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The Special Ed Epidemic: What Happens When They Age Out of School? Part 3 of 4.

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By Sheri A. Marino, MA, CCC-SLP, from WMP Partner: Focus for Health

WMP Note: In this 4-part series, World Mercury Project partner, Focus For Health,  examines the special needs epidemic and its effects on schools, the US economy, life after age 21 and the many theories that point to potential causes of the explosion of chronic disease and disability in our children.

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The explosion of special education needs in schools is a result of the significant rise in the prevalence of developmental disabilities, including autism and mental health disorders. With budget cuts forcing schools to eliminate programs and staff, schools are hard-pressed to address the many needs of classified students without having a negative impact on regular education students. These needs can only be met with adequate funding on federal, state and local levels in order for school districts to meet the requirements of Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

--> Become A CE Member: The only thing that keeps our journalism going is YOU. CE members get access to exclusive benefits and support our shared mission.. Click here to learn more!

If the prevalence of special needs and chronic health issues continues on its current trajectory, this system is sure to burst. And the financial needs of these individuals do not end when they receive a high school diploma or age out of the system at 21.

In Part 3, FFH looks deeply into the options for individuals who have aged out of IDEA, which only mandates services be provided until age 21. So what happens next?

Classified students are entitled to transition planning beginning by age 16 (in most states). Transition plans lay the foundation to prepare students for life beyond school, with goals that consider a student’s strengths, needs, and interests. For some, it will prepare them for employment and independent living, but for others, this will not be possible. For those young adults needing more support, federal and state-funded programs exist to assist with transportation, supportive employment arrangements, therapy services, and housing.

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On paper, it all sounds wonderful. In truth, funding shortages prohibit many from receiving the necessary supports they need, including appropriate housing.  And equally disheartening, people with disabilities are 50% less likely to be employed.

EMPLOYMENT

In May, 2017, The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported only 27% of 25-64 year olds with disabilities, compared to 77% of those without, were employed. Even more disturbing, 70% of those with disabilities were not in the labor force (actively seeking employment) at all, compared to 19% of those without a disability. The data also reflected a generally lower level of employment for persons with disabilities within each level of educational attainment. Over 14 million individuals between 25-64 years of age reported at least one disability in 2015. Who pays for the unemployed? The US government.

Individuals with disabilities who want to work are entitled to supported employment services to help find and sustain a job. These services are determined by the individual’s strengths and deficits and can help with resume writing, interview preparation, and on-site job coaching. Who pays for this? The US government.

In 2012, The Bureau of Labor Statistics showed half of all persons with a disability who were not working reported some type of barrier to employment.  Reported barriers included lack of education or training, lack of transportation, the need for special features at the job, and a person’s own disability. Over half of individuals with a disability who were employed reported having some difficulty completing their work duties because of their disability. The National Longitudinal Transition Study (NLTS 2012) released data showing only 58% of young adults ages 20-25 with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) who had been in special education in secondary school had ever worked during their early 20’s; 63.9% received Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits; and less than 1 in 5 had ever lived independently away from their parents and without supervision.

WHERE HAVE ALL THE BOYS GONE?

The National Academy of Social Insurance data shows in 1982, around 1.9% of working-age men were receiving disability benefits. By 2012, that number had risen to 3.1%. Historically, the workforce as well as college enrollment had been dominated by men. Numerous studies show this gap has closed, in fact, according to data in a Wayward Sons report; women born in 1975 were 17% more likely to attend college and 23% more likely to complete a 4-year degree as compared to their male counterparts.

Perhaps one of the most influential businessmen of all time, Jamie Dimon, CEO, JP Morgan Chase & Co, was recently interviewed by MarketWatch regarding the shortage of men in the workplace today. Referring to The Bureau of Labor Statistics report showing the share of men ages 25-54 considered to be part of the labor force had declined from 97% to 88% in just a half a century, Dimon commented, “That’s not demographics, folks. That’s a huge number. There’s something wrong.” According to the Wayward Sons authors “simple shifts in occupational structure are insufficient to explain the puzzle of declining real wages of non-college males in the U.S. during the last three decades. In reality, there is no single, widely accepted explanation for this phenomenon.”

