From the May 2003 Idaho Observer:
CDA chiropractor, public health MD square off in one-hour debate
KPBX airs both sides of vaccine controversy
SPOKANE, Wash. -- Coeur d'Alene Chiropractor Rick Thomas and Spokane Regional Health District Medical Director Kim Thorburn squared off April 24, 2003, for a live, in-studio vaccination debate on KPBX, Spokane's Public Radio Station. The weekly one-hour program Growing Up Healthy hosted by Doug Nadvornik was the answer to many prayers from people who desire to understand both sides of our nation's vaccine-oriented disease prevention policies.
Dr. Thorburn opened by confidently stating her position that routine childhood vaccines are the safest and most effective way to prevent contracting and spreading infectious diseases. She also stated that immunizations are the most important of medical discoveries; eradicated diseases such as smallpox and polio; have been proven to be absolutely safe in multi-phase testing before marketing; and were important to both the individual and the community because of herd immunity.
Dr. Thomas, in his first ever radio interview, calmly rebutted each of Dr. Thorburn's points. He explained that the historical evidence does not support claims of vaccine efficacy or safety, and that antibody production has not been proven in the field to equate to immunity from a particular disease.
The confidence Dr. Thorburn displayed during her opening remarks were not to return for the rest of the hour. The simple logic Dr. Thomas used to counter Dr. Thorburn's scientifically and historically unsupported claims kept the public health official on the defensive for the rest of the program.
Several callers added to Dr. Thorburn's distress by posing questions or making comments to which she could only offer standard CDC approved responses.
Due to the ever increasing body of evidence linking vaccines to exponential increases in developmental and learning disorders as well as epidemics of cancer and other chronic diseases in adults, parents and health care professionals have been calling for a public debate on vaccinations.
In the Panhandle Health District, invitations to participate in a public debate scheduled for August 2000 were sent to area pediatricians, hospitals and health departments. After sending a second round of invitations via facsimile and still not receiving an offer to participate in the debate, the local debate forum was cancelled. (See articles in May and June 2000 editions of The I.O.) Not willing to drop the issue, Vaccination Liberation and Dr. Leonard Horowitz went national, offering to sponsor a vaccination debate with anyone in the world. Jock Doubleday has offered to pay substantial rewards to any physician willing to take a weight-adjusted dose of vaccines per the current CDC recommended immunization schedule. And Dr. Viera Scheibner challenged pro-vaccinator Simon Chapman to take his own medicine -- childhood vaccines adjusted for his body weight -- before a television audience. Thus far, the pro-vaccinators have failed to accept any of these challenges.
KPBX and beyond
The Spokane Regional Health District sponsored the historic debate because so many people are beginning to question vaccination. The behavior exhibited by Dr. Thorburn indicates regional public health officials are unlikely to initiate public discussion of vaccination any time in the near future.
Further evidence that pro-vaccinators in Spokane-area government have no desire to further jeopardize their pro-vaccination position with the public is inferred from post-debate silence.
VacLib Director Ingri Cassel and VacLib website creator Dewey Duffel wrote a letter to Dr. Thorburn thanking her for her participation in the debate, addressing several issues deserving a response and offering to provide her with additional information. Cassel also left a phone message two weeks after sending the letter. To date, Dr. Thorburn has not answered our letter or returned my call, said Cassel.
The controversy continues
As we speak, more vaccines are being developed and will be added to the list of government-recommended vaccinations. In support of the continued practice of vaccination, pro-vaccinators continue to claim that vaccines work, are safe and those who question the safety and efficacy of vaccines are simply ignorant.
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