1) GOOGLE: “Deadly immunity” By Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
When CDC data revealed that mercury in childhood vaccines caused an autism epidemic, the government rushed to conceal the data — and to prevent parents from suing drug companies for their role.

In June 2000, top government scientists, health officials and big pharma reps gathered for an illegal (public not invited) meeting at Simpsonwood conference center just outside of Altanta. “According to a CDC epidemiologist named Tom Verstraeten, who had analyzed the agency’s massive database containing the medical records of 100,000 children, a mercury-based preservative in the vaccines — thimerosal — appeared to be responsible for a dramatic increase in autism and a host of other neurological disorders among children. "I was actually stunned by what I saw," Verstraeten told those assembled at Simpsonwood, citing the staggering number of earlier studies that indicate a link between thimerosal and speech delays, attention-deficit disorder, hyperactivity and autism. Since 1991, when the CDC and FDA had recommended that three additional vaccines laced with the preservative be given to extremely young infants, the estimated number of cases of autism had increased fifteenfold, from one in every 2,500 children to one in 166 children.

"You can play with this all you want," Dr. Bill Weil, a consultant for the American Academy of Pediatrics, told the group. The results "are statistically significant." Dr. Richard Johnston, an immunologist and pediatrician from the University of Colorado whose grandson had been born early on the morning of the meeting’s first day, was even more alarmed. "My gut feeling?" he said. ‘Forgive this personal comment — I do not want my grandson to get a thimerosal-containing vaccine…’ ”

“But instead of taking immediate steps to alert the public and rid the vaccine supply of thimerosal, the officials and executives at Simpsonwood spent most of the next two days discussing how to cover up the damaging data”…
The 300+ page transcript was leaked:. Google: “Simpsonwood Transcript” for Vaccine-Watergate reading.

If there is "any doubt whatsoever" about the safety of mercury
in vaccines then it should be removed.
–Professor John Oxford, Queen Mary’s School of Medicine and Dentistry

Autism which occurred in 1 in 40,000 children during the 1960’s, in January 2004 occurred among 1 in 166
U.S. school children

Posted in Stories. 1 Comment »

Combination Vaccine Okay for Infants, Rochester Study Shows

In “Fewer Pokes,” Pediatricians Can Safely Deliver Immune Benefits

October 05, 2007

A University of Rochester study brings relief to new parents who, while navigating a jam-packed childhood vaccine schedule, can expect to soothe their newborn through as many as 15 “pokes” by his or her six-month checkup.

The study, recently published in The Journal of Pediatrics, shows that no efficacy or safety is compromised when clinicians administer a combination vaccine that streamlines the process – in effect, tripling up three of the recommended shots to reduce the “poke” total, from five to three, at each of three bimonthly checkups.

“Only more immunizations will enter the schedule,” said Michael Pichichero, M.D., professor of Microbiology/Immunology, Pediatrics and Medicine at the University ofRochester and the study’s lead author. “Coupling or tripling of these vaccines is increasingly important, as this streamlining helps to promote parent compliance, timely vaccination and fewer administration errors.”

The study overturns findings (and fears) from a previous study that suggested problems when two specific vaccines were given at the same time – Pediarix, a combination of vaccines that guard against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B and poliovirus, and Prevnar, which protects against 76 strains ofStreptococcus pneumonia. The earlier studies found that when the vaccines were co-administered, a suboptimal immune response was produced against whooping cough, and more uncomfortable reactions, such as swelling at the injection site, could be expected.

Both Pediarix and Prevnar are recommended for administration at 2-, 4- and 6-month checkups; Prevnar was approved in 2000, shortly before the licensure of Pediarix.

“This newest study unseated both early reservations, showing that the combination vaccine was in fact just as safe and as immunogenic as separate shots, even in the midst of other vaccines in the schedule,” Pichichero said.