What Jamie Dimon and the authors of the Wayward Sons report might not know are the studies showing that autism is nearly 5 times more prevalent in boys than girls. In fact, the recently released data in the National Health Interview Survey shows during 2014–2016, the prevalence of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder was higher among boys than girls by 2.38%. Moreover, the NLTS 2012 study showed youth with ASD, when compared to students receiving special education services, were 84% more likely to be male.

Could the millions of men missing from the labor force over the past 50 years also be related to the prevalence of autism increasing from 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 36?

A recent article by World Mercury Project reveals how bioaccumulation of neurotoxic chemicals may disproportionately affect males leading to the neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism, ADHD, obsessive-compulsive and motor tic disorders.  Check it out here: What are Little Boys Made of? Too Many Chemicals! 

HOUSING

Housing options for individuals with developmental disabilities (I/DD) are varied and determined by level of assistance needed, affordability, and availability.

So why is there a national housing crisis for people with disabilities?

Firstly, the affordability gap prohibits many individuals with I/DD from owning or renting a home. In 2016, there were approximately 4.9 million non-institutionalized Americans with disabilities relying on Social Security Income (SSI) averaging $763 per month. With the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment costing $861 per month, people who rely solely on SSI can’t afford a home without assistance. According to a 2016 report by The Technical Assistance Collaborative and The Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities, in four states — New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Vermont — and the District of Columbia, one-bedroom rents exceeded 100% of SSI in every single housing market area. Over 163,000 people with disabilities receiving SSI lived in these areas.

Various rental assistance vouchers are available for eligible persons to limit rental expenses to 30% of his/her income. Who subsidizes the other 70 percent? The US government.

Consequently, when funding shortages or budget cuts decrease the availability of voucher assistance, the individual is placed on a waiting list. Currently, in New Jersey, over 4,500 individuals with special needs are on the Division of Developmental Disabilities’ (DDD) housing waiting list.

The Division of Developmental Disabilities within the Department of Human Services is the primary agency providing support services allowing individuals with disabilities to strive to find living arrangements that encourage independence and community living. Medicaid, a jointly funded federal and state government social health care program for individuals and families with low income, provides funding through the Medicaid Community Supports Waiver or the Supports Program. These Medicaid waivers provide funding for support services for eligible individuals so they can remain in their family home, live in residential settings such as licensed community residences, live in independent homes, or supervised apartments. However, services are only offered when the resources are available, and to no surprise, most waivers have a waiting list. And, to the dismay of many, this push to enforce community living prohibits housing units being dedicated to those solely with developmental disabilities where individuals with similar needs can live together and receive necessary supports because it is not considered to be inclusive.

“Disability causes and prolongs homelessness. Nearly 16% of the non-institutionalized U.S. population is disabled, yet people with disabilities constitute over 40% of people who are homeless in America.” National Health Care for the Homeless Council

According to the ARC for People with Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities, over 850,000 people in the US with I/DD live with an aging caregiver (age 60 and older). Due to the shortage of housing and support services, many adult children with I/DD are at risk of institutionalization or homelessness when their aging parents can no longer care for them. The financial burden of institutionalization at the cost of $187-$2,715 per person per day, and 350,923 homeless individuals also falls upon the US government.

THE TRANSITION CLIFF DIVE

Autism rates are up 23% since 2014, according to the latest statistics published in the National Health Institute Survey. Mental health disorders, autism, and chronic health issues are depleting school budgets nationwide. With IDEA not being fully funded, covering only 16%, of the 40% maximum federal contribution of the state average per pupil expenditure in 2014, states and local school districts are forced to make up the difference. If IDEA was fully funded in 2014, the costs would have amounted to $28.65 billion which is nearly $17 billion more than what the feds actually contributed towards IDEA. With only 36% of youth with ASD having participated in postsecondary education between high school and their early 20’s, meaningful and gainful employment is limited. For those unable to work, day programs have waiting lists and housing shortages  are forcing aging parents to care for their adult children.

What will happen when those parents are gone? The lifelong financial burdens of those with disabilities on their families and every citizen in the US, is leading to a definitive public health crisis. It is not a question of “how,” but “when.”

