Diluted Thinking

in Australian healthcare

Campaigner: Dr Mark Donohoe

Introduction

Dr Mark Donohoe is a registered medical doctor who practices in Cremorne, New South Wales.

From his website he describes himself as "one of Australia's most experienced and best known medical practitioners in the fields of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine", seeing patients that suffer from complex medical illness, including CFS/ME, fibromyalgia and chemical sensitivities. Donohoe has published a free ebook on chemical sensitivities, titled Killing Us Softly, which can be downloaded from his website.

Anti-Vaccination

Donohoe makes a weak argument that he isn't anti-vaccination. From the Vaccination page on his website he states, "I do not oppose vaccination. I oppose the view that there can be no argument against vaccination, and I trust the instinct of parents when they voice their concerns". He also claims that most of his patients he discusses vaccination with go on to vaccinate their children, yet advises that he does not provide vaccinations in his clinic. Yet in a glaring display of hypocrisy he states that he believes it is unethical for doctors not to sign conscientious objection forms.

No Jab No Pay Sydney protest

Dr Mark Donohoe gave a speech at the No Jab No Pay protest held in Sydney on 21 June 2015. The nojabbers released the following edited version:

Excerpts from his speech:

"…effectively we're getting compulsory vaccination."

"My own children are not vaccinated; very very healthy children. Have they had vaccine-preventable diseases? Yeah they have, but like me and every generation before, survived them."

"We've got the new evil parents that won't vaccinate are suddenly being painted as evil. But people I see care for their children, read up about it, understand the risks. They don't come because they're fanatics, they come because they want the best care for their children."

"And nine years ago, if you remember a certain health minister, named tony Abbott, himself made the choice that his kids would not be receiving the Gardasil vaccine. So in nine years we've gone from, yeah, let's have choice that the Prime Minister's kids won't get it to let's have no choice, but make sure it's only the poor that really have to suffer…"

"This is a bad law for a lot of reasons, and the main reason is, it's going to make children sicker. This is a law against kids. The parents have to put up with it, the parents have to live with it, but this is one that kids will suffer from."

"You have to ask the other question. We're dealing with something that is trivial; vaccination is trivial in one sense, compared to obesity, compared to asthma, compared to attention deficit disorder, the kids suffering depression at the moment. There are major health issues out there and everything is being focused into one area of prevention; not diet, not lifestyle, not exercise, not sport, not the big wins; it's all about this tiny little story where a small group of people can be isolated and the Daily Telegraph and the vaccine vigilantes known as the Australian Skeptics can come and point and say 'these are evil people who want to hurt their children'. And I can tell you, none of the people I've seen want to hurt their children. They want the best possible outcome for their children. They are not into harm at all. It's bad law all round."

"The vaccination herd immunity is 92% was achieved long ago. There are no problems here. But now what we have is a small group of people who just want to enforce their opinion on everybody and I would strongly hope that you will oppose" [video ends].

This interview was revealing, in that Donohoe's stance on vaccination in his speech contradicts the vaccination information he presents on his website. It is disturbing to note that this so-called medical practitioner disingenuously states that herd immunity is not a problem and quotes the national average rate of vaccination, yet fails to acknowledge the various pockets of dangerously low immunisation rates scattered across Australia.

Vaccination: The Hidden Truth (DVD)

Vaccination:The Hidden Truth (1998), is an anti-vaccination documentary produced by Bronwyn Hancock's company, Taycare Pty Ltd. It featured a variety of health professionals, including Dr Mark Donohoe. Excerpts made by Donohoe follow:
[Chapter 2: Did vaccines really save us?]

Also want to say something about where this figure of 51%, we have lower vaccination rates than third world countries. We have a minister who has stood up and said, "I intend to get 90% vaccination rates by the time I leave here". You've got to think about this ABS study, the Australian Bureau of Statistics study. Right through the paper it says what all the shortcomings are. There are certain states in which it was able to check its information and found it over-estimated the unvaccinated group by a factor of 50%. There were, in fact, when you look at recall, ask the parents, "did you vaccinate", half of the people who said no, had actually vaccinated. They just didn't know it, they'd forgotten, there was some missing information. The Australian Bureau of Statistics does not suggest 51% vaccination rates, it says it's around 51% for a child having got all vaccines from age one to six, all on time.
What's the major reason that people didn't get it? It was the haemophilus influenza type B that the doctors didn't even know they should be giving it. 51% is just not true. If you look at the vaccination for the majority of those diseases you're finding figures between 75 and 90%, exactly the same as have been done in other studies.
Why aren't the real figures used? Because it does not suit Government so say there isn't a problem. And the push to keep going and keep on going, figures are drawn out of mid-air.