Study Details

A total of 575 healthy 2-month-olds were enrolled at 22 sites nationwide. Each infant was randomly assigned to one of three trial groups:

1. Combination Vaccine Group, which received three vaccines – the combination vaccine (DTaP-HepB-IPV, or brand name Pediarix), a second vaccine to protect against HiB, and a third, PCV-7 (or brand name Prevnar).

2. Separate Vaccine Group, which received five independent vaccines: DTaP, (for diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough), HepB (for hepatitis B), IPV (for poliovirus), HiB, and PVC-7.

3. Staggered Vaccine Group that was identical to the Combination Group, save that PCV-7 vaccines were delayed by two weeks at every appointment, thereby demanding a total of six pediatric office visits, instead of three.

Blood samples were collected before the study began, and again when infants were 7 months, to test for a robust immune response to each disease-trigger.

Parents were provided a diary and asked to record temperatures, general symptoms such as fussiness, irritability or loss of appetite, and local injection site symptoms such as pain or swelling.


Minor symptoms were more common in the Combination Vaccine Group; however higher fevers and more severe shot site reactions were not significantly more likely to occur in infants in any of the three groups.

For example, swelling and pain were significantly higher at the injection site of the combination vaccine, but Pichichero said that is to be expected, given that there are more ingredients in that single shot (vaccines are made from killed or modified forms of bacteria or viruses, or only pieces or products of the germs). But, he added, it was noteworthy that at no time did any local symptoms (swelling, redness, pain) lead to an infant obtaining a medical attention visit.

“Vaccine opponents may liken the process of the body processing simultaneous vaccines to a computer running too many applications; the machine grows slow, and the programs, one by one, begin to terminate,” Pichichero said. “But those fears are unfounded; we have found no evidence that a child’s body is at any point approaching a maximum threshold as far as learning to produce immune responses.”

When you administer more vaccines, you expect more symptoms, more fevers, he said. Fever, swelling, redness are all indicators that the vaccine is working, that the body is busy creating the right immunity to prevent disease.

“So long as they are mild, they pale in comparison to benefits of convenience to the parent, the fewer number of pokes to the infant, and of course, the severity of the diseases we are preventing,” he said.

Perhaps most importantly, the study showed the Combination Vaccine Group enjoyed at least as good immunogenicity as the Separate and Staggered Groups, for all criteria – including the criterion for protecting against whooping cough, for which previous, smaller-scale studies had yielded inconsistent results.

“If pediatricians were holding out on making the switch to a combined vaccine for fear that its protection might be inferior, they no longer need be concerned,” Pichichero said. “It seems the clinical relevance of any previously observed differences with regard to whooping cough immunity have been dispelled.”

Childhood immune schedules are established at the federal level by the Center for Disease Control’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which works jointly with the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians. They currently endorse, but do not mandate, the use of combination vaccines.

The study was funded by a grant from GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals, makers of Pediarix.

For Media Inquiries




This page discusses the social security disability and SSI evaluative system, specifically as it relates to the handling of claims in which autism is the chief allegation. The information provided here may benefit applicants with Autism who have representation, as well as applicants who are not represented by a lawyer or non attorney representative. This is simply because understanding how the Social Security Disability system works can sometimes make the difference between winning a disability application or disability appeal…or not.

This section begins with a brief informational write-up regarding autism. However, this is followed by a discussion of the childhood autism listing, which appears in the social security disability listing of impairments, formally titled "Disability Evaluation under Social Security", and commonly referred to as the blue book.

Please keep in mind that satisfying the requirements of a listing (referred to as meeting or equaling a listing) is not the only way to be approved for disability benefits, whether the disability claim is for a child or adult. Individuals whose claims are not approved on the basis of meeting a listing may still be approved on the basis of what is known as a medical vocational allowance (links regarding medical vocational allowances and various other aspects of the social security disability and SSI disability system may be found at the end of this article).


