and take people to exercise sites and Weight Watchers and get them away from doctors who use BigPharma to keep us addicted?

    I propose something better…a type of Wikileaks that gives consumers all the information doctors don’t want them to have.   Doctors do not always support the truth….they often prefer blind trust.   And doctors keep the fire burning in the BigPharma furnace.  Now they want to direct us away from the truth….and we know the truth is waaaay under financed.   The truth isn’t profitable…so let’s make sure and use a hurdle via google to steer moms away from the truth.

    • http://www.facebook.com/brianpcurry Brian Curry

      Oh, Alice. Always a barrel full. I’ll start by saying I agree that censorship is not the answer, though I would fully be in support of scientifically accurate information taking the top search result spots.

      From there, though, well, things aren’t pretty. First, what exactly do you mean when you ask whether we are “seeing the results of a CDC that covers up in the name of a greater type of good”?

      Second, this sentence, “a type of direction towards doctors prescribing statins instead of helping your body do what it does naturally”: What does that even mean? It’s a sort of vague hand-wave that alt-med folks tend to use incessantly. Sounds real groovy, but very short on any substance. Statins are prescribed because they work, and they’re pretty safe. But they’re not prescribed INSTEAD of lifestyle modifications. Usually lifestyle modifications are the first step, and have been for a damned long time, and while somewhat effective, often diet and exercise are insufficient alone.
      But to pretend and imply that doctors would rather just write a script because they somehow get jollies off of prescribing meds that “ultimately do harm to the patient” is not only wrong, it’s insulting and childish.

      And then things really go off the rails when you start talking about whether or not a drug that Paula Deen may or may not have been taking may or may not have “helped bring diabetes on”. I mean, really. My first thought when I read your comment was: “This woman doesn’t have the first clue about statins, does she?” And then, I started to think: “What kind of person truly believes that it is plausible that there is somehow a global conspiracy to keep people from finding out that doctors’ REAL intent is to keep them taking those sweet, sweet prescription medications, regardless of whether or not the medications actually harm them.” Of course, when I answered the second question, I realized that that kind of person is probably also the kind of person that won’t get too much out of a rational response. Ah, well.

      • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice Robertson

        Brian you need to keep up on research.  It was just announced last week….now if they could just make a pill to stop foot in mouth disease:)  I can go point by point over this…but you speak with authority. but not true research capabilities.  I speak for people like you who are easily persuaded, and have trouble differentiating.  I will do my usual and send you to google once again to look up statins and women and diabetes. 

        • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice Robertson

          Here ya go…that is if you want the truth which many don’t:
            http://www.forbes.com/sites/larryhusten/2012/01/09/statins-elevate-risk-of-diabetes-in-postmenopausal-women/

          Statins Elevate Risk of Diabetes in Postmenopausal Women

          You are wrong about statins.  Have you read Overdosed America among other items?  The author was on Dr. Oz along with a BigPharma spokesperson.  It was a fascinating show.  If you already heart disease the statin can be helpful, but it should not be used for people who want to be irresponsible because it is a poor substitute for personal responsibility.  Then Dr. Oz discussed statins in early January.  I just lack time to weed through his recommendations to his own heart patients.  There are risks in taking statins…some serious ones.

          Brian you really  need to stop adding to what others are saying.  It is indefensible what some doctors are doing.   You may want to see my above post to see a very well educated doctor…a cardiologist…Chair speak about what you are trying to portray as a defense of doctors.  Some need defending…some need exposed.

        • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice Robertson

          Hope this isn’t a double…my other post got lost after hitting “Post as”:

          Forbes covered this, amidst a ton of publications.  How did you miss it?  It seemed to be on every network.

          Statins Elevate Risk of Diabetes in Postmenopausal Women  Forbes

          Then Dr. Oz has some very good info on statins and doctors overprescribing.  It’s undeniable.  I highly recommend you view the movie I recommended above and watch a highly educated doctor with integrity…a Chair…a cardiologist who exposed what you seem to want to deny about BigPharma and doctors.  The info on statins I shared and it’s risks go way beyond diabetes. I highly recommend you study up on it before you need to take them. 

  • http://twitter.com/JasonBoies Jason Boies

    Great topic for discussion here, Dr. Pho.

    Ultimately, I don’t think it’s right to call upon Google/Bing to outright censor certain search results, slippery slope etc etc. I like your suicide prevention example as an alternative.  Nice catch with that one.

    It really does highlight the need for more health professionals to be active online, ready to combat less scientifically proven claims.

    I’ve not much more to add, but this post/topic deserves a busier comments section. 

    Jason Boies
    Radian6 Community

    • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice Robertson

      You may enjoy the Sundance movie Escape Fire…yes, it’s progressive, but a doctor from the Cleveland Clinic is a type of hero who shares that the good research ends up being hidden from the public.  But when Elliott Spitzer was Attorney General of NY he didn’t seek monetary damages from BigPharma he sought truth, which meant in the judgement the pharmaceutical company had to put up the good research that showed the drugs doctors were selling were disastrous.  It is estimated between 50,000 to over 200,000 people were harmed, or died from the good research that was not available until a court case forced it (which means there is a boatload more.  I believe a place in Europe is trying to unravel this mess.  Up to 86% of research can be tainted…and doctors are involved in this mess).    You can watch a clip or read the transcript at Democracy Now.  He shares how difficult it was to find this information, and how the practice continues where they throw out the real research until they get results that make them profit.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/HAKL5KH52K6PNG4ODNIC4252PU FreyjaW

    Anti-vaccine types forget that the vaccines were developed because the disease is much worse than the vaccine ever could be.  Also, the vaccines aren’t as profitable as people think they are.  Companies have to have encouragement (& incentives) to continue to produce certain vaccines.  Why would I know?  I once wanted to do infection control nursing so I studied.  Ended up in love with cardiac telemetry, but that’s another story, and how I ended up in drug research before I retired medically is another story that would take a while.