[Q: What about the Outbreaks?]

The trouble is we're reporting it with only a clinical impression. Most of these cases now are not confirmed by laboratories, not confirmed by cultures, we don't know much about where the cases are coming from. It is just a number appearing out of the blue. It's expected not because there's been an increase in pertussis, but because we had a media event and pressure on doctors on every corner. I know this because I get the doctors' journals and papers on every corner to push vaccination, to push it and not let a child go, never waste an opportunity in your surgery, never let people think that the adverse reactions may outweigh the benefits.
Now, after six months of that, the success of it can be measured that doctors are not reporting the adverse reactions but are now reporting the cases of those that are missed. And that we also have strange things like this, the cases that are being reported are, in fact, states with the highest vaccinations rates.

[Chapter 5: Poisons in vaccines - the contamination issue]

You can now convert a virus which used to exist in a monkey line, or a different line, didn't kill 'em. If you convert it, even slightly through the processing of a vaccine, then you can introduce it into an unrelated species, namely humans.

I remember Mendelsohn saying that it may be that you only get one chance to make one big mistake in vaccination because of the numbers of people vaccinated. If you introduce a pathogen you now have it introduced into tens or hundreds of millions of people simultaneously, in a route that the body doesn't have protection against.

[Chapter 6: Damage done by vaccines - Part 3 - Harm to immune system]

I have also a number of people who have sought advice from me where the child has had clear adverse reaction to the first shot and the doctor's advice on the second shot is "oh look, it won't happen again". Now we know from adverse reactions that these things are likely to escalate. Now, about 20 years ago, more than six course of antibiotics, six illnesses in a year, was cause for concern and maybe referral for investigation as to why a child may be so sick. For the last number of years, 12 infections a year has been the magic number, that if a child gets sick more than 12 times a year then they need referral to somebody who can make some sense about what's going on for this child.
In this last year, a proposal was put forward that it should now be 24, for the child should be considered quite normal having two infections a month through their early years of life.
Now, here's my concerns, we may have lost the plot here. We now have a sicker group of children. They may not have polio, they may not have whooping cough, they may not have diphtheria. But we have a really crook group in the community. We have a health minister saying we have one of the best health systems in the world. Why? Because the average two-year-old child sees a doctor 7 to 8 times a year. Now the best health system in the world would be one where the average child sees a doctor not at all a year. You don't measure your health system by how frequently people are seen, but by how infrequently people are seen.

[Chapter 7: Are Childhood diseases dangerous?]

Children in a natural environment with adequate education, adequate wealth, adequate access to medical resources should they become sick, then all of the vaccine preventable diseases - with the exception of polio - are eminently treatable illnesses. Even measles and mumps, although they're viruses, these do not need to be severe illnesses for the vast majority of children.
For sick children, people who are already sick, yes, you can get adverse consequences. But nothing like the rate that we put up with risks in other areas of our lives. These are very, very minor risks compared to the risk that we put up with, even possibly with vaccination.

[Chapter 8: Why vaccination continues]

There is now 40% of Australians who seek their primary health care through alternative medicine practitioners. Total cost is one billion dollars. The other 60% seek their health care through orthodox medical practitioners; total cost 22 billion dollars. It's one of those social things, which, why are so many people choosing to leave doctors? Quite likely, because doctors no longer have the trust of the community.
The doctor who is prepared to lie to achieve a good result from vaccination, that is, get more children vaccinated, has got to be prepared that the people who they've lied to may choose not to go back to them. And that is a problem, for me, that I am part of a profession that is systematically lying to people about a potentially risky procedure. I don't see that that's in any way able to be answered by but it's for the good of the community.

