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Barbara Loe Fisher

B L Fisher Interview

Vaccinations – Informed Concent

M: We all grew up with vaccinations. We believed. They said stand up and we all did as we were told. Now that is changing.

B: I didn’t question vaccines at the time I took my two and a half year old son in for his fourth DPT shot in 1980. I came from a medical family. I believed that vaccines were one hundred percent safe and effective and I watched my son have a convulsion and collapse into a state of unconsciousness within hours of that shot, not knowing what I was witnessing because I’d been told nothing by my pediatrician.
After that shot, when my son regressed before my eyes, physically, mentally and emotionally and was left with minimum brain dysfunction, multiple learning disabilities and ADD, I still didn’t know because I was not told by the pediatricians what to look for and it wasn’t until I saw the TV documentary “DPT: Vaccine Roulette” about 18 months later that I realized what happened to my son.
In my family, we all knew my son had changed but nobody had any answers. I think this is the experience of most parents, whose children get vaccines. They are believers in vaccination and then their once healthy children get sick and stay sick. They know something is wrong but they don’t understand the connection between the vaccine and what happened to their child.
For the last 30 years my organization and others have been doing this work to raise public awareness about the fact that vaccines are not as safe as doctors have been telling us they are. More parents are realizing that when they take their children in to be vaccinated and then their children regress into poor health, that there is potentially a connection with the vaccines their children have gotten.
There is a rising level of consciousness. Parents are realizing that what they’ve been told to believe about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines is not entirely true. And once that happens, once you’ve been a believer and have been told that vaccination is going to save your child, protect your child from getting sick or dying, and you realize that you haven’t been told the whole truth, the trust is broken. That sacred trust between the physician and the patient, in this case between the doctor and parent, is fatally compromised and that parent is never going to trust doctors in the same way again.

I’ve sat on a lot of government advisory committees. I’ve been at the table with manufacturers, with public health doctors, with doctors from academia and I have said, “You need to wake up and realize you cannot continue to deny what is happening because you don’t want to believe that it is happening. You have to listen to the parents!” So far, they have refused to listen.
Now they’re taking the big hammer out. When parents come in with questions about vaccine risks or want to vaccinate in a different way, that is not use every vaccine or not vaccinate at all, the hammer comes out and a doctor is basically saying, “Either you do it my way or hit the highway!”
We now have parents contacting the National Vaccine Information Center saying that they are losing their health insurance. They are being thrown out of HMO’s if they will not vaccinate according to what the HMO says. We are seeing healthcare workers lose their jobs if they will not agree to take a flu shot. And it’s not just the healthcare workers, who have direct contact with patients, it is anybody in the hospital or medical facility even if they don’t have one-on-one contact with patients.
I predict the teachers will be next. You will see it going across the board that all public facilities are going to try to force every American from the age of six months through the year of death to get a flu shot. If public health officials and doctors can accomplish that, it will set the stage for the 125 new vaccines now being tested in clinical trials that the drug companies want to get licensed and, of course, want to have an assured predictable market by getting them mandated.
Right now we have to draw the line in the sand. At the National Vaccine Information Center, our only goal now is going into the states to organize and to protect and expand the right to informed consent to vaccination, which means you have a right to have a medical excemption to vaccination that cannot be questioned by the state, a religious exemption and what we call a conscientious belief exemption.

M: I recall getting a few vaccinations, but that was fifty years ago. Year after year the number has steadily increased.

B: In the last 30 years the numbers of vaccines that our children are getting has tripled. We’ve gone from 23 doses of 7 vaccines before age six in the 1980’s to 48 doses of 14 vaccines between the day of birth and age six .69 doses of 16 vaccines are now recommended from the day of birth through age 18. That is more vaccination than we have ever subjected our children to and, in that same 30 year period, we have seen a doubling and tripling of the numbers of children, who are now chronically ill and disabled.

