HIV/AIDS Skepticism

Pointing to evidence that HIV is not the necessary and sufficient cause of AIDS

Eliza Jane lawsuit settled

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/03/09

Although terms of the settlement haven’t been released, when a government agency at any level settles a lawsuit by paying out money, it’s a reasonable inference that the plaintiffs won on the significant points.

*********************

CALIFORNIA BRIEFING
L.A. County settles suit on autopsy of HIV skeptics’ daughter
March 6, 2009

LOS ANGELES COUNTY

Suit settled on autopsy of HIV skeptics’ child

Los Angeles County has reached a $15,000 legal settlement with the husband of Christine Maggiore, the late activist who rejected medical opinions that HIV causes AIDS.

Maggiore and her husband, Robin Scovill, sued the county two years ago for allegedly violating their late 3-year-old daughter’s civil rights by releasing an autopsy report that listed her cause of death as AIDS-related pneumonia. Eliza Jane Scovill had never been tested for HIV, and the couple argued that her death was not AIDS-related. They hired a private pathologist who said she had died of an allergic reaction to the antibiotic amoxicillin.

The lawsuit demanded up to $10,000 for each violation of Eliza Jane’s right to privacy, plus unspecified damages. Lawyers for the county and Scovill reached an agreement Feb. 26. Neither side returned phone calls on the matter Thursday.

Maggiore was diagnosed with HIV in 1992 and died at her Van Nuys home Dec. 27, 2008, at age 52. She promoted her views in a book, “What If Everything You Thought You Knew About AIDS Was Wrong?”

Maggiore gave birth to Eliza Jane and her older son, Charlie, at home and breast-fed both, although research indicates breast-feeding increases the risk of HIV transmission. Maggiore also opposed the use of AZT, a drug that studies have shown reduces the risk of HIV transmission from pregnant mothers to their babies. After Eliza Jane’s death, Los Angeles police investigated whether Maggiore and Scovill were criminally negligent in not testing the girl for HIV, but prosecutors decided against filing charges, noting that Maggiore had sought medical advice.

— Molly Hennessy-Fiske

17 Responses to “Eliza Jane lawsuit settled”

  1. bamainatlanta said

    Dear Dr. Bauer,

    By now, you may have heard that Christine Maggiorre’s death certificate reveals that she died of disseminated herpes, with the underlying cause being Bronchial pneumonia, and that she also suffered from oral candidiasis. I know you have commented that facts are facts and that nothing that happened to CM changes your view of HIV theory. I too, don’t believe HIV can cause AIDS, yet I find her death to be very troubling. Is this a sign that we need to look at HIV positivity or the role of various factors in a different way?

    None of us but perhaps her immediate family know all the factors which may have led to her demise, but maybe there are a few clues which may help to explain this trajedy. Have you given any thought to what could have possibly caused her to seemingly experience immune suppression after at least 17 years of relative good health? I know that many dissidents want to avoid discussing this, but since we seem willing to discuss the health and illness and death of non dissidents who are HIV positive, shouldn’t we look at this too? I wonder if a better understanding of what she went through in her final month might help others to avoid premature death.

    • Henry Bauer said

      BamainAtlanta:

      I hadn’t seen the death certificate before your comment came in. Googling brings links that have links to it.

      First point, directly as to what caused Christine’s death: The death certificate is unequivocal. There is no mention of HIV or AIDS. That’s the official verdict, and her death will not be reported as an AIDS death and will not be included in AIDS-death statistics. She died of “disseminated herpes viral infection”, with “bilateral bronchial pneumonia” as an underlying cause, and “oral candidiasis” as an accompanying symptom not contributing toward cause of death.

      The continuing hysteria over “HIV/AIDS” tends to allow people to forget that there are a great number of possible reasons for immune deficiency, including just about any illness or disease. The original 1980s AIDS included 3 specific conditions: Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP), candidiasis (thrush, yeast), and Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS). Much later it was realized that PCP — now more properly termed Pneumocystis jiroveci — is a fungal infection of the lungs, not a microbial one. Candidiasis is fungal. KS, it’s now acknowledged, is found in many individuals who are neither immune-suppressed nor HIV+.

