GMC Complaint Regarding Dr Sarah Myhill

December 19, 2011 at 3:40 pm (Anti-Vaccination) (, , , , )

Having originally written about Dr Sarah Myhill’s views on vaccination in April last year, detailing some of the most obviously incorrect assertions on her website and noting the changes made to Dr Myhill’s site after correspondence with her, I followed up on this in August this year in this post: the wrongness of Dr Sarah Myhill. I noted that Dr Myhill had substantially amended her website, removing many of the factually incorrect statements, but that some of her website content was still unsupported by evidence, misleading, or untrue. Further correspondence with Dr Myhill proved fruitless, so I contacted the GMC. I have now heard from the GMC regarding my concerns.

Concerns

The references to vaccination on Myhill’s website contain statements that are unsupported by evidence, misleading, or untrue. I understand that the GMC required Dr Myhill to refrain from referring to a number of things on her website – one of which was vaccination. I am confused as to why the Interim Order was revoked and the FtP abandoned given that Dr Myhill did not comply with this condition.

The page on swine flu and vaccination states that: “Vaccinations are always a two edged sword – they have the ability to switch on the immune system. Ideally, of course, this should be against the virus, but vaccinations can certainly switch on chronic fatigue syndromes, probably allergies and possibly autoimmunity.”

The page on autoimmune diseases has this: “Vaccinations all contain immune adjuvants (without which they do not work!) such as mercury (thiomersal,) aluminium, squalene (a toxic lipid) or whatever. These have the potential to switch on the immune system to trigger allergies and/or autoimmunity. My personal view is that the evidence for benefit of the annual flu vaccination is probably out-weighted by potential damage so I no longer recommend this for my patients. Instead I direct them to Viral infections – good nutrition is highly protective against viral infection.”

Thiomersal is not an adjuvant, it’s a preservative. Squalene (a favourite bugbear of the anti-vaccinationists and said by Dr Myhill to be “a toxic lipid”) is a naturally occurring substance found in plants, animals and humans – and is also found in a variety of foods, cosmetics, over-the-counter medications and health supplements. The evidence suggests that the squalene contained in vaccines poses no risk. Myhill claims that ingredients used in some vaccines may trigger allergies or autoimmunity, and offers her personal opinion that the risks of flu vaccination outweigh the benefits (as far as I am aware, the evidence shows that the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks – I think it is inappropriate for Myhill to publish her personal opinion if it is contrary to the available evidence).

There are more references to vaccination on Myhill’s site here, here, and here. Dr Myhill consistently claims that vaccination is linked to CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome), talking of vaccines “switching on chronic fatigue syndrome” and “triggering flares of CFS”. I’m always willing to be proved wrong, but I don’t think there is reliable evidence of an association between vaccination and CFS.

Appel, Chapman and Shoenfeld seem to think it is at least plausible that vaccination could be linked to CFS and call for further research, but state that: “Little is known about this issue. There are some reports on CFS occurring after vaccination, but few prospective and retrospective studies failed to find such an association” and point out that a working group of the Canadian Laboratory Center for Disease Control (LCDC) that was founded in order to examine the suspected association between CFS and vaccinations concluded that there is no evidence that relates CFS to vaccination.

A Norwegian study found “no statistically significant association between vaccination against meningococcal disease in teenagers and occurrence of CFS/ME”, and a double-blind, randomized study of the effects of influenza vaccination on the specific antibody response and clinical course of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome found that “no difference could be detected between immunized and placebo CFS patients in immunization side effects”.

There are two issues here: firstly, the GMC appear to have been unable to ensure that Dr Myhill’s website was in full compliance with their conditions; secondly, the references to vaccination on Myhill’s site contain statements that are unsupported by evidence, misleading, or untrue.

Supporting documentation: http://www.freezepage.com/1312564996MFCAPUJSJW & http://www.freezepage.com/1312568914QKTDDGXULJ (cached copies of pages from Dr Myhill’s website frozen on 5th August).

The GMC Response

The GMC were unable to discuss why the Interim Order was revoked and the FtP abandoned. With regard to my concerns about the content of Dr Myhill’s website, the GMC told me the following. A doctor is entitled to express their opinion, and the GMC does not have the power to censor this. They do not consider that this is an issue that warrants GMC action against her registration at this time.

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28 Comments

  1. Cybertiger said,

    More tripe: you are a tiresome little jerk!