1 child in 6 in America is now diagnosed learning disabled; 1 in 9 has asthma. 1 in 110 develops autism and 1 in 450 is diabetic. And millions more are suffering with casein, gluten and peanut allergies and inflammatory bowel disease. These are numbers we’ve never seen before.
I don’t think you can pin all of the blame for this rise in chronic disease and disability on vaccines. There are other environmental insults we are subjected to, such as compromised food sources and a lifestyle that is not healthy. But you cannot leave this increasing number of vaccines used throughout childhood off the table when you’re looking at the increases in disability.

Vaccines atypically manipulate the immune system. Vaccination does not present to the body viruses and bacteria in the same way as when you get the natural disease. These lab altered viruses and bacteria are in vaccines, in addition to the other components of vaccines, which can include mercury preservatives, aluminum adjuvants, formaldehyde, MSG, Polysorbate 80.

There are a number of components of vaccines that the public is really not aware of that are contained in vaccines. And there is so little that’s known, so little scientific research into the way that vaccines act, either singly or in combination, in the human body.

The best science has not been done. Vaccine researchers have not taken out the microscope and looked at the cells and molecules. I always say: “The cells and molecules don’t lie.” Statistics can lie. The randomized controlled clinical trials, that public health officials claim is the only way you can show whether a vaccine causes harm, really don’t get down to that molecular level. And we have the tools today to do that bench science, that basic science research that will tell us what happens to the human brain and immune system when vaccines go wrong. But they keep holding on to these large clinical trials that they say are the only way to show whether vaccines cause harm. And, of course, “garbage in and garbage out.” If you don’t design those trials to truly find out what the truth is, then you can basically say anything you want to say.

M: I interviewed Peat Myers of Environmental Health Science who worked closely with Theo Colborn. She discovered estrogen emulating hormones found in three quarters of all cosmetics, skin creams, PCV plastic and thousands other products. These estrogen emulating hormones are known to cause reproductive abnormalities – especially in males – at 2 parts per billion. Even measuring levels at this minute level was unthinkable a decade ago. Imagine what repeated exposure to mercury, and all the other known toxic ingredients that are packed into vaccines are doing to the body, and especially the sensitive bodies of babies and young children.

B: It’s irresponsible. From the very first vaccine, smallpox vaccine, it was well-known that smallpox vaccine could cause brain inflammation, permanent brain damage and death.
Every vaccine has the ability to cause inflammation in the body and, sometimes, it does not resolve. Scientists are coming to the conclusion that most chronic disease has to do with uncontrolled inflammation in the body that affects different parts of the body, whether it’s rheumatoid arthritis, which is inflammation of the joints, or inflammation of the brain that can lead to multiple sclerosis and different kinds of brain disorders. The children who react to vaccines, most the time when you see the most catastrophic injuries, it has to do with brain inflammation, an encephalitis if you will, that then becomes encephalopathy that results in various degrees of chronic brain dysfunction.
My son was left with minimal brain damage, multiple learning disabilities and attention deficit disorder that required him to be placed in a self-contained classroom throughout his public school education. But he was really lucky in retrospect because I have met so many vaccine injured children who are in wheelchairs, who have to be fed through tubes, who have the I.Q. in the 30’s, 40’s, who will never be able to function to any degree on their own.
And then you have children, who have developed autism after vaccination, which is really only a type of brain dysfunction. Doctors love to put labels on things and say, “Well you could have this kind of brain and immune system dysfunction that might be associated with vaccines.

But this kind of brain dysfunction couldn’t possibly be associated with vaccines. Autism, if you look at it, is nothing more than brain and immune system dysfunction that has a certain kind of pathology, certain kinds of symptoms, which are associated with it.
This is why we’re having such a problem in the Vaccine Court, the federal Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. People are trying to put labels on what kind of brain and immune system dysfunction can be considered to be associated with vaccine injury. They’ll say, “Okay, we can compensate for encephalopathy that results in seizures or mental retardation but we can’t compensate those children with autism.” It’s very sad because, as I said, the good scientific research hasn’t been done to truly define what vaccines can do to the brain and immune system.