      So the original “HIV-associated” AIDS was comprised of opportunistic FUNGAL infections. As Tony Lance’s literature reviews have revealed, the chief part of the immune system that protects against fungi is provided by intestinal microflora. There are reports that disturbing, damaging, these microflora allows fungal infections to take over. That’s why anal douching is positively correlated with AIDS incidence among gay men, and why vaginal douching conduces to yeast infections in women. My personal experience has been of antibiotic treatments bringing on candidiasis: a few weeks on Bactrim seems guaranteed to deliver me episodes of penile or oral thrush.

      Christine Maggiore had been under tremendous stresses for years. She had been using naturopathic treatments including fasting and “holistic cleansing”, procedures that might well be counterproductive in terms of the intestinal microflora. There are ample reasons why Maggiore was immune deficient in absence of “HIV”.

      It’s also often forgotten that, by the early 1990s, so many HIV-negative cases of clinical “AIDS” had been reported that a new condition was defined, “idiopathic CD4-T-cell lymphopenia” (ICL): low CD4 counts for unknown reason, and NOT AIDS.

      Christine Maggiore had a history of positive, negative, and indeterminate “HIV” tests. There is therefore at least as much basis for ascribing her death to ICL as to anything else, including HIV/AIDS. The official conclusion, however, is neither of these, it is disseminated herpes brought on by bronchial pneumonia.

      An honest, evidence-based statement from HIV/AIDS believers might be: Although the official verdict is that the death was not owing to AIDS, we question the credibility of the attending physician, and suggest that the opportunistic herpes infection that caused death might have resulted from an underlying HIV infection of long standing. Admittedly, since on many occasions Maggiore did not test HIV-positive, we have to acknowledge that this suggestion is not objectively conclusive. Indeed, since positive and negative tests were experienced in about equal numbers, the odds are no more than about 50:50 that the death was owing to HIV/AIDS.

      An honest, evidence-based statement from HIV Skeptics and AIDS Rethinkers might be: All the evidence is compatible with the conclusion that Maggiore succumbed to an opportunistic herpes infection consequent on multiple possible reasons for immune deficiency, including intense stress, bacterial or viral pneumonia, and practices unfriendly to the essential microflora that provide so much of the immune system. While we cannot definitively exclude the possibility that there was an underlying long-standing “HIV” infection, if that were the case then “HIV” tests failed to reveal it on many occasions. The odds that Christine did NOT die of “HIV/AIDS” are certainly much greater than 50:50, we suggest appreciably greater than 90:10.

  2. Dre said

    Dr. Bauer,

    If we are to believe that Mrs. Maggiore AND her daughter died of natural causes, that is a bit of a stretch. I would like to ask you two questions. When did Mrs. Maggiore become positive? The article states that she was tested positive in 1992; does anyone know when she was infected? When did Mrs. Maggiore claim to have been made positive? (I understand that there is controversy about her serostatus, as well as the gold standardization of HIV tests). I understand that many people die because they take AZT and other AIDS drugs, but I am not convinced that Mrs. Maggiore died of “natural causes.”

    Did Mrs. Maggiore write a biography that would give clues in her life history to what caused both her and her daughter’s early demise? Did she have prior conditions?

    • Henry Bauer said

      Dre:
      No one is saying they died of “natural causes”.
      Maggiore’s story is on her website as well as in her book, “What if everything you knew about AIDS was wrong”. Her “HIV+” test caused her to become a conventional “AIDS activist”; but on a later test she was negative, and then had a succession of inconclusive ones.
      I can’t add anything to the response I made to BamainAtlanta.

  3. Col E said

    Dre, a “natural” manner of death means the death was from naturally occurring disease including diseases of ageing, compared to an “unnatural” death which is a death as the result of such causes as homicide, suicide or accident.

    As Professor Bauer points out, the term “natural causes” is a term used to indicate that the manner of the death was natural but a specific cause could not be pinned down from the medical history or circumstances surrounding death. This is not all that uncommon: people often die from “old age”: the precise mechanism may not be determinable, but there is no reason to suspect violence or foul play.

    Both Christine Maggiore’s and EJ Scovill’s deaths were natural in manner, but would not now be classified as “natural causes” as a specific immediate cause has been officially determined for each: disseminated herpes in the case of one, and Pneumocystis pneumonia for the other.

