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October 01, 2009

Cervical cancer vaccine didn't kill U.K. teen

It turns out that the Cervarix cervical cancer vaccine was not responsible for the tragic death of 14-year-old Natalie Morton of Coventry who died earlier this week within two hours of receiving the shot.

An autopsy showed that the young woman died from a previously undiagnosed chest tumor. Doctors said it was an advanced malignant growth that was so far gone that it could have killed her at any moment.

Statistically, if you give a vaccine to enough people, a certain percentage will end up dying within hours, even if the vaccine doesn't kill anyone. Such deaths must be investigated, especially if they happen to young healthy people with no apparent risk of sudden death.

This case is a reminder of the risks of conflating correlation and causation in advance of the facts.


It's not even correlated. If one dies and a million don't, the correlation is with not-dying.

Notice all the British tabloids leading with screaming headlines retracting their previous shock stories about this. Not.

Certainly we shouldn't let anomalous outliers shape the overall analysis.

Does anyone allow for the possibility that we are being lied to about the autopsy results?

Yeah, I think the fallacy in play here is not equating correlation with causation but "post hoc ergo propter hoc". Pedantry!

Does anyone allow for the possibility that we are being lied to about the autopsy results?

Sure, but it doesn't change my actions in the least, so even if you had anything more than a suspicion, it's not terribly useful information. As noted above, the overwhelming correlation is with not-dying, and the vaccination has solid benefits.

Anon's right: Post hoc, ergo propter hoc.

It's logically possible that the autopsy report was falsified. On the other hand, I doubt the medical examiner's office in Coventry has any incentive to embark on a massive conspiracy. They don't work for GlaxoSmithKline and they don't set vaccination policy.

You're just trying to cover up the obvious conspiracy, Lindsay! GlaxoSmithKline is run by Obama's Kenyan cribmate who has an uncle in the Coventry medical examiner's office! Demand to see the birth certificate!

I think the role of the vaccine is to save lives and not to kill,...Well, in my opinion I think there is a cause but not the vaccine.

very nice post !!!!

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