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#2024341 - 01/30/13 11:22 PM Re: Flu shot or not? [Re: chasingrainbows]
Jonathan Baker Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/09/09
Posts: 459
Loc: New York City!
In my personal experience I see no correlation between getting the flu shot and not getting the flu. Last winter I got the flu shot and got sick four consecutive times - it was absolutely dreadful, the worst winter of my life. This winter I did not get the flu shot and my health is sterling. Again, I see no direct benefit to anyone but the stockholders of drug companies.
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http://www.BakerPianoLessons.com/index.htm

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#2024583 - 01/31/13 11:13 AM Re: Flu shot or not? [Re: chasingrainbows]
chasingrainbows Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/06
Posts: 1193
Loc: NJ
One of my students is a nurse and said that people who get the flu shot are still getting the flu, so I am going to pass again this year on the flu shot. Thanks to everyone for their input--it has been very informative, intersting and helpful. smile

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#2024628 - 01/31/13 12:25 PM Re: Flu shot or not? [Re: chasingrainbows]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3240
Loc: Virginia, USA
Here's what the CDC says:

Quote:
What do recent vaccine effectiveness studies show?

Preliminary data for the 2010-2011 influenza season indicate that influenza vaccine effectiveness was about 60% for all age groups combined, and that almost all influenza viruses isolated from study participants were well-matched to the vaccine strains (Unpublished CDC data). A randomized study (by Monto et al [137 KB, 8 pages]) looking at the 2007-2008 influenza season found trivalent inactivated vaccine (flu shot) protected 7 out of 10 people from influenza illness. Studies show that LAIV works about as well as the flu shot. The main study that led to the licensure of LAIV was one conducted in children that showed that LAIV protected up to 9 out of 10 children vaccinated against the flu. A recent meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials of LAIV in children found that 2 doses of LAIV in vaccine-naïve children prevented infection with 77% of antigenically similar viruses and 72% of all viruses regardless of antigenic similarity.


In other words, the real data shows effectiveness between 60% and 90%.

And most people will reject the data in favor of an anecdote from a cousin of their mother-in-law's neighbor who never gets the flu shot and hasn't been sick a day in her life.
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#2024669 - 01/31/13 02:19 PM Re: Flu shot or not? [Re: chasingrainbows]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2649
Tim, the data is not scientific enough IMO.

If you had randomly chosen groups (Group A gets vaccine, Group B doesn't) then you have the basis for a scientific study. But this study compares those who choose a vaccine (the insured, middle class) to those who do not get the vaccine. This is not a scientific study. This study has merely shown that middle class folks are less likely to get sick than poor folks. No surprise there.

It could likely be shown that folks who refrain from attending ball games and church during flu season are 60% less likely to get the flu. But there seems to be little interest in common sense these days. Much more exciting to look for a purchase that ensures good health.



Edited by Ann in Kentucky (01/31/13 02:25 PM)

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#2024674 - 01/31/13 02:27 PM Re: Flu shot or not? [Re: Overexposed]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3174
Originally Posted By: Ann in Kentucky
But this study compares those who choose a vaccine (the insured, middle class) to those who do not get the vaccine. This is not a scientific study. This study has merely shown that middle class folks are less likely to get sick than poor folks. No surprise there.


I am a veteran, and go to the VA clinic. Flu shots are free for all veterans at the clinic, regardless of their economic status. Many are clearly not middle class.
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#2024701 - 01/31/13 02:57 PM Re: Flu shot or not? [Re: Overexposed]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3240
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: Ann in Kentucky
Tim, the data is not scientific enough IMO.




You are properly skeptical with respect to the medical position.

It is based on an in depth understanding of biochemical functioning on the molecular level, including knowing the specific proteins that bind on the antigen sites and being able to sequence the genome of the virus. And it is based on large studies to determine the safety and effectiveness. And you should consider that when you apply your critical thinking skills to the problem - but I agree you should still do so.

However.

At the same time most of the people who are so extremely skeptical of the scientific or medical positions are completely unwilling to apply even a fraction of that skepticism to the alternatives.

Seems a bit contradictory, no? Huge amounts of scientific data on the one side, must apply extreme skepticism and question everything; couple of anecdotes on the other side, must be true.
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#2024749 - 01/31/13 04:30 PM Re: Flu shot or not? [Re: TimR]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2649
Originally Posted By: TimR



At the same time most of the people who are so extremely skeptical of the scientific or medical positions are completely unwilling to apply even a fraction of that skepticism to the alternatives.



