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Monday, December 12, 2005 

Synopsis of Maggiore's Primetime Live Appearance

I didn't have a chance to blog this, but Christine Maggiore appeared on ABC's Primetime Live last week. For those of you who may be new to the story, she's the HIV denier whose 3-year-old daughter, Eliza Jane, died of AIDS-associated pneumonia. Maggiore dismissed the coroner's report, and had her own, erm, "expert" do a second autopsy; Orac discussed those findings here.

Orac has a good summary of the Primetime Live appearance; I was busy making snacks for my daughter to take to school the next day while Maggiore was on, so I wasn't able to take good notes. The whole incident was so sad; they played parts of the 911 call, and as Orac notes, it seemed clear from the story that EJ was much sicker for a longer period of time than Maggiore had previously suggested. Additionally, as Orac mentioned, she wasn't even convinced when the reporter gave her the exact evidence she asked for: pathology slides that showed that Eliza Jane had pneumonia. It was heartbreaking to watch her talk about her daughter, and the love she had for her was clear. But the bottom line remains: she went against consensus medical advice, and took risks with the lives of her children. And the worst part is that she continues to encourage others to do the same. Maybe their children won't get the national attention that Eliza Jane did; maybe some have already died due to advice from Maggiore and others like her. I don't know, and to my knowledge, no good studies have been done investigating how HIV denial groups like hers affect the opinion of others on the issue of AIDS causation. I hope EJ's legacy will make some of those deniers at least think twice about what they may be doing, not only to themselves, but to those close to them.

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About me

  • I'm Tara C. Smith
  • From Iowa, United States
  • I'm a mom and a scientist, your basic stressed-out, wanna-have-it-all-and-do-it-all Gen Xer. Recently transplanted from Ohio to Iowa, I've spent most of my life in the midwest (with 4 years of college spent out east in "soda" territory). My main interest, and the subject of my research, is infectious disease: how does the microbe cause illness? What makes one strain nasty, and another "avirulent?" Are the latter really not causing any disease, or could some of those be possible for the development of chronic disease years down the road? Additionally, I've spent a lot of time discussing the value of teaching evolution, and educating others about "intelligent design" and other forms of creationism. My interest in history of science and medicine is also useful as a way to tie all of the above interests together. [Disclaimer: the views here are solely my own, and do not represent my employer, my spouse, that guy who's always sitting by the fountain when I come into work, or anyone else with whom I may be remotely affiliated.]
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