M: Robert Kennedy, Jr. published Deadly Immunity. It was based on the proven collusion between the FDA, World Health Organization, and vaccine manufacturers to repress, hide and cover-up that a mercury-based preservative in the vaccines — thimerosal — appeared to be responsible for a dramatic increase in autism and a host of other neurological disorders among children.

B: I worked with Congress in the 1980’s on the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986. That law passed because the drug companies making vaccines told Congress that they would stop making vaccines for children in this country if they didn’t get liability protection. At the time, my organization was a fledging group of parents of vaccine injured children. We were told by Congress to come to the table and fight for the families, but we were also told “If you don’t come to the table, we’re going to pass this legislation without you because we will protect the vaccine supply in this country.” 

We came to the table and did the best we could under the circumstances with no power, no money, no influence. What the vaccine companies wanted was not to be put into civil court, where discovery could take place.
The reason attorneys were able to get the truth out about the tobacco companies was because the tobacco companies had to go into civil court and were subjected to discovery. We don’t have discovery anymore when it comes to vaccine manufacturers.
There is a case before the U.S. Supreme Court and it involves a child who got DPT vaccine and the allegation is that the company could have made a safer vaccine because they owned the patent to the very first split cell pertussis vaccine, which we are using now and has fewer reactions associated with it, even though you still can become brain damaged by DTaP vaccine. The argument is the company could have made a safer product, they had the patent to make a safer product and didn’t do it and, therefore, they should be held accountable in civil court and there should be discovery and there should be a lawsuit.
The Supreme Court is now looking at it. Rumor has it that, with the make-up of the Supreme Court at this time, that the Court is going to side with the manufacturer.

If they do that, if they shut off every avenue to parents for access to civil court – which would be illogical because we protected the right in the 1986 law for the vaccine injured to go to civil court if they were turned down for federal compensation or could prove criminal fraud or gross negligence or that the company could have made a safer product – but if the Supreme Court does the wrong thing and sides with the manufacturer, I think it will be a fatal compromise of the mandatory vaccination system. I think we will see families organizing and I think he will see them moving to strike down mandatory vaccination laws in this country because there will be no accountability on any level for what happens to children after vaccination when they’re injured or killed.
Right now the federal Vaccine Court is turning away 2 out of 3 children for an award. That means only a very small number of vaccine casualties are being awarded. You have got to have some accountability in the civil court system.

I think that we’re coming to the point where we’re going to have to make a decision. The Supreme Court is going to make a decision and then the people are going to make a decision about what they’re going to do about mandatory vaccination.

M: Here you are, just a regular mom, and now you’re talking about the Supreme Court and Tort reform. How can you inspire other families to become an advocate, become empowered and take the journey that you’ve taken because it’s a magnificent journey? It is a horrible reason to take it but it has to be done and you did it. How can you inspire other people to do it?

B: It’s been a fascinating journey. It’s been my life’s work. It is not what I planned for my life. My hope is that the last 30 years of work that I and other parents have done has paved the way for parents in the 21st century to be able to be free to make informed voluntary vaccine choices.
I hope no other mother has to take the journey I took, as interesting as it’s been. We’ve been there and we’ve done it but it’s time now for people to have the right in this country to make voluntary vaccine choices. Americans have got to understand that if we don’t secure this freedom now, we’re going to be in chemical chains for the rest of this century.

There is a move on the part of public health authorities, in concert with drug company lobbyists, to go into each state and get a mandate for every vaccine that is likely to be used by children and adults. More people are going to have to stand up for voluntary vaccine use unless in America we want to be captive to the profit making interests of pharmaceutical corporations and the ideological orthodoxy that public health officials have adopted, which is that they want to eradicate every infectious microrganism that causes infectious diseases in humans with mandatory use of vaccines.

Do you realize how many infectious microorganisms there are? This is a mindset that is totally denying what the people, not only in our country but in other countries, are experiencing as more are coming to the conclusion that they don’t want to be using so many drugs and vaccines because they want to go back to what is more natural. You see evidence of this with the numbers of people, who belong to a gym in their communities; who are exercising and are taking Yoga.

