I was the kid in class always asking the difficult questions, my parents immigrated to the UK in 1955 a time of prejudice and discrimination. My family lived in one of the houses that accepted “Irish, Blacks and Dogs”. Perhaps that is why, I have always found righteous “know all’s” irritating and get great pleasure in pointing out the limits of their knowledge and supposed expertise, especially in relation to health and happiness.
If I or any of my children are unlucky enough to get hit by a bus, I would wish for them to be taken to A&E and be examined by a qualified medical doctor. When I was diagnosed with Stage 3 rectal cancer in 2011, I agreed to the biomedical approach of Radiotherapy, surgery and chemotherapy. Given the all clear in 2012, the cancer came back in 2013. As far as the Royal Marsden was concerned, the treatment had not worked and my cancer was now “incurable”; I was told average life expectancy was 22 months, no one had survived 4 years with my metastasis (spread).
The NHS is a disease service and good at it, but perhaps cancer is not a disease in the traditional sense. Cancer cells are not foreign bodies invading the human organism, these cells possess our own DNA, they are simply undifferentiated cells seeking a purpose, perhaps trying to adapt to a changing environment, dividing and multiplying out of control. The human species has been evolving over millions of years, vertebrates left the sea in response to less water, the adapted or died and became amphibians and then reptiles. Humans have to adapt to environmental changes and disease, its called “natural selection”
Stopping medical treatment, when they are saying you might be dead in 6 months if you do not have chemo was not easy, in fact, it reminded me of the scare stories you hear, when you decide not to vaccinate your children. My partner and I made the decision not to vaccinate our children in 2003 and have never regretted it. They get ill occasionally and get better as nature intended. They have never needed Calpol or antibiotics to get over an illness. In the winter of 2011, the SARs flu virus was doing the rounds while I was having chemotherapy. There were signs everywhere in the Marsden for us Cancer patients to have the flu vaccine. I declined; was I stupid or lucky, or did the decisions I took to optimise my health and wellbeing, rather than poison myself further with chemotherapy and other drugs, result in me being here today against the odds and free of cancer.
I would not argue with doctors or scientists about pathologies or emergency medicine, however, I am more than happy to debate health and wellbeing, after all, I have a masters in Health Promotion from Brunell University, that’s one of my areas of expertise, not pathologies prevalent in human tissue; health and wellbeing is what I know better than most having been a pioneer of the health & fitness boom in the 80s, everything I have done since has attempted to optimise well-being in elite athletes and now with my chiropractic patients.
I remember reading an American study from the 70s that showed doctors did not have more knowledge about nutrition than their receptionists. Unless the receptionist had a weight problem, in which case the receptionist knew more. I would be very surprised if those outcomes had changed much in 2018. During my time having cancer treatment at the Marsden from April 2011 to May 2014, no one ever mentioned exercise or nutrition. If you go into a butchers shop, he is not going to start talking about the benefits of eating vegetables. Doctors are trained to provide interventions that make symptoms go away and most of these interventions are provided by the pharmaceutical industry whose aim is to make a profit from what the company is selling. Most continuing professional development of doctors is sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry. It’s not a “conspiracy”, its business and unfortunately far too many clinical scientists buy into it.
The biomedical approach to health and wellbeing, begs the question is “absence of disease”; a definition of health and wellbeing, which is acceptable to our politicians while they focus on economic growth? How else does one explain the decision to have a third runway at Heathrow, where air pollution causes the premature deaths of thousands of British citizens every year. “Adult-onset diabetes” is now called Type 2 Diabetes, because it’s a very recent occurrence in children, while hospital vending machines and shops sell the very “foods” that cause this problem. Schools have sold most of their playing fields prioritising computers and whiteboards over exercise and while this approach has probably contributed to England’s lack of success in football since 1966, of far bigger concern should beincreasing obesity in children caused by sedentary lifestyle.
So fair to say, I have insisted on my unvaccinated children being active and participating in team sports. They are very good swimmers, play football and Modern Pentathlon. Molly and Isabelle are also active in Girl Guides and sea scouts. Two years ago Molly and Isabelle, informed us that they wished to apply to participate in “projects abroad”, where a group of Guides support children activities in developing countries. Isabelle was selected to go to Cambodia and Molly to Ecuador. They would have to raise £3,000 each towards the trip, I did not think they could do it, but by March 2018 they had raised most of the money and as a parent, I felt very proud of their achievement. Then the letter arrived; to go on the trip they would need to show proof that all their vaccinations were up to date. I have travelled to Africa and the US with my children, being vigilant about any risks, now they were going to be in the care of other adults who followed different rules.