Autism is a neurodevelopment disorder that affects communication and social interaction skills. Autism is present from birth and is usually recognized by at least three years of age, if not sooner. Infants with the disorder may not be as attentive to social interaction and may not smile, laugh, babble or focus on social stimuli as much as infants without the disorder. As infants turn into toddlers they exhibit less eye contact and show a lack of communication skills, as well as showing repetitive or limited behavior. Not everyone with autism displays the same behaviors. There are many signs of autism and they may be experienced by varying degrees.

Diagnosis depends upon the patient showing at least six symptoms. Two of the symptoms must be linked to social interaction impairment, while one must be a communication impairment and another one must be a restricted or repetitive behavior impairment.

Communication symptoms can include a lack of responsiveness, babbling or gibberish, unusual gestures and it has been reported that at least one-third of autistic individuals do not develop speech and communication enough to meet the needs of daily life.

Restrictive behavior can include purposeless movement such as rocking, head rolling, hand flapping and other movements. It can also include compulsive behavior such as rearranging objects and needing to control the physical environment. Ritual behavior is also a common symptom of austism, such as needing to do things the same way and at the same time everyday and resistance to change in the environment. Limited activity, focus and interest is also a symptom of autism, as well as self-injury, such as biting oneself, pulling hair and other self-injury activities. None of these symptoms are specific to autism, but these behaviors are often present , severe and reoccurring.

Some patients with autism show rare talents and are categorized as autistic savants. Autistic savants can show unusual skills and rare talents, such as the ability to read a book and recite the entire book back from memory, the ability to play instruments without instruction and the ability to calculate large mathematical equations in one’s head. Around 10 percent of those with autism are thought to be autistic savants.

How autism transpires is not entirely understood. It is a brain development disorder that affects many parts of the brain; studies are continually ongoing to understand the disorder. In all cases, autism is an entire pattern of symptoms and behaviors, and never just one characteristic. Many also exhibit aggression and severe tantrums. There are several theories on what causes autism, from unstable excitatory-inhibitory networks and a surplus of neurons in the brain, to abnormal formation of synapses and dendritic spines. Some also think it could be caused by unstable neuronal migration during early conception.

Autism is not curable, but diagnosis and treatment early on can help manage the disorder. In some cases autism is thought to be genetic and in other cases it may be thought to be present because of gene mutations or birth defects. Although controversial, childhood vaccines are another suggested cause of autism.

Listing 112.10 – Social Security Administration Blue Book listing for Autism in Children

The required level of severity for these disorders is met when the requirements in both A and B are satisfied.

A. Medically documented findings of the following (all three A-section requirements must be met) :

1. Qualitative deficits in the development of reciprocal social interaction; and

2. Qualitative deficits in verbal and nonverbal communication and in imaginative activity; and

3. Markedly restricted repertoire of activities and interests;


B. For older infants and toddlers (age 1 to attainment of age 3), resulting in at least one of the appropriate age-group criteria in paragraph B1 of 112.02; or, for children (age 3 to attainment of age 18), resulting in at least two of the appropriate age-group criteria in paragraphs B2 of 112.02.

Some explanation regarding listing 112.10

1. If you’ll notice, the section A criteria and the section B criteria are quite different. First of all, all portions of the section A criteria must be met in order to satisfy the listing, whereas only two portions of the B criteria must be satisfied in order to meet the listing and be approved for disability benefits. Secondly, however, from the language of the listing, it quickly becomes apparent that the A criteria addresses medical findings while the B criteria addresses impairment-related functional limitations.

What do we mean by "satisfy the listing"? Simply that a claimant’s medical records (including any statements provided by a claimant’s medical treatment providers) must document the existence of functional limitations and deficits with regard to a claimant’s impairments.

2. The phrase "medically documented findings" refers to medical evidence. Medical evidence (typically records obtained from a doctor, hospital, or clinic) serves to document symptoms, signs and laboratory findings, but, for the purpose of this listing, such evidence may also include the results of pyschological testing and developmental testing.