People who are spending billions of dollars to eat organic; who are going to alternative or holistic health care professionals because they see that, when they go into a medical doctor’s office, the only thing that doctor has in the arsenal of preventive health care tools is drugs and vaccines. And what do the people see when they use those drugs and vaccines? They get sick and they are never well again.
So the people are moving in one direction and the pharmaceutical companies and public health officials and a lot of medical doctors are moving in another direction. There is going to be a reckoning and I think that reckoning is coming very soon.
The paradigm shift is coming up from the grassroots and, if doctors in control of medical systems don’t acknowledge it and don’t find out what it’s about, we’re going to see the people moving away from the medical system we have right now. And I think they have every right to do that.
M: We live in America. This is the land of the free and the brave, or that is at least how the song goes. How can somebody possibly mandate that I will allow them to stick a needle and inject something into me that I don’t want and do the same thing to my children?

B: It is un-American.

M: It is un-American but it’s also morally unimaginable at a certain level that that can happen. Why don’t we just line up with Hitler and let him toast us in the shower?

B: It’s so true, which is why I have spoken about the human right to informed consent to vaccination for the past 30 years. I believe that informed consent is an ethical principle in medicine that protects people from exploitation by doctors and scientists and drug companies who, frankly, may not have the individual’s best interest at heart.
The most profound example of the use of utilitarianism – which is the “greater good” philosophy that maintains it is ethical for some to be sacrificed for the rest – was discredited at The Doctor’s Trial at Nuremberg in 1946. Doctors and scientists were put on trial for crimes against humanity and they used the utilitarian rationale to justify what they had done to captive people. Those doctors said, ‘but we were doing it for the greater good, for science and to learn.” It was amazing. 

And the judges of the Nuremberg Tribunal said that utilitarianism and the greater good argument is a pseudo-ethic because it devalues the life of the individual. That was when the informed consent principal was born and it was defined in the Nuremberg Code. The Nuremberg Code articulated the ethical principal of informed consent, which has been the central ethical principal in the practice of modern medicine since World War II. 

Why is it not being applied to vaccinations? Why is the voluntary use of vaccines that can cause injury and death separated out from the informed consent principal?

One reason is that there has been this kind of sacred quality about vaccination. Dr. Robert Mendelson, who was one of the founders of the holistic health care movement in this country, used to say, “Vaccination is the new sacrament.”
There is this kind of mythical quality that doctors and public health officials, with the enthusiastic approval of the drug companies making and selling them, have tried to give vaccines to make us believe that vaccines were going to save the world from infectious disease. They were going to save the world from suffering and they were going to prevent death.

There is mythical quality about it and, therefore, if you oppose the use of vaccines to achieve this very wonderful, beautiful, idealistic goal – no more human suffering from infectious disease – then somehow you are unpatriotic. You are a threat to the public health. You are unscientific. You are someone who is trying to interrupt medical progress. You’re a primitive.
I’ve been arguing, and others have, that the science is not good. The science that props up mandatory vaccine policies is flawed and the use of the pseudo-ethic, utilitarianism, is also seriously flawed. I think that public health officials have put the blinders on to see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil about vaccines and, if you do, you’re crazy, you shouldn’t be listened to, you are a threat.
You know, it’s interesting that back in the 80’s and 90’s, I was interviewed by the mainstream media. I’ve debated more doctors about vaccine safety on television than other person in the country. Since 2001, there has been black listing of those of us, who have been talking about these issues for many years, and we are not invited to go on television to debate doctors anymore. We are not allowed to articulate the other side of the story.
Last year, the Secretary of Health and Human Services gave an interview in Reader’s Digest, where she, unbelievably, admitted that health officials have instructed the U.S. media not to talk to vaccine critics or to people, who think that vaccines cause autism. I thought it was stunning because it shows you how much government health agencies are vested in having nobody publicly question vaccines so everybody will use vaccines.
When I started this work in 1982, almost nobody understood that vaccines have risks. Just a few months ago, it was announced by the U.S. media that polls now show that 90% of American parents put vaccine safety as their number one concern for the health of their children. This is a phenomenal rising of the consciousness and awareness of people in America that vaccines do carry risks. I’m hoping that those 90%, who understand that all is not well, will demand that doctors do the research that needs to be done and will demand the right make vaccine choices.

