Viera Scheibner

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Viera Scheibner
BornViera Scheibnerová
(1935-03-27) 27 March 1935 (age 83)[1]
Bratislava, Czechoslovakia
Spouse(s)Ervin Scheibner
Leif Karlsson

Viera Scheibner (Slovak: Viera Scheibnerová; born 27 March 1935, Bratislava) is a retired micropaleontologist. From 1958 until 1968 she was assistant professor in the department of geology at Comenius University, Bratislava. Scheibner has been active in the anti-vaccination field researching, writing and giving lectures on vaccines and vaccinations since her retirement from the Department of Mineral Resources, New South Wales, Australia in 1987.

A number of critics have questioned her qualifications, research abilities, and honesty.[2][3][4]

Education and career[edit]

Viera Scheibner was born in Bratislava (formerly Czechoslovakia, now Slovak Republic). During her career she wrote scientific papers on the subject of Geology and Palaeontology published in peer-reviewed journals in Australia and overseas.[5][not in citation given]

In 1953, Scheibner studied medicine for one year at Masaryk University in Brno (Faculty of Medicine). She did not complete her studies, and obtained no medical qualifications. She then enrolled in the Faculty of Sciences (Geology), and in 1954 transferred to the Comenius University in Bratislava where she graduated in 1958 under prof. D. Andrusov. During 1958–1961, she became a lecturer in the Department of Geology and Palaeontology of the Comenius University, Bratislava and was also a Senior Lecturer 1962–1967, at the Department of Geology and Palaeontology at Comenius University. Scheibner was awarded a doctorate in Natural Sciences (RNDr.) from the Comenius University in Bratislava in 1964. In 1967–1968 she served as Senior Associate Professor (Docent) at the Department of Geology and Palaeontology of Jan Amos Comenius University, Bratislava. During her academic career 1958–1968 in Bratislava, she published 35 scientific papers and one monograph concerning the Cretaceous and Jurassic Foraminifera of the Carpathian Klippen Belt in Slovakia.[5][dubious ]

In 1968, Scheibner together with her husband Ervin Scheibner[1] emigrated to Australia and assumed a position as a micro-palaeontologist with the Geological Survey of New South Wales, Department of Mines, later becoming the Department of Mineral Resources. During her employment 1968 to 1987 with the Geological Survey of New South Wales, she held various titles as a research scientist, including principal research scientist until her retirement from the Department of Mineral Resources in 1987.[5]

The primary emphasis of Scheibner's work in Australia with the NSW Department of Mines was the study of the Cretaceous and Permian Foraminifera of the Great Australian Basin in New South Wales. She also studied the South Australian and Carnarvon Basins in Western Australia, South Africa and the Indian Peninsula, and the Permian Foraminifera of the Sydney Basin. From 1972 to 1976 Scheibner was invited to participate in the Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP) conducted under the auspices of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. The results of these studies were published in the Initial Reports of the Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP); she was also invited to write a Synopsis of Cretaceous Foraminifera of the Indian Ocean, published in a monograph entitled Synopsis of the DSDP in the Indian Ocean.[5][dubious ]

Views on the subject of vaccines[edit]

Sudden infant death syndrome[edit]

Scheibner claims that while developing "Cotwatch" (an infant breathing monitor) with her late husband, she discovered a "stress-induced breathing pattern" and hypopnea was occurring around the time of infant DPT vaccination. She claimed that this was proof of a causal link between vaccination and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). She further claimed that when she brought this information to the attention of the medical community, that pediatricians at the "Australian Crib Death Management Center" ceased referring parents to her to obtain a Cotwatch monitor.[6]

Scheibner began making public statements of a link between vaccination and SIDS in the early 1990s, and in a book "Vaccination" published in 1993. In the book and subsequently, she has claimed that "vaccination is the single biggest cause of SIDS".[6] However data shows that since she began making her claims, vaccination rates for Birth to 2-years component of the Immunization Schedule in Australia increased from 53% in 1990 to 92% in 2006,[7][8] while SIDS deaths fell by 81% over the same period.[9]

Scheibner claimed that when Japan paused their Pertussis vaccination program in 1974, SIDS deaths disappeared in the country. However, Dr Stephen Basser refuted the claim, asserting that the studies Scheibner cited did not support her statements and that she had omitted information [from the studies] which did not support her position, including data showing Japanese Pertussis mortality increased 800% in the five years following the pause in Pertussis vaccination.[2]

Since Scheibner’s claims were made, extensive scientific studies have found vaccination is in fact associated with a halving of the risk of SIDS.[10]

Benefit of diseases[edit]

Scheibner has stated that infection with diseases such as polio, measles, whooping Cough and rubella are best managed through natural immunity, which is gained by contracting the diseases as a child. She claims that the only reason children die or suffer permanent disability from these diseases is due to medical mismanagement,[11] and has argued that diseases such as measles and mumps can be beneficial.[12]

Shaken baby syndrome[edit]

Scheibner claims that injuries and death attributed to shaken baby syndrome, including retinal bleeding, broken bones, fractured skulls and detached retinas are actually caused by vaccination, although no science supports this claim. [11][13]

Criticisms[edit]