REFERENCES
  1. http://www.state.nj.us/humanservices/ddd/services/residential//
  2. http://www.philly.com/philly/news/new_jersey/For-thousands-in-NJ-with-special-needs-wait-for-housing-can-be-endless.html//
  3. http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2017/03/people_with_disabilities_shouldnt_have_to_leave_to.html//
  4. https://www.understood.org/en/school-learning/special-services/ieps/iep-transition-planning-preparing-for-young-adulthood//
  5. https://www.ada.gov/cguide.htm#anchor62335//
  6. https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/economy/news/2017/05/23/432851/trump-budgets-attack-people-disabilities/
  7. http://time.com/4788759/trump-budget-disability//
  8. http://time.com/money/2793944/paying-for-my-special-needs-child//
  9. http://www.nj.gov/humanservices/ddd/documents/autism-navigating-the-maze.pdf//
  10. http://www.state.nj.us/humanservices/dds/documents/NJDiscoverBility(1).pdf/
  11. http://www.edcentral.org/edcyclopedia/individuals-with-disabilities-education-act-funding-distribution//
  12. http://www.state.nj.us/humanservices/dds/documents/NJDiscoverBility(1).pdf//
  13. http://www.tacinc.org/knowledge-resources/priced-out-v2//
  14. http://www.tacinc.org/media/59489/priced-out-fact-sheet.pdf//
  15. http://www.thearc.org/what-we-do/public-policy/policy-issues/housing//
  16. http://money.cnn.com/2013/06/19/news/economy/men-workforce/index.html/
  17. http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2017/06/07/jamie-dimon-on-americas-big-problem-millions-men-missing-from-labor-market.html//
  18. http://www.nationalcoreindicators.org/upload/core-indicators/Data_brief_-_types_of_employment_FINAL_101512.pdf//
  19. https://www.bls.gov/news.release/archives/dissup_04242013.pdf//
  20. https://ps.psychiatryonline.org/doi/full/10.1176/ps.2006.57.10.1391//
  21. https://economics.mit.edu/files/8754//
  22. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db291.htm//
  23. http://www.nhchc.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/disability2011_-final.pdf/

This concludes Part Three, “What Happens When They Age Out of School?” Part Two: “The Special Ed Epidemic: Burying Our Heads and Crippling Our Economy” examines the financial burdens, especially the responsibility on school districts to accommodate the ever-growing and expanding nature of the special needs population. Part One, “The Special Ed Epidemic: What is Happening to Our Children?” discusses how public schools, with limited resources, are dealing with an epidemic of children with various special needs and asks why more isn’t being done to address the causes for the epidemics.  Part Four will explore the many theories behind the genetic and environmental influences that may be contributing to the rise in childhood chronic illnesses and neurodevelopmental disabilities.

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Houston Methodist Hospital Set To Terminate Unvaccinated Employees

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Houston Methodist Hospital is set to terminate employees who refuse COVID-19 vaccines. As of June 12th, a district Judge has shot down a lawsuit the employees have filed against the the hospital. The employees, led by Jennifer Bridges, are set to file an appeal and are prepared to take the case all the way to the supreme court.

This case will be important to track as this may set the tone for how private companies will approach the ‘mandating’ of vaccines that governments had suggested would not be policy. If people can be fired for refusing a vaccine, is it fair to say these vaccines are truly not mandatory?

 

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Censorship: Facebook Has Removed 16 Million Pieces of Content & Added ‘Warnings’ On 167 Million

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Journalist Laurie Clarke has published a piece in the British Medical Journal about the censorship of science, and who these Big Tech "fact-checkers" really are.

  • Reflect On:

    Why has there been such an effort to hide information that threatens the accepted narrative we get from the mainstream? What is going on here? How is this legal, moral and ethical?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

The censorship of information is at an all time high, but do people really recognize the extent to which it has been and is being carried out? A recent article published in the British Medical Journal by journalist Laurie Clarke has highlighted the fact that Facebook has already removed at least 16 million pieces of content from its platform and added warnings to approximately 167 million others. YouTube has removed nearly 1 million videos related to, according to them, “dangerous or misleading covid-19 medical information.”

Being an independent media outlet, Collective Evolution has experienced this censorship first hand. We’ve also been in touch with and witnessed many doctors and world renowned scientists be subjected to the same type of treatment from these social media organizations. Not long ago I wrote an article about Dr. Martin Kulldorff, a Harvard professor of medicine who has been having trouble with twitter. I did the same with Dr. Carl Heneghan, a professor of evidence based medicine from Oxford and an emergency GP who wrote an article regarding the efficacy of facemasks in stopping the spread of COVID. His article was not removed, but a label was added to it by Facebook saying it was ‘fake information.’ There are many more examples.

