One last thought on the Al-Bayati report
It's time to move on.
But, before I do, in all the discussion of this case and the Al-Bayati "rebuttal" of the L.A. County Coroner's report, one question has continued to nag at me, and I thought I'd put it out there for consideration while I await the inevitable attacks that are likely to come my way because of my last couple of posts on this case.
Consider: Christine Maggiore, Dr. Al-Bayati, Dr. Maniotis, and certain bloggers clearly do not believe that HIV causes AIDS. They've said as much on multiple occasions, and Maggiore, Al-Bayati, and Maniotis all belong to a group founded by Maggiore dedicated to the concept that HIV isn't the primary cause of AIDS. Yet, despite this oft-stated belief, they've gone to great lengths to discredit the coroner's report concluding that EJ died of Pneumocystis pneumonia and HIV encephalitis. Maggiore even hired Dr. Al-Bayati as an "independent" investigator to bolster her case, and he produced a shoddy, pseudoscientific "rebuttal" to the coroner's report that was so transparent and so biased that it's hard to believe that anyone could take it seriously. Yet this same report is being trumpeted as "proof" that an anaphylactic reaction, not AIDS, killed EJ. That in itself isn't so odd, given the investigation of Maggiore that is in progress. What has struck me as odd since the beginning, at least in the context of his beliefs about HIV, is how Dr. Al-Bayati went about making his arguments. In the report, Dr. Al-Bayati harnessed enormous abuses of logic and evidence in the service of trying to "prove" that EJ didn't have HIV p24 protein in her brain, that the Pneumocystis carinii seen in her lung was incidental, and that she died of an anaphylactic reaction rather than AIDS.
So my question is: Why? From my perspective, implicit in the arguments used by Dr. Al-Bayati seems to be the assumption that, if the coroner were correct about the p24 protein and PCP, these findings would constitute evidence that EJ died of HIV/AIDS.
Think about it. These people don't accept the science that supports the hypothesis that HIV causes AIDS. So why don't they just argue that in rebuttal to the coroner's report? Why don't they simply say, "So what if there was HIV p24 protein detected in the brain? It means nothing because HIV dosn't cause AIDS." After all, Dr. Al-Bayati argues in his book that "HIV is a harmless virus in both the in vivo and the in vitro settings." So why didn't he just say that explicitly in his report and argue that the HIV protein found in EJ's brain was simply an incidental finding that couldn't possibly have had anything to do with her demise (because it's "harmless"), rather than going through so many contortions to "prove" that the finding of the p24 protein was due to nonspecific binding 0f the antibody used to do the stains?
Wouldn't that have been a more intellectually honest position to take if he wanted to rebut the coroner's conclusions about the cause of death? Isn't that what Dr. Al-Bayati really believes? Then why didn't he just make the best case that he could that the p24 protein found in EJ's brain and the Pneumocystis organisms found in her lungs were irrelevant because HIV doesn't cause AIDS? Why didn't he make his best case based on his real beliefs, as clearly stated in his book and elsewhere?
I suspect that we have an idea of what the answer to that question is.
More reading, for those new to the case:
- HIV dissidents, continued
- Maggiore on Primetime Live
- Eliza Jane
- An HIV/AIDS "skeptic" questions my honesty and decency...
- More rebuttals of HIV/AIDS "skeptics"
- The Eliza Jane Scovill case on Primetime Live