Alberta Reappraising AIDS Society
|David R. Crowe, President |
Roger Swan, Treasurer
Box 61037, Kensington Postal Outlet
Calgary, Alberta T2N 4S6
The Goudge Inquiry, which reported in Canada on October 1, 2008, is not about AIDS at all, but the parallels are remarkable, and what it says about modern medicine is very important. The main difference is very important too Canada has admitted that its forensic pathology system is seriously broken and has resulted in many false charges and convictions yet the HIV=AIDS=Death establishment is not yet being seriously criticized.
There are some cases where pathologists have lodged false accusations against people due to their prejudices about HIV and AIDS, the death of Eliza Jane Scovill is a classic example, where a diagnosis of PCP pneumonia was reported despite no clinical symptoms of pneumonia, and despite the fact that the child had been exposed to amoxicillin for the first time shortly before her death, with allergic reactions to amoxicillin being extremely common, and one of the top reasons for going to an emergency department for an adverse reaction.
The Goudge inquiry showed how incompetence was rewarded in Canadian forensic cases. Similar problems have been found in the United States and England. Incompetent pathologists became too important doing work that few others wanted to do, so their incompetence was ignored in favor of allowing the institution to continue to function. In AIDS, the sloppy and spotty work of Robert Gallo was elevated to a fact by press conference. Even with numerous inquiries into his work that discovered massive problems, such as deliberate changing of data in notebooks, false claims and contradictory statements when challenged nothing was done because Gallos theory that HIV caused AIDS had become far too important.
The medical system thinks that it is infallible and that certainty is usually achievable. Canadas Dr. Charles Smith, just like Dr. Roy Meadow in England and numerous coroners and forensic pathologists in the United States, believed that he was always right. If there was no data he would just give his opinion from the stand knowing that Judges and juries would usually believe that it was an educated opinion based on fact. Too often it later turned out that this was pure speculation based on prejudice. In AIDS, strong statements are often made. CD4 counts are believed to be diagnostic of immune suppression, for example, despite knowledge that some healthy people have very low counts, and that some people very sick with AIDS defining illnesses have high counts. It&$146;s even known that cigarette smoking raises CD4 counts and exercise lowers them, yet still a patient who is reluctant to take AIDS drugs will have the CD4 counts used effectively against them if they ever drop below 500 while not on drugs. The slightest rise while on drugs will be used as a reason to ignore side effects and soldier bravely on.
The medical system ignores ordinary people who have educated themselves. Many of the families of falsely accused people in Charles Smith autopsies did a lot of research and are able to clearly articulate the problems. Judge Goudge, head of the inquiry, praised these people. But they were ignored by a system that would ask the culprit for his opinion. He would make up something or distort reality, and his bosses would choose to believe him until, more than a decade after his trail of incompetence started, it was no longer possible. So too in AIDS many people have observed the HIV-positive getting diagnosed healthy, going on drugs and rapidly declining. They have seen sero-discordant couples live together for years without HIV transmission. They have seen positive test results followed by negative. Yet the establishment ignores all this, comes up with an ad hoc explanation that is often contradictory with other explanations given in other situations, and blithely ignores the evidence of their own eyes.
Simple slogans rule what should be a thoughtful area of intellectual inquiry. In Ontario, the pathology system was ruled by the slogan Think Dirty meaning that when a child dies without a clear explanation the pathologist should try to pin it on the parents or other caregivers first, and only rule natural causes if there is no explanation for a violent death that they can dream up. In AIDS the famous slogan is Hit Hard, Hit Early. In other words, if people are HIV-antibody-positive they must be given toxic drugs as soon as possible, and their health should not be monitored, just their numbers, i.e. their CD4 count and viral load.
Lastly, the system is uncaring. Well, thats not quite true. The system cares about itself, but not the ordinary folk. The Goudge inquiry showed how the supervisors of Dr. Charles Smith protected him for more than a decade despite knowing of cases like that of William Mullins-Johnson who spent 12 years in jail for raping and murdering his niece, later to be proven innocent based on evidence that his niece died of natural causes. Every day he expected to be killed by one of the other inmates who thought he was a lower life form than a cockroach. Even today his nieces family still hate him. In AIDS it is statements like that of Dr. Zuger in the New York Times in 2006 who wrote: That skeletal fellow reading a magazine, skin pulled taut over his skull, folds of denim covering his wasted legs, is actually one of our big successes. He is perfectly well, at least as far as his HIV infection goes. Ten years ago he was dying of AIDS; now he is living with it Ñ or, more accurately, living almost without it, his immune system normal, no trace of virus detectable in his blood. It is the lifesaving drugs that have transformed his appearance like this, leaching the fat from his body even as they clear the virus from his blood. This is a doctor clearly unable to conceive of the possibility that his pet theory is destroying the lives of HIV-positive people persuaded to believe their only future possibilities are a life not worth living or death, unable to consider that if HIV antibodies are not perfectly reliable signs of future illness, that they are just making their patients ill, not healthy.
The Goudge inquiry is likely to turn forensic pathology upside down in Canada, opening up many criminal cases for review, just has been done in England, and is starting to happen in the United States. Dont we all wish that the same was happening with AIDS?
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© Copyright July 22, 2014: Alberta Reappraising AIDS Society