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What To Believe?

January 5, 2011

When Answers Lead to More Questions

Vodpod videos no longer available.
Andrew Wakefield interviewed by Anderson Cooper, posted with vodpod

Yet another investigation has come out against the once internationally popular notion that the cause of Autism is vaccine related.

In this USA TODAY article  the British Medical Journal has “debunked” that myth. The doctor who performed the research is accused of unethical practices.

Many around the world swore by Dr. Wakefield’s findings. Parents were convinced that they’re child was fine until they received a vaccination. 

As parents we only want what’s best for our children.  We want them to be able to live the best life possible.  Without the benefit of a medical degree and years of research parents who want something to believe in may believe in anything. 

Now what? With yet another publication calling Wakefield a fraud, on the MMR vaccination as a leading cause for Autism, what do you believe?

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Shazia Ali permalink
    January 9, 2011 1:04 pm


    The parents in the study respond to Brian Deer

  2. Autism permalink
    January 7, 2011 4:14 pm

    Also, if vaccinations were to blame, why is the incidence of autism in vaccinated kids the same as the incidence of autism in non-vaccinated kids? There’s your proof.

  3. Autism permalink
    January 7, 2011 12:40 pm

    There is a lot of actual research going on about autism, some promising therapies, some good ideas that don’t seem to work after all, etc.

    Someone could start saying that milk or tap water or Sesame Street cause autism and people would believe it. Why? Because we want reasons. And because most children drink milk & water and watch Sesame Street one could point out that autistic kids have these “factors” in common.

    In reality, vaccines don’t cause autism any more than milk or tap water or Sesame Street do, but vaccines DO cause a LOT of good by preventing the spread of very serious and often life-threatening diseases.

  4. Shazia Ali permalink
    January 6, 2011 8:00 pm

    To imply because a physician carries an M.D after his/her name that with the 10 brief minutes they see my child they know what is best is absolutely an absurd implication. Don’t get me wrong, there are countless physicians I respect and who saved me years of anguish with my autistic son..he is leaps and BOUNDS further ahead because of the few dedicated health professionals who thought “outside of the box” (like Wakefield). Looking back on my son’s early signs his ped missed (DESPITE my concerns constantly addressing) really blows my mind he is still out there like many others offering NO HOPE for parents of children with autism..I’m NOT talking RECOVERY necessarily but even overall improvements in their physical health which is not even addressed by peds..just addressing those ailments could improve an ASD child’s overall.

    How about the case of Hannah Poling who was awarded $1.5 million for the first ever vaccine autism case? I’m sure the reason her case was able to gain any media attention was because her father is a neurologist with Phd in biophysics and mother of a nurse and lawyer..what a blessing they weren’t some emotionally driven parents like the rest of us who simply are too clueless to think for ourselves and instead try to ride on our degrees from the University of Google and coattails of non other than Ms. Jenny McCarthy.

    We cannot simply look at vaccines like we did even 20 years ago..The earth is just not what it was even a decade ago..we now have environmental toxins in the air, food and yes, vaccines. The toxic burden we put on a newborn is simply too much to handle. Children are reaching their “toxic tipping point” far earlier than those 20 years ago so how can we just ignore those factors all together? Because it wasn’t published in some medical journal? Do I believe vaccines CAUSE autism? Not entirely but do I feel they CONTRIBUTED to it? Absolutely. I believe a combination of these factors greatly increase the odds for autism and other neurological diseases. I do not need to listen to ANY physician tell me to ignore my maternal instinct simply because this is the “status quo”. To me you are doing a huge disservice to your child. To discount every parent who has seen a regression post vaccination is really a travesty. It is really an insult to our intelligence as on this path we have become researchers, doctors, therapists and caretakers in the name of our children. “Oh they are looking for something to blame..” is the most common line from the mouths of mainstream physicians and parents of NON autistic children. Sometimes it is important for others to put aside their own ideologies and PhD’s in order to walk in the shoes of families who have to live with day in and day out.

  5. Ihsaan Ali permalink
    January 6, 2011 11:32 am

    I am not a scientist nor a doctor, however it is important the understand that parents who have children aren’t idiots. Many of doctors, scientists, and research programs are funded by special interest groups. Can you imagine the enormity of lawsuits that would be filed if it was to come out that vaccines cause or are related to ASD? No nation on this planet could handle that financially!

    It would be different if Wakefield said that he has a magic potion that would cure Autism… Any time someone comes along and questions BIG ESTABLISHMENT/GOVERNMENT/PHARMA there will always be a push back. Someone will always be paid to be the antagonist, the expert, or the NEWS channel that has it all right and to prove that individual wrong. This just turns my stomach, in society, we are taught from birth not to be free thinkers, to not question authority, to follow what you are told. We are all taught to be sheep, look for a shepard to guide you right to the slaughter house if need be.