I guarantee you that if any alternatives caused the damage that vaccines have caused, the alternatives would be quickly pulled from the market. Only with vaccines do we have the government jump in and decide the companies are too important to fail, and shift all responsibility for damages onto the taxpayer.

The alternatives such as hand washing and avoiding crowds have never been associated with GBS or brain damage (i.e. learning disorders and autism). Vaccines do appear to be contributing to these problems. And we have yet to have a scientific study do more than analyze preservatives in vaccine. Endless speculation. But never a scientific study of two groups randomly assigned to the group that get or don't get vaccines. Plus studying one vaccine, is not like reality which is that babies get immunized against 7 diseases in one office visit...then repeat at regular intervals.


Edited by Ann in Kentucky (01/31/13 04:33 PM)

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#2024782 - 01/31/13 05:17 PM Re: Flu shot or not? [Re: chasingrainbows]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2649
Wow! I actually received a benefit by participating in this debate. LOL!

I've had a continuous headache for 2 days. But now after getting my blood boiling over this issue, the headache is gone. I'm sure there is a scientific reason...most likely epinephrine and endorphins released as part of the fight or flight response.

Anyway, thank you for this cure that my usual OTC remedies could not handle.

OK. I sign out now. Years ago I saw statistics about effectiveness of certain vaccines. Effectiveness looks indisputable in one representation. Then overlay the usual bell curve that an outbreak has and you see the vaccines came in at the tail of the bell curve. Sometimes how effective a vaccine looked depended on whether you looked at monthly or yearly stats etc. It all depended on how the statistics were presented. So, yes, I am a doubting Thomas.

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#2024939 - 01/31/13 11:14 PM Re: Flu shot or not? [Re: chasingrainbows]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4437
Loc: San Jose, CA
"...So, yes, I am a doubting Thomas."

Well, I'm glad your headache is better.
_________________________
Clef


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#2024994 - 02/01/13 01:22 AM Re: Flu shot or not? [Re: TimR]
AZNpiano Online   happy
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5556
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: TimR
At the same time most of the people who are so extremely skeptical of the scientific or medical positions are completely unwilling to apply even a fraction of that skepticism to the alternatives.

Is there a study to back up this assertion, or is this assertion anecdotal in nature?
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#2025024 - 02/01/13 02:55 AM Re: Flu shot or not? [Re: Overexposed]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21821
Loc: Oakland

Originally Posted By: Ann in Kentucky
I guarantee you that if any alternatives caused the damage that vaccines have caused, the alternatives would be quickly pulled from the market. Only with vaccines do we have the government jump in and decide the companies are too important to fail, and shift all responsibility for damages onto the taxpayer.


At least one portion of the alternative industry, the dietary supplements industry, has bought off Congress so that it is almost impossible for the government to pull their products off the market.
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#2025106 - 02/01/13 07:17 AM Re: Flu shot or not? [Re: Jeff Clef]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2649
Originally Posted By: Jeff Clef
"...So, yes, I am a doubting Thomas."

Well, I'm glad your headache is better.


Thanks Jeff. As it turned out, there was just a few hours without headache. Here I go again with day 3 of headache. Rats!

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#2025130 - 02/01/13 08:07 AM Re: Flu shot or not? [Re: BDB]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2649
Originally Posted By: BDB

Originally Posted By: Ann in Kentucky
I guarantee you that if any alternatives caused the damage that vaccines have caused, the alternatives would be quickly pulled from the market. Only with vaccines do we have the government jump in and decide the companies are too important to fail, and shift all responsibility for damages onto the taxpayer.


At least one portion of the alternative industry, the dietary supplements industry, has bought off Congress so that it is almost impossible for the government to pull their products off the market.


I stand corrected. According to Wiki, lobbying by dietary supplement manufacturers resulted in DSHEA (Dietary Supplement of Health and Education Act) being passed in 1994. This shifted responsibility onto the FDA to prove that a supplement is unsafe. Supplement manufacturers do not need to assess risk and benefits and get FDA approval (as is required of pharmaceuticals).

IMO there is likely under reporting of adverse effects in this industry also.