    I agree with you, Dr. Kevin.  Reading any anti-vax screed makes me say just one thing: “The stupid, it burns.”  As for autism, wasn’t there a recent study that showed the autistic brain had more cells than the normal brain?  Gee, that happens before birth, not due to vaccines.

    • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice Robertson

      And do you know how many chemicals are in an umbilical cord?  How many chemicals are in a shot?  You don’t mind aluminum or mercury?  And have you studied the immune system and how the shot doesn’t give the type of immunity most believe it does?  It may behoove you to actually go and read about the conference with Phd’ers and MD’s who do expose the truth at great risk to their careers.  They are on youtube discussing the truth of the matter…but it seems the truth is secondary?  The agenda is top priority.  We proclaim that we love debate….that we love the truth…but any doctor should be able to speak to their patients with great knowledge and ability.  Patients listen to you….they pay for your counsel.  Give them the info and let them decide.  The schools are making it mandatory to get the shots. 

      And, ultimately, if you desire being persuaded to go in a direction where truth is not utmost…which means no censorship or mind luring…wait until it’s something you feel strongly about.  Will it be fine then?  We can’t choose our rights by what feels right to us at the moment.  We choose our rights based on the liberties of man and we have the right to all the information and use our own minds to decide.

      And once again I will say I am not anti shot…but those who disagree will still label me as so.  I am anti chemicals…and want the shots cleaned up….or kids given the preservative free versions…yes, they are more costly….but not as costly as the repercussions.  

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/HAKL5KH52K6PNG4ODNIC4252PU FreyjaW

        Don’t worry, I’ll use small words.  Of course I know about chemicals in a vaccine.  I’m allergic to thimerosal so I need to know about preservatives in a vaccine.  Do you prefer your vaccines un-preserved?  All you have to do is ask, silly.  My flu shot was preservative-free this time because my doctor is merciful (hates to see me itch and hurt) and the site had no redness, pain, or itching, much less heat.  Easiest flu shot yet.  You never figured out you could ask?!? 

        If you think I’m insulting you, good.  You insulted me when you implied nurses don’t study immune systems or chemistry.  YouTube is not an authority on anything except cute cat videos, so trying to quote anything from there is useless. (Except the Mean Kitty Song)

        Of course schools make vaccination mandatory!  Two words: herd immunity.  Of course you’ll get that concept wrong, too.  There needs to be a very high percentage of immune (vaccinated) people before the concept works.  And you homeschool…  I’m not surprised.

        Truth is not utmost in the first place.  All Dr. Kevin advocates is that the truth be placed first before the woo.  People would still be free to make their own choices.  That’s the part you have yet to understand.  Censorship was never the issue.  It’s all a matter of ranking search results, putting science before the unscientific opinions.

        By saying “anti-chemical” and not asking for the preservative-free vaccines, you’re anti-vax.  Homeschooling is just one way to try to get away with being anti-vax.

        Thanks to vaccines, smallpox is eradicated.  Polio is nearly so, and looks to be the next disease to be removed from the human population.  We can get rid of more diseases if people would have a modicum of common sense.  Instead, we have outbreaks of illnesses that our parents and grandparents considered a bane and hoped would be eliminated with a vaccine someday.

        As soon as I shake this GI bug, I’ll be at my doc’s office getting my TDAP vaccine.  I don’t want to visit my friends’ twins until I have that pertussis booster active in my system.  They have tried too long and hard to have the babies for me to risk their health.

        • Terry M

          Beautifully stated, FreyjaW.

          People should always look at things on the internet (whether that’s Google, Youtube, Wikipedia, or whatever else is the online flavor of the month) with a discerning and critical eye.  It’s too easy to fall into the trap of just amassing citations which agree with our particular viewpoint, calling it “evidence,” and then discounting contradictory viewpoints which are based on scientific fact as somehow nefarious.  The speed and convenience of the internet makes this kind of faux intellectualism easier than it used to be.

          • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice Robertson

            This is censorship….have you thought about where this goes.  Look at Freya’s posts.  If I wasn’t posting who would show the error in her thinking?  And that’s the result of a free internet…if it gets more persuasive there will be more boxed thinking and more people rah rahing limited thinking.

            If Freya truly had studied, truly understand mercury she would know that removing fillings isn’t good enough…it’s stored in your fat tissue…etc. etc.  the misinformation from her and others is a bit scary and the endorsement of more…..means the internet is vital to keep free flow of freedom. 

            I am all for full disclosure on the internet of clinical trials, vaccine injuries, bad doctors….let us have the information without doctors interfering under some type of greater good.  The repercussions of this mindthink…even in small doses…is to Orwellian….and it goes well beyond luring links.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/HRIM6MS6LQADGQI7FXT7A46PIE Betty

            freya and “doctors” lke her thnk the rest of us as stupid peons who cannot “critically analyze” because we dont have a PHD or a BSN in B.S. its these types of high and mighty people that are goin to kill humanity. And Kudos to you Alice for home schooling your children so they arent indoctrinated and oh, yes…..”vaccinated”.

        • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice Robertson

          Oh bollocks Freya!  You haven’t even studied herd immunity…if you did you would understand the topic.   Look beyond the pharmaceutical literature.  Flu vaccines have mercury in them….one of the few.

          Thank you though for providing a great example of why Kevin is wrong….censorship works on the weak willed.  Isn’t it interesting you want preservative free for YOU, and aren’t decrying it for all the others it has injured.  That’s hypocrisy….imagine I know a big word….but it’s easy to impress those who lack understanding….you know the weak willed….I hear mercury does that to ya!

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/HAKL5KH52K6PNG4ODNIC4252PU FreyjaW

            Listen, you brain-dead git!  Don’t you DARE tell me what I have studied and what I have not.  I have a degree appropriate to this discussion, you do not.  I was required to study a number of topics you say I didn’t study to get my BSN, cum laude, no less.  I am not advocating censorship, and there is nothing wrong with reordering a search engine, especially to put facts first, woo after.  Too many people have lost the ability to analyze critically.  They need all the help they can get.

            Flu shots are available without mercury.  Just ask.  That’s what I’ve been telling you.  Did God fail to give you the brains He gave a left-handed screwdriver?  I mentioned that because I also mentioned I’m allergic to thimerosal, so flu shots gave me local reactions until this year when my doc was merciful and gave me the preservative-free version.  Easiest flu shot I’ve had.  Read for content, or are you afraid I’ll say something factual that will contradict your opinion, like I’ve been doing?  Now, pay attention: anyone can ask for the preservative-free vaccine.  They probably should if they are worried about mercury.  I have no idea why you think I don’t believe anyone else should have this vaccine when I keep pointing out that anyone can get it for the asking.  Or do you feel stupid for not asking after all this time?  (You should!)  By the way, what about the mercury in your amalgam fillings or your fish?  (Before you flap your fingers, I don’t eat fish and I don’t have mercury fillings.  Those were replaced with composite white fillings.  No metal.)  You and yours probably have more mercury in your bodies than I do.  You must be weak-willed if you think vaccines are the only source of mercury.  You don’t even know what mercury does to the body.

            Go back to teaching the kids.  You aren’t very good at teaching adults.  First you have to pick a topic that you actually have scientific evidence about, not pseudoscientific claptrap.  You just cherry-pick whatever fits your bias, never mind that it’s not scientifically sound.  That makes you a bad role model and teacher.

            Oh, do you know how to protect your cell phone and computer from the solar storms and CMEs (coronal mass ejections) that are ongoing or expected?  No?  You’d better.  Solar weather is going to be unsettled for a while and the most recent flare was a G3 (most intense is G5).  On second thought, please don’t believe me.  We need a break. 

          • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice Robertson

            LOL Sigh…..you are having trouble understanding short posts far less real research. Have you been tested for mercury build up?:)

            You get preservative free shots then come here and recommend shots that have aluminum and mercury in them for others? That is hypocritical…and shows a lack of understanding. Try reading Vaccine Epidemic with the research…read up on the neurologist who proved in court the MMR shot caused his daughter’s autism…please stop posting and actually study before these rants.

            If you are truly allergic you should go back and reread that I am not anti shot….I am for getting rid of the preservatives which are part of an environmental problem. It’s obvious you didn’t even read the news about the mercury conference.

            Joking aside it’s astonishing you haven’t studied what mercury in the body does. I would recommend you get tested.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/HAKL5KH52K6PNG4ODNIC4252PU FreyjaW

            Been tested.  Have you?  You clearly have ignored the other sources of mercury.  Ignoring them doesn’t make them go away.  The filling replacement was for aesthetics BTW.

            Get tested.  Then go back to your kids and your soft-headed thinking.  Meanwhile, pray your kids don’t get sick.  Prayer doesn’t pay attention to immune response, though, so good luck.  You’ll need it.

          • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice Robertson

            My daughter just had whooping cough….caught from a vaccinated child…but the good news is….she has true lifelong immunity.

            Freya if you had true mercury problems you would know what the answer is…it’s in your tissues…just replacing fillings isn’t enough. 

            Pray my kids don’t get sick?  Two have had cancer…one still deals with it…and both deal with the repercussions of radiation that did nothing but harm.  So much for…what the doctor ordered.  Her new docs no longer recommend radiation.  As a mom I am devastated that I allowed harm to come to my child by following doctor’s orders….but grateful that mom’s spoke out and a segment of doctors listen.

            Experience is a cruel taskmaster.   For the record our doctors are not vaccine advocates.  They work for the Cleveland Clinic…researchers.  There are brilliant doctors who refuse the shots for their children or order very few and preservative free.  They use private schools….they are not the status quo….they can still think…and know that posting publicly is not a good thing for their career.  That’s how powerful BigPharma is (the Pied Piperish type of musician:)  But time is bringing doctors to the table….but moreso….it amazes me when doctors or just people like you post without even recognizing that the radical moms who screamed about mercury….were called names just like here….were able to get mercury out of most of the shots.  Thank God for the trailblazers who can still think…and thank God for the freedom we have to do so….even this disagreement is a fabulous chance to let the truth reign…and to encourage more study, to let the public be educated to distrust medicine….because we are individuals…who may or may not be a good stat.

            Be grateful!  Thank the radicals for taking the name calling from the so called “experts” because their children are not getting the mercury we were told is so safe, but is disappearing.  It really is shooting yourself in the foot to not advocate for safe shots. 