Clarke’s article says, with regards to posts that have been removed and labelled, that,

“while a portion of that content is likely to be wilfully wrongheaded or vindictively misleading, the pandemic is littered with examples of scientific opinion that have been caught in the dragnet.”

This is true, take for example the ‘lab origins of COVID debate.’ Early on in the pandemic you were not even allowed to mention that COVID may have originated in a lab, and if you did, you were punished for doing so. Independent media platforms were demonetized and subjected to changes in algorithms. Now, all of a sudden, the mainstream media is discussing it as a legitimate possibility. It makes no sense.

Laurie Clarke outlines in her piece,

This underscores the difficulty of defining scientific truth, prompting the bigger question of whether social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube should be tasked with this at all…

“I think it’s quite dangerous for scientific content to be labelled as misinformation, just because of the way people might perceive that,” says Sander van der Linden, professor of social psychology in society at Cambridge University, UK. “Even though it might fit under a definition (of misinformation) in a very technical sense, I’m not sure if that’s the right way to describe it more generally because it could lead to greater politicisation of science, which is undesirable.”

This type of “politicization of science” is exactly what’s happened during this pandemic.

Science is being suppressed for political and financial gain. Covid-19 has unleashed state corruption on a grand scale, and it is harmful to public health. Politicians and industry are responsible for this opportunistic embezzlement. So too are scientists and health experts. The pandemic has revealed how the medical-political complex can be manipulated in an emergency—a time when it is even more important to safeguard science. – Kamran Abbas is a doctor, executive editor of the British Medical Journal, and the editor of the Bulletin of the World Health Organization. (source)

An important point to get across is also the fact that these independent “fact checkers” are working with Facebook, who in turn is working with the government. NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden offered his thoughts on the censorship we’ve been seeing during this pandemic in November of last year stating the following,

In secret, these companies had all agreed to work with the U.S. Government far beyond what the law required of them, and that’s what we’re seeing with this new censorship push is really a new direction in the same dynamic. These companies are not obligated by the law to do almost any of what they’re actually doing but they’re going above and beyond, to, in many cases, to increase the depth of their relationship (with the government) and the government’s willingness to avoid trying to regulate them in the context of their desired activities, which is ultimately to dominate the conversation and information space of global society in different ways…They’re trying to make you change your behaviour.

If you’re not comfortable letting the government determine the boundaries of appropriate political speech, why are you begging Mark Zuckerberg to do it?

I think the reality here is…it’s not really about freedom of speech, and it’s not really about protecting people from harm…I think what you see is the internet has become the de facto means of mass communication. That represents influence which represents power, and what we see is we see a whole number of different tribes basically squabbling to try to gain control over this instrument of power.

What we see is an increasing tendency to silence journalists who say things that are in the minority.

It makes you wonder, is this “fact-checking” actually about fact checking? Or is something else going on here?

Below is a breakdown from Clarke’s article illustrating how fact checking works and what the problem is with following the science. Since we have reported this many times over the last 5 years, we decided to let our readers hear it from someone else for a change as it’s truly quite vindicating to see more investigators coming to these conclusions.

How fact checking works

The past decade has seen an arms race between users who peddle disinformation (intentionally designed to mislead) or unwittingly share misinformation (which users don’t realise is false) and the social media platforms that find themselves charged with policing it, whether they want to or not.1

When The BMJ questioned Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube (which is owned by Google) they all highlighted their efforts to remove potentially harmful content and to direct users towards authoritative sources of information on covid-19 and vaccines, including the World Health Organization and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although their moderation policies differ slightly, the platforms generally remove or reduce the circulation of content that disputes information given by health authorities such as WHO and the CDC or spreads false health claims that are considered harmful, including incorrect information about the dangers of vaccines.

But the pandemic has seen a shifting patchwork of criteria employed by these companies to define the boundaries of misinformation. This has led to some striking U turns: at the beginning of the pandemic, posts saying that masks helped to prevent the spread of covid-19 were labelled “false”; now it’s the opposite, reflecting the changing nature of the academic debate and official recommendations.