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#2025158 - 02/01/13 09:21 AM Re: Flu shot or not? [Re: BDB]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3240
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: BDB

Originally Posted By: Ann in Kentucky
I guarantee you that if any alternatives caused the damage that vaccines have caused, the alternatives would be quickly pulled from the market. Only with vaccines do we have the government jump in and decide the companies are too important to fail, and shift all responsibility for damages onto the taxpayer.


At least one portion of the alternative industry, the dietary supplements industry, has bought off Congress so that it is almost impossible for the government to pull their products off the market.


Yup. The supplements are made by the same Big Pharma that make our medications. But there's a difference. Medications are regulated, and the industry must prove safety and efficacy before a drug is approved. That costs between $400 million and $800 million. In contrast, supplements are considered "food," and no proof of either safety or efficacy is required. The profits are huge.
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#2025206 - 02/01/13 10:39 AM Re: Flu shot or not? [Re: TimR]
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1646
Loc: northern California
Interesting discussion! I'll jump in to say that I got a flu shot a month ago for the first time in 20 years. Thought it made sense to try it, as in past years I have been very sick with "flus'. Flu has hit my town hard right now, many kids are sick but who knows if it's the flu they have or other viruses. One mom told me that she and her family got flu shots back in November, and now they are all "very sick with the flu" . Must be a different strain or something. Anyway, I hope this shot works.
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Piano Teacher

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#2025322 - 02/01/13 01:29 PM Re: Flu shot or not? [Re: Overexposed]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3240
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: Ann in Kentucky


Quote:
At least one portion of the alternative industry, the dietary supplements industry, has bought off Congress so that it is almost impossible for the government to pull their products off the market.




IMO there is likely under reporting of adverse effects in this industry also.


Possibly. But, not necessarily. It isn't a given that a supplement will have any side effects.

Well, with a caveat of course. ANYTHING that has an effect will have side effects as well. It's the nature of the human body (and the universe!); the sytems are all linked, and anything with an effect inevitably affects something else.

But a supplement or ANY other medical treatment with no side effects can be considered to have no direct effects either. Just placebo. Which means the FDA position isn't unreasonable.


Edited by TimR (02/01/13 01:30 PM)
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#2025338 - 02/01/13 02:03 PM Re: Flu shot or not? [Re: TimR]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2649
Originally Posted By: TimR


It's the nature of the human body (and the universe!); the sytems are all linked, and anything with an effect inevitably affects something else.

But a supplement or ANY other medical treatment with no side effects can be considered to have no direct effects either. Just placebo. Which means the FDA position isn't unreasonable.


Your post reminds me of a pharmacist's lecture a few years ago. One thing that sticks in my mind is his announcement "Placebos are powerful drugs folks!" And it's true. People have adverse reactions to placebos and others have benefits. Strange but true.

I don't think anyone has said they think the FDA is unreasonable.

A vaccine may appear to have minimal negative effect and gain FDA approval. Serious side effects are not as simple as seeing that a kid's finger has fallen off. "My kid had 10 fingers yesterday and after the vaccine he only has 9." That would be easy to measure.

Instead, parents say "My kid had a high pitched cry the night after being vaccinated, and he's never been the same...wouldn't make eye contact"... and in time the kid is diagnosed with autism. These consequences are not easy to prove and they are revealed over time.

Or you get a vaccine, and some time later notice that one pupil is permanently dilated. A doctor may tell you it was caused by a virus. You haven't been sick that you know of, but faithfully get a flu shot each year. Does anyone trace this to a vaccine and is it a result of the vaccine?

Regarding autism: Numbers of cases are escalating in the US. Yet you cannot have an outbreak of a hereditary disease. So autism cannot be simply a hereditary disease. We have seen through history how a virus can damage the brain in certain ways. The damage seen in kids appears to be the work of a virus, yet they have not had any serious illness...but have had a boatload of immunizations. My impression is that the US requires more vaccinations than other countries. And the more vaccination requirements increase the more incidence of brain damage increases.

But we will continue to say "Why don't you prove it!" and hold our scholarly studies in hand saying look elsewhere for the cause of these problems.

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#2025357 - 02/01/13 02:53 PM Re: Flu shot or not? [Re: Overexposed]
dumdumdiddle Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 1267
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Ann in Kentucky
[quote=TimR]
Regarding autism: Numbers of cases are escalating in the US. Yet you cannot have an outbreak of a hereditary disease. So autism cannot be simply a hereditary disease. We have seen through history how a virus can damage the brain in certain ways. The damage seen in kids appears to be the work of a virus, yet they have not had any serious illness...but have had a boatload of immunizations. My impression is that the US requires more vaccinations than other countries. And the more vaccination requirements increase the more incidence of brain damage increases.