          • ccdaddy57

            I’m fixing to rip into you like you have not ever heard,how dare you 
            accuse the children not vaccinated. Of spreading disease. I’ts your crap for vaccines, that is not! at all working.     And it’s causing the already vaccinated to spread the diseases.you said;  I was required to study a number of topics.  To bad, you missed out on common sense.   You also mentioned, “you are allergic to Thimerosal” and I
            assume you have had many such Thimerosal shots? If so I am here to make your day.  On the MSDS sheet of Thimerosal it says that Thimerosal is Accumulative in the body, and it targets the organs of the body in particular the brain and the lining around the brain. 

            Enjoy your early onset Alzheimer’s,if you are a non excreter. 
            And if you are from the group that thinks, Thimerosal is the good Mercury.    Boy, have I got news for you, in an NIH paid study on baby primates.       The lead researcher Dr. Burbacher says that Thimerosal mercury crosses the BBB easier than does the fish mercury.  And after it Thimerosal crosses the BBB, and inters the brain.It turns into Inorganic mercury, by 2.5 times as does the fish 
            mercury.       Which BTW, Inorganic is the most damaging to the Mitochondria.

            Did your medical degree, tell you if the mitochondria gets damaged that you can suffer tremendously.     In fact, that is probably where
            chronic fatigue syndrome comes from. Flu vaccinated people who have their Mitochondria damaged.   And also where Alzheimer’s is
            coming from.  So do enjoy, your self inflicted infirmities.  Am I cruel
            No!  it’s just your arrogance, is not! needed here in this forum where this very real suffering is happening to these young girls. You need to get on your knees and repent for your Arrogance, and let  God show you some humility.  You do believe in God? 
                 
               

          • ccdaddy57

            I could not have said it better, Alice. Kudos!!!!!!

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GJCNF5QLKW7ROYAZZGB7HFH57Y jamesp

          Freyja- A question for you- Do you believe as a rule that board certified physicians offer better care and achieve better outcomes  than non boarded Docs?

    • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice Robertson

      Government charts show the diseases were on the way down before the shots.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/HAKL5KH52K6PNG4ODNIC4252PU FreyjaW

        Now that you idiot anti-vax types aren’t vaccinating, the diseases are on the rise again.  Nothing like having a baby with pertussis in my ICU for the first time in forever.  Is this what you want?  It must be!  An increase in hearing impaired and deaf children due to measles.  Chickenpox in adults is frightening (my husband had it).  Mumps in adults?  Men really don’t want it.  If you won’t vaccinate for any reason, you’re an anti-vax type.  If it’s because of the chemicals, you’re still an anti-vax type and a danger to those around you.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/HRIM6MS6LQADGQI7FXT7A46PIE Betty

          we dont need 72 different vaccinations! when i was little i had 5. 5!!

          • Andrew H

            Yeah?  The average 80 year old in 1960 probably only took one or two pills a day, compared to, say, nine or ten today.  Does that mean that they didn’t need them?  No!  It just means they weren’t around.  What fallacious thinking.

    • ccdaddy57

      Wrong !! in so many ways, and one is from their own mouths.  They said, our Drugs profits are 

      dwarft compared to what we make off of Vaccines.   Their words, not ours.  Why do you think a child has by age 18  / 72 Vaccines including boosters.  Now here is the shocker, on a CDC web
      site they are boasting that there is 150 more vaccines on the way.   My question, if not for profits then what?  I recall one week, the CDC said they were coming out with a vaccine for dirt.   Same
      week another study comes out saying we are getting to clean, in other words our immune is getting
      dumb down like the IQ’s of our children.  In fact the author of the we are getting to clean study, said we need to let our children go out.   And roll in the dirt.   

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/HAKL5KH52K6PNG4ODNIC4252PU FreyjaW

    Oh, like Forbes is such a reputable medical journal.  Logic fail.

    • Anonymous

      Ditto. There are so many online resources for finding good information out there. If you would like to find peer reviewed information check out some of these sites.

      Google scholar, PubMed, National Guideline Clearinghouse, Dynamed, Medline, UpToDate and Chochrane Library

      If you are really looking for solid information please refer to these sources.

      Also, if you are interested in looking at a clinical trial for a new treatment it must do the following to be considered valid: 

      Must be randomized, blinded, must have comparable baseline groups (control + experimental), must have follow up with at least 80% of participants for a reasonable time frame, and must be analyzed for intent to treat. 

      The above only establishes if a study is reasonably well suited to impact treatment according to  evidenced based medicine. Once you do find that a given study is valid you must then determine the strength of the evidence offered in the study. The most useful way to do this is by looking at the Numbers Needed to Treat or NNT score. The NNT allows you to  determine the number of patients that would need to receive a given treatment before a patient would be saved by it. 

      Often an NNT is not overtly stated in a paper, and must be calculated. This can be done by taking the Control Event Rate or CER (rate of death in the control group) and Subtracting the Experimental Event Rate or EER (rate of death in the experimental group) from it and then taking the inverse of that number. The resultant number is the NNT. The CER and EER will often be stated in a study. 

      This is the way that medical students are taught to analyze medical information when we run in to it. If you want to make strong statements about a given treatment that may effect the way that people utilize medical care I really hope that you consult a doctor, and let them put in their two cents. 

      • Julie Thoren

        Google should not be censoring information any more than the medical journals should be publishing only positive research papers on drugs because they were funded by big pharma. 

        Finding “truth” today is not easy. Science has truly been tainted by politics and the pharmaceutical industry. 

