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Jane Hill Challenges David Crowe over the Expertise of Dr. Mohammed Al-Bayati in the Eliza Jane Scovill Case

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Jane Hill

This child [Eliza Jane] died of PCP, not an allergic reaction, per the coroner. And if there is evidence to the contrary, perhaps it should come from a medical examiner that does not also hold a foregone conclusion that HIV and AIDS aren’t related. 
Dr. Al-Bayati begins with the premise that HIV cannot cause illness, therefore, he is too biased to judge if HIV did, in fact, cause this child’s illness and death. From personal experience, I know this is possible. Two years ago my neighbor died from a dozen bee stings after disturbing a nearby nest. He was also HIV positive and had been for a few years. The coroner listed anaphylaxis as the cause of death in his case.

David Crowe

Jane;
Thanks for sharing your opinion with us.
Note that it is a scientific opinion that HIV causes AIDS just as it is a scientific opinion that HIV does not cause AIDS. So if holding an opinion disqualifies someone from examining information in an unbiased fashion then I think that virtually everyone, including the LA coroner, who I assume believes that HIV does cause AIDS, should be disqualified.
Can you explain to me why, if EJ was severely immune suppressed, that her white blood cell count was abnormally high, not abnormally low?
And why was it not just the weight of her lungs that was increased, but also the weight of several other organs?
Perhaps you can briefly list the evidence that you have that allows you to reach the conclusion that EJ died of PCP.
Regards,
    David Crowe

Jane Hill

Mr. Crowe:

Dr. Al-Bayati is eligible to debate whether or not HIV causes AIDS, but he is not qualified to refute a diagnosis of an HIV/AIDS death as this is a field he denies to exist. That is a bit of an oxymoron. I will try to clarify by another interesting example:

The ICR is an organization of fundamentalist Christians who seek to engage in scientific debates about the physical world with the established construct that God created the universe some 10,000 years ago. That automatically disqualifies them from scientific debates placed beyond the 10,000 years (stars, galaxies). They cannot be experts in a frame of time they deny to exist based on their foregone conclusion. That same bias precludes Dr. Al-Bayati from forming a secondary opinion in any cause of death attributed to HIV/AIDS simply because Dr. Al-Bayati's established construct states that HIV does not cause AIDS. Therefore, Dr. Al-Bayati must refute all HIV/AIDS causes of death. that is not science, but it does qualify as religion. In order to provide legitimate debate, one must be expert. Again, Dr. Al-Bayati cannot be an expert in HIV/AIDS pathology as he does not believe it to exist. His expertise may only lie in the original debate on whether or not HIV causes AIDS.

In closing, HIV positive individuals do die from other causes of death and are listed as such. The Scovill child may be one of them. But only an objective pathologist is qualified to provide an alternative explanation.

I hope this clarifies.

Regards,

    Jane

David Crowe

Jane;

I think your reasoning is quite confused, as I’ll explain below.

Mr. Crowe:

Dr. Al Bayati is eligible to debate whether or not HIV causes AIDS, but he is not qualified to refute a diagnosis of an HIV/AIDS death as this is a field he denies to exist.

This is a ridiculous assertion. Mohammed Al-Bayati does not deny that the individual disease that make up AIDS exist. The argument is not that both Al-Bayati and the coroner both accept that EJ died of PCP, but Al-Bayati simply doesn’t want to call it AIDS! The argument is whether EJ died of PCP or not. If you want to call it AIDS because its PCP and because you believe (in the absence of solid evidence) that EJ was HIV-positive, I consider that a minor point.

That is a bit of an oxymoron. I will try to clarify by another interesting example:

The ICR is an organization of fundamentalist Christians who seek to engage in scientific debates about the physical world with the established construct that God created the universe some 10,000 years ago. That automatically disqualifies them from scientific debates placed beyond the 10,000 years (stars, galaxies). They cannot be experts in a frame of time they deny to exist based on their foregone conclusion.

Sorry, you’re wrong on this. If the ICR claims that the universe was created no more than 10,000 years ago then clearly they believe that the stars and galaxies were created within this same time frame, and therefore they could claim that they know how and when they were created (by an Act of God, presumably).