  4. lahuesera said

    Dre:

    A couple of things. As stated, Maggiore’s HIV status was unclear, due to a slew of negative and indeterminate tests, after her initial positive ELISA. Had she been less persistent, she probably could have walked away clean, after her second test came back negative, because everyone, even the AIDS establishment, admits that the ELISA is very sensitive and brings up numerous false positives. No one is supposed to rely on a single positive ELISA, so, whoever initially had her tested and failed to advise follow-ups was not following the appropriate protocol. That happens a lot. Audrey Serrano won $2.5 million in a law suit because her life was nearly ruined by a single positive ELISA. Nine years and many toxic drugs later, further testing came back negative. Maggiore embraced the HIV label and was even criticized by some AIDS activists for flaunting her good health, when she wasn’t really HIV-positive. Funny how things change.

    As you, yourself, point out, there is a question of a gold standard for HIV tests. I don’t know if you realize how serious a problem this is. As the virus has never been properly isolated and purified, no existing test has ever been tested against the virus itself. It’s only been tested against AIDS patients and other tests. So all we really know is that the antibodies tested for are consistent with some AIDS patients. But, AIDS patients are characterized by multiple opportunistic infections, so it’s quite possible that the antibodies are actually reacting to those infections. There are nearly 70 known conditions that can trigger false positives. It is known that mycobacteria and fungal infections, for instance, can cause a positive test. According to Eleni Papadopulos, for instance, while the tests may not indicate a virus which may or may not even exist, they could flag a distressed immune system. It is entirely possible that this is what was being picked up, however inconsistently, in Maggiore’s various tests. As Dr. Bauer points out, there are all kinds of situations that cause a weakened immune system. The problem with the very binary HIV- positive or -negative paradigm, based on tests that may not point to a virus at all, is that they are actually a disincentive to really figuring out what may, in fact, be stressing the immune system of those who come back positive or indeterminate. The fact that it’s a death sentence with no sanctioned remedy other than toxic and life-threatening drugs does not promote a life-affirming approach for people who may have very treatable immune-stressing conditions.

  5. Theatre Guy Z said

    Though I’m not saying “yes” or “no” to your claim that HIV has not been isolated, I think it’s important not to mislead. Though The Perth Group continues to seek more rigorous isolation techniques, Peter Duesberg is very clear in his position that HIV has not only been isolated — but by very good standards.

    http://www.virusmyth.com/aids/hiv/pdreplyep.htm

    There are many “dissident” views, and I wish people would frame things in an investigatory manner, rather than spouting absolutes that are unproven — or at least, highly controversial.

    And lastly, whether HIV has been isolated or not — it doesn’t mean that it is sexually transmitted or deadly. There are so many anomalies surrounding seroconversion, there is little consensus on ANY side of the debate.

    • Henry Bauer said

      Theatre Guy Z:
      I agree fully that there’s little consensus on any side.
      The Duesberg piece you cite was not agreed by other dissidents to constitute proof of isolation. He says that isolation of “HIV” DNA is the same as isolating “the soul” of “HIV”. To my mind, this is a circular argument: How was “‘HIV’ DNA” identified in the first place? By inference, not because veritable particles of “HIV”, virions, had been extracted in pure form from an “HIV+” person.
      I agree also with your dislike of absolutes. However, there appears not to exist any publication that has been able to report direct extraction — which is what “isolation” means to most people — of virions of “HIV” from any “HIV+” individual. Admittedly, my interpretation of “isolation” is that of a chemist and not a retroviroloigst, but the microbiologist Phyllis Pease, for one, takes the same view.

  6. lahuesera said

    Theatre Guy Z:

    I completely agree with you on absolutes. I hate them and think they have no place in science, most of all. That’s at the heart of my discomfiture with the AIDS establishment. Certainty and intolerance of dissent make me nervous. This is also why I tend to use a lot of words like “possible” and “may,” in statements like the one above. I’m not certain that you were referring to my comment, but if you were, I raised the issue of the isolation and purification in the context of testing. Do you know of a test that has been verified using isolated virus? It was my understanding that, to date, this has not been done. It’s even in some of the testing literature:

    “Abbott states, ‘At present there is no recognized standard for establishing the presence and absence of HIV-1 antibody in human blood. Therefore sensitivity was computed based on the clinical diagnosis of AIDS and specificity based on random donors'”

    It is entirely possible that my reading on this is incorrect or out of date. Is there a test that has been verified against the gold standard of isolated, purified HIV?

