For anyone interested in the controversy over MMR vaccines and autism, David Gorski’s comprehensive fisking is a must-read. The exposÃ© 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 â€œcauseâ€ of autism: Money. Indeed, a veritable cottage industry of â€œbiomedicalâ€ quackery, dubious therapies, and pseudoscience depends upon keeping the idea that vaccines cause autism alive. â€œLuminariesâ€ 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 petitionersâ€™ attorney fees regardless of whether the petition results in compensation, and it is easy to see why this industry wonâ€™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.