Twitter manages its fact checking internally. But Facebook and YouTube rely on partnerships with third party fact checkers, convened under the umbrella of the International Fact-Checking Network—a non-partisan body that certifies other fact checkers, run by the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, a non-profit journalism school in St Petersburg, Florida. Poynter’s top donors include the Charles Koch Institute (a public policy research organisation), the National Endowment for Democracy (a US government agency), and the Omidyar Network (a “philanthropic investment firm”), as well as Google and Facebook. Poynter also owns the Tampa Bay Times newspaper and the high profile fact checker PolitiFact. The Poynter Institute declined The BMJ’s invitation to comment for this article.

For scientific and medical content the International Fact-Checking Network involves little known outfits such as SciCheck, Metafact, and Science Feedback. Health Feedback, a subsidiary of Science Feedback, handpicks scientists to deliver its verdict. Using this method, it labelled as “misleading” a Wall Street Journal opinion article2 predicting that the US would have herd immunity by April 2021, written by Marty Makary, professor of health policy and management at John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. This prompted the newspaper to issue a rebuttal headlined “Fact checking Facebook’s fact checkers,” arguing that the rating was “counter-opinion masquerading as fact checking.”3 Makary hadn’t presented his argument as a factual claim, the article said, but had made a projection based on his analysis of the evidence.

A spokesperson for Science Feedback tells The BMJ that, to verify claims, it selects scientists on the basis of “their expertise in the field of the claim/article.” They explain, “Science Feedback editors usually start by searching the relevant academic literature and identifying scientists who have authored articles on related topics or have the necessary expertise to assess the content.”

The organisation then either asks the selected scientists to weigh in directly or collects claims that they’ve made in the media or on social media to reach a verdict. In the case of Makary’s article it identified 20 relevant scientists and received feedback from three.

“Follow the science”

The contentious nature of these decisions is partly down to how social media platforms define the slippery concepts of misinformation versus disinformation. This decision relies on the idea of a scientific consensus. But some scientists say that this smothers heterogeneous opinions, problematically reinforcing a misconception that science is a monolith.

This is encapsulated by what’s become a pandemic slogan: “Follow the science.” David Spiegelhalter, chair of the Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication at Cambridge University, calls this “absolutely awful,” saying that behind closed doors scientists spend the whole time arguing and deeply disagreeing on some fairly fundamental things.

He says: “Science is not out in front telling you what to do; it shouldn’t be. I view it much more as walking along beside you muttering to itself, making comments about what it’s seeing and making some tentative suggestions about what might happen if you take a particular path, but it’s not in charge.”

The term “misinformation” could itself contribute to a flattening of the scientific debate. Martin Kulldorff, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, has been criticised for his views on lockdown, which tack closely to his native Sweden’s more relaxed strategy.4 He says that scientists who voice unorthodox opinions during the pandemic are worried about facing “various forms of slander or censoring . . . they say certain things but not other things, because they feel that will be censored by Twitter or YouTube or Facebook.” This worry is compounded by the fear that it may affect grant funding and the ability to publish scientific papers, he tells The BMJ.

The binary idea that scientific assertions are either correct or incorrect has fed into the divisiveness that has characterised the pandemic. Samantha Vanderslott, a health sociologist at the University of Oxford, UK, told Nature, “Calling out fake stories can raise your profile.” In the same article Giovanni Zagni, director of the Italian fact checking website Facta, noted that “you can build a career” on the basis of becoming “a well respected voice that fights against bad information.”5

But this has fed a perverse incentive for scientists to label each other’s positions misinformation or disinformation.6 Van der Linden likens this to how the term “fake news” was weaponised by Donald Trump to silence his critics. He says, “I think you see a bit of the same with the term ‘misinformation,’ when there’s science that you don’t agree with and you label it as misinformation.”

Health Feedback’s website says that it won’t select scientists to verify claims if they’ve undermined their credibility by “propagating misinformation, whether intentionally or not.” In practice, this could create a Kafkaesque situation where scientists are precluded from offering their opinion as part of the fact checking process if they expressed an opinion that Facebook labelled misinformation. Strengthening the echo chamber effect is the fact that Health Feedback sometimes verifies claims by looking at what scientists have said on Twitter or in the media.

