Researcher in Developmental & Behavioral Neuroanatomy
January 21, 2010
The English language may need a new word, Iatrogenecist.
Consider a summary of the words iatrogenesis and iatrogenic:
According to Wikipedia, “The terms iatrogenesis and iatrogenic artifact refer to inadvertent adverse effects or complications caused by or resulting from medical treatment or advice. In addition to harmful consequences of actions by physicians, iatrogenesis can also refer to actions by other healthcare professionals, such as psychologists, therapists, pharmacists, nurses, dentists, and others. Iatrogenesis is not restricted to conventional medicine and can also result from complementary and alternative medicine treatments.” (1)
As suggested by a Google search which generated no urls for the word iatrogenecist (2), perhaps the term “iatrogenecist” needs be added to the English language.
My concern arises from trends in autism research. When the CDC’s Verstaeten and colleagues first studied adverse effects of thimerosal injections, autism, tics, and sleep disorders were among the significant associations (3). Rather than issue warnings against thimerosal injections, Verstraeten et al proceeded to dilute their own data and to publish a diluted-data version in the journal Pediatrics (4).
In contrast, researchers not affiliated with the CDC have confirmed the CDC’s original findings regarding thimerosal’s adverse effects (eg, 5-8), even as various “experts” continue to assert that thimerosal-containing vaccinations do no harm (eg, 9-10). Indeed, in a peer-reviewed thimerosal review that omitted inculpatory evidence about thimerosal’s adverse effects, methylmercury specialist Michael Aschner and colleague wrote, “…one cannot rule out the possibility that the individual gene profile and/or gene–environment interactions may play a role in modulating the response to acquired risk by modifying the individual susceptibility.” (11; see also 14)
Amid these conflicting findings, questions remain: Why are thimerosal injections being deliberately continued? Is the purpose to induce pathologies associated with prescription medications? A recently published study reported that among 286 adolescents and young adults, 70% were taking a prescription medication (12). This finding suggests that if thimerosal-containing vaccinations are helping increase rates of autism and other developmental disabilities for which pharmaceutical medications are often prescribed, then the market for such drugs is to some extent founded upon the iatrogenic procedure of injecting thimerosal during vaccinations. Indeed, the profitability of iatrogenic medicine is highlighted in a citation-filled book by Grace E. Jackson, M.D., who describes “drug-induced dementia” (13).