N.Y. Sincerity Test

3 part video on a ‘sincerity test’ given to parents in NY by a school lawyer.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

keep in mind..no matter what he or the school decides, it can be over turned (if it is denied) by the NYS commissioner.

A Pox Upon You

Are some parents really trying to make their children sick? M&J look at the pros and cons of chicken pox parties.


India clinical trials

Lax and corrupt – Indian Dr assesses clinical trials


An Indian doctor has slammed the nation’s clinical trials, claiming they use the vulnerable, the system is corrupt and that the country lacks high quality scientists.


The criticisms were made by Dr Amar Jesani in a short-film produced by Dutch non-governmental organisation Wemos. Jesani is a founding member of journals and research centres focused on medical ethics in India and has contributed in government committees on health.

India’s clinical trials came under increasing pressure last year following reports of infant deaths and Jesani’s comments show that some are still deeply uneasy about the current system.

The view held by Jesani, which echoes many who spoke out last year about the infant deaths, is that some drug companies are “compromising science and ethics in the pursuit of profit” and that flaws in the Indian system allow this.

Jesani said: “Unfortunately in my country there are laws but they are not very well implemented so the regulation over the trials, the oversight mechanism, the functioning of the ethics committee and the Drug Controller General of India all of them are so lax that it makes India a big destination for clinical trials.

They don’t have good scientists; they don’t have enough inspectors to go all over the county. The worst thing in every developing country is corruption. There is too much corruption.”

One consequence of this is that clinical trials use the “desperate” and “most vulnerable” members if Indian society, according to Jesani. This alleged exploitation of India’s poor is what Jesani cites as bothering him most about the current system.

Jesani is a founder member of the Indian Journal of Medical Ethics (IJME), the Centre for Studies in Ethics and Rights (CSER) and the Centre for Enquiry into Health and Allied Themes (CEHAT).

The short-film can be viewed here.

Taking Shots

Taking Shots



LISTEN TO “Taking Shots” (24MB MP3)


Whether or not vaccines pose a risk to infants and small children has been called one of the great debates of this decade. Some claim that there is a connection between vaccines and the rising rate of autism in the U.S., while others argue that vaccines are not only safe but vital to keeping kids healthy.

Oregon requires children to be vaccinated against 11 different diseases in order to attend school, but the state does allow for exemptions. These are technically religious exemptions, but religion is defined broadly as “any system of beliefs, practices or ethical values.” The exemption rate is 4.1 percent statewide but Ashland has recently drawn national attention for their unusually high rate of vaccine exemptions. More than 28 percent of kindergartners there were not vaccinated in 2007. That’s why the Centers for Disease Control will be hosting a public meeting in this southern Oregon city on Saturday to listen to parents’ concerns and gather information for a vaccine safety study.

Are you a parent? How did you decide whether or not to vaccinate your children? Were you vaccinated as a child? How has your experience informed your medical choices? With the preponderance of the medical community in favor of vaccines, but with access to plenty of anti-vaccine information, how do you decide who you can trust?



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