  7. Theatre Guy Z said

    Thanks, Henry, for your response. I am unfamiliar with Pease and am curious to read her views.

    Lahuesera, I understand where you are coming from, and I think you are correct in saying there is still no gold standard. If there were, we would not have issues like false positives with flu vaccinations – which is even reported by the NEJM: http://reducetheburden.org/?p=158

    • Henry Bauer said

      Theatre Guy Z:
      Pease’s book, “AIDS, Cancer and Arthritis”, is only available in the USA, so far as I know, from a distributor in Minnesota: PO Box 593, Grand Marais, MN 55604-0593; 218-387-9878. The website is not very informative or up-to-date.
      However, an extensive and very informative review by Neville Hodgkinson in the Journal of Scientific exploration is now on-line

  8. Cathy said

    I had been “lulled” into the idea that ELISA/WB were the only “tests” of an infectious pathogen diagnosed by indirect antibody tests and not “true isolation”. Just lately I had been researching a couple of curly medical research requests and have noticed that these days it is becoming all too common to defer to antibody tests –– even when the pathogen is bacterial and therefore not supposedly vulnerable to instant degradation once outside the human body. I speak specifically of Q fever and Lyme disease (there are also significant correlations with syphilis on this as well).
    Lahuesera –– I also use “possibly”, “may” and “potentially” in my scribblings because I like to avoid absolutes but this is also attacked as “weasel-wordy language”; in much the same way that Faux News introduce an outrageous claim by prefacing with “Some are saying that…” to avoid charges of libel.
    People WANT certainty from science! In much the same way, when a horrible set of murders is committed, a culprit must be found, and people want to feel certainty in the guilt of the culprit. I think it is much the same with disease –– too many details not necessary.
    I guess in this little rant is the expectation of certainty vs. the probability of certainty is part of human society, and is responsible for an awful lot of what is wrong with this world.
    And I’d like to add — I suffer HSV-1 lesions especially with changes in the weather, but the one thing guaranteed to a) induce a cold-sore attack and b) give it accompanying neuralgia is STRESS.

    • Henry Bauer said

      Cathy:
      John Scythes has argued for a long time that syphilis diagnoses are often missed, especially when “HIV” tests are “positive”; see for example “CAN WE RELIABLY DIAGNOSE SYPHILIS?” by John B. Scythes, Colman M. Jones on http://www.colman.net/, go to “Words”, scroll down to “AIDS”, scroll down to the article.
      Not only do people WANT certainty from science, they believe science offers it. Just pay attention to how the terms “scientific” and “unscientific” are used. If you want to persuade, you don’t say “tests have shown”, you say “SCIENTIFIC tests have shown”. When you call something “unscientific”, everyone knows you mean at the very least “doubtful” but probably “wrong”.
      Jack (I J) Good has drummed into me for years that 100% certainty should never be claimed for anything, and that assertions should always be accompanied by estimates of their probability of being right. But Jack is the only person I know who actually practices that, and who tries in everyday life to do what he does professionally, as a Bayesian statistician: continually revises his estimates of probability as new evidence turns up.

  9. Col E said

    Lahuesera, I agree with you about absolutes and certainty.

    But I’m confused about what you mean by “verified” when you say “Do you know of a test that has been verified using isolated virus?”

    Can you explain a bit more? Or maybe Professor Bauer can help. Thanks.

    • Henry Bauer said

      Col E:
      Until you have a pure sample of something, you can’t devise a test for it. Until there has been prepared a sample of intact, infectious “HIV” particles (virions), obtained direct from serum or tissues of someone with “AIDS”, we cannot know what proteins and RNA are actually characteristic of “HIV”. Until you know those things, you can’t work out which antibodies are characteristic of “HIV”, or which “primers” to choose when measuring “viral load” or detecting “HIV RNA”.

  10. Col E said

    But how do you determine if your “pure sample of something” is what you think it is if you don’t already have a Gold Standard to compare it against?

    In other words, how is the “Gold Standard” determined?

    • Henry Bauer said

      Col E:
      Well, you could analyze the pure sample, and determine which bits of RNA, DNA, protein, belong to it, and which antibodies respond to the proteins in it. That then constitutes an “HIV” test if the pure sample was “HIV”.
      If so, then everyone with clinically diagnosed AIDS should test positive on that test.

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