The well-oiled propaganda machine also known as Jane Hansen was out in full swing with her latest “hit” piece once again targeting “anti-vaxxers”.
Hansen is no stranger to inflammatory articles. She is notorious for preconceiving the angle of her story, cherry-picking her information and then making it a point to exclude any alternative viewpoints that don’t forward her biased agenda.
Take for example this story where Hansen falsely labeled a mother, Liane Mendalis, as a reformed anti-vaxxer. In a letter to the editor Liane wrote “I feel entirely misrepresented in what I had expressed to reporter Jane Hansen regarding my views on immunisation”. Hansen’s article, which used a picture of Liane’s daughter without her permission was captioned as “fully immunised”. However this is not true. In fact, Liane stated that her daughter was and remains “…completely un-immunised”. Liane goes on to say “…apart from being a complete lie…I feel like I have been used as a pawn here to advocate immunisation…It is a gross injustice…” When confronted with this evidence, Hansen merely stated that there had been a“stuff-up” though no correction had been made, nor did Liane receive a response from the editor.
This example, however, pales in comparison to Hansen’s involvement in a TV segment on A Current Affair where a repairman was falsely “exposed” for not fixing some equipment for his customers. Whilst the show felt it had enough evidence to go after this man, Hansen admitted that she knew the story was “not good” but ran with it anyway. Advertising for the show ran all weekend, but sadly, the repairman was so traumatised he committed suicide. Hansen’s response to this:
‘It still really upsets me. It’s been 10 years. I think what gutted me the most was that two children were without a father and a wife was without a husband… I wasn’t the victim. In everyone’s mind, I was the perpetrator.’
It would seem, however, that instead of learning from her mistakes, Hansen became a ‘perpetrator’ of a minority group who simply want a choice in their children’s medical treatments. A quick Google search will reveal the long list of articles by Hansen, which resort to childish name-calling and baseless accusations with no scientific merit all in the name of oppressing free thought. Her relentless persecution of these individuals is deplorable and Hansen’s attempts to censor any opposing views show her lack of compassion to the many vaccine-injured children.
Hansen’s callous disregard for the truth, her choice to exclude balance and manipulate the news in favour of her bias, is once again evident in her latest piece published in the Herald Sun. Her lack of common sense and science-backed evidence continues unabated using the tragic circumstances of one infant to further an unrelated agenda.
Her article, entitled “Anti-vax Victim”, depicts a story of a 5-week-old baby who is fighting for his life following a tragic brain haemorrhage. According to Hansen, his parents opted out of the Vitamin K injection, routinely given to all newborns. Hansen’s delusions of grandeur seemingly gave her the right to blame this family’s choice to opt out of the Vitamin K shot on the anti-vaccination movement, even though the vitamin K shot is not a vaccine. In a notorious Hansen style fashion, she also fails to ask the important questions which could possibly explain why this child may have haemorrhaged in this first place. Question such as:
- Did the parents opt for the oral vitamin K over the injection?
- Did they decline the Hepatitis B vaccine, an injection that is intended to prevent a sexually transmitted disease in a baby just hours old? Side effects of this vaccine include encephalitis (brain swelling), which can lead to haemorrhaging.
- Was the child circumcised?
- Did the mother take any medications, including antibiotics during her pregnancy?
- Did the mother receive the flu shot or the 3-in-1 Whooping cough, tetanus, & diphtheria vaccine, both of which are now commonly recommended for every woman in every pregnancy despite there being no safety trials?
- Did the child have the opportunity to retain all of its cord blood via the placenta or was it clamped immediately, as is common practice?
- What was the child’s neonatal health like?
- Did he suffer a traumatic birth that may have warranted the use of this medical procedure?
Most importantly, how did Hansen even know the parents opted out of the vitamin K injection? Did Lismore Base Hospital breach patient privacy in leaking this info to Hansen? If Hansen was privy to this child’s private medical history, she may know the reasons why this child suffered haemorrhaging. However, it’s evident that Hansen is not interested in any reasoning that doesn’t blame the anti-vaccination movement. One must also ask, if a child had a severe reaction or died as a result of the vitamin K shot, would the Lismore Base Hospital have advised Hansen so that the masses could be alerted to this “public health issue”? Demonising parents for their choices based on insider information (that should never have been leaked to the media in the first place) is reprehensible, particularly when those parents are already dealing with grief.
Hansen ‘s article also cries out for the Vitamin K shot to be added to the National Immunisation Program (NIP) and linked to benefits, despite the fact that it is not a vaccine. The argument used to defend financially penalising parents for their choice to not vaccinate is to protect herd immunity. This begs the question, does Hansen believe the myth of herd immunity applies to the Vitamin K shot and warrants its inclusion in the NIP? That would be akin to calling for mandatory birth control to ensure women who can’t be on birth control won’t fall pregnant. Make no mistake, this is not a public health issue; it is a personal issue that only a parent has the right to decide. The cornerstone of medical care is informed consent and there can be no informed consent when financial coercion is involved.