M: Let’s talk about censorship and propaganda. Censorship is preventing the public from hearing certain things. Propaganda is promoting, advertising one point of view. They always go together. You mentioned Nuremberg. The fairness doctrine also came out of the Nazi trials at Nuremberg. Robert Kennedy’s has spoken brilliantly and accurately about the intent and how Regan eliminated the safeguards established to prevent what happened in Nazi Germany from happening in the United States.

When Regan deregulated the Fairness Doctrine, to win support of the Christian Right who had planned on taking over AM radio, opened the flood gates for infomercials, propaganda, one-sided programming.  It put an end to major news agencies having to be fair and balanced. Investigative reporting gave way to scripted, one sided rage, 24/7.

The kind of choice you are advocating is only possible when the public is informed. If corporate media has vested interests in the kind of reporting we see and hear, that can’t be called news. It is propaganda, exactly the same tactics that allowed Nazi Fascism, corporate controlled government, to thrive in Hitler’s Germany.

B: You are so right. If you go back and look at what was happening in public health in pre-war Germany before Hitler took over and when Hitler did take over, you see that, unfortunately, the public health infrastructure was right there at the beginning talking about the cleansing the nation of all those, who were not of economic benefit and were a threat to the physical health of society.

They actually started with handicapped children and adults, who could not be productive in society. They went on then to the elderly, who were too frail. Euthanasia became quite popular. They then adopted eugenics, which actually was born here in the United States, and they included those thought to be genetically defective. And, of course, they added the Jewish population. They brought in homosexuals and then the policy morphed to political dissidents. Then they brought some Catholics in.
It’s a slippery slope when you look at what groups in society can be targeted as being a threat to society, either to the nation’s economic health or physical health. Where do you stop?
I sometimes look at what’s happening in this country and say to myself, when you start to demonize and target certain groups of people – like people who don’t want to vaccinate with every one of the 69 vaccines the government says we have to get from the time the baby emerges from the womb at 12 hours of age in the newborn nursery through to the year of death, such as those refusing annual flu shots – you start to target people and put a star on their chest and say they’re a threat to society, that they are compromising the health of society.
The counter to that is that, if we are going to be a humane and just society, we have to care about each life, each individual life, because individuals make up the group. Individuals make up our communities, make up the whole of our society and, when you start to devalue the life of one individual in that group, eventually you are going to devalue the whole. We have to go back to respecting individual autonomy and the value of individual life and our human right to self-determination.
And that means we should have the right to be informed about all medical risks, including vaccine risks, and make a decision, a voluntary decision without harassment, without intimidation, without coercion, without threats, as to whether or not we want to take that risk for ourselves or our children. If we can’t have the fundamental human right to decide what we are willing to risk our lives or our children lives for, we are not free in any sense of the word.
We had better start waking up because we have given too much power, too much trust to men and women, who have M.D. or Ph.D written after their names and have big titles and are not valuing individual life when it comes to one-size-fits-all vaccine policies.

They are blind because they want to believe that vaccination is very safe and effective. They don’t want to believe that there may be as many casualties as there are from this universally applied public health policy.
There was a German physician, his name was Wolfgang Ehrengut, and in the 1960’s he was one of the first to speak out about the dangers of the whole cell DPT vaccine, the vaccine that injured my son. And he made the statement that, when it comes to vaccine injuries and death, the prevailing mentality among physicians is ‘What must not be, cannot be.’” I do think there is a psychological and an emotional disincentive for physicians to let in the idea that something they have done to a child to ostensibly keep the child healthy, has caused that child’s injury or death. It is a human emotion to not want to believe that you did something that would hurt somebody.

M: Do you know John Taylor Gatto?

B: I don’t.

