A little bump in the road

Anti-immunisation doctor banned in the UK.
As he is now in the US this will do little to slow him down.

Appearing on NBC’s Today Show, Wakefield described the decision as “a little bump on the road.” He claimed the US government has been settling cases of vaccine-induced autism since 1991.

SMH 25/5/10

The US government may have been settling claimed cases of vaccine-induced autism, but that doesn’t mean that the link is proven, just that litigation in the US has been successful. In a country where a woman successfully sued a shop owner because she fell over her own child, or where McDonalds was sued for selling hot coffee[h/t to Tigtog in comments], I don’t think this proves much about the validity of the suits.

Of course they have a sound bite from Jenny McCarthy – prominent anti-vaxxer. Read what Anna has to say about Jenny Mc here.

How long can this disinformation campaign go on? The most disheartening thing about this is that vaccination rates have gone down in the UK since the ‘study’, now discredited, was released and have never regained their previous rates. The UK and the US now have outbreaks of measles every year. Measles are not harmless. Serious infections can lead pneumonia and encephalitis and death. Worldwide measles is the fifth highest cause of death and illness in children. Some children can’t be vacinated because they are too young or have an illness. They rely on herd immunity which, as some parents discovered in Australia in the latest epidemic of whooping cough, isn’t always reliable.

When are people going to accept that autism is not caused by a vaccine? That it doesn’t need a cure?

Note: I am a parent of a child who has elements of both Aspergers and Oppositional Defiance Disorder, but not enough of either to be diagnosed as such. So we get most of the behaviours and associated issues but little of the support. But I still love my child and even if someone said they could wave a magic wand and all the behaviours would change, I’d still selfishly say no, because then my child would be someone else. I also understand that other parents may feel quite differently as their child is on a different part of the spectrum and I respect this. But I still don’t think it is caused by a vaccine.

Categories: arts & entertainment, medicine, parenting, skepticism

Tags: , ,

4 replies

  1. The woman who was severely burnt by a too-hot cup of coffee had a strong case.
    I had a bit of a look around for the cases where people have won settlements for their child’s brain damage in vaccine court, and they’ve won because they didn’t use the word autism and it was shown that encephalitic inflammation occurred after vaccination. Encephalitic inflammation is a known (rare) side effect of vaccination, and of course it’s terrible that their children have suffered. But that doesn’t necessarily make their kids autistic even if the parents have embraced that diagnosis and are even receiving services earmarked for autistic students because some bureaucrat took sympathy on them when saying that they were not autistic would have resulted in no services at all.
    My son had an “official” diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome in primary school, because that was the Dx that got funding for services, while his actual condition of High Functioning Autism was not on the Dept of Education’s register. Now that he’s in high school his actual Dx is on the department’s radar so he is listed as that – a “correction” of his Dx.
    I don’t blame parents of brain-damaged children for seeking a Dx on record that allows them to get services. But I hate that their desperation is being exploited by people like Wakefield to make a connection between vaccines and actual autism that just isn’t there.

  2. I can understand that accepting that it was vaccinations that caused the encephalitis that led to autism is hard as then you have to accept responsibility for giving them.
    Heard mentality is a concept to make non vaccinating people feel like disease must be their fault. I can understand the argument that the advantage of vaccines outweigh the few who have complications from it. (Although I don’t agree) but crap statements with no base make you look generally uneducated about vaccine.
    There is no point in a debate on this however please back up your posts more thoroughly in the future. I thought you were better than here say and rhetoric.

  3. Do you have a link that shows encephalitis leads to autism? I am certain that my son has never had encephalitis. Anyone else care to comment on this?

    Herd immunity is not a concept, it is a reality. It is not hearsay and rhetoric, it is backed up by scientific evidence. Anti-vax has yet to be backed up by evidence that is not thrown out by its peers.

    • Lisa, vaccine-induced encephalitic brain damage exists, in rare situations, definitely. It is not at all definite or even scientifically plausible that encephalitic brain damage causes all existing cases of, or even that such brain damage is the same as autism. The evidence for genetic and epigenetic factors is far more compelling, especially given that non-vaccinated siblings of vaccinated autistic children have a much higher incidence of ASD diagnoses than the general vaccinated population.
      My professional background is in physiotherapy, specialising in neurological rehabilitation. I saw signs and symptoms of an abnormal neuro-cognitive array in my son well before anybody else, while people around me saw them only as kinda cute infant peculiarities, well before the typical age of “sudden onset” that people describe in their autistic children – a misperception of the signs and symptoms they observe simply because they do not understand how normal neurological development progresses.
      The growing brain undergoes a rapid series of ever more complexifying cortical reorganisations of neurone structures during the first five years of life, and a brain that was born abnormal doesn’t necessarily display overt signs at birth strong enough to be discernible by the untrained eye – but when the growing brain has reached certain levels of underlying cortical organisation then the abnormal neurology of the autistic brain becomes more obvious – this is why most autistic children are diagnosed at a certain age.
      The reason that people suddenly realise that something is not normal with their autistic child at around the age 18-36 months is not that something has happened to the child at that time to make them neurologically different at that age right then, it’s that this is the age where certain cognitive behaviours that are dependent on that age-stage’s cortical reorganisation, and which rely on neural connections that did not previously exist, manifest themselves: and in autistic children those cognitive behaviours manifest differently.
      NB this comment has been edited for clarity 10:22AM

%d bloggers like this: