Friday, August 22, 2008

Respectful Insolence: Thanks again, Jenny McCarthy and Andrew Wakefield! Thanks again for the measles!

Respectful Insolence: Thanks again, Jenny McCarthy and Andrew Wakefield! Thanks again for the measles!

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teeni said...

I'm not sure how I feel about this as we don't know yet whether vaccinations cause problems or not. I can't blame anyone for suspecting vaccinations and I don't think anything medical should be forced on anyone. However, creating so much fear about it isn't helping anything either because it could be distracting from a real cause. I just think people need to make their decisions based on the best evidence they have and with a clear conscience.

Jen said...

Well, there haven't actually been any scientifically valid studies that have shown either correlation or causation between vaccines and autism. If you google Andrew Wakefield (the guy who started the whole MMR thing), you'll see that his medical license is in the process of being removed because (among other things including unethical use of children in his studies), he falsified results.

Unfortunately a lot of parents want something to blame, and aren't necessarily scientifically literate, so don't really understand the difference between something published online and a peer-reviewed, double-blind study. It's extremely frustrating for me, as a parent to 3 autistic children, to have so much time and energy wasted on something that's been disproved time and time again, rather than having that time and energy going towards helping our kids to live the best lives that they can.

(Plus, I'm vaccine resistant, so thanks to scientifically illiterate people who have unfounded fears, I've been told to stay at home for the last 6 months since we have a measles outbreak in our town. That's not practical, so I've just got to keep my fingers crossed).

I completely agree that people should make their decision based on the evidence- unfortunately, a great number of people aren't doing that at the moment.

teeni said...

Good points. Also, I think people in positions of great visibility and influence like Jenny McCarthy and Andrew Wakefield need to take much more care in how they come across. They need to be more responsible but unfortunately, they only have their own interests at heart and I do agree with you that some people just want to have something to blame it on.