M: John had the same observation about schooling, that the structure did more harm than good. He was the Teacher of the Year in New York City and the Teacher of the Year in New York State in 1990 to 1991 He took a look after 30 years of being a teacher and he wrote a editorial for the New York Times apologizing for what he had done to children – because he felt the system Dumbed Us Down.

B: It takes an enlightened and humble person to do that. I feel that humility is not one of the qualities that a lot of people, who have M.D. or Ph.D. written after their names, offer.

I think one of the skills we have lost and do not value enough is critical and creative thinking. The child in school, who comes up with an idea or who is bucking the system, is not valued. We have this mindset that if you’re not cooperative, if you’re not giving back what the teacher said in the exact way the teacher said, if you’re not going along with the program, if you engage in critical thinking and challenge the status quo, you are somehow either not fitting in, not being smart or just not cooperating.
I came from a very traditional middle class family. I was brought up in a way that you were supposed to do the right thing, you told the truth. I couldn’t do anything that would get my father in trouble. Anyone who has grown up in a military family understands this.

But this vaccine reaction happened to my child. I had believed so strongly in science and medicine. I was a college educated woman. I came from a medical family. When this happened to my child I said, “The doctors didn’t tell me. Why didn’t they tell me what to look for that day when my child was having vaccine reactions that I didn’t recognize? Why did they deny everything?”
I delved into the medical literature and said, “Wait a minute, doctors have known for 50 years that pertussis vaccine can brain damage and kill children and they never bothered to tell the mothers? They never bothered to give us any respect at all?” It was the realization that information had been withheld from us, the ones responsible for keeping our children healthy and bringing them up to be productive human beings in society.
I think that this disconnect, this paternalistic model of allopathic medicine that has really cut the patient out of inside knowledge, is something that is changing in the 21st century. Why is it changing? Because we now have, on the worldwide web, access to the library of medicine and the library of the world. We can sit in our homes with our computers or I-phones and can literally, with a keystroke or a swipe on the I-phone screen, have access to information that used to be only accessible by doctors.

It is a different day and educated Americans, who look at studies that are propping up these one-size-fits all vaccine policies, they are saying “Wait a minute, I can tell the difference between a good study and a bad study.” And they are confronting federal officials and they are confronting doctors in the offices and what they’re finding is that they’re being stonewalled or they’re being thrown out or they’re being told “You don’t have a choice.”
I’ve been doing this work for 30 years and I’ve been at their tables and I tried to show them what is wrong. But, no, they wouldn’t listen. What we have to do now is go into the states and educate elected officials, the people we elect to office who are in charge of those vaccine laws. We have to tell them we are not going to take it anymore. We are going to have to fight for the right to make voluntary vaccine choices in this country.

And do you know what that will do if we truly have that right? That will put pressure on the system and on the companies so that for people, who want to use vaccines, the vaccines will be made safer and more effective. It’s going to put pressure on doctors to act like human beings when they’re interfacing with parents. It will put pressure on public health officials to not act with such arrogance and think that they can just automatically add every vaccine developed and sold by drug companies to universal use policies that apply to everyone.

Barbara Loe Fisher is co-founder & president of the National Vaccine Information Center (www.NVIC.org), a non-profit charity founded in 1982 by parents of DPT vaccine injured children, who launched the vaccine safety and informed consent movement in America. She is co-author of the classic 1985 book, DPT: A Shot in the Dark and author of the 2008 book Vaccines, Autism & Chronic Inflammation: The New Epidemic. She has served as the consumer member of the National Vaccine Advisory Committee (1988-1992); Institute of Medicine Vaccine Safety Forum (1995-1998), the FDA Vaccines & Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (1999-2002) and the Vaccine Policy Analysis Collaborative (2002-2005). She coordinated four public conferences sponsored by NVIC on vaccine science, policy, ethics and law (1997, 2000, 2002, 2009) and has appeared in many major TV, radio and published news reports, having publicly debated more doctors on the subject of vaccination than any other American. The mother of three children, her oldest son was left with multiple learning disabilities and attention deficit disorder after a serious reaction to his fourth DPT shot in 1980 at age two and a half.