3. The childhood autism listing refers to "marked" restrictions in a child’s repertoire of activities and interests. What does the social security administration mean by marked? As the SSA blue book states, marked limitations exist when one or several areas of activity or function are impaired and this impairment interferes "seriously with the ability to function, based upon age-appropriate expectations".

Meeting listing 112.10

To meet the child autism listing, a claimant’s medical records must satisfy all of the A-section requirements of listing 112.10: qualitative deficts in the development of reciprocal social interaction; qualitative deficits in verbal and nonverbal communication and in imaginative activity; and also a marked restriction in the repertoire of activities and interests).

However, meeting the listing and being approved for benefits also means satisfying the age-based criteria set forth in section B of the listing. The following information addresses this criteria.

For children ages 1 to 3, a claimant’s records must show at least one of the following:

1. Gross or fine motor development at a level generally acquired by children no more than one-half the child’s chronological age.

2. Cognitive/communicative function at a level generally acquired by children no more than one-half the child’s chronological age.

3. Social function at a level generally acquired by children no more than one-half the child’s chronological age.

4. Attainment of development or function generally acquired by children no more than two-thirds of the child’s chronological age in two or more areas covered by 1, 2, or 3.

For children ages 3 to 18, a claimant’s records must document the existing of two of the following:

1. Marked impairment in age-appropriate cognitive/ communicative function.

2. Marked impairment in age-appropriate social functioning.

3. Marked impairment in age-appropriate personal functioning.

4. Marked difficulties in maintaining concentration, persistence, or pace.

Comments regarding areas of functionality

1. Cognitive and communicative functioning may be measured through the use of standardized testing that is appropriate for a claimant’s age. As the blue book states, the type of testing employed may vary with age. The manual also states that alternative criteria may be used to measure deficits that may exist in language development or speech pattern development. Regarding the measurement of cognition itself, a primary sign of limited function is a valid IQ score (either full scale, verbal or performance) of 70 or less.

2. Social functioning is defined in the blue book as a child’s capacity to form and keep relationships. This includes relationships with peers, their parents, and with other adults. Impairments in social functioning may result in a number of expressions, including physically aggressive behavior, becoming socially isolated, and even mutism, while healthy and strong social functioning may be indicated by, among other things, a child’s ability to form and maintain social relationships, participate and cooperate with other individuals and groups, and respond appropriately to authority figures (parents, teachers, etc).

3. Personal functioning refers to the development of self-care skills (such as feeding oneself, personal hygeine, dressing, grooming, toileting, etc). An impairment in personal functioning equates with a failure, to whatever degree, to develop such skills.

4. Concentration, persistence, and pace – The ability to focus attention to a task, to appropriately persist at it and to maintain a pace at the task (at would be considered an age-appropriate level) is measured both by observing the child and also measured by results obtained from standardized testing.

Additional Pages

1. What to do if your disability is denied

2. Social Security Disability and SSI Appeals Process

3. Getting Prepared for a social security disability hearing

4. The SSI disability claim

5. How do you qualify medically – the medical vocational allowance

Disability Advocates
Help with Claims
Experienced Representation

Current NEWS about Vaccines Dangers

Vaccinations & Vaccine Safety

Other Things That May Interest You

Vaccinations & Vaccine Safety

Mercury, Autism, and the Global Vaccine Agenda (video)

This may be one of the most important videos ever see.

Dr. David Ayoub, M.D. exposes the relationship of mercury to Autism, but this is just the beginning. He continues his investigation and exposese the agenda for massive global population reduction. Dr. Ayoub makes solid political connections to this agenda as well as exposing the funding sources, such as the Rockefeller family and Bill Gates.

In Lies We Trust: Dr. Leonard Horowitz (video)

For brave souls who wish to know how the world really works, Dr. Leonard Horowitz brings you this truly shocking video about the U.S. war machine and it’s involvement in bioterrorism and testing on U.S. citizens.