We've got John Martin in America who has studied the stealth virus. The stealth virus is an altered cytomegalovirus. Where did he find it? In vaccines. Now he is relating that to human illness, called cytopathic non-pathogenic. The virus has been altered in a way which does not allow the immune system to eliminate it, but where it can still damage cells. Talked here a couple of years ago, when he related this back to vaccination he lost his tenure at the University of Southern California. He was then excluded from the process of academics, not because his research was good or bad - he is a meticulous, careful, well-respected, well-published researcher - but when he touched this issue he became a persona non grata.

[Chapter 9: Our right to refuse vaccines]

There's this concept of the unvaccinated child, the child of a parent that chooses not to vaccinate, as somehow a typhoid mary. It's just rubbish. It is plain, straight-out rubbish. Of the children who are said to have died of whooping cough at the moment, it's even hard to find out about that because these are not reported deaths in any way that's possible to assess. But of those children, not one of them has had a proven association with a non-vaccinated child.

[Chapter 12: True key to immunity]

It is an issue of maintaining health. And that I think is a flaw in medicine.
Medicine doesn't see health as protective against disease. This has been used many times that doctors disparagingly say "oh, there are some parents who think that just having a healthy child is good enough". Well, the truth is, it is good enough. In evolutionary history, having healthy children was a good way of making it through the first millions years of our evolutionary life. Fiddling around with vaccination is the thing we've done for less than two generations. We have no concept of what the consequences of that are.

Australian Vaccination Network seminar

On 19 October 1999, Dr Mark Donohoe gave a presentation at a seminar organised by Meryl Dorey's Australian Vaccination Network. Susan Cluett attended this seminar and her summary of the Donohoe presentation is as follows:
The first speaker Dr Mark Donohue [sic] was a GP who chose not to vaccinate his own children, and quoted (not realising the irony of his own words) "experts are right only in the their narrow field of expertise" and "you can fool people who are not educated". Conveniently for him, so true for many of the unfortunate audience. Thus began the first of the conspiracy theories to be espoused by all speakers, and set the tone of the evening with a "don't trust doctors / anyone in authority" theme.
Among his unsubstantiated claims were "doctors cannot be neutral, they are paternalistic, biased, do not report adverse reactions and promote Government procedures", "vaccine manufacturers need to make a profit out of third-world countries", "anti-vaccination people were better educated, are more healthy and use doctors less often" (his own observations). If they are, they are probably that way because the rest of us are vaccinated. He then went on to blame hospitals for measles and pertussis outbreaks claiming the cause was adults who were vaccinated as children (where is the evidence?) He claimed that huge numbers of adverse reactions were not reported by doctors. Not once did he actually describe and specifically define adverse reactions to any vaccines. As a doctor this is certainly within his capability. This would be a main issue on which many parents would be seeking information and clarification. I wondered if parents observing the normal reactions to a vaccine would mistake these symptoms for an adverse reaction. I suspect the so-called adverse reactions were within the range of normal. (The issue of reactions crops up later in Dr Scheibner's use of her own device to monitor babies' breathing).
Dr Donohue [sic] admitted with a sneer that his only attempt at publication in an AMA peer reviewed journal was promptly rejected.
The rejected AMA article he refers to above was fully reproduced in the Australian Vaccination Network's book, Vaccination Roulette: Experiences, Risks & Alternatives (1998), which is available for free download from various websites.

Other

Dr Mark Donohoe is also a proponent of wind farm syndrome. The following comment by Donohoe (dated 20 Oct 2012) was published on ABC Radio National's Science Show website:
"Robyn,

Seriously?! That vitriolic and misinformed diatribe of Simon's passed of as Science? Give me a break. I have patients affected by the entire PROCESS (community and auditory) whose health has been very badly affected. They are just people who have had to move out of the areas because of the problems.

Of course the problems are things like headaches, poor sleep, rashes and depression - worsening of these common problems can make life terrible for the few, and Simon's vitriol only stands to worsen their plight as people who beneift from wind turbines hurl it at these people and blame them for their illness.

Shame on Simon. That was not Science, but it WAS potentially harmful to the health of many who do not fit his petrochemical conspiracy hypothesis.

Maybe Simon would benefit from some clinical experience with suffering patients before he launches his next salvo.

But please - not the the Science Show. Maybe Today Tonight. Ooops ;)

I assume Donohoe may also be benefiting from wind turbines in that he seems to be encouraging his patients' pyschosomatic disorders. Personally, I would expect a medical practitioner to be one of the first in line to combat such problems and not (unethically) feed into them.