Scientific “truth”

Van der Linden says that it’s important for people to understand that in the scientific domain “there’s uncertainty, there’s debate, and it’s about the accumulation of insights over time and revising our opinions as we go along.” Healthy debate helps to separate the wheat from the chaff. Jevin West, associate professor in the Information School at the University of Washington in Seattle, says that social media platforms should therefore be “extra careful when it comes to debates involving science.” He explains: “The institution of science has developed these norms and behaviour to be self-corrective. So, for [social media platforms] to step into that conversation, I think it’s problematic.”

Experts who spoke to The BMJ emphasised the near impossibility of distinguishing between a minority scientific opinion and an opinion that’s objectively incorrect (misinformation). Spiegelhalter says that this would constitute a difficult “legalistic judgment about what a reasonable scientific opinion would be . . . I’ve got my own criteria that I use to decide whether I think something is misleading, but I find it very difficult to codify.”

Other scientists worry that, if this approach to scientific misinformation outlives the pandemic, the scientific debate could become worryingly subject to commercial imperatives. Vinay Prasad, associate professor at the University of California San Francisco, argued on the MedPage Today website: “The risk is that the myriad players in biomedicine, from large to small biopharmaceutical and [medical] device firms, will take their concerns to social media and journal companies. On a topic like cancer drugs, a tiny handful of folks critical of a new drug approval may be outnumbered 10:1 by key opinion leaders who work with the company.”7 Thus the majority who speak loudest, most visibly, and with the largest number online, may be judged “correct” by the public—and, as the saying goes, history is written by the victors.

Social media companies are still experimenting with the new raft of measures introduced since last year and may adapt their approach. Van der Linden says that the talks he’s had with Facebook have focused on how the platform could help foster an appreciation of how science works, “to actually direct people to content that educates them about the scientific process, rather than labelling something as true or false.”

This debate is playing out against a wider ideological struggle, where the ideal of “truth” is increasingly placed above “healthy debate.” Kulldorff says: “To remove things in general, I think is a bad idea. Because even if something is wrong, if you remove it there’s no opportunity to discuss it.” For instance, although he favours vaccination in general, people with fears or doubts about the vaccines used should not be silenced in online spaces, he says. “If we don’t have an open debate within science, then that will have enormous consequences for science and society.”

There are concerns that this approach could ultimately undermine trust in public health. In the US, says West, trust in the government and media is falling. He explains, “Science is still one of the more trusted institutions, but if you start tagging and shutting down conversation within science, to me that’s even worse than the actual posting of these individual articles.”

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Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

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Physicians For Informed Consent Release Safety & Efficacy Data of The Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A group called Physicians For Informed Consent has published a fact sheet, sourced from primarily government sources, outlining the underreported concerns with current COVID-19 vaccines.

  • Reflect On:

    Should we be avoiding meaningful conversation around informed consent when it comes to these new vaccines?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

The Physicians For Informed Consent (PIC) are a group of doctors and academics from around the world who have come together in support of informed consent (freedom of choice) when it comes to vaccine mandates. Their information is based on science. Their mission is to deliver data on infectious diseases and vaccines, and to unite doctors, scientists, healthcare professionals, attorneys, and families who support voluntary vaccinations. Their vision is that doctors and the public are able to evaluate data on infectious diseases and vaccines objectively and voluntarily engage in informed decision-making about vaccination.

They’ve recently released information regarding the short term efficacy & safety data of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine, which has not been fully approved or licensed by the FDA and is still under rigorous study.

It’s no secret that vaccine hesitancy is at an all time high. When it comes to COVID vaccines specifically there are multiple reasons for this including a lack of trust in pharmaceutical companies, the risk of COVID-19 vs vaccine injury, and the emerging science showing concerns regarding long term safety and efficacy. Despite these points, mainstream conversation continues to ridicule hesitancy, label these concerns as ‘anti-vaxx conspiracies’ and fails to address them, leaving most people unaware that these concerns even exist. This can often cause divides and rifts in society as those who only watch mainstream media believe those who have vaccine hesitancy are irresponsible and uninformed.

I recently published an article going in depth regarding the top four concerns people are having which are contributing to them refusing to take the COVID vaccine, you can read that here. These legitimate concerns should be openly and honestly discussed, which is what Physicians For Informed Consent are pushing for. This will not only inform people but create a better sense of unity.

Below is a summary of the most important points regarding the Pfizer vaccine, as outline by PIC. If you’d like to access the PDF, you can do so here.

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