October Update

Bought a standard poodle puppy.  Bringing him home October 5, so October will be full of housebreaking, and FUN.

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WONDER OF THE MOMENT

Entries in vaccination (2)

Thursday
Feb102011

Autism-Vaccination Connection Turns Out to Be a Fraud, Part 2

In my last post, I was speaking of a “negative wonder,” the story of how a false medical notion—that vaccination causes autism—became a terrible threat.

         In 1998, the British medical journal The Lancet published an article by A.J. Wakefield claiming he had found a connection between childhood vaccination against measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) and autism.  This claim was false. Wakefield had published the article in order to make close to a million dollars for consulting in a lawsuit.

          Belief in the false claim spread wildly.  Over the next ten years, study after study, in various countries, proved that Wakefield’s claim was wrong.  But autistic adults, and parents of autistic children came to believe that all these studies were part of a plot financed by pharmaceutical companies or by government: Anything to hang on to the supposed vaccination/autism link.

         Last year, journalist Brian Deer researched every one of the 12 cases Wakefield used in his original study.  He found glaring discrepancies.  In some cases, autism began well before MMR vaccination.  In some cases, autism began too long after MMR to support the claimed connection.  In some cases there was no autisim.  In some cases, other symptoms that Wakefield claimed were part of the “autism/inflammatory bowel disease” syndrome were not present.

         In fact, Deer was able to display in a table, how none of the data support Wakefield’s claim.

         Personally, I would like to add that the study was also flawed from the standpoint of statistics: The children for the study were not chosen randomly, and the number of children examined for the study, 12, was far too small to provide significant data.

         And yet…we still don’t know what causes autism, nor do we have any cures. 

         The human brain is an exquisite wonder.  It can heal from a massive stroke and be better than before (as with Jill Bolte Taylor).  It can totally remap its own parts (as in The Brain That Changes Itself, by Norman Doidge, M.D.)  It can understand cosmic and biological universes.  Surely it can figure out what’s what with the autistic brain. 

         More about this in my next post.



Thursday
Feb032011

Autism-Vaccination Connection Turns Out to Be a Fraud

A few months ago, a friend asked me if she had made a mistake in having her toddler immunized against childhood diseases.  I assured her she had done the right thing.  Her little boy needs to be vaccinated against dangerous childhood diseases, as do all children. 

         She protested, “But my friends are saying, ‘Oh no!  How could you have let this happen?  Now your child will get autism.’”

         I assured her this wasn’t true, that test after test and study after study have shown no connection whatever between vaccination and autism.

         Now, at long last, the British journal Lancet has withdrawn as fraudulent, the 1998 article that claimed to show a connection between mumps/measles/rubella vaccination (MMR) and autism.

         What a terrible eleven years it has been for vaccination.  How many children have been put at risk?  Mumps, measles, and rubella (not to mention whooping cough, flu, and many others) are terrible diseases that can leave children permanently harmed or can even kill them.  If a pregnant woman contracts one of these diseases, her baby may be born with birth defects.  Yet vaccination can completely remove such risks.

         Fortunately, journalist Brian Deer has followed up on the 1998 report and uncovered manipulated data, as well as the fact that the author of the report manipulated the data for financial gain. 

         To me, the negative “wonder” here is how quickly this false report spread and became a “known fact.”  Another wonder is how long this false “known fact” has remained with us, in spite of all tests to the contrary.  And yet a further wonder will be how long it will continue to be a “known fact” even now that the original study has been shown to be a fraud.

         More about this next time.