The job of a real reporter is to present facts on both sides of the debate and to leave the reader to draw their own conclusions. However, it would seem today’s journalists are hell-bent on persuading readers to think and feel a certain way by presenting them with fear mongering and biased articles that suit either a political or corporate agenda.
So what is HDN and how does it occur?
Haemorrhagic disease of the newborn (HDN) is a rare bleeding problem that can occur after birth. It is classified according to the timing of its first symptoms as early onset, classic onset, or late onset.
- Early onset HDN occurs in the first 24 hours. It is very rare and mainly associated with mothers who have taken anticonvulsant, antibiotic, antituberculous or anticoagulant drugs during pregnancy.
- Classic onset HDN occurs in the first week after birth. It is manifested by the oozing of blood from the intestines, the nose, the cord site, and broken skin sites. Bruising at sites where there has been no trauma can also appear.
- Late onset HDN occurs after the first week, with a peak incidence between the second and sixth weeks, and about half the cases present with intracranial bleeding (bleeding into the brain). Most, if not all, reported cases of late onset HDN present with problems affecting the infant’s ability to absorb or utilise vitamin K. These include hepatitis, cystic fibrosis, chronic diarrhoea, bile duct atresia, coeliac disease, and insufficient plasma transport capacity. Late onset HDN occurs mainly in breastfed infants, and in most cases these infants have an underlying liver disorder or malabsorption syndrome, rather than insufficient dietary intake of vitamin K. This means the liver either cannot adequately synthesise blood-clotting factors, or it cannot store the necessary amounts of vitamin K a normal infant requires. While studies comparing breastmilk, formula, and cow’s milk have shown that breastmilk is lower in vitamin K it is possible that, like iron, vitamin K in breastmilk is biologically more available to babies, and therefore such high levels are not necessary.
There has been some recent scientific debate as to whether HDN is truly even caused by vitamin K deficiency. Certainly, giving vitamin K does arrest bleeding in the majority of cases, but this does not prove that vitamin K deficiency is a cause of HDN. This would be akin to saying that an antibiotic deficiency causes bacterial infection. According to Roche, the manufacturer of the Vitamin K shot used in Australia, “…the relationship between biochemical evidence of deficiency and late VKDB [vitamin k deficiency bleeding] is not clear”.
Labeling infants as vitamin k deficient also implies nature has made a mistake, however, the hemostatic system is not fully mature until 3 to 6 months of age and studies have shown that “… children might have natural protective mechanisms that justify such variations”. The authors of this study also concluded that “…interpretation of laboratory data in pediatric patients must be accompanied by appropriate age-dependent reference ranges…to prevent misclassification of children as having defects of factors and inhibitors of the coagulation system”. The physiology of hemostasis in pediatric patients differs widely from that in adults and comparing vitamin K levels in a newborn to vitamin K levels in an adult is about as useful as comparing their sizes and saying the child has a height deficiency. It is also important to note that studies have shown that plasmavitamin K levels in newborns reach 300 times normal adult levels for oral and almost 9000 times for intramuscular injection of vitamin K.
Dr. Cees Vermeer, one of the world’s top researchers in the field of vitamin K, conducted a study on 40 pregnant women and found that a mother’s vitamin K levels dropped tremendously during the third trimester, which may indicate that the child takes the needed vitamin k from its mother.
In her article, Hansen also claims that the vitamin k shot is “a safe injection which has saved hundreds of children…” from HDN. Of course Hansen offers no evidence to back up this claim and we all know that correlation does not equal causation. Had Hansen taken the time to research, she would have found this article which shows that a case of anaphylactic shock developed after a newborn received the vitamin k shot. The authors of this report state “clinicians should be aware of this possibility of potentially fatal adverse effect occurring with intramuscular administration of vitamin K1”. The Vitamin K shot in America also comes with a black box warning which states “Severe reactions, including fatalities, have occurred during and immediately after INTRAVENOUS injection of phytonadion…. Severe reactions, including fatalities, have also been reported following INTRAMUSCULAR administration. Typically these severe reactions have resembled hypersensitivity or anaphylaxis, including shock and cardiac and/or respiratory arrest…Therefore the INTRAVENOUS and INTRAMUSCULAR routes should be restricted to those situations where the subcutaneous route is not feasible and the serious risk involved is considered justified”.
Notewothy is the Cochrane Collaboration review on Vitamin K given to newborns which concluded that “Neither intramuscular nor oral vitamin K has been tested in randomized trials with respect to effect on late onset HDN. Oral vitamin K, either single or multiple dose, has not been tested in randomized trials for its effect on either classic or late onset HDN.”
According to Hansen’s article, “Disinformation and fake news is the order of the day and it needs to be countered.” Touché Jane. All I have left to say to you is: Pot. Kettle. Black.
ANR reached out to both Dr. Chris Ingall & Lismore Base Hospital for comment, however no response was received. If you are the family, or know the family involved in this tragic story, please email email@example.com so that we may accurately report on the events.