Dr Stephen Basser has written an extensive critical review of "the quality of the science of ... Scheibner" entitled Anti-immunisation scare: The inconvenient facts. One of his criticisms involves a conclusion Scheibner makes regarding a potential correlation between SIDS and immunisation in Japan. After review of her principal sources and her resultant conclusion, he states that her analysis of the sources "is at best sloppy, and at worst blatantly dishonest."[2] Overall, he found that her claims - in particular in regard to measles vaccinations and the DPT vaccine - are not supported by scientific evidence, and concludes that "the gaps in her research in this area call into question her objectivity and cast doubts on her ability to speak as an expert witness".[2] In addition, an extensive critique of her claims and qualifications has been published in a 2005 article in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics.[4] Two of the authors of that article had also previously described Scheibner's book Vaccination: 100 years of orthodox research shows that vaccines represent an assault on the immune system as "highly inaccurate" in a 2000 article in the journal Pediatrics.[14]

Commissioner William Carter, Q.C., who was hearing a Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission enquiry in which Viera Scheibner was called as a witness, dismissed her claims on the subject of vaccines, finding that he was unsatisfied with her formal qualifications and professional experience, which he found did not "properly equip her to provide a valid professional opinion on the complex subject of immunology".[15] As a result, he was unwilling to accept her evidence in the enquiry.[15]

In 2001, Brian Pezzutti criticised Viera's anti-vaccination campaigning in the NSW Legislative Council, describing Scheibner as providing "misleading information", and highlighting her March letter to the Medical Observer which "makes claims that are not supported by the documentation she referred to".[16] Pezzutti stated that it was "very important for people to realise that the information provided by Dr Scheibner is not accurate".[16]

In 1997, the Australian Skeptics awarded her the "Bent Spoon Award". This award is presented annually to the Australian "perpetrator of the most preposterous piece of pseudoscientific piffle":

"The unanimous choice of the judges was Dr Viera Scheibner for her high profile anti-immunisation campaign which, by promoting new age and conspiracy mythology and by owing little to scientific methodologies or research, poses a serious threat to the health of Australian children."[3]

Publications[edit]

  • 1993 Vaccination: 100 years of orthodox research shows that vaccines represent an assault on the immune system, ISBN 0-646-15124-X
  • 2000 Behavioural Problems in Childhood, ISBN 0-9578007-0-3

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Miroslav Slavkay, Michal Kaličiak: Významní slovenskí geológovia. Bratislava : Veda, 2000, p. 399. ISBN 80-224-0639-2
  2. ^ a b c d Anti-immunisation scare: The inconvenient facts. Stephen Basser, MD. The Skeptic Journal, Australian Skeptics#The Skeptic Vol 17 No 1 pp 18-24
  3. ^ a b Bent Spoon Winner 1997: Viera Scheibner - Archived 21 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine..
  4. ^ a b Busse JW, Morgan L, Campbell JB (2005). "Chiropractic antivaccination arguments". Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. 28 (5): 367–373. doi:10.1016/j.jmpt.2005.04.011. PMID 15965414.
  5. ^ a b c d Scheibner V. "Curriculum Vitae / Biography – "Medical Veritas" Editorial Board". Medical Veritas.
  6. ^ a b Scheibner V (2004). "Shaken Baby Syndrome Diagnosis on Shaky Ground". Journal of the Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine. 23 (3): 10–14. Archived from the original on 2007-03-19.
  7. ^ "Vaccination Coverage in Australian Children". Australian Bureau of Statistics. 4 June 2003. Retrieved 4 June 2010.
  8. ^ "Australia's Babies". Australian Bureau of Statistics. 7 August 2007. Retrieved 4 June 2010.
  9. ^ "Australia SIDS 1981-2007" (PDF). Australian Bureau of Statistics. SIDS and Kids. 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 June 2010. Retrieved 4 June 2010.
  10. ^ M.M.T. Vennemanna, M. Höffgenb, T. Bajanowskic, H.-W. Hensed and E.A. Mitchelle (2007). "Do immunisations reduce the risk for SIDS? A meta-analysis". Vaccine. 25 (26): 4875–4879. doi:10.1016/j.vaccine.2007.02.077. PMID 17400342.
  11. ^ a b Scheibner, Viera (16 June 1999). "Hearings on Hepatitis B vaccine". Retrieved 4 June 2010.
  12. ^ Scheibner, Viera (29 January 2013) "Measles Vaccines Part II; Benefits of Contracting Measles", International Medical Council on Vaccination. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
  13. ^ Julie-Anne O'Hagan (2003). "Dr Viera Scheibner is a powerful voice in the anti-vaccination crusade". Australian Doctor. Archived from the original on 6 July 2011.
  14. ^ Busse JW, Campbell JB, Injeyan HS (2000). "Chiropractors and Vaccination: A Historical Perspective". Pediatrics. 105 (4): e43–e43. doi:10.1542/peds.105.4.e43. PMID 10742364.
  15. ^ a b Beattie (on behalf of Kiro and Lewis Beattie) v Maroochy Shire Council [1996] HREOCA 40 (20 December 1996), Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (Australia).
  16. ^ a b Pezzutti, Brian (11 April 2001). "Infectious Diseases Vaccination" (PDF). Hansard of the NSW Legislative Council: 13600. Retrieved 31 May 2010.

External links[edit]