In the news lately is a coroner’s inquest into the death of Rhonda Renata’s daughter, Jasmine. Rhona Renata pins her daughter’s death on the HPV vaccine Gardasil despite suggestions to (also) investigate other causes such as heart disease.
While considering if I should write something on this well-known blogger ‘Orac’* has spoken out. In particular, he questions if two of the expert witnesses are fair or reasonable.
He notes that one (Dr. Lee) was sacked from his hospital:
“One wonders if the inquest board was aware that Dr. Lee was unceremoniously given the boot as director of the diagnostic laboratory at Milford Hospital in December 2010.”
and presents aspects of the past track record of another (Dr. Shaw).**
New Zealander Hilary Butler, founder of IAS***, also gets a mention.
Read Orac’s article out for yourself. One commenter, herr doktor bimler (4:06am), writes:
“The coroner is not completely uninformed. Right at the start of the inquest, he invited testimony from a high-ranking public-health adviser (about the checks that had been performed on this particular batch of Gardasil, and about the information available for informed choice) from a cardiologist; from the nurse.
I suspect that the coroner knows perfectly well about Dr Lee’s current situation of self-employment, but one aspect of his job is to let grieving families say whatever makes them feel better… and if this involves letting their experts’ claims about professional standing go unchallenged, so be it.”
Perhaps the issue, then, is not that the coroner be aware of these elements but that the general public be aware of them?
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