    If time will permit, we will all have the unique opportunity to see how devastating the impact of Autism has on society as these children grow into adults. Obviously, no establishment wants to be held accountable for there actions, associations, or knowledge. These children will wonder why no one stood up and fight for them and their rights.

    In the US alone there are 1.5 mill diagnosed cases of Autism in America. So lets do some simple math, you can easily triple that number because not only does the child have Autism but their parents do as well, then lets add (1) sibling. This equation can continue to compound easily, my point is that this disorder impacts not only the family but the community in which they reside.

    Vaccinations may not be the sole culprit in the escalating numbers of Autism cases but somewhere in this equation is a cover-up of some sort in my humble opinion. I’m not against vaccinations but I am against pumping new born children who may have under developed brains with concoctions on the basis of the norm… None of us as adults would like to be grouped together and say that you all are the same. This is why we all would like to be addressed as INDIVIDUALS. Children should be have that same distinction from a scientific and medical standpoint. Test these kids at each development stage to see what their bodies can tolerate become pumping these vaccines into them. Show parents exactly what’s in the vaccine… Why demand food companies to labels contents but not question what is going directly into your child’s blood stream? Does that make any sense?

    I had the opportunity to hear Mr. Wakefield in person last year. Would I trust his concerns more than I trust my son’s then pediatrician(before his diagnosis)? YES! Sometimes you got to do what you gotta do for the great good… Was it stupid or ill-advised to take money… YES!

    If 40% of American parents are delaying vaccinations, you better bet somebody is losing way more money than Wakefield was paid. At the end of the day, that’s really the issue… MONEY and not the health and safety of your children.

    • Dana permalink
      January 6, 2011 2:03 pm

      It’s unfair to discredit scientific literature by saying that it’s somehow all biased. What do you think academic freedom is for? Should you be suspicious of clinical tests by pharmaceutical companies? Sometimes. Should you be paranoid about every piece of literature that comes out of a University? No. Scientists and physicians have reputations to keep. The vast majority of scientific and medical publications are highly reliable, peer reviewed, and beholdent to NO special interests. Claiming that there is some kind of conspiracy in the medical community to keep making, and allowing people, to be sick because “money is involved” is baseless (not coincidentally like the accusation that vaccinations cause autism).

      I think people have forgotten the days of yore where children were permanently scarred or damaged by measels or whooping cough. Poorly supported claims that vaccinations are deeply harmful in fact do the exact opposite of protect children. They instead open the door to infectous diseases that we were once free of.

  6. Dana permalink
    January 6, 2011 8:44 am

    As a biologist, I was very suspicious of claims that vaccines generated autism the second I heard them. I checked the evidence for the claim and then, as any good scientist should do, I examined the detractors. In the end, the sheer scientific evidence weighed heavily upon the conclusion that vaccines do not cause autism.

    Unfortunately, the human brain isn’t innately scientific. We tend to give too much weight to testimony and not enough to cold, dispassionate evidence. Also, when we see a correlation, we tend to assume causation whether there is any or not. For example, if a child was given swimming lessons and was then diagnosed with Autism, it doesn’t mean that his or her time in the pool was the cause. The same can be said for vaccines.

    Vaccination is a very, very common practice. Even though vaccinations don’t cause autism, most children are going to get vaccinations and, by sheer statistical might, some children are going to be diagnosed with autism around the same time. The same scare happened last winter in regard to flu shots causing miscarriages.

    The parents of those that do are going to want to find a cause. They will take to the internet. They will share stories and parse over every moment before and after the diagnosis. Because both vaccinations and autism are common, they will meet in the center of the “venn diagram” and conclude that vaccinations were the cause. But they simply aren’t.

    • Ihsaan Ali permalink
      January 6, 2011 6:39 pm

      Unfortunately my iPhone didn’t allow my initial reply to publish(more angry about that than anything), however I will be direct and straight to the point…

      Whether we would to believe it or not, money is always in play when it comes to issues of such grand scale. We parents are not randomly pointing fingers and are not as ignorant as many may assume.

      We parents(ASD) have to become researchers, activists, evangelists, preacher, and teachers to all that comes in contact with us. We are abandoned by legislation to get proper care for our children and are therefore thrown into a new class of people… “Those who are just S.O.L”.

      Times have changed and maybe, just maybe their should be a different approach to how children are treated. I for one may not be the best person to articulate with exactitude regarding the benefits of vaccinations, science, and medicine. I’m just a country boy who loves his child beyond articulation. When the shotgun barrel is point in your direction then one tends to have a change of heart… The sky may not be falling but when you look into your child’s eyes and see the sun setting on them, then and only then will it matter the most.

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