I think that claiming that something was done by an Act of God is what disqualifies them from participating in a scientific discussion. Because this, by definition, means that their theories are not testable, a criterion that I hold as necessary for a scientific theory (although not all philosophers of science would agree with me).

That same bias precludes Dr. Al Bayati from forming a secondary opinion in any cause of death attributed to HIV/AIDS simply because Dr. Al Bayati‚s established construct states that HIV does not cause AIDS. Therefore, Dr. Al Bayati must refute all HIV/AIDS causes of death. that is not science, but it does qualify as religion.

The central question is whether EJ died of PCP or not. PCP is not always called AIDS. So Al-Bayati could agree with the diagnosis of PCP, but deny that HIV was present and therefore call it non-AIDS PCP. However, that is not Al-Bayati’s argument. There is no solid evidence that EJ was HIV-positive. There was excessive weight in several organs, not just the lungs. EJ had an above-average number of lymphocytes (which several scientists have noted is as accurate a method of determining immune suppression as counting CD4 cells). There were no clinical signs of pneumonia, no signs of oxygen insufficiency.

That’s the real argument. I’m afraid that you’re totally missing the point.

In order to provide legitimate debate, one must be [an] expert. Again, Dr. Al Bayati cannot be an expert in HIV/AIDS pathology as he does not believe it to exist. His expertise may only lie in the original debate on whether or not HIV causes AIDS.

Al-Bayati is an expert in pathology. If he didn’t believe that PCP, TB or other AIDS-defining illnesses exist, then certainly he would have a blind spot. But given that everyone agrees that these diseases can exist outside of the context of HIV/AIDS, then he is quite prepared to consider their diagnosis.

In closing, HIV positive individuals do die from other causes of death and are listed as such. The Scovill child may be one of them. But only an objective pathologist is qualified to provide an alternative explanation.

You have given no evidence that he’s not objective. One could equally claim that someone who believes that HIV causes AIDS is likely to claim an AIDS diagnosis in every death of someone who is HIV-positive. In fact, some think this is the bias that the LA coroners have.

In other situations people claim that doctors who believe that AIDS drugs are highly toxic, ineffective and generally unsafe are not experts because they don’t have experience prescribing the drugs. These are tautologies established by the establishment to exclude critics from discourse.

Regards,
    David Crowe

Jane Hill

Hello again David,
Allow me to clarify further, so my point is not murky. Should Dr. Al-Bayati review the causes of death of 50,000 HIV+ patients who have died of HIV disease, Dr. Al-Bayati would begin with one single pre-determined outcome: no matter what killed them, HIV was not relevant.
Likewise, should the ICR review the age of all the stars and galaxies in our known universe, they would begin with one single pre-determined outcome: no matter how old they are, they cannot be more than 10,000 years.
In both cases, one common thread exists: an outcome closed to all possibilities.
That is simply not science. Science allows for any outcome, provided the evidence is testable and verifiable. 
You say that the central question is whether or not the Scovill child died of PCP. Though the coroner says she did, has tissue slides as evidence and has been supported by other medical examiners, it is not out of the realm of possibility that she died of something else. And, no, that is not the central question, nor the point of my message and I will not take the bait to discuss the specifics in her autopsy report because it is a means to deflect from the point of Dr. Al Bayati’s lack of objectivity, which is my sole point.
I am merely stating that Dr. Al Bayati’s known bias disqualifies him from providing a second opinion in a cause of death that he could never agree with from the outset. Since Dr. Al Bayati emphatically says that HIV does not cause AIDS, was there any other finding by him but that the child did not die of HIV disease? No, there was not. That’s not a second opinion, that’s a hired gun (whether or not he was actually paid).
As for evidence of Dr. Al Bayati’s lack of objectivity, please refer to his own publication: “HIV does not cause AIDS”. 
Again, I believe the suitable place for Dr. Al Bayati’s debate is in the context of whether or not HIV causes AIDS. Because asking a fellow who doesn’t believe HIV causes AIDS to support or refute the evidence for an HIV/AIDS death is like asking a Holocaust denier to support or refute the existence of a human gas chamber. You just know where they’ll both come out on the subject.
Thanks for your time.
Jane