But we will continue to say "Why don't you prove it!" and hold our scholarly studies in hand saying look elsewhere for the cause of these problems.


Ann, I'm with you on the autism/vaccine connection. While it's deemed as purely anecdotal, I've heard enough 'anecdotes' and know families whose toddlers had a complete change (going from verbal to non-verbal, no eye contact, etc...) after receiving their scheduled vaccinations.

And don't get me started on Gardasil...
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#2025361 - 02/01/13 02:59 PM Re: Flu shot or not? [Re: dumdumdiddle]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3240
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: dumdumdiddle
Originally Posted By: Ann in Kentucky
[quote=TimR]
Regarding autism: Numbers of cases are escalating in the US. Yet you cannot have an outbreak of a hereditary disease. So autism cannot be simply a hereditary disease. We have seen through history how a virus can damage the brain in certain ways. The damage seen in kids appears to be the work of a virus, yet they have not had any serious illness...but have had a boatload of immunizations. My impression is that the US requires more vaccinations than other countries. And the more vaccination requirements increase the more incidence of brain damage increases.

But we will continue to say "Why don't you prove it!" and hold our scholarly studies in hand saying look elsewhere for the cause of these problems.


Ann, I'm with you on the autism/vaccine connection. .


Except it's garbage. Autism rates have been rising. Worldwide. In countries that vaccinate children and in those that don't. And countries that changed their practices to reduce or eliminate vaccinations saw the rise continue unchanged. (Denmark removed thimerosal from the MMR; autism continued to rise, no change. Japan stopped vaccinating, ditto. The UK has seen a drastic reduction in vaccinated children due to the controversy, ditto.)

Many well designed studies have looked for a link between autism and vaccination, and they can't find one. Because there isn't one.

I know, I know. "don't confuse me with the facts."
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#2025401 - 02/01/13 03:54 PM Re: Flu shot or not? [Re: TimR]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2649
Originally Posted By: TimR


Except it's garbage. Autism rates have been rising. Worldwide. In countries that vaccinate children and in those that don't. And countries that changed their practices to reduce or eliminate vaccinations saw the rise continue unchanged. (Denmark removed thimerosal from the MMR; autism continued to rise, no change. Japan stopped vaccinating, ditto. The UK has seen a drastic reduction in vaccinated children due to the controversy, ditto.)

Many well designed studies have looked for a link between autism and vaccination, and they can't find one. Because there isn't one.

I know, I know. "don't confuse me with the facts."


You haven't actually given us facts. Citing studies would be a beginning.

All I've been able to discover are some limited studies about MMR. But Hello! The kids are getting MMR, DPT, OPV and maybe others all on the same day. I would love to see convincing research!

So, no need to confuse me with the facts. But please show us the facts!

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#2025431 - 02/01/13 04:28 PM Re: Flu shot or not? [Re: Overexposed]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3240
Loc: Virginia, USA
I know that anyone who's researched autism even slightly has come across Cohen's Assortative Mating hypothesis, which I find intriguing but very preliminary.

What's your thought on that possible cause? Because it would have a possible application to musicicans. (well, assortative mating definitely would, not the specific hypersystemization proposed)
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#2025596 - 02/01/13 09:03 PM Re: Flu shot or not? [Re: chasingrainbows]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2649
The mating theory would not come anywhere close to explaining these numbers published by the CDC on rate of autism in US:
2000 1 in 150
2002 1 in 150
2006 1 in 110
2008 1 in 88

I have been curious about vaccine recommendations in other countries though, and found this which shows the US differs a great deal from other Western countries in its vaccine recommendations and rates of autism. 36 vaccines by age of 5 as compared to 18 by other countries. And 10 times the rate of autism.

http://www.rescuepost.com/files/gr-autism_and_vaccines_world_special_report1.pdf

As far as vaccines and the flu shot goes, each person will have to make up their own mind.

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#2025613 - 02/01/13 09:40 PM Re: Flu shot or not? [Re: Overexposed]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3240
Loc: Virginia, USA
Sigh.

If you think Jenny McCarthy's website is data, there is little point in continuing the discussion.

Probably very few people have done as much actual harm to children as she has.

