Mountains Out of Myhills?
By Keir Liddle
Today, at around 1.30pm, the General Medical Council (GMC), the body that registers and regulates medical doctors in the UK, whose purpose is to protect, promote and maintain the health and safety of the community by ensuring proper standards in the practice of medicine will be holding an Interim Orders Panel (IOP) to explore to allegations made against Dr Sarah Myhill relating to inappropriate advice and information being given to patients.
Cases are referred to an IOP when a doctor faces allegations of such a nature that it may be necessary for the protection of members of the public, or otherwise in the interests of the doctor or the public, to restrict the doctor’s registration while allegations are resolved. The public interest includes preserving the public trust in the medical profession, and maintaining good standards of conduct and performance. The IOP has the power to make an order suspending or imposing conditions upon (for a maximum of 18 months) a doctor’s registration. The order must be reviewed at six month intervals and if the IOP wishes to extend an order, it must apply to the High Court to do so.
Cases referred to an IOP are considered by case examiners, and an Investigation Committee of Fitness to Practice panel on the following criteria:
1. The seriousness of risk to members of the public if the practitioner was to continue to hold unrestricted registration. In assessing this risk the IOP will consider the seriousness of the allegations, the weight of the evidence, including evidence about the likelihood of further offences occurring whilst the allegations are resolved.
2. Whether public confidence in the medical profession is likely to be seriously damaged if the practitioner were to continue to hold unrestricted registration whilst the allegations are resolved.
3. Whether it is in the doctor’s interests to hold unrestricted registration. For example, the doctor may clearly lack insight and need to be protected from himself/herself.
Other relevant factors include the practitioner’s compliance with conditions previously imposed in relation to the matter being investigated, and the practitioner’s history with the GMC. The IOP requires any complaint made to be credible, and backed by– where possible– corroborative evidence. Although the lack of corroborative evidence should not in itself be a bar to a referral, such evidence will have to be produced at the time of the hearing.
The complaint against Myhill centres around information presented on her website that is inaccurate, and could potentially pose a risk to patients. A protest is planned outside the GMC during the hearing in support of Myhill by the oneclickgroup (what appears to be an anti-vax organisation), and Myhill supporters have reportedly been emailing the chair of the committee before the hearing to voice their displeasure at it taking place at all.
So what information on Myhill’s website gave rise to the complaint? A few of the more outlandish claims are given below:
On the immunisation of children:
Baby – no vaccinations before six months (if the baby has been born premature then this should be six months plus the time the baby was born premature). Breast feeding and social isolation (staying at home) are vital to protect the baby at this age. Vaccinations are no replacement for this policy at this age.
Myhill’s advice is potentially dangerous as infants are susceptible to whooping cough (pertussis) from the day they are born, even if breast fed– although vaccination is only feasible from around 2 months, as babies do not respond below this age. Vaccines provide protection; Myhill’s advice to avoid vaccinations for six months would leave the baby vulnerable to what is still a common infection among older children/young adults, but a lethal one for babies for four long months. Isolation would work in theory (but is completely impractical), though only if all those still in contact with the baby were vaccinated.
Myhill has used “odd” sources to back up her claims about the ingredients of certain vaccines – rense.com being a prime example, a source that also mentions “Obama’s speech hypnosis techniques” and fairly standard 9/11 truther nonsense from which she has drawn the following list:
Vaccine Ingredients –
This following list of common vaccines and their ingredients should shock anyone.
The numbers of microbes, antibiotics, chemicals, heavy metals and animal byproducts is staggering. Would you knowingly inject these materials into your children?
The ingredients for all medicines used in the EU can be found on the website of the European Medicines Agency. Every medicine (including vaccines) has an associated European Public Assessment Report (EPAR), which will contain a list of the ingredients: all you need is the name of the medicine or vaccine. There is no reason to choose a right-wing American conspiracy site as your source of information unless it is simply to reinforce your own prejudices.
Vaccines may be causing harm in unseen ways
Polio vaccination may be a cause of the huge increase in post viral fatigue syndrome. Before polio vaccination, post viral syndrome was rare. This is because people caught polio (which occasionally results in paralysis) which is an enterovirus. They mounted a vigorous immune reaction against polio virus which gave them cross-immunity against all other enteroviruses including Epstein Barr (glandular fever), coxsackie B, ECHO etc. This protected them against post viral fatigue since this most commonly follows an enteroviral infection.We now know that many cancers are caused by viral infection. Obvious examples include hepatitis B (primary liver cancer), cervical wart virus (cervical cancer) and AIDS (Kaposi’s sarcoma). Chronic myeloid leukaemia is probably virally induced. How many other cancers could there be from which we are protected by proper exposure to a virus, but not protected by vaccination? Nobody knows the answer to this question. I am not aware of any studies being done.
Myhill wrongly claims that infection with polio virus may protect against Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/post viral fatigue. Her “mechanism” is nonsensical. Even if polio infection did reduce future chances of CFS, who would risk infection with a virus that can cause permanent neurological disability in 5-10% of those exposed– over the <0.05% risk that later in life one would get CFS, which is less disabling and largely self-limiting?
Myhill’s comments might persuade parents that polio vaccination should be avoided, potentially a very dangerous course of action.
Unlike Myhill’s supporters, I feel that there is a case to answer: she is giving out disturbing advice from a position of authority, which has the potential to damage patient trust and, in her support of anti-vax sentiments in particular, could lead to physical harm being caused.
To see an ever growing list of inaccuracies on Myhill’s website, please visit this thread on the badscience.net forum.