It’s Reasonable To Be Skeptical
I’ve been trying to organize my thoughts regarding my decision to remain unvaccinated for the foreseeable future. Following is something of a manifesto entitled “It’s Reasonable To Be Skeptical” that I wrote today. I’d like to throw it out for comment on whether my arguments are compelling and how they might be improved and extended.
It’s Reasonable To Be Skeptical
It is reasonable to be skeptical of a treatment when producers of the treatment have been granted a complete waiver of legal liability. Such a waiver contradicts principle 15 of the Helsinki Declaration in violation of globally accepted ethical principles for medical research involving human subjects. At minimum, the producers of a treatment, in exchange for such a waiver, must first agree to take no profit from it. If you want profit, then you must accept liability.
It is reasonable to be skeptical of a new, unapproved treatment when sharing of information regarding emergent, unforeseen consequences of the treatment is suppressed in any way by medical, public health, pharmaceutical, government agency, social media, or other “expert” authorities. Until such sharing of information is encouraged and actively enabled to happen freely and openly in real time, then informed consent can reasonably be withheld.
It is reasonable to be skeptical of a new treatment when scientists with no conflicts of interest are attacked and censured for calling for the investigation and testing of alternative, lower cost, and potentially lower risk, treatments. Whether or not such treatments turn out to be effective is beside the point. Such suppression is contrary to the scientific method. Complete transparency is a reasonable and necessary precondition of informed consent.
It is reasonable to be skeptical of a new treatment when there exists evidence that some trials of alternative inexpensive, pre-existing treatments have been designed to achieve a predetermined finding of no efficacy, and that trials resulting in a positive finding for the efficacy of inexpensive, pre-existing treatments are being ignored and suppressed. This evidence of manipulation is open to refutation, but only through open and honest inquiry and civil discussion always underpinned by the scientific method. Ad hominem attacks and arguments unaccompanied by evidence or true scientific engagement and based solely on an appeal to authority can be reasonably ignored.
It is reasonable to be skeptical when a new, expensive, and profitable treatment is held to a low threshold of evidence to receive emergency use authorization, while pre-existing, inexpensive, and unprofitable treatments, with a proven history of safety, are held to a much higher threshold of evidence. This evidence of bias is open to refutation, but only through open and honest inquiry and civil discussion always underpinned by the scientific method. Ad hominem attacks and arguments unaccompanied by evidence or true scientific engagement and based solely on an appeal to authority can be reasonably ignored. Unless successfully refuted, it is reasonable to conclude that important public health policy decisions have been biased due to conflicts of interest.
It is reasonable to be skeptical of all medical, public health, pharmaceutical, government agency, social media, or other “expert” authorities against whom there exists reasonable evidence of deception or conflicts of interest.
It is reasonable to be skeptical of a treatment when segments of the population who are at no meaningful risk are encouraged to take the treatment, nonetheless.
It is reasonable to be skeptical of an unapproved and experimental treatment when people are being unethically manipulated by politicians and other non-medical entities to participate in a trial program through incentives such as free cash, lottery tickets, and fast food.
1. The vaccine is not research and you are not a research subject so article 15 does not apply.
2. Is it reasonable to refuse a vaccine that has a very low probability of harm?
3. Is it reasonable to assume that epidemiologists have the same rationale for proposed action as researchers or individual doctors?
4. I have not had any problem finding data for any side of the argument. I think you are getting lost in the forest of political and public media sideshows. These are separate issues. Epidemiologists aren’t in a position to recommend the public take drugs for pandemic diseases where some standard of certainty as to the implications for use of such drugs can not reasonably expected to counteract the spread of a pandemic virus. Especially when the subjects most in need of prophylaxis are precisely the ones that might be susceptible to side effects. For example, with ivermectin, any immunomodulatory side effect can have unknowable consequences for the high risk group that includes people with immunomodulatory pre-existing issues. Clinical medicine relies on a patient-doctor process involving diagnosis and prescription for an individual. At the epidemiological level, other considerations abound, such as what effects might it have on the primary course of action, in this case, the vaccine. That might “look” or “sound” like a cover-up, or “attacking” someone. Scientific communities, the scientific method, scientists, and laypeople all mix it up in the public forums. At the end of the day if there is anything like “suppression” it seems I can find everything I need to make a decision on whether taking the shot is a good decision from available information (all of it) leaving out more esoteric or theoretical, such as, who got paid, who lied, who attacked who, who got banned by what platform, etc.
5. I would personally not volunteer to figure out what side effects a prophylactic, long-term use of ivermectin would be compared to the mRNA vaccine. Ivermectin is a drug.
Studies revealed that ivermectin as a broad-spectrum drug with high lipid solubility possesses numerous effects on parasites, [1, 3] nematodes, arthropods, flavivirus, mycobacteria, and mammals through a variety of mechanisms. In addition to having antiparasitic and antiviral effects, this drug also causes immunomodulation in the host. Studies have shown its effect on inhibiting the proliferation of cancer cells, as well as regulating glucose and cholesterol in animals. Despite diverse effects of this medication, many of its underlying mechanisms are not yet known . Of note, some of these effects may be secondary to toxic effects on cells (Fig. 1).
6. An EUA is not”a low threshold of evidence”.
7. If I understand your reasoning then you should be susceptible to the considerations of ” all medical, public health, pharmaceutical, government agency, social media, or other “expert” authorities” whom you do NOT have reason to NOT believe. Eg., it is reasonable to accept the advice of your trusted doctor or physician or quorum of doctors, or physicians.