David Crowe

Jane;
Thanks for your response.
Al-Bayati is not reviewing the causes of death of 500,000 people, he’s reviewing the causes of death of individuals, such as Eliza Jane Scovill. Certainly if one was to question whether HIV was pathogenic, or whether it even existed, it would be easy to conclude without further information that the 500,000 people didn’t die of AIDS. But that is not the question we are currently debating.
Eliza Jane couldn’t have died of AIDS unless she had both A) an AIDS-defining disease like PCP and B) a positive HIV test. Al-Bayati is questioning “A” and the coroner has never supplied evidence that an HIV test had ever been taken.
Following your digression to creationism again, you seem to be saying that since you know that the universe is more than 10,000 years old and you know that HIV exists and causes AIDS that nobody who disagrees with you is entitled to comment in those areas.
Well, I’ll agree with you that the universe is much older than 10,000 years (although I support the right of believers in special creation to voice their views). But I don’t agree with you that it’s obvious that HIV causes AIDS. It’s not even obvious that HIV exists. Perhaps you can point me to a single reference showing the purification of HIV, followed by references to detail the characterization of the RNA and proteins in the virus. I claim that such papers don’t exist. And I claim that their absence shows that not only does HIV probably not cause AIDS, that this is probably because it does not exist.
You also drag in the holocaust. Again, I will agree with you that it’s obvious that the Germans had a deliberate policy to exterminate Jews, Gypsies, the mentally ‘defective’ and so on, and that millions were indeed killed. I just don’t see the relevance of that to this argument.
The first and most important question is “Did Eliza Jane die of PCP”. If the answer to that was “Yes”, then we can wrangle over whether it was just PCP or AIDS (e.g. due to the presence of a positive HIV test). If the answer to that question is “No” then clearly Eliza Jane didn’t die of AIDS.
Another point is that you want to exclude Al-Bayati’s opinion because he questions whether HIV causes AIDS, so surely you believe that HIV is necessary for AIDS. But can you point to a bone fide HIV test (e.g. ELISA and Western Blot) performed on Eliza Jane? Please let us know if you find information about it, because we don’t know of any such test being performed. Just because Christine Maggiore has sometimes tested HIV positive (and sometimes not) doesn’t mean that her daughter was necessarily HIV-positive. Clearly her son is HIV-negative, and about 75% of all children will be HIV-negative in the absence of any interventions at birth.
I note in your first email you mention that your neighbour died of an anaphylactic reaction to bee stings. This would seem to support the possibility that Eliza Jane died of an allergic reaction to amoxicillin. Or were you trying to say that coroner’s never make mistakes (accidentally or on purpose)?
- David