Jenny McCarthy on "The View" saying "They Can Recover!" (video)

This is an inspiring conversation with Jenny McCarthy. It’s interesting that whenever Jenny makes a reference to vaccines, Barbara Walters is quick to jump in and make sure the pharmaceutical industry is protected.

Vaccines, Mercury, and Autism: Dr. Boyd Haley (video)

A compelling video showing links between autism and mercury. This video also shows how the NIH (National Institutes of Health) began to deny money to research the mercury/autism connection just after strong evidence for the connection was discovered.

NBC Interview: J.B. Handley On Autism and Mercury Poisoning (video)

A rare interview on NBC that reveals the connection between mercury toxicity and autism. Is there a cure?

The Thimerosal-Autism Coverup, Robert Kennedy Jr. (video)

Federal officials and vaccine makers assembled to discuss a disturbing new study that raised alarming questions about the safety of many common childhood vaccines. According to CDC epidemiologist Tom Verstraeten, Thimerosal — a mercury-based preservative in the vaccines — appears to be responsible for the dramatic increase in autism and many other neurological disorders among children.

The Truth About The Flu Shot

Vital information about flu shots that your doctor is NOT going to tell you.

New Study Steers Mercury Blame Away From Vaccines Toward Environment: But Where’s It Coming From?

Mercury is probably associated with a shockingly-large percentage of disease in the world today, and you are probably being exposed to mercury right now. You’ll never guess where it’s coming from.

Military Vaccines Harming or Killing Thousands (video)

This news broadcast exposes how military vaccines are affecting military personnel. If you know someone in the military or someone considering entering the military, this video is a must-watch.

A Little Canadian Wisdom About the Flu Shot (video)

Eye On Canada explains this year’s flu shot in a way you won’t soon forget.

"Ladies!!! Rhogam injection warning"

This may be the most popular topic on our entire forum complex. We link to it here so you can benefit from the information contained in this lively discussion.

Vaccines and Medical Experiments on Children, Minorities, Woman and Inmates (1845 – 2007)

This is a compilation of some of the shocking and inhumane medical experiments that have been conducted on U.S. citizens.


Smoking Tooth Video (video)

See just how much mercury vapor comes off an amalgam filling while it’s still in your mouth.

How Mercury Causes Brain Neuron Degeneration (video)

Excellent animation from the University of Calgary showing exactly how mercury causes brain neurons to degenerate.

Mercury Goes To Washington (video)

A great video showing FDA hearings, personal conversation with Dr. Boyd Haley, plus a Senators opinion about the truth involving mercury-based "silver" dental fillings.

Biological Warfare On the American People, Dr. Garth Nicolson (video)

Dr. Garth Nicolson speaks about his experiences and successes combating the quickly-emerging mycoplasma-based illnesses such as Gulf War Illness and other related diseases such as Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia. A rapidly growing number of people believe that the numerous multi-symptom diseases we now see emerging (Morgellons, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, etc.) are originating from the chemical aerosol (chemtrails) programs currently in progress.

Dr. Hildegarde Staninger Interview On Morgellons Disease (video)

This is a powerful, fascinating, and somewhat horrifying interview. Through the outstanding information now being revealed, a rapidly growing number of people are making the connection between Morgellons and the ongoing chemical aerosol programs (chemtrails) currently in progress.

Dr. Boyd Haley on Autism (video)

Know someone experiencing autism? Know someone with a child who has autism? Please watch these 4 videos.

Gulf War Syndrome, Autism, and the Mercury Connnection: Dr. Boyd Haley (video)

An in-depth and revealing interview with Dr. Boyd Haley that will help you discover the widespread effects of mercury and the extreme resistance of the U.S. government to remove it from consumer and medical products.

Death of a child the ultimate test for families

Death of a child the ultimate test for families

Associated Press

Buy photo

Sharon Nolan poses by a wall of photographs inside the office of Parents of Murdered Children, Inc. in Cincinnati.

Associated Press Writer

Published: Saturday, September 19, 2009 at 8:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, September 9, 2009 at 3:36 p.m.

