For anyone interested in the controversy over MMR vaccines and autism, David Gorski’s comprehensive fisking is a must-read. The exposé of that sleazy fraud Andrew Wakefield is particularly detailed.

After presenting the unambiguous findings of the various “special masters”, Gorski points out what’s really going on here:

Special Master Hastings recognized one of the main drivers of the scare over the MMR and vaccines in general as a “cause” of autism: Money. Indeed, a veritable cottage industry of “biomedical” quackery, dubious therapies, and pseudoscience depends upon keeping the idea that vaccines cause autism alive. “Luminaries” of this cottage industry include the aforementioned Andrew Wakefield, who has now infested the United States (the State of Texas, specifically) with his brand of quackery at Thoughtful House, now that the U.K. is investigating him. Also included are Mark and David Geier, who have been touting the use of a powerful anti-sex steroid medication to treat autistic children, and, until recently, Dr. Rashid Buttar, who is now facing sanctions by the North Carolina Board of Medical Examiners and has been banned from treating children. Add to that ambulance-chasing lawyers like Clifford Shoemaker, who have been raking in money hand over fist, thanks to the fact that the VICP actually pays the petitioners’ attorney fees regardless of whether the petition results in compensation, and it is easy to see why this industry won’t easily let parents be disabused of the fears over vaccines that it has stoked.

To those parents who are dealing with the devastating effect of autism on their families: please don’t be taken in by the charlatans and snake-oil salesmen who are trying to recruit you to their causes. They’re simply trying to use you for their own purposes. They are wrong.

2 Responses to “Comprehensively refuting the antivaccinationists”
  1. Laura G. says:

    But I’ve heard anti-vaccinationists claim that the people who disagree have been taken in by the conspiracy to keep the truth from the people! AUGH!

    When I get bombarded with “how bad vaccinations are”-and that I should go against my doctors orders and NOT get the vaccinations that someone with my medical history should get, I remember the story of Gene Tierney. Back in the 1940s, she was on a PR tour for the studio. She was early on in her pregnancy. She met a couple of fans who, unbeknownst to her, had measles. She became ill and her child was born handicapped. It contributed to her breakdown. (The 2 girls age met later came forward and admitted that they were just starting to come down with measles, but went to the event anyway because she was their favourite actor!)

    The choice is clear-go on thin evidence and not get you or your child vaccinated and risk starting an epidemic or infecting someone with dire consequences-or even losing that child to an easily preventable illness! Or be on the safe side and vaccinate.

    As to their theory that the increase in autism cases is due to vaccines, I think it’s in part due to more openess about it as well as better diagnostics. (And maybe a soupcon of the trend of over-diagnosing.)

    But, finally, I had been under the impression that one is born with autism, not develop it down the line. No?

  2. Laura G. says:

    it just occurred to me (duh!) that parents and doctors in places like Africa-dream of these vaccines! They are dying for vaccines!

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