8. Vaccinations in all corners of the population achieve the maximum benefit, from a public health perspective, even if they are not susceptible. In the case of children, and asymptomatic carriers, in general, to get to “herd immunity”
9. Free cash, lottery tickets and fast food are no more unethical as inducements than any other voluntary incentives for any reason. Indeed, remunerations for cost and time spent could be considered for public subsidy, as addendum to the public costs of vaccine development, as with any other public work of this type
I hope this helps you in your considerations.
Why would anyone inject themselves with an experimental gene therapy treatment in response to a virus that has a 99.7% survival rate?
Who would get the vaccine? In my town, people who like free donuts. I wasnt going to get it but my doctor told me that it was very important for my health. I dont know if he meant the free donuts or the vaccnation.
Yeah. Once you take the shot, you can’t un-take it. So if it has long term effects that we are not yet aware of (since no long term testing has been done), and you take the shot, you’re pretty much stuck with those as-of-yet-unknown long term consequences.
Which there might not be any.
But since the testing hasn’t completed yet, we just don’t know what we don’t know.
Once the normal 3-year long term trial completes, then I’ll assess.
If I were high risk for severe disease and death – say I were morbidly obese with a BMI of 40, a heart condition, hypertension, and T2 diabetes, I was unable to walk 20 minutes per day, my HDL was low, I was vitamin D deficient and they stopped selling vitamin D supplements, and I didn’t have any ivermectin on hand for early treatment, then I might well take the shot due to risk-and-possible-reward.
Since none of that is true – for me – the risk-reward math just doesn’t work out.
Unknown-unknowns. Time will reveal everything. Meanwhile, I focus on remaining low risk.
Thank you so much for the engagement and push back. Here are my thoughts and clarifications based on your comments.
1. My main argument in point one is regarding profit vs liability. Allowing profit with no liability risk creates a difficult moral hazard IMO. The long-term effects of the vaccine are being, and will continue to be, revealed over time. Since this data was not discovered during a normal two-year trial, the vaccine IS research and all who have received the vaccine ARE de facto research subjects. Principle 15 does apply in an ethical sense, but I think I should remove it since it obviously distracts from the main point.
2. I would appreciate seeing the data and method used to calculate “very low probability of harm”. This obviously cannot include any data on long-term effects. Is this an extrapolation based on short-term data? Is it based on past experience that most harmful side effects are found during the first few months of a trial? I can be convinced on this point, but I need an explanation of how the probability of harm has been determined to be very low.
3. I apologize, but I don’t have a genius level IQ, and I have failed to grasp your point here. Can you please clarify?
4. I think the data supporting a conclusion that the vaccines are effective at counteracting the virus is solid. And my points are not intended to be taken as a conclusive argument that there are absolutely no circumstances, such as high-risk groups, under which it would make sense in a risk benefit calculation to take a vaccine. This is a good point for me to clarify. And remember, my argument is for skepticism, not blind denial. The examples of suppression I see may be the result of excellent intentions and aren’t necessarily a “cover-up”. My point is that skepticism (not denial) is reasonable since distinguishing intentions requires the ability to read minds which I can’t do.
5. We have reached different conclusions here. Although the doses recommended for prophylactic use of ivermectin for Covid 19 are higher than those for use as an anti-parasitic, there is a 40-year history of safety evidence even at higher doses. On the other hand, mRNA vaccine technology was invented over 30 years ago and nonetheless has but a 6 month history of safety data. I’ll go with ivermectin. And I agree that ivermectin is a drug with associated risks of its own.
6. The EUA itself is not evidence at all in my argument, which obviously needs clarification. What I’m referring to here is that a common argument against ivermectin is that there are no 2-year, $20M, gold standard, randomized, double blind trials supporting its use against C19. And there are no such trials for the vaccines either. There is an apparent double standard here that needs explanation for me to not see it as a reason for skepticism.
7. It would be reasonable to listen, without an intervening layer of skepticism, to the advice of my doctors or physician or quorum of doctors, or physicians, against whom there is no evidence of deception or conflicts of interest, as long as they are not simply regurgitating information originating from those against whom there is such evidence. In any case, I would not simply “accept” their advice, but I would listen with the goal of reaching informed agreement.
8. This is a point that I think I need to research further and understand more completely before I can make my argument. Thank you for the push back.
9. I hear your argument. However, I think the circumstances of this vaccine campaign are different than the remunerations associated with other studies which are very limited in scope. This campaign on the other hand is limited only by the population of the planet. More, not less, care should be taken to guide people to make reasonably informed decisions about their health rather than under the influence of baked goods. The fact that some people will go for the donut is beside the point. I’d like to hear others weigh in on this one.
There are many people on this site with actual genius level IQs that I would rather take the advice of than this new person who names themselves as such. Selecting that name was either an intent to anger, an intent to use supposed intelligence to stifle debate or tongue in cheek. I wonder which one it was?
Hey Mysterymet, check out my reply over in this thread:
My replies haven’t gone through. They were perhaps too long. If you want me to break out any of the following, let me know:
In short, a synopsis of the entire RNA vaccine (innocuous), profile of Ivermectin (dangerous drug, discussion of Ivermectin as a treatment (bad idea), outline of Ivermectin as a therapy (ask your doctor) and a Game theory (life is a game; nothing but decision making under adverse conditions with incomplete information.) Bayesian analysis of my own decision to take the vaccine. (My odds are better for it).
At the end I tacked on a note about logically valid arguments (for philosophers like Micawber) and sufficiently valid arguments (don’t exist), the difference between appeal to authority (logical fallacy) and a decision to trust authority (separate issue).
Genius_Level_IQ – Very much looking forward to seeing your posts.