        Understandably, it is difficult for physicians to keep current with everything given their schedules. Resources specifically designed to educate physicians have demonstrated incomplete information and bias. That includes government resources like the CDC.

        Patients with the aptitude, the time, and the vested interest in learning everything they can about their own medical conditions are at an advantage. If a physician is uncomfortable or unwilling to work WITH a patient to determine a course of treatment, that is sad.  

        I’ve attached a link to a  TEDMED video where Dave deBronkart presents this case.  It saved his life.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vejkD0Rl3o

        I have often educated my physicians on studies, clinical trials, and research that they were not aware of. If my physicians were not willing to work with me, I would not be going to them!

        BTW, here are two more resources for researching medical research: http://www.scirus.com and http://www.mednar.com.  

    • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice Robertson

      But you don’t display even basic research skills.  That story was so widely available you will find it on medical sites.  You reacted…even got a ditto….for not even doing a search.  You display the exact reason Kevin’s suggestion is not a good one….some people are so easily persuaded they don’t know how to do real research and just rah rah anyone who agrees with whatever their doctor says.  Newsflash….doctors disagree all the time…it’s why we….oh my goodness….go for a second or third opinion.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AQGAJ4XQOZ56VG4GULIC324QCQ That really cool Sarah

    NO.  Google shouldn’t be censoring anything non-obscene

  • Anonymous

    The freedom of expression that allows Dr. Pho to ask this question should apply also to the anti-vaccine believer’s freedom of expression.  I would oppose any government effort to censor the anti-vaccinators.
     
    But, Dr. Pho does not speak of the government here.  He speaks of a for-profit corporation that specializes in the finding and organization of information.
     
    Should a search engine tweak its search results to meet a public health goal?
     
    That’s not my question to answer.  Nor should it be.
     
    The answer belongs to the search engine corporation. They will (and should) decide based upon corporate self-interest.
     
    Benevolent paternalism has no business quietly removing personal decisional responsibility from individual, ordinary citizens.  Such paternalism is hard to contain once released in such a manner, and associated errors can be at least as egregious as exist with freely erroneous speech. 
     
    Think over the decades of all the changes of course taken by medical knowledge, and of how harmful it would have been to require people to believe as we did at the time.  
     
    Medical field knowledge is strengthened when people question its validity, no matter how wrong the challenge.  Within my field, Scientology is an example.  I actually regret their challenges of psychiatry come from a foundation of beliefs that most ordinary citizens find weird. 
     
    Solution to this modern public health challenge posed by Dr. Pho?
     
    The medical field can make sure there’s solid, “search engine optimized” counter information out there to help people to make their own decisions.

    • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice Robertson

      Except that money is already messing up medicine, but your point is well taken…it is also why doctors are heavily regulated and BigPharma is feeling the regulation pains that may eventually give birth to the actual truth.

      Capitalism is a wonderful thing, but sometimes the capitalists need regulated.

      • Anonymous

        Am missing the link between my comments re: freedom of speech and your critique of the merits of capitalism.

        • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice Robertson

          I usually post on my iPad and which makes this site hard to post on at times.  Sorry for not answering sooner….I was gone caring for elderly parents.  I think I was responding to your point about Kevin speaking for the for-profit.  It is true.  The profit factor is a burden and blessing.  I am more a Milton capitalist…not a Rand follower….so I just revile in the splendor of an online voice a bit too much….and find it hard to believe Kevin actually believes what he wrote….that’s how preposterous it seems to me.  But….I gotta admit….I like the Disqus posting ability…although, I don’t like that the pro vacciners gang up and flag my posts and get them deleted. Tip….save your posts and repost them….they get tired of deleting and making up several personalities with avatars that look like junkies! ha!

  • Anonymous

    This article is very dishonest because the author should know that mainstream medicine is now so corrupt and bought out by BIG PHARMA and other psychopathic corporations, people can no longer trust ANY doctor!!  The entire medical system is totally broken!!  Read Dr. Marcia Angell’s THE TRUTH ABOUT THE DRUG COMPANIES and countless other similar ones if you check out the latter book on Amazon.  It is only thanks to the Internet that my life was saved by a deadly drug for IBS that was later pulled off the market.  Though many doctors take gifts and payments from BIG PHARMA and their corporate cohorts, many are just as deceived as patients since all the medical journals, AMA, APA, so called educational meetings have all been bought out and corrupted by corporate spin in the form of bogus corporate drug and other studies manipulated to show good results and hide/not publish the bad, ghost written articles written by corporate employees with acclaimed “doctors” and “academics” signing them to make them appear legitimate for a price.  These same KOL’s or Key Opinion Leaders go on the corporate paid speaking circuit to persuade their colleagues to prescribe not only useless and dangerous drugs, but also to prescribe them for bogus off label uses.

    Many new vaccines HAVE BEEN PROVEN useless and dangerous only to enhance BIG PHARMA profits.  His article is insulting to the average educated lay person because the day of Dr. God speaking down to uneducated “peasants” are over!  Because main stream medicine is so corrupted and especially bogus mainstream psychiatry, the most corrupt leading the pack,  it now has little to offer except toxic medications guaranteed to make you more sick so that you will keep requiring more drugs because that is how this SICK SYSTEM is set up for greed, profit and power!    Harvard medical students caught on that all they are learning is BIG PHARMA propaganda by drug company paid shill professors on such topics as cholesterol and other drugs.  The best way to keep well is lead a healthy lifestyle and avoid mainstream medicine like the plague it is. 