Jane Hill

David,
I don’t believe I have ever said “it’s obvious that HIV causes AIDS,” and I would appreciate your refraining from attributing that and other statements to me that I have not made.
On to the topic. A diagnosis of PCP for the Scovill child is tantamount to HIV disease, given she had no other known cause of immune deficiency. That’s something Dr. Al Bayati is all too aware of. As you know, PCP is found in patients with blood cancers and in those with chemically-induced immune suppression and not even commonly then. Having none of the above, Dr. Al Bayati understands HIV is the only thing left and fits perfectly within the orthodox explanation. So he can never agree with a PCP diagnosis in an HIV positive patient, period. But I am open to correction, should it exist.
I don’t mean to “drag” the Holocaust or the Creationists into this debate in order to align you with denialists. I do it purely to illustrate a point of bias, and that is all.
No, I don’t believe a historian who dismisses evidence of the Holocaust can ever be called to provide a second opinion on whether or not a certain building was used as a human gas chamber. That historian has already decided the mass extermination of human life did not occur – therefore, how can he objectively be called to testify?
Likewise, I don’t believe a pathologist who dismisses evidence that HIV equals immune deficiency can ever be called to provide a second opinion on whether or not an HIV+ individual died of a life-threatening opportunistic infection. That pathologist has already decided that HIV does not causes AIDS - therefore, how can he objectively be called to testify?
Again, the historian may certainly engage in debate as to whether or not the evidence for the Holocaust exists, because that is the limit to his objectively. Dr. Al Bayati may certainly engage in debate as to whether or not the evidence for immune deficiency from HIV exists, because that is the limit to his objectivity. 
But in order to debate whether or not the Scovill child died of immune deficiency, a pathologist who accepts that the child may have had immune deficiency must be called to provide the second opinion. Otherwise, you leave Dr. Al Bayati in the position of having to agree to immune deficiency with no known etiology whatsoever – other than the lurking HIV, which he already knows has been widely attributed to immune deficiency. And he can’t possibly agree with that.
That’s called a foregone conclusion, a pre-determined outcome – and it has no place in science or medicine.
Regarding my neighbor, the only reason I mentioned his death was to show that coroner’s do attribute cause of death in HIV positive individuals to causes other than immune deficiency. You seem to infer that they will struggle to find something they can call AIDS rather than a more plausible diagnosis, because they’re so consumed with AIDS that it is impossible for an HIV positive person to be diagnosed with illnesses and causes of death that are outside the spectrum of HIV and immune deficiency. Yet that is patently untrue. 
I have had more personal experience than the tragic death of my neighbor with HIV positive individuals and I know they have had medical conditions that their doctors, knowing their status, have not chalked up to HIV. I think it’s sad that anyone would be so jaded and determined to believe otherwise. And given what I have heard Christine Maggiore say, this applies very much to her.
(In closing, I was just going to wish you a happy Thanksgiving tomorrow and laughed when I realized you’re in Canada.) That said, have a good evening.
Jane

David Crowe

Jane;
I apologize for assuming that you felt it was obvious that HIV causes AIDS. I was reading between the lines. You seemed to think that holding the belief that HIV does not cause AIDS would prevent a pathologist from forming an unbiased decision, yet you didn’t think that believing that HIV does cause AIDS would prevent a coroner from forming an unbiased decision. Your statements seemed to imply a significant bias towards the HIV=AIDS side, so I’m pleased to hear that you are maintaining an open mind on this.
I really don’t want to address the holocaust and creationism. I personally do not believe that it is a good idea to reason about one thing by drawing analogies about completely different things. I disagree with holocaust deniers and special creationists, but I support their right to publicize their views. I’m not sure that I would accept their interpretation of the death of a child unless they happened to be trained in relevant sciences.
I would like to take issue with your references to “immune deficiency”. You have consistently avoided answering my question about the high lymphocyte count (10,800 vs. normal range 2000-8000). This indicates the opposite of immune suppression. I don’t understand how you can raise the question of whether Eliza Jane died of immune suppression in the presence of such strong evidence that her immune system was more active than normal, not less!
It seems to me that based on the detection of an organism that is commonly found, in the absence of any real clinical evidence of pneumonia, and based on interpretation of limited brain tissue, in the absence of any clinical evidence of encephalitis, that the coroner reached a foregone conclusion, specifically that A) The child of an HIV-positive AIDS dissident must be HIV-positive herself and B) that the HIV-positive child of an AIDS dissident could only died of AIDS. And then the coroner proceeded to find the scanty evidence to draw this conclusion.
My point with your neighbor is that if he was a prominent, outspoken, HIV-positive AIDS dissident, it would have been much more likely that his death would have been erroneously called AIDS. The fact that coroner’s sometimes do the right thing in the absence of any political reasons doesn’t mean that they will always do the right thing, especially in the presence of a political hot potato.
I have seen many HIV-positive people caught in this web of assumptions. Everything that goes wrong with them must be due to HIV (and not due to the drugs if they’re on them). Things that aren’t wrong are invented as reasons why people should be on the drugs. And always people are told they are going to die. I’m cynical because I’ve seen people thrown in jail for years, families destroyed and friends hounded to death by the system.
As for Thanksgiving, most Americans don’t know that we celebrate in October, no November. So I will wish you a happy Thanksgiving. As for me, I’ll just hope for a weekend in which it isn’t as cold as they predict!
Regards, David

© Copyright May 18, 2009 by Rethinking AIDS.