You have to make some effort to distinguish between an uneducated activist's blog and real studies.

I would really encourage you to venture away from Mercola and McCarthy and visit the CDC, the NIH, or some .edu sites.

Or even a library. (they hide the secrets.........in books!)
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#2025619 - 02/01/13 09:45 PM Re: Flu shot or not? [Re: chasingrainbows]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2684
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
*sigh*
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#2025624 - 02/01/13 09:58 PM Re: Flu shot or not? [Re: TimR]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21821
Loc: Oakland
Originally Posted By: Ann in Kentucky
Yup. The supplements are made by the same Big Pharma that make our medications.


No, they are not.
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#2025625 - 02/01/13 10:06 PM Re: Flu shot or not? [Re: malkin]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3240
Loc: Virginia, USA
http://www.jennymccarthybodycount.com/Anti-Vaccine_Body_Count/Home.html

I've seen a dog die of parvovirus.

My dog has had the shot.

Ah, I love my dog, but should I treat my children worse?
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#2025628 - 02/01/13 10:17 PM Re: Flu shot or not? [Re: BDB]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3240
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: BDB
Originally Posted By: Ann in Kentucky
Yup. The supplements are made by the same Big Pharma that make our medications.


No, they are not.


My information may be old, it's been some time since I checked into this. Last I looked, Pfizer had a huge market share, of course a lot of other companies relabel and sell under different brand names. Other ones that I know manufacture supplements (or import from China) include Wyeth, Bayer, GlaxoSmithKline, Unilever and Novartis.
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#2026043 - 02/02/13 09:02 PM Re: Flu shot or not? [Re: TimR]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3240
Loc: Virginia, USA
I get passionate about this topic for a reason.

There are lots of people who have strong interests or beliefs in all sorts of wacko ideas, like astrology, ufo abductions, pyramid power, conspiracy theories, etc.

Most are harmless.

The vaccine deniers are not harmless. Broadcasting their irrational fears of vaccines kills children. Those are real illnesses and real deaths, completely preventable. I can't help reacting to that.

So my apologies, I know I have trouble being sufficiently courteous on this one.
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#2026079 - 02/02/13 10:34 PM Re: Flu shot or not? [Re: TimR]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2684
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
An overview:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MMR_vaccine_controversy

A couple articles:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11700148

http://www.bmj.com/content/342/bmj.c7452
Clear evidence of falsification of data should now close the door on this damaging vaccine scare

The nonsense about "refrigerator mothers" has finally (mostly) left us, maybe this one can go too someday.

That being said, I would not say that there is no connection between vaccines and autism, only that there is no evidence of a connection.
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#2026252 - 02/03/13 10:41 AM Re: Flu shot or not? [Re: chasingrainbows]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4437
Loc: San Jose, CA
"...The Office of Research Integrity in the United States defines fraud as fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism.13 Deer unearthed clear evidence of falsification. He found that not one of the 12 cases reported in the 1998 Lancet paper was free of misrepresentation or undisclosed alteration, and that in no single case could the medical records be fully reconciled with the descriptions, diagnoses, or histories published in the journal.

"Who perpetrated this fraud? There is no doubt that it was Wakefield. Is it possible that he was wrong, but not dishonest: that he was so incompetent that he was unable to fairly describe the project, or to report even one of the 12 children’s cases accurately? No. A great deal of thought and effort must have gone into drafting the paper to achieve the results he wanted: the discrepancies all led in one direction; misreporting was gross. Moreover, although the scale of the GMC’s 217 day hearing precluded additional charges focused directly on the fraud, the panel found him guilty of dishonesty concerning the study’s admissions criteria, its funding by the Legal Aid Board, and his statements about it afterwards.14

"Furthermore, Wakefield has been given ample opportunity either to replicate the paper’s findings, or to say he was mistaken. He has declined to do either. He refused to join 10 of his coauthors in retracting the paper’s interpretation in 2004,15 and has repeatedly denied doing anything wrong at all. Instead, although now disgraced and stripped of his clinical and academic credentials, he continues to push his views.16"


In other words, it was a big, fat lie, which has now been exposed and discredited.

The last sentence quoted might give some people a clue for their own benefit; the further material beyond the quote describes the harm of it, to the health of many thousands of kids around the world. It is not innocent, not a 'white lie,' and it is no wonder that people get a violent headache when they think of their part in the guilt, as they stubbornly repeat the lie.
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