professional advice- freedom of speech Vs dangrous opinions

Sal - posted on 07/09/2011 ( 13 moms have responded )

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a friend of mine on face book just asked a question about the link between autism and vaccination....as she was told by a kinesioligist that it will cause autism, while i personally do not believe that there is a link and this is backed up fully by research and the real danger is in non vaxes kids passing it on to those who cannot be, what my question is is where does personal free speech become professional mal advice, this person was paid (i assume) to give advice, and as far as i can see it is faulse and very dangerous, should the kinesinolgist be held to account in this type of situation, (this woman has a almost 2 year old and a new born so it could be very nasty this time of year in aus)

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Becky - posted on 07/09/2011

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Doesn't a kinesiologist specialize in exercise and movement, etc? I'm not sure why anyone would turn to them for advice regarding vaccines and autism, that is not their field. Just like I wouldn't go to my dermatologist for advice regarding pregnancy! I wouldn't expect a kinesiologist to be any more of an expert on autism and its causes than I would expect my neighbor to be. Who knows, maybe my neighbor has researched it extensively and actually knows more about it!
So, I'm not sure the kinesiologist could be held legally accountable for giving false or unproven information because that is not her field of expertise. And your friend should be advised to seek the advice of someone who is an actual expert in this area!

Jodi - posted on 07/09/2011

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A kinesioligist is not a licenced medical practitioner. They do NOT necessarily have a medical degree. Would I listen to a "Doctor in Human Movement" about their medical opinion on vaccinations? No. However, they have a right to a personal opinion. Truthfully, it is hardly likely that a kinesioligist keeps 100% up to date on pediatric issues such as vaccinations in children. A pediatrician will (or should). A kinesioligist is not obligated to. So if you are going to listen to ANY medical professional on advice outside their specialty and take it as medical advice, you deserve to have the stupid sticker slapped on your forehead.

Sara - posted on 07/09/2011

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I think this just proves that you have to think critically about any advice you are given by a professional and do research on your own to make your own choices. At the end of the day, every professional -- doctors, nurses, whoever-- are just giving your their professional opinion. It's not written in stone that you have to follow it.

Katherine - posted on 07/09/2011

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No, it's just her opinion. An opinion isn't fact. Your friend could do her own research and find out for herself. She could choose to believe it or not. This has been an ongoing debate. Everyone and their mom has their opinions, but new FACTS point to the FACT there is no link.

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[deleted account]

Exactly Jodi! You have no idea how many times I have to bite my tongue at work when parents call in asking if these types of practioners are covered. I totallly sympathize with those desperately seeking aid but then you have those that will go on and on about these types of people and oh golly gee, the big bad insurance company would rather they got sick than see these people who could help.

I'm far from an insurance shill but I wish I could tell these people they're being rooked. Don't even get me started on the other things they call in for. They don't want to hear the opposite view. They call it big pharma and close their ears and mind.

[deleted account]

AMEN SARA B.!!!!!!!! My pediatrician is my second opinion! My opinion is first then my pedi backs me up, disagrees, or gives me suggestions!! I researched, questioned basically interviewed pediatricians to find the right one that understood my feelings, parenting, and concerns. Please research things and ask lots of questions.. I am so greatful to have a dr that I trust.

Sal - posted on 07/09/2011

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I have just googled it and there is a little more than muscle movement, it is treating a wide rainge of medical problems by using the different muscle groups, not just physical pains as such but anything from behavioural issue, learning difficulties to food allergies,
i am thinking 2 ways, yes get some advice that goes agaist everything you hear you should reasearch more, but if you were taking a child with behavioural issues already and you are told that not vaxing might make a difference, you might just jump at the idea out of desperation....
but if you are paying that person for advice on childhood issues and she tells you something you should be able to feel safe that it is an educated and correct statement, i couldn;t imagine a early childhood nurse or a gp giveing that that advice,
however if she was going for herself and a head ache and it popped into conversation then it is different...

Jennifer - posted on 07/09/2011

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That person could be held liable if there were damages and your friend perceived that the person was offering informed professional advice. Professionals must be very careful about what they say, even in offering what they think is casual talk about a question. For instance if the person tried to qualify his or her response by saying "I am a _____ and I believe_____ that is a breach of professional protocol if they are acting outside their area of expertise.

Isobel - posted on 07/09/2011

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right, I totally agree...but a lot of people just hear doctor, and take their word as gospel.

Isobel - posted on 07/09/2011

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Legally, if the person presents themselves as an expert, then I'm pretty sure that changes a statement of opinion into a statement of fact that if incorrect the speaker can be held liable for.

That's what I got out of my two business law courses anyway...my two cents

[deleted account]

If she's seeing a kinesioligist which isn't a real doctor for medical advice, she's probably going to get whacko stuff like this. It's not like this supposed medical professional even needs to back up their statements with research.

Ella - posted on 07/09/2011

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I think that theres just a lot of doctors who give out advice, some poeple maybe first time parents might take it in even though its wrong, but others will do thier own research or get second opinions. I've learned that I generally know more about babies then most doctors, I guess everyone just has to be careful about taking the first piece of advice they get. Unfortunately some doctors have outdated knowlegde

Bernie - posted on 07/09/2011

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I watched 60mins recently and they did a story on Autism. Some medical doctor in Australia lost his licence on a study he did. I can't remember why though but this lady (in her 60's) was backing him up, she was a doctor (of fossils) who claimed to have better knowledge about autism then actual doctors. As a Mother with a child being assessed for autism this doesn't make me happy.

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