Skepfeeds-The Best Skeptical blogs of the day

Stupid quote of the day

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on July 31, 2010

I have been accused of harassing this grieving family by making this call. It is my assertion however that the official from the NCAHS has not only committed a serious breach of confidentiality by informing a third party that I had contacted him; he in fact, has harassed the McCafferys by calling a grieving family to tell them that I had asked for confirmation of Dana’s diagnosis. What possible reason could he have had for taking this action?

Meryl Dorey, AVN

Why this is stupid

Firstly, because it is stupid to claim that a phone call to Dana’s doctor, by an unrelated 3rd party is in any way “confidential”; and it is even more stupid to imply that by informing Dana’s parents that some person is asking for confidential information regarding their baby’s death in any way constitutes breach of confidentiality. Meryl is forgetting that the doctor she called was not her doctor and she was not discussing issues of her health. That would fall within the area of professional doctor-patient confidentiality.

Secondly, it is stupid to claim that the doctor informing the parents of such attempts to get confidential information about their baby’s death by a 3rd party, constitutes harassment. In fact, it is an ethical requirement for the doctor to disclose who he is discussing the details of Dana’s death to her parents; matter of fact he should ask for permission before disclosing this actual confidential information to outsiders. But then we’re talking about ethics and I don’t expect anti-vaxxers to be very well versed in that area.

That Meryl!

Update 8/09/10 – It has been brough to my attention that the official contacted by Meryl Dorey was not Dana’s doctor, but a high ranking official in the institution where Dana was diagnozed with pertussis. Furthermore, he apparently did not contact the McCaffery’s to inform them about the inquiries. It was the McCafferys who contacted the institution to ask if anyone had been poking around, after being harrased by the AVN thugs after their daughter’s death.

6 Responses

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  1. astrosmash said, on August 2, 2010 at 8:28 AM

    I saw the ABC Aussie takedown of that woman. I was bemoaning the lack of like journalism here in the US but then saw the Frontline episode on the anti-vaxer movement. Without being directly antagonistic, it made them look like the “I got mine, fuck you” people they really are. And mothers to boot…for shame. I’m really amazed that the majority of it’s proponents seem to be liberasl. That level of irrationality and self centered fear mongering is generally…well, you know what I mean…..

    here’s my assesment of the issue and all issues like it,

    Q. what does disaster averted look like

    A. Nothing

    folks seem to need to actually see the meteor being blown up in the stratosphere by the US military befroe they can appreciate their non-obliterated status

  2. reasonablehank said, on August 5, 2010 at 6:14 AM

    Just a quick correction. The official at the North Coast Area Health Service is the Director of Public Health, not Dana’s doctor. This changes nothing, though. Dorey still acted unethically and in breach of confidentiality. The Director did not approach the McCafferys with this information. Toni and Dave explicitly requested to know if any AVN persons had attempted to breach confidentiality during that period (which Dorey had indeed done), as it was at this time that AVN sympathisers started sending the McCafferys emails and hand-written letters questioning Dana’s diagnosis. Horrid, horrid people. Thanks for continuing to highlight the callous behaviour of Meryl Dorey and her acolytes.

    • Skepdude said, on August 5, 2010 at 8:58 AM

      Thank’s for the correction, I assumed he was the doctor, but you’re right that does not change anything. Meryl Dorey’s behavior is despicable, and though I live on the other side of the world, I feel the need to support the McCaffery’s anywhich way I can, given that they have bravely decided to become the public face of the science in this fight.

  3. rabbit said, on August 6, 2010 at 8:43 PM

    That’s truly disgusting.

    I would have thought that the other members of the AVN would be hurriedly distancing themselves from such behaviour. Harrassing parents of a child whose death they in part caused.

    Imagine if the skeptics demanded access to say, Desiree Jennings’ medical records. Imagine the accusations of harrassment and ethical breaches from the woo side. But when one of their own does it?

    Silence.

    • Skepdude said, on August 6, 2010 at 11:25 PM

      I’m not too familiar with ethics as applied to medical records and such, but what I find particularly ridiculous is Meryl’s belief that the doctor she called breached some imagined confidentiality TO HER, who’s not even his patient. Someone has to be really blinded by ideology not to see how horribly illogcal that it.

  4. […] of ‘Stupid Quote Of The Day’ was awarded to Meryl Dorey on July 31st, 2010 by the SkepFeeds blog.  The quote in question was featured in an AVN blog post the day before, and refers to the […]


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