One left turn was the difference between normal and “new normal” for Patricia Loder.

Notes from a bereaved mother
Susan Chan knows firsthand what it feels like to lose a child. Her 18-year-old daughter, enjoying the waning weeks before high school graduation, was thrown from her boyfriend’s motorcycle after a deer jumped in their way.

It was 1992 in Topeka, Kan., where Chan and her husband, Gary, remain.

“You never expect this is going to happen to you,” she said. “You read headlines and it’s always about somebody else, and one day you’re a headline. It’s so hard to explain to somebody who hasn’t been there what it’s like to lose a child. There’s no good way.”

The couple, now married for 41 years, sought the help of The Compassionate Friends soon after Rachael died. It’s a large network of survivors established specifically for those struggling with the deaths of children, grandchildren and siblings. Chan is a chapter director for the organization and offers this advice:

Grief is not an event. It is a process. It does not have a distinct finish line. Each person’s journey is as unique as his fingerprints. Your grief journey will be guided by many things besides the relationship you had with the child who died. It will be influenced by your past life experiences (including previous losses), your religious beliefs, your socio-economic status, your physical health, the availability of a support network and, in many cases, the cause of the death itself. People want you to be “over it” way sooner than you can ever imagine. They don’t seem to understand that this is not the flu. We learn to integrate it into the fabric of our lives. What they don’t realize is that we will never be the same people we were before our child died. Grief is not a predictable journey. One day we may feel somewhat stronger, the next day we may crash and burn. Grief is sometimes like winding a ball of yarn — you wind and wind on it and sometimes drop it and it unravels before you, then it is time to start winding it up again. It is important to remember that as we grieve, we must also mourn the death of our child. The two words are usually used interchangeably, but they mean different things. Grief is on the inside — what we are feeling. Mourning is “grief gone public” — in other words how we are allowed to express our grief outside of ourselves. (Definitions from the work of Dr. Alan D. Wolfelt, director of the Center for Loss and Life Transition). We have a great need to tell and retell our story far longer than many people are willing to listen. We need to find safe places to tell our story. Pain is part of the grief process and cannot be ignored or “gotten around” if we are to heal. Remember that letting go of the pain does not mean letting go of the love you had for your child. That love will remain with you always. At some point each of us must make a conscious decision to heal. We must decide whether we want to become bitter or better. Everyone seems to have an explanation for why this happened to you. It is a characteristic of our society that we want to be problem solvers. I haven’t met a bereaved parent yet who felt there was a reasonable and acceptable explanation for why their child had to die. We need to be selfish as we grieve. By this I mean we must be good to ourselves, be patient with ourselves, look to what we need to do to move forward. We need to be open to the help others can provide. This is not a journey we need to make alone. Ask for help when you need it. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, but an acknowledgment that you want to heal.

She was almost home in the Milford area of Michigan on the first day of spring 1991, turning left on a road like any other, when a speeding motorcyclist sideswiped her car and killed her two children.

They were Stephanie, 8, and Stephen, 5.

“I was one of those people who would wake up screaming because that videotape went off in my head all the time, playing over and over again,” Loder said. “That’s a horrid weight you carry around all the time because no matter what, whether you’re right there or a thousand miles away, you’re always supposed to protect your children. Always.”

When her grief threatened to overpower her, Loder reluctantly attended a bereavement support group with her husband, Wayne.

“There were people there who had lost their mothers, their fathers, their grandparents,” she said. “They all had grief and I respected that but no one there had lost a child.”

The pain, she said, is like no other. It eats at marriages. It eats at siblings through its relentless guilt and hopelessness. The weight of it, as Loder and other parents describe, sometimes tears families apart, but it more often draws them closer together, researchers said.

Buried in the news of Jaycee Dugard’s release after 18 years in captivity was her mother’s divorce, but the Loders — like many families — found their way through with help from other survivors who know what it feels like to get up each morning and attempt to live their lives after a child’s murder, accident or illness.