  2. doomrock said,

    Well argued Cybercivet I’m sure. Unfortunately I lack a classical education so am finding it difficult to comprehend your criticism. If you have time I would be indebted to you if you could possibly elucidate in more layman’s terms. Thank you.

  3. Cybertiger said,

    Are you going to report Russell Blaylock to the GMC …

    http://www.newsmaxhealth.com/headline_health/flu_shot_Alzheimers/2011/12/18/423456.html?s=al&promo_code=DBE5-1

    … for his little heresies?

  4. Skepticat said,

    Terrific post, thanks.

  5. Oliver Dowding said,

    cybertger has it. Skepticat is wrong. IMHO.

    In Australia you are now going to find your child benefits withdrawn if you won’t have your children vaccinated. This is a potential hit of $2,100. If you’re desperately in need of the benefits, you are hardly going to be able to refuse. Freedom of choice, anybody? http://bit.ly/sCkk0Y If the vaccine is so safe and wonderful, why is extreme coercion necessary?

    Meanwhile, it seems that the Dutch government have a new and deadly strain of bird flu at their disposal. http://ind.pn/tJBkZH What the hell are we doing letting scientists engineer these kinds of things? There are much better things they could be doing, surely? I think we all know how laboratories may claim to be safe, but that things escape. The most recent foot and mouth incident in the UK bears testimony to this. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/7290078.stm

    You might also find this interesting. One in 168 MMR vaccinated children ending up in hospital with a reaction hardly seems normal. http://bit.ly/s8VH1w

    That’ll do for now.

  6. jdc325 said,

    @Cybertiger,

    Is the maverick Russell Blaylock registered with the GMC? I’d be very surprised if a retired American neurosurgeon was registered with them.

  7. jdc325 said,

    @Oliver,

    None of your comments or links are relevant to the post.

  8. mrsP said,

    Good Post JDC.

  9. Cybertiger said,

    Oliver innocently asks,

    “What the hell are we doing letting scientists engineer these kinds of things?”

    http://ind.pn/tJBkZH

    These may be mad scientists, but there is highly profitable design in their minders’ madness.

    Ron Fouchier, the Dutch virologist and lead researcher, allegedly “described his work as something that was “really, really stupid,” but ultimately useful for the development of vaccines.”

    Of course, the last, hugely profitable, bout of pandemic nonsense was just a dress rehearsal … for the ultimate madness to come …

  10. Oliver Dowding said,

    @JDC You are welcome to suggest that none of my post was relevant to the blog. After all it is your blog! However, was your first line in your first full paragraph “Concerns” not about vaccines?

    Well, fancy, in fact the whole blog is about vaccines and one person’s opinion on on another person who chooses to use another approach, which some refer to as “alternative”. Hey ho…….

  11. Cybertiger said,

    @jdc523 artlessly asks,

    “Is the maverick Russell Blaylock registered with the GMC?”

    jdc235 loves to moan, whine and whinge … and robotically complain to the GMC: what has Blaylock’s registration got to do with the price of fish? And nobody could ever accuse this monotonous automaton of being a non-conforming free thinker … or of thinking much at all. Prat!

  12. Cybertiger said,

    jdc352,

    “is unusually incurious, abnormally unintelligent, amazingly inarticulate, fantastically uncultured, extraordinarily uneducated, and apparently quite proud of all these things.”

    and if “you gave him an enema he could be buried in a matchbox.”

    Thanks be to Christopher Hitchens, whom I trust will now be entertaining God with another few ‘bon mots’.

  13. jdc325 said,

    @Oliver “You are welcome to suggest that none of my post was relevant to the blog. After all it is your blog! However, was your first line in your first full paragraph “Concerns” not about vaccines?”

    The blog post is about Dr Myhill’s website containing statements regarding vaccination contrary to the conditions imposed on her by the GMC, her errors with regard to squalene and thimerosal, and her unsubstantiated claims regarding vaccines and CFS. Your comment raises issues regarding MMR and compulsory vaccination (neither of which are addressed by my post). You also brought up bird flu and foot and mouth disease, neither of which are addressed by my post.

    The post is not about your antipathy to vaccination, it’s about specific statements made by Dr Sarah Myhill and the GMC’s decision not to investigate a complaint about those statements.

  14. Eggie said,

    Fabulous post jdc, keep up the good work!