If we had known this when they first expressed an interest in going, we would have made the decision for them. Now they are 14 and we encourage them to think for themselves and they wanted to go on this trip that they had worked so hard for. Our position on vaccines has never been “anti” as critics of our views would have you believe. I could care less whether people vaccinate their children or not, it’s up to them. The vast majority of people want to do whats best for their children’s development. When the girls were in infant school, we took them out of RE because creationism was taught as fact with no reference to evolution. I told the head, they could choose whatever religion they wanted when they were 14, but we did not want them indoctrinated with Christian beliefs at aged six. Sixty per cent of the RE curriculum in Surrey is based on Christian beliefs.
The human species has been evolving over millions of years, plagues, famine, floods came and went and the vertebrates that were able to adapt survived and procreated. My generation had measles mumps, whooping cough and a number of other infectious diseases. Some would suggest the decline in mortality rates from these diseases should be credited to vaccines. While there is no doubt vaccines has contributed to a reduction in morbidity of what were once classified as “normal childhood infections”. Improved living conditions, better health care, nutrition and natural selection gives a more comprehensive explanation to reduced mortality rates from these infections than just reducing morbidity. The question scientists should be asking is, by reducing infections with vaccinations and over prescribing of antibiotics are we weakening the human gene pools ability to resist opportunistic infections that may come along like the Spanish flu in 1918 which killed millions?
Rabies is present in Ecuador, it is not common, but we took the view the risks from the vaccine were less than were Molly bitten by an infected dog. Isabelle does not need a rabies vaccine for Cambodia . If they were going to Pakistan, polio and diphtheria are a risk but not in Cambodia or Ecuador.
There has been only one case of polio in the UK during the last 30 years and that was caused by the ( now withdrawn) “live” polio vaccine, so why are we continuing to vaccinate against polio when the virus is transmitted in poo; outdoor loos and open sewers are long gone with improved sanitation. Anyway the girls had their vaccinations without any problem. That does not mean I am now an advocate for vaccine programmes. Parents have to weigh up the risks against the benefits for every situation and should not make their decision, because everyone else is doing it. The truth be told this experience highlighted even more, what a crude intervention vaccinations are and why they probably do cause problems in infants that are genetically predisposed to adverse reactions.
I have enclosed Molly’s vaccination schedule from the GPs, which shows we had refused all up to January 2018. They were now to have their MMR on February 5 2018 and Isabelle informed the nurse she was not feeling well. She had no temperature or obvious signs of illness. The nurse said it was better to leave it until she was feeling better, as “not feeling well” was a contraindication to having a vaccine administered. The first 6 in one vaccine is given at 8 weeks.
When Molly and Isabelle were 8 weeks old they could not tell you they were “not feeling well”, I don’t think children can understand and articulate how they are felling until they are over two when most of the infant vaccine schedule is completed. So while there are guidelines for older children who cant receive vaccines, the Health Service is assuming all infants are ok to be vaccinated and make the appointments the day they are born without any assessment.
What made me laugh more than anything is, the logic of “one size fits all” so you might have an infant weighing 7 pounds getting their first 6 in one vaccine and a baby of 10 pounds getting the same vaccine. Molly and Isabelle take this theory to an extreme, They are 170 cm tall and weigh 127lb; If you look at their “Red Book Heath Record” (below) They weighed 26 lbs when they were due their MMR in 2005. That is one-fifth of what they weigh today and yet according to the schedule, they were given the same dose of the MMR and the boosters as they would have got at 18 months. While the purpose of the vaccine is for the immune system to produce antibodies, vaccines also contain adjuncts like aluminium and thimerosal which cross the blood-brain barrier and are possibly the cause of the most severe adverse reactions to vaccines. it is hard to believe the same does would affect the brain of an elephant the same way as a mouse, yet that is what appears to be happening here.
Eloise aged 11, is still unvaccinated and will remain as such unless we move to Pakistan or another part of the world where there is a high risk of life-threatening infections. As with all my children, we will continue to do what we believe is in their best interests at any given time and none of them will have the HPV vaccine and they will rely on screening and safe sex to prevent Genital warts and the potential development of cervical cancer. Think about it the vast majority of the population will be exposed to the HPV virus at some point of their life, with no ill effects, now it is proposed to vaccinate the entire population of twelve-year-old girls to protect a small group who may develop cancer because they were not screened??