While reports of startlingly high divorce rates under the circumstances stretch back more than 30 years and once ranged from 70 to 90 percent, a 2006 survey for the bereaved families organization that helped the Loders showed a significantly lower incidence, far lower than the national average of roughly 50 percent.

The 2006 survey for The Compassionate Friends, of which Loder is now executive director, showed 306 of 400 respondents were married at the time of a child’s death. Of those, there was a divorce rate of 16 percent, less than half of whom cited the death’s impact as a contributing factor.

In a study by two Montana researchers in 1999, only 9 percent of 253 respondents said they divorced following their child’s death, with 24 percent of the remainder saying they had considered divorce but didn’t follow through.

“While the death of one’s child definitely places stress on a marriage, we believe the divorce rate is so low because of the commitment parents have to survive their tragedy as a shared experience,” Loder said.

After her car crash, which also killed the motorcyclist, a hospital nurse warned Loder about the high risk of divorce.

“First I was told my children had died. Then I was told my marriage would die. There are no words that can describe how that warning compounded the grief I already felt,” she said.

A range of factors are at play when it comes to the toll on marriages of fatal tragedy involving children, including a couple’s level of education and their ability to pay for outside help. Also on the list are whether a marriage was already at risk and how attuned loved ones are to the kind of support needed by the bereaved.

There’s no right way or acceptable span of time to grieve a dead child, yet friends, family and co-workers often urge parents to “get on with it,” compounding the pain and squandering a chance for loved ones to offer more meaningful assistance, Loder said.

“Oftentimes your family and your friends just want you to be better,” she said. “We hear that a lot, that families don’t understand. They want them to be their old selves.”

Christine Frisbee and her husband, Rick, were living in New Canaan, Conn., when they lost their second oldest child, 15-year-old Rich, to a virulent form of leukemia in 1989, just 15 months after he was diagnosed. The couple, with four other children, lost their savings eight weeks after their son died when the company Rick worked for went under.

“My husband and I are still married, but I admit we almost didn’t make it. We were so angry with each other on how we were reacting differently,” said Frisbee, who wrote the book “Day by Day,” about the lives of children with sick siblings. “One evening at home I asked Rick to hug me. He said, ‘I can’t. I hurt too much.’ He would never have said that before.”

On Sept. 7, 2001, Sherry Nolan’s 24-year-old daughter, Shannon, was beaten to death with a baseball bat. Five months pregnant with her first child, her husband led authorities to her body, buried in a wooded area in Cincinnati, Ohio. A jury convicted him of two counts of aggravated murder and he remains in prison on consecutive life sentences.

“At the very beginning anyone who’s had a family member murdered, you feel as if you’ve died that day,” said Nolan, who with her husband, L.C., and two surviving children sought the assistance of the support group Parents of Murdered Children.

“We went through the stages of what could we have done to prevent this, me saying to myself what did I do in my lifetime that my child is paying for. My husband saying the same thing,” she said. “Then when you realize you haven’t done anything, you turn to one another and say what did YOU do in your lifetime?”

Susan and Gary Chan of Topeka, Kan., lost their 18-year-old daughter Rachael in 1992, when a motorcycle driven by her boyfriend hit a deer at dusk.

“I don’t know how many times people said, ‘Oh, God made another angel singing in the choir,’ and I was thinking, ‘I need Rachael singing off-key in the shower,’” she said. “Part of the work is redefining who you are in this new reality you didn’t choose.”

Therese A. Rando, a Warwick, R.I., psychologist who specializes in the study and treatment of loss, said flawed research is to blame for the notion that a child’s death leads to divorce more often than not.

“In no way, shape or form is the divorce rate even near the national average,” Rando said. “I’m amazed there aren’t more divorces. The dynamics of losing a child are so different. If you’re a wife, you’re a widower. If you lose your parents, you’re an orphan, but we don’t even have a word for losing a child. It represents the very worst fear in all of us.”

