Anti-Vaxxers Make Death Threats to Judge Who Ordered Child Vaccinated

Judge Karen McDonald

“If she can get away with this, the b—-h has got to die. The b—-h has got to die.”

Just in case you were concerned that this is another example of the media taking something out of context in order to push a narrative, these words are from a 41 second video on YouTube entitled: “”Why Judge Karen McDonald must die a painful death”.

Judge Karen McDonald

(No, we’re not going to link to the video in question.)

Karen McDonald is a Circuit Court Judge for Oakland County, MI. Recently, she sent Rebecca Bredow, to jail for ignoring a court order to vaccinate her 9-year-old son. Bredow had agreed to the vaccinations as a part of the divorce from her ex-husband with whom she shares custody. She reneged on those terms and refused vaccination, prompting the week-long stent in the pokey.

Rebecca Bredow, Anti-Vaxx Mom

The good news is that during Bredow’s time in jail, the child was vaccinated, prompting much of the outrage.

Judge McDonald is currently presiding over a separate case also involving a divorced mother, Lori Matheson, who refuses to vaccinate her 2-year old in defiance of the wishes of her ex-husband.

Pseudoexpert Witnesses

Dr. Tony Bark, who did in fact not play that one creepy healer character from the later seasons of 90’s SciFi series Farscape whose name escapes us but who literally had a third eye which is a bit on the nose if you ask us and yes that’s a pun and yes this is a run-on sentence.

In addition to testifying for over an hour, claiming religious and personal justifications for refusal to vaccinate her child, Matheson called in Dr. Tony Lynn Bark as an expert witness to provide support for her arguments.

Bark, who is described as a “vaccination whistleblower”, associates herself with the quacks involved in the Anti-Vaccination movement started by disgraced former doctor and fraud Andrew Wakefield and the backers of the pseudoscience, pseudodocumentary “Vaxxed“.

Her testimony was challenged due to her lack of credentials in Immunology as a general practitioner, and Judge McDonald grew visibly frustrated with Bark’s inability to comport herself as a proper expert witness. At one point in the trial, McDonald lost her patience and had to instruct Bark how to behave on the stand.

“The proper court procedure is not being followed. I can go in the back and do the research myself and I have, and it takes not a lot of time to learn how to introduce an expert witness. It hasn’t been done. Read the case law,” McDonald said. “There’s a way to do this and I can’t do your job for you.”

Judge McDonald ruled that Dr. Bark can only testify about experiences “with her own patients…she’s not qualified as an expert in immunization.”

Facts Against Anti-Vaxx

In 2011, the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine reviewed over 1000 research papers on vaccines, concluding that “few health problems are caused by or clearly associated with vaccines“. They also concluded that “the evidence shows there are no links between immunization and some serious conditions that have raised concerns, including Type 1 diabetes and Autism.

Despite this comprehensive meta-analysis being available for over 6 years, there has been no sign of a slowdown in the movement of the most virulent anti-vaccine conspiracy theories and pseudoscience. Instead, the level of hostility seems to be increasing, and death threats via social media are now the new normal faced by those who are epidemiologically and immunologically literate.