  15. Cybertiger said,

    The dirty devil! The evidence suggests that jdc352 is not washing his hands or having his flu shots.

    http://pss.sagepub.com/content/22/12/1550

  16. Dr Sarah Myhill – Yet More Dangerous Advice? « Stuff And Nonsense said,

    [...] on their website in their role as a doctor. Even more worrying – the GMC seems to be unable or unwilling to do anything about this. Here’s what the GMC have to say about good medical practice: Good [...]

  17. rf098 said,

    @ Oliver “In Australia you are now going to find your child benefits withdrawn if you won’t have your children vaccinated. This is a potential hit of $2,100. If you’re desperately in need of the benefits, you are hardly going to be able to refuse. Freedom of choice, anybody? http://bit.ly/sCkk0Y If the vaccine is so safe and wonderful, why is extreme coercion necessary?”

    Right. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the withdrawal of a financial benefit from people who don’t have their children vaccinated is meant to indicate that vaccination is unsafe? Glad you pointed this out because, until now, I’d been unaware of the potentially dangerous nature of seat belts in cars. In the UK, we get actually get fined for not wearing them. Now, a fine seems to me to be a step further than withholding a financial benefit (a benefit withheld leaves you no worse off, a fine does) so seat belts in cars must be fucking lethal if it’s necessary to coerce people into using them in this way. Is that right?

    Cyberpussy wrote “drivel, moan ….. are you reporting someone not registered with, or regulated by, the GMC to the GMC …. snigger, drivel, drivel, choke …. oh wait a minute, I’ve made myself look like a moron again….whine, drivel, moan”

    Yes, you have. Keep it up.

  18. Cybertiger said,

    Oh deer, poor rf098! Yet another gobby Christmas turkey suffering badly from irony deficiency as part of a toxic collection of personality disorder (PD) that also includes screw loose syndrome (SLS). Twit!

  19. Oliver Dowding said,

    @rf098 (et al) “the withdrawal of a financial benefit from people who don’t have their children vaccinated is meant to indicate that vaccination is unsafe?”

    I didn’t say that, but did (and certainly meant to) suggest that its odd that a Government seems to think it necessary to financially penalise (those who can least afford it) for the temerity to have done some research and/or have an opinion that they might prefer to do other than some Government sponsored or approved scientists might say they should.

    If you or anyone else thinks that parents are wilfully setting about a course of action that might lead to their children suffering harm, surely that would need proof? That Government insisted-upon vaccination causes harm is without doubt true.

    Furthermore, it might just be that those in the poorest segment of society, which will likely be those on benefits, are also those with the poorest diets and thus least well balanced nutrition, and therefore the most compromised health and thus likely least able to bodily withstand and most likely to suffer bad reactions to incoming challenges such as a vaccination.

    Yes, you would be right to say that they may also suffer a higher rate of the illness the vaccine is designed to prevent. But would the illness be life threatening in the same way that the vaccines often have been to those who took them? Probably we don’t know, and probably we won’t as statistics on this are weak, not least as doctors (in my personal experience and that of others I know) are notoriously lax at reporting reactions. Can’t think why that should be!

  20. rf098 said,

    @Oliver “I didn’t say that” Erm, yes, you pretty much did. Here are the words you used:

    “If the vaccine is so safe and wonderful, why is extreme coercion necessary?”

    Try reading the words you actually wrote. You’d look slightly less ridiculous.

    Only slightly, though, as long as you write crap like this:

    “but did (and certainly meant to) suggest that its odd that a Government seems to think it necessary to financially penalise (those who can least afford it) for the temerity to have done some research and/or have an opinion that they might prefer to do other than some Government sponsored or approved scientists might say they should.”

    Yes, the Australian government had a meeting one day and decided to penalise people for disagreeing with them. That’s what happened. Because that sort of thing happens in the real world, REALLY it does Definitely. Now, all you have to do to prove it is:

    a.) Provide the evidence (note I use the word evidence rather than the phrase random outpourings of a load of intellectually challenged idiots on internet sites) to demonstrate how the harmful effects of vaccinations outweigh the benefits.
    b.) Provide the minutes of the meeting at which “the government” took the decision to persecute people for disagreeing with them.

    Shouldn’t be too hard.

    “Yes, you would be right to say that they may also suffer a higher rate of the illness the vaccine is designed to prevent ….. other assorted ramblings about vaccinations…”

    Would I? Well, I didn’t say it. I said (I’m paraphrasing here) Since you think imposing a withdrawal of benefit implies that vaccination must be harmful, the imposition of a financial penalty must imply wearing seat belts is even more harmful. I was demonstrating (not suggesting or implying) that your argument is idiotic.