The Chans were also helped by The Compassionate Friends, which offers support groups through 615 chapters in every state, plus Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. The nonprofit organization also has chapters in more than 30 countries.

Talking with others grieving the loss of a child helped pull her husband closer after it appeared he was drifting away, Chan said.

“Early on my husband kind of went into a workaholic mode. It’s the only place he felt like he had some control, but he realized that he was putting off what he needed to do,” she said. “We made a commitment early on that this was going to be hard work, that it wasn’t going to tear us apart. We always came back to the fact that we both loved Rachael.”

Know Your Duties Regarding Vaccine Information: Responsibilities for communication, documentation are spelled out for doctors by the AAP and the CDC.

SAN FRANCISCO – If you’re not providing parents a copy of a Vaccine Information Statement every time they accept or reject a child’s immunization, you’re not meeting your obligations under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program and could even be increasing your legal liability, Dr. Kristina Bryant advised.

The no-fault civil litigation system known as the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP) has benefited U.S. physicians since 1988 by reducing injury claims against vaccine manufacturers– and, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) believes, against health care providers in addition, said Dr. Bryant, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Louisville (Ky.).

If an injury that’s listed in the program’s Vaccine Injury Table occurs within a specified time after immunization, claimants must file for compensation through the NVICP to cover costs for medical care, pain, and suffering before pursuing a civil lawsuit.

The program streamlines reimbursement for claimants, and those claimants who receive awards cannot file a suit.

“We get some benefit from this, and we have responsibilities” for communication and documentation that are spelled out by the AAP and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Bryant emphasized in speaking at the annual meeting of the AAP.

Discuss the benefits and risks of the vaccine being administered. “We want to make sure we have an open dialogue with our patients” about this, she said.

Note in the chart that you discussed these, she advised.

Give parents the current version of the Vaccine Information Statement each time you administer a covered vaccine. Handing it to them once and then making copies available in exam or waiting rooms during subsequent immunization visits is not enough.

The most current versions can be found at or at

Document in the patient’s chart the date of vaccine administration, the vaccine manufacturer, the vaccine lot number, your name and business address, the date of the Vaccine Information Statement version, and the date you gave parents the statement.

An informal poll of the audience at Dr. Bryant’s AAPmeeting presentation suggests that perhaps 25% of physicians do not document the version of the statement given to parents, and the date it is given to them.

If a parent refuses a child vaccination, discuss the risk that the child will pose to others and the risk of disease and potential death for the child, and document in the chart that you addressed these topics, Dr. Bryant said.

Requirements for obtaining informed consent vary by state, so be familiar with your state’s regulations, she added.

Review the risks and benefits of vaccination at each encounter and provide a Vaccine Information Statement. At every refusal, ask the parent to sign the NVICP Refusal to Vaccinate form, which you can find at

On the second page of the form, parents attest that they have read the Vaccine Information Statement, have had the opportunity to discuss this with the child’s doctor or nurse, and recognize that the child could contract the illness that the vaccine is meant to prevent, and could moreover face consequences such as pneumonia, need for hospitalization, brain damage, meningitis, or death.

Some antivaccine Web sites advise parents to cross out portions of the Refusal to Vaccinate form, or to write comments in the margins about points of disagreement. Some parents even refuse to sign the form.

With the latter, document that you’ve shown them the form and discussed risks and benefits, and that they refused to sign, Dr. Bryant said.

A physician in the audience said that many pediatricians in his area have gone along with insurance carrier demands that patients who don’t want to be vaccinated be asked to leave a physician’s practice.

The AAP, however, urges physicians to avoid discharging vaccine refusers if possible, Dr. Bryant noted, while acknowledging that a lack of trust between parent and physician in some situations will lead to discharges.

Dr. Bryant is associated with several companies that make vaccines. She is on the speakers bureaus of Sanofi Pasteur and Abbott Laboratories, and she has received research funds from Merck & Co., MedImmune, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, and GlaxoSmithKline.