    Google is not totally trustworthy itself and is now planning a new invasion of privacy.  But, if Google goes too far and doesn’t meet customer needs, there are other alternatives.  Frankly, Googe has deteriorated in that it is TOO focused on ads rather than good information sources, etc.

    Finally, who does this author think he’s kidding?  The joke suicide prevention of bogus biological psychiatry is to stigmatize victims as mentally ill and push lethal SSRI antidepressants known to cause suicide, worse depression, violence and a ton of other dangerous symptoms that will be used to pretend the victim was more mentally ill than thought with bipolar and puch an increased lethal cocktail of toxic drugs on the victim that will shorten their lives by about 25 years!   BIG PHARMA funds so called suicide groups and other so called help groups like NAMI, CHADD, etc.

    So, much for this author’s expert medical information that all comes from BIG PHARMA and its corrupt cohorts in crime! 

  • Anonymous

    Dr. Pho pretends that misinformation on the internet is the reason for the heated controversy linking vaccines to autism. “The science” he talks about comes with a web of ties to the vaccine makers. If Pho and other doctors genuinely believed that there is no connection between our ever-expanding vaccine schedule and the exponential increase in autism they’d be demanding an official study comparing the autism rates in fully-vaccinated and never-vaccinated kids. If one percent of never vaccinated kids also have autism, the proof would be there for everyone to see. No one ever asks for this research. With so many parents now too afraid to vaccinate, the study group is out there. If Pho and others really want end this controversy they could do it in an instance by producing this study.
    Anne Dachel, Media editor: Age of Autism http://www.ageofautism.com/

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/HAKL5KH52K6PNG4ODNIC4252PU FreyjaW

      Selling yourself on the internet, eh?  That’s the only reason you’re here.  You can’t prove anything with an appropriate double-blind, sufficiently powered study.

      • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice Robertson

        Oh my goodness….I have changed my mind…yes, let’s have a mentality, IQ test of people who boast on boards how brilliant they are then post enough to let you know no one…..um…they aren’t living up to their self promotion.

        Studies?  You mean real ones that don’t use a completely healthy population with the results that don’t fit being thrown out?  Gosh….I found that on a site that wasn’t financed like this site by big medicine.  This is what the anti vacs have begged for.  Now….where would we find such a population when the school mandate the shots before entry?  I will tell you..the homeschoolers who test out higher than the public schoolers (the kids you degrade because you do not value the freedom you have to come here and post) and often don’t immunize…or the Amish….who often do bow down and get the shots.  Now why isn’t a simple answer like that being done?  Why are the research studies that prove vaccines are so great paid for by…omg…BigPharma.   So people come here and parrot for BigPharma.  Nice….smart…um…hmm…..really well researched?  Not!  But when the underdogs have no money it’s very hard to prove your point.  If you are so up on research you would know it’s being proven certain children should not have the MMR.  Gosh….moms were saying that for awhile….science caught up….some kids are predisposed to problems with the shot just like you say you are to mercury.  So cut yourself slack….don’t get the shots you claim you are allergic to….but come here and not even understand that some kids are taking reactions far worse than your’s.  Compassion and knowledge are powerful weapons….and so is tenacity…so I have no problem coming online and being called brain dead by the foolish…like….u.

          Real research involves understanding the whole picture….not slices bought and paid for.  I think you should stay out of the game until you have truly studied, talked to moms and view the videos of their perfect children before the shot then afterwards.  You think all these moms are lying and their doctors?  Read the newer books from truthful docs who have taken more than a week in med school about the shots….especially the PhD’s who study the issue closely.   Read up the doctors who refused the flu shots and why they wrote to their state medical boards.   Just for goodness sakes study the issue.

        Did you read or hear on the news this week what is causing shots to be less effective.  You and Brian and Kevin are recommending shots that are often risky and it isn’t even protecting the kids.  Now you need to add a disclaimer about teflon and other properties.  This is so frustrating when people don’t keep up then act all authoritative online hoping to deceive others that they are some Vaccine Guru’s just because they read a pharmaceutical paid for piece of literature based on a stacked deck type of research.  How about demanding real research instead of trying to prove us wrong.  How about valuing the truth above all agendas including your own ego?

        Please at least read Vaccine Epidemic and the research before proclaiming you have studied the issue.

        • A Kazen

          All FreyjaW is saying is, even if you did a study of non-vaccinated versus vaccinated children and the rates of autism in both, this would only potentially show a correlation between autism and vaccination. It couldn’t, in any way, prove that vaccines cause autism. 

          • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice Robertson

            I don’t think that’s what she was saying….but moving on….why the reluctancy to do such a study?  What you say is too wide sweeping….of course, we aren’t going to tag autism with one specific cause.  That’s a given.  But the research needs done…with integrity…not profits (so far doctors rely too heavily on almost exclusively bought and paid for data from BigPharma on shots….or can you point me to independent studies that show otherwise?)   At the end I give two more than worthy reads for those who want the truth and can get beyond the hype.

             My two main points have been testing to show a predisposal to harm from aluminum or mercury.  Progress has been made on mercury. It’s amazing to go back and look at earlier posts from Kevinmd.com from doctors defending mercury, but now will say it’s gone….as if it’s always been so and forgetting they defended it.  Second point…safer shots…which Freya recommends for herself…but should recommend for all.  And you and Freya should be screaming for more research…untainted research.