  21. rf098 said,

    Cyberstupid wrote “Whine, drivel, moan …. oh no, they’ve realised I’m a moron, I’ll just make jokes about turkeys and carry on as normal …. whine, whine, drivel, drivel ….”

    That’s right, let all the pain out. We’re here to help.

  22. Cybertiger said,

    The Christmas turkey gobbles again … and chokes on the loose screws.

  23. rf098 said,

    Cyberdumbass wrote “Moan, moan, whine, whine ……. I know, another turkey joke will deflect attention from my inability to produce a logical argument or any evidence to support my moronic rambling (snigger) ….. whine, whine, whine, whine.”

    That’s good Cybertwat, let out that impotent rage.

  24. Oliver Dowding said,

    Maybe this helps explain why some of us are not prepared to swallow – hook line and sinker – all that “official” organisations say. There are plenty of dissenting doctors and others more senior, but they are often drowned out. Much as those offering support to jdc on here are trying to do to my posts and some other Surely they rational approach would be to ask “why do these things not always seem as we say they are?”.

    Suggest you read this – you may disagree with the content, but maybe refer that to the authors too and Fiona Godlee

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=15669

    Amidst which this quote

    “In the October 28, 2006 issue of the British Medical Journal editor Fiona Godlee commented on Dr. Tom Jefferson’s article attacking the UK’s vaccine policy, which is fundamentally no different than that in the US. As an aside, David Salisbury, the UK’s Department of Health’s Director of Immunization, is the only foreign government representative represented on the ACIP. Godlee wrote,

    “As if to prove the point, we publish this week a broadside (based on a systematic review of the literature) about the lack of evidence for influenza vaccine. Why, asks Tom Jefferson (p. 912), is there such a gap between evidence and policy? Governments go to great lengths to promote and provide the vaccine. But there is almost no valid evidence that it does any good. Jefferson puts the gap down to our desire to do something, combined with”optimism bias”—an unwarranted belief in the value of interventions. Would randomized trials be unethical? No, says Jefferson, they are the only ethical response to the possible waste of resources on ineffective or only partially effective care. The problem is that the UK has no transparent process for evaluating the effectiveness or cost effectiveness of vaccines.”[2] ”

    Something tells me its like my mother said. “A man’s opinion changed against his will is of the same opinion still”. However, not always. I was once of a different viewpoint but then started to open my eyes, ask questions and found my views changed.

    I’m sorry – in advance, jdc – if this is not deemed relevant to the post about Sarah Myhill. Her case, however, is based all around these issues. That is why she is controversial to many, such as you, because she challenges “conventional” views. If only we were all more open minded and maybe less commercially influenced.

    I’ve also tried not to sink to gutter style personal insults, as has cybertiger and rf098. We don’t need to in order to advance our arguments or disagree with others.

  25. Cybertiger said,

    Thank you, Oliver.

    I came across this virology blog today, written by Professor Vincent Racaniello from Columbia University,

    http://www.virology.ws/2011/11/03/how-good-is-the-influenza-vaccine/

    He doesn’t give the influenza vaccine a ringing endorsement based on the available ‘scientific evidence’ – for what that’s worth.

    PS. As for jdc and his mini-mobsters: one can only joke with jokers and one can never hope to advance an argument against the eternally closed mind.

    PS. Q. What does a turkey eat at Christmas? A. Nothing, cos he’s already stuffed.

    PPS. Q. Is turkey soup good for your health? A. Not if you’re the Christmas turkey.

  26. Cybertiger said,

    Another Christmas turkey chokes on the stuffing,

    http://www.meassociation.org.uk/?p=9879

    Gobble, gobble, splutter … quack.

  27. Oliver Dowding said,

    At last the official channels take action.

    21.12.11
    “A doctor’s career was nearly destroyed after a scientist falsely described Dr Sarah Myhill as a ‘deluded, pill-peddling quack’ on an online forum, the Health Professions Council hearing was told. The panel decided to issue a two-year Caution Order which will be added to Dr. Stuart Jones’s registration papers.

    Interesting.

    http://bit.ly/uNe19p

  28. Cybertiger said,

    “The turkey is a foul bird
    Its head goes bobble-bobble;
    And all he knows is just one word…
    And that is gobble-gobble.”

    … until Christmas that is … and then it’s curtains.

    PS. The place stinks! Now the turkeys have been properly hung, drawn and cooked, isn’t it time Ben’s place was mucked out, hosed down and closed up … forever.

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