A Quack Miranda Warning Will Not Save Heather Dexter From The Consequences of Allowing Her Children To Suffer Through Pertussis

Ren wrote a blog post the other day that had my blood boiling. He told us the tale of a naturopath named Heather Dexter. Heather Dexter is a naturopath in Michigan, and she allowed her children to live through Whooping Cough (Pertussis) for more than six months. Any child with pertussis needs to immediately see a physician and be put on antibiotics. Why? Because pertussis coughing is so bad that it leaves the child blue in the face from anoxia.

In fact, Heather Dexter, the naturopath, described how her child was blue in the face, vomiting, and just plainly suffering from the whooping cough. Then she described how her second child caught it and suffered just as bad. In between telling us how she allowed her children to suffer, she also tells us how her husband and her had fights over what was going on. But, like a coward, the dad acquiesced to the mother’s stupidity and allowed her to continue to torture the children.

Instead of taking them to a licensed physician, Heather Dexter consulted her echo chamber naturopath friends. At the end of the post, Heather Dexter tells us how vaccines are bad, antibiotics are not to be trusted, and what she used to treat her children’s pertussis. As a result of Ren’s post and others online, the site went down for a few days. They even deleted their Facebook page.

Today, the site is back up, and an interesting “disclaimer” has been added:

“This blog is a personal blog written and edited by the three of us mamas. We, along with our guest contributors, write for our own purposes and the views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the writer’s. However, we may be influenced by our background, occupation, religion, political affiliation or experience.

The information provided by representatives of Like-Minded Mamas should be considered as only suggestions, not prescriptions. We are not medical doctors and the information is not intended in any way to diagnose, prescribe, or treat any disease, illness or injured condition of the body. Our suggestions are purely to help you nurture your health so you can enjoy wellness.

Paid endorsement disclosure: In order for us to support our blogging activities, we may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for our endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. We promise to support only products and services that we have personally tried or truly believe in.”

In the SCAM business, this is known as the Quack Miranda Warning. They think that just by posting this disclaimer, the things that Heather Dexter has done to her children will somehow be justified. Or, that a reasonable person will say to themselves, “Heather Dexter didn’t treat her children’s pertussis. Should I? Oh, yes, of course I should take them to the doctor, because their disclaimer says that they’re not giving medical advice.”

Thing is, they are giving medical advice. Just read Heather Dexter’s blog post. She’s clearly telling us that it is possible to get through pertussis without seeing a medical doctor. So what if it is highly contagious? She took her children out into the public. (This, when antivaxxers like Heather Dexter think that vaccinated people are “shedding” the bacteria from an acellular vaccine.) Heather Dexter also writes that she is a doula, so did she help deliver babies while being covered in her children’s pertussis bacteria?

Heather Dexter uses her certification as a naturopath to establish authority in doing what she did. If a medical doctor were to have written about their experience with an infectious disease, a reasonable person would follow their lead. After all, they know what they’re talking about. That’s how Heather Dexter comes off, as someone who should know better. But, to us, the initiated, we know she’s too far gone down the rabbit hole of quackery.

Heather Dexter’s actions border on the criminal, and no Quack Miranda Warning will protect Heather Dexter from the consequences. Because there will be consequences, as several people I’ve spoken to about this have mentioned that they got in contact with Michigan Child Protective Services and an investigation is underway. (The toll-free number is 855-444-3911 and staffed 24/7.)

The world is less safe tonight

Some people aren’t looking for anything logical, or reasonable. They can be bought, be bullies, but they can’t be reasoned or negotiated with. Some people just want to watch the world burn.

Imagine for a second that you are a parent who has lost a child to a horrible disease. Pretty painful, right? Now, imagine that you are being harassed time and time again because you are doing your best to keep other children from dying a similar death. Imagine that people who don’t know you personally nor had any involvement in the medical treatment of your child publish article after article claiming to know all the details of your child’s illness and blaming you for the death of your child. And then imagine that they do this over and over and over and over and over, even after you have asked them to please stop.

Think about it for a second, then keep reading.
I bring your attention now to this post and this other post and this other one as well (thanks, Hank, 22MAR13) by “Reasonable Hank”. In those posts, Hank clearly documents the continued harassment of a family in Australia who lost a daughter to pertussis (whooping cough). The harassment comes from an anti-vaccine organization that claims that the girl in question either did not die from pertussis or, if she did, it was from being vaccinated, or from not being breastfed, or from medical incompetence, or something.

The truth is that the vaccine against pertussis is safe and effective. Is it 100% safe and 100% effective? No. Nothing is. A brand new jet flying hundreds of passengers right now over any part of the world is not 100% safe nor 100% effective. The water you will drink today will not be 100% safe nor 100% effective. Yet the vaccine is the best shot we have at keeping this disease at bay.

Many people from many scientific backgrounds – and even laymen – have tried to explain in very simple terms to the anti-vaccine advocates in question how the pertussis vaccine works, why it works, and how it can help provide protection to those too young, too old, too weak, too sick, or otherwise unable to be vaccinated. But these anti-vaccine people are not willing to listen to reason. They’re not willing to look at any facts. They live in their own version of reality.

And the world is less safe for it.