              Did you read this week about the evidence based medicine proving our concerns about the shots right?  Imagine…pap tests preventing what the vaccine proclaims it does because younger women aren’t getting pap smears.  How about recommending the least invasive road, that is much safer, for those who, will go that road instead of going the risky road because some are irresponsible with their bodies?  Be honest….give people options…instead of doctors just reading off a BigPharma prompter… because this particular shot has caused deaths.  Why not just say a pap smear is the way to go, but if you aren’t going to get that you may want to get a vaccine and take even more risks…it’s up to you…but no doctors will use fear and leave out facts…many docs don’t even keep up with the true facts for fear humans will not get the shot.  That’s deceptive and irresponsible when you are getting paid to treat an individual…not a population…and the source of data given in disclosure.

            Two articles, plus one on breast feeding doing a better job at protecting babies than shots are worth reading:

            http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/757789HPV Vaccine Policy: At Odds with Evidence Based Medicine?http://vaccinesafetycouncilminnesota.org/responses-to-ubc-vaccine-paper-a-problem-for-free-scientific-inquiry-and-expression/

            Responses to UBC vaccine paper a problem for free scientific inquiry and expression | VSCMN

  • Anonymous

    Dr. Pho doesn’t tell readers that neither the doctor nor the vaccine maker is liable if a child has vaccine reaction. They’ve been protected by federal law. Instead parents have to enter an arduous process called Vaccine Court where they’re up against government lawyers defending a government program using government money. Few parents ever get their day in court. Despite this, the federal government has paid out over $2 billion since 1986 for severe damage, even death following vaccination.

    See FOX News story “The Supreme Court says you cannot sue for a vaccine injury” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCFOXaPFkpk .

    Anne Dachel, Media editor: Age of Autism http://www.ageofautism.com/

  • Anonymous

    Many parents are tired of the decades of denial from officials and mainstream medicine. In truth the evidence linking the explosion in autism (now affecting one percent of children) to the ever-expanding, unchecked vaccine schedule is huge and mounting. The LA Times published this review of the new film, “Greater Good,” an in-depth look at the vaccine safety debate. http://articles.latimes.com/2011/oct/14/entertainment/la-et-capsules-greater-good20111014The short trailer to this movie on their website http://www.greatergoodmovie.org/experts-in-the-field makes it clear that there are experts on both side and a lot of serious questions that need to be asked. The medical community and health officials promote vaccines as the greatest achievement in modern medicine yet there is growing fear over vaccine side effects.Claire Dwoskin from the National Vaccine Information Center and Leslie Manookian, producer and writer of new movie, “The Greater Good,” talked about vaccine safety claims with NY talk show host Thom Hartmann on Nov. 21. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38qPvdFit_U&feature=channel_video_titleThey discussed the poor design of the research used as proof that vaccines are safe. No one ever talks about this!Anne Dachel, Media editor: Age of Autism http://www.ageofautism.com/The short trailer to this movie on their website http://www.greatergoodmovie.org/experts-in-the-field makes it clear that there are experts on both side and a lot of serious questions that need to be asked. The medical community and health officials promote vaccines as the greatest achievement in modern medicine yet there is growing fear over vaccine side effects.Claire Dwoskin from the National Vaccine Information Center and Leslie Manookian, producer and writer of new movie, “The Greater Good,” talked about vaccine safety claims with NY talk show host Thom Hartmann on Nov. 21. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38qPvdFit_U&feature=channel_video_titleThey discussed the poor design of the research used as proof that vaccines are safe. No one ever talks about this!Anne Dachel, Media editor: Age of Autism http://www.ageofautism.com/

  • Anonymous

     HDNet TV exposed the fact that while health officials continue to tell us studies show no link, the federal government has paid out millions of dollars for compensation for vaccine injuries that included autism. Seeing these children who were born healthy and were suddenly and dramatically affected by their vaccinations should give us all pause. http://www.ebcala.org/news/videoSee Fox News report: http://video.foxnews.com/v/4687300/law-school-links-autism-vaccines-in-report/The federal government also conceded the vaccine damage case of Hannah Poling, a young Georgia girl who regressed into autism following her vaccinations. See CBS News story from Sept, 2010 http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31727_162-20015982-10391695.htmlAnne Dachel, Media editor: Age of Autism http://www.ageofautism.com/

  • Anonymous

    The risks associated with vaccination are very real. See the recent story, 7-Year-Old Vermont Girl Dies After Flu Vaccine : http://ecochildsplay.com/2012/01/13/7-year-old-vermont-girl-dies-after-flu-vaccine/There are experts on both sides of this controversy.
    See the book, Vaccine Epidemic http://www.amazon.com/Vaccine-Epidemic-Corporate-Coercive-Government/dp/1616082720 and the National Vaccine Information Center http://www.nvic.org/.Anne Dachel, Media editor: Age of Autism http://www.ageofautism.com

  • http://twitter.com/spookiewon Pjay (Patti) Pender

    Short answer, no.  I fully agree that the antivax propaganda lacks scientific credibility, but the problem isn’t with what people read online, it’s with the lack of credibility science has right now.  I buy a few things in our local “health food store” and am accosted every time I go in with pleas that I buy all kinds of “naturopathic” and “homeopathic” nonsense because all those “unnatural” “big pharma” ingredients “you can’t pronounce” are “bad for you.”  The owner of the store has repeatedly told me that “scientists can’t be trusted.”  Search engine data should not be “gamed.”  The suicide prevention stuff that you see first when you type “how do i kill myself…” is an ad.  You can buy an ad correcting the antivax nonsense, too, but search results should NEVER be altered.  It’s the only way we can ever trust search engines, and it’s never acceptable to alter the search algorithm’s results.

  • Anonymous

    The real “mess” is the poor people who have been damaged by vaccines.

    At some point, the medical majority is going to have to wake up and see the tragedy. 

  • Julie Thoren

    I had commented but don’t see my comment posted now. My original response was to post as a general comment but it appeared as a response to a previous posted. My attempt to correct my error appears to have resulted in the removal of my comment.

    IMHO, Google should not be censoring searches anymore than medical journals should be biased in publishing only favorable research sponsored by pharmaceutical companies.

    While my previous comments/thoughts may have been lost, I find it amazing that medical professionals could possibly think that highly regarded journals  (Science and other) are not guilty of the same bias.

    Learned the hard way that what is published and what is presented publicly is not necessarily the truth.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kali.lynn2 Kali Lynn

    The facts are that the conditions in which vaccines are manufactured can not be defined as clinical but rather as industrial, with severe lack of oversight and lack of controls. Many have unintended and undisclosed components including but not limited to remnants of other non-human creatures that serve no clinical value but instead pose unknown health risks.

    With resperct to autism, the only way to dispute the connection between vaccines and and autism is to find out why incidences of autism are increasing on such a steap curve. Please offer some other explanation. Also some explanation of why some catagories of vaccine receive no clinical testing before mass release to the public is in order.

    I am 48 years old. When I was a child, I received perhaps 10 vaccines. Currently children just a few years old are receiving 56 or more vaccines. In response to this I would ask what effect this has on our immune systems? Is there not a point at which enough is enough and healthy immune systems will have to be fostered if the species hopes to survive?

    To me this whole situation is a symptom of the change in our medical communities from healers to pill pushers. I have watched for years as my doctors have started acting more and more like common drug dealers. I have personally been threatened with being “blackballed” if I seek a second opinion or attempt to change physicians. I attempted to bring a lawsuit against a surgeaon only to find that I was quickly becomming unwelcome at any medical facility. Had I continued I would have clearly have forfitted my right to medical care in any form.

    Doctors have become less and less willing to disnose anything instead trying only to find a drug that successfully masks symptoms. Doctors are increasingly nothing more than drug company reps. As such they defend the viability of those medications even when low cost alternatives exist. This is I believe the situation with vaccines today.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/HRIM6MS6LQADGQI7FXT7A46PIE Betty

    no censorship is allowed… yet.they want you to be censored because the “vaccines” are for one purpose only…to cull the herd of “useless eaters”.those who wont take them voluntarily will soon be made to take them…..they dont want the public to know. the Author has probably been bought and paid for by the big pharmacuetical companies who are in turn one of the puppets of the Shadow Goverment.

  • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice Robertson

    Sorry the link didn’t come through properly. 
    The article is at MedScape 

    then you would type in:  viewarticle/757789

  • http://dinosaurmusings.wordpress.com/ #1 Dinosaur

    I don’t know if it’s interesting or just sad that intelligent, thoughtful, realistic posts like this one bring out droves of antivax whackadoodles.

    I blame the educational system, dumbing down science education to the point where rampant science illiteracy allows “fact-free” discussions, evidenced by the bulk of this comment trail.

    Yes, I think Google should rank relevant posts from Quackwatch.org, Science Based Medicine, and other websites that provide reliable information about vaccines so that those who are actually seeking information (as opposed to pushing an agenda, like all the antivaccine posters below) have a better chance of making truly informed decisions.

    By the way, for all who cry crocodile tears of “censorship”, notice that Kevin has left all your nonsense intact, unlike sites such as Age of Autism, where dissension is ruthlessly blotted out.

    • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice Robertson

      Umm…Quackwatch?  I read it…but question the full use of scientific knowledge…what you miss is scientists back the vaccine discernment movement…scientists and doctors disagree.  Giving kudos?  Kevin doesn’t censor anymore….. doctors do fearful of their ignorance being exposed do…three red flags and your post is automatically removed and that happened to me recently here….so people in glass houses……umm……Kevin used to delete almost every single post I posted questioning vaccination ingredients and reactions.  I would have to write privately to the posters, but few….would ever even read the scientific evidence against mercury and aluminum.

      Amazing the people who speak up and aren’t up to date on mercury in shots given to pregnant women, aluminum…yet the same people run from a room where a new lightbulb with mercury in them breaks.  So fearful of that small amount of mercury they clear a room for 15 minutes, use gloves to clean it up….and rightfully so….the stuff is scary.   Add to that the huge profits HHS just gave to developers of vaccines and smallpox….Siga.  

      • http://dinosaurmusings.wordpress.com/ #1 Dinosaur

        Alice, you continue to make my case.

        Subject: [kevinmd] Re: Should Google censor anti-vaccine claims?

    • http://www.facebook.com/homeSlice187 Greg Francis

      People like you will be extinct soon. I’ve spend dozens of hours looking at the debate and it clearly shows a cover up in the interest of the gov.’s desire for herd immunity. A valid reason in many ways however the few who over-react and end up permanently fried should not be ignored. You are aware of the ‘Vaccine Court?! This is an absolute indication as it has also been admitted that vaccines can cause severe and sometimes deadly reactions in a small segment. Rather than covering it all up and changing the subject they need to own up and test the full-schedule rather than testing each vaccine independently. The full-schedule studies have never been done, dumb ass dinosaurs. 

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