Two prayers....

God's will be done and may He have mercy upon us all.

About Me

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A Catholic who follows Rome & the Magisterium. I'm against gay "marriage", abortion, embryonic stem cell research, euthanasia, human cloning. Altar girls, Communion in the hand, Eucharistic Ministers and "Protestant" music in the Church doesn't bother me at all. A proud American retired submarine sailor. Our borders should be secured with a 10 ft. high fence topped by concertina wire with minefields out to 20 yards on both sides and an additional 10 yards filled with warning signs outside of that Let's get energy independent NOW! Back Israel to the max, stop appeasing followers of the Pedophile Prophet. Pro 2nd Amendment, pro death penalty, Repeal all hate crime legislation. Back the police unless you'd rather call a hippie when everything hits the fan. Get government out of dealing with education, childhood obesity and the enviornment. Stop using the military for sociological experiments and if we're in a war don't micromanage their every move. Kill your television, limit time on the computer and pick up a book. God's will be done and may He have mercy upon us all.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Vaccines and autism

I've two autistic sons. The wife, being an RN, would shoot down any notion I might conceivably voice about vaccines being related to autism. Not that I buy into conspiracy theories of that sort, I don't.

I play taxi driver twice a week to the therapist's office and kill time in the waiting area with other parents. Some of the other kids would make a statue weep, they're that dysfunctional. The parents talk to one another so I'm exposed to a lot of theories and guesses as to what causes autism. The fact is, no one knows for certain. Not officially anyway and until theres proof to the contrary I'll go with the official word.

Still, those other parents quite often want more of a definite answer. If you look too close into their eyes you'll see a soul writhing in agony over their child's condition. They all want to know why their child will never be independent of caregivers and able to live happily on their own. Just some reason that makes sense as to why their loved ones got screwed by seeming chance.

Not living independently for autistics in our society today can mean being placed in the custody of the State once "Mom & Dad" grow too old. My youngest boy is just getting ready to turn five and I'm 57. That particular worry cuts pretty close to the bone with me.

So having all this going on 24/7/365, the following article found via at holds special interest for yours truly.

Theres a special place in Hell for assholes like these, i.e. the scientist who initiated the scare and the press that kept on spreading it;

How a zealot’s word led us astray on autism

A dozen years ago, a British physician named Dr. Andrew Wakefield published a paper in the prestigious medical journal The Lancet that did immeasurable harm to children.

Wakefield, who back in 1998 was working at London’s Royal Free Hospital, claimed in the article that the vaccination of 12 children with measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccine had caused a reaction in their bowels that caused autism.

At a press conference shortly after the paper came out, Wakefield urged parents not to give their children the combination vaccine.

The British press went crazy over the report. The word and the fear quickly spread around the world.

Since the controversial paper was published, British parents abandoned the vaccine in droves, leading to a resurgence of measles. Vaccination rates for measles have never recovered, and there are outbreaks of the disease in the U.K. every year.

And across the globe, millions of parents who choose to follow their own doctors' advice and vaccinate their children have had to face the anxiety of an alleged link to a dread disease.

All this despite the fact that no scientists were ever able to replicate Wakefield's findings.

Yesterday, The Lancet, after years of investigations, lawsuits, press complaints and accusations, took the unprecedented step of withdrawing this 12-year-old article as misleading and false.

Why did The Lancet finally act? Because the British board that licenses doctors recently concluded that Wakefield had “shown callous disregard” for the children in his study and had “abused his position of trust” in doing his research. In language I have almost never seen from a disciplinary body, the General Medical Council added that Wakefield acted "dishonestly," was "misleading" and "irresponsible" in the way he described the findings of his tiny study about the danger of MMR vaccine in The Lancet.

As it turns out, for the study Wakefield took blood samples from children at his son's birthday party, paying them 5 pounds each.

The language was probably not strong enough. The Wakefield paper killed children and left others deaf and disabled from preventable diseases as their parents, in an effort to avoid autism, left them unvaccinated.

Vaccination has always had its critics. Using needles to put things into children’s bodies has always left some parents uneasy. And the epidemic of autism has left other parents searching for some cause, some agent, some substance that might be to blame.

Vaccination became a prime suspect because it occurs so close to the time at which autism used to be first diagnosed. And Wakefield’s paper was all the ammunition anti-vaccinators needed.

Wakefield’s study was both tiny and flawed. Nearly all of his 13 other co-authors eventually bailed out on the article. Still, the press could not resist from spreading the scary news over and over again, even though no one could get the same findings as Wakefield did. And Wakefield himself, supported by a fanatical anti-vaccine lobby that to this day cannot let go of the vaccine-autism connection, continued to spread fear of vaccines right up to the time of his disciplinary hearing.

Some will try to portray Wakefield as a martyr, sacrificed for the profits pharmaceutical companies make from vaccines. But the profit from childhood vaccination has always been a very small part of Big Pharma’s big profits. The companies still in the childhood vaccine business generally stay there from a sense of duty to the public health not greed.

Wakefield is no martyr. He is a scientist who would not give up on his theory no matter how much evidence accumulated that vaccines are not linked to autism. And that makes him guilty of letting his zealotry blind him to the harm avoiding effective vaccines did to many vulnerable children.

The bitter lessons of the decision to expunge the Wakefield paper from medical history are clear. No single, small study should ever be taken as the basis for a massive change in anyone’s behavior when it comes to your health and that of your family. And the desire to find some reason, any reason, for the plague of autism should not blind us to the fact that the evidence clearly shows that vaccination is not the culprit.

The author of this article, Arthur Caplan, is director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania.

Damn them. Damn them all to Hell for the agony they've caused and the lives they've ruined in their arrogance.


TChristopher said...

"The Wakefield paper killed children and left others deaf and disabled from preventable diseases as their parents, in an effort to avoid autism, left them unvaccinated." This quote is as much a theory as the paper itself! The theory that vaccinations actually immunize at all is just as believable as the fact that they cause autism. MANY more kids are getting autism now than all the disease combined that these vaccinations are said to prevent. Please don't buy into the hype that your children need any type of vaccination. Even the drug companies themselves claim that they do not immunize you from the said diseases.

Subvet said...

TChristopher, according to the article this post came from the author is director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania.

What are YOUR credentials?

As for children not needing any type of vaccination, you're addressing a man who remembers polio being a parental nightmare.

Since you believe no type of vaccination is necessary I'm sure you can explain the almost complete disappearance of polio since the intorduction of the vaccines that combat it.

MightyMom said...


I'm keeping my hands in the air and backing away from the computer now.

TChristopher, you're full of shit. Sorry, but you haven't a single lone clue. Take a poll of Pediatricians.

whoops...didn't back away fast enough, going now.

sig94 said...

My nephew's son is slightly autistic but appears to be doing fairly well in school. I have no idea what the cause of this disease is; allegedly the amount of mercury used in the preparation of vaccines perhaps was an indicator but apparently that now appears to be bogus. Taking care of your sons must be an all consuming worry for you.

My heart goes out to you Admiral.

Subvet said...

Sig94, thanks for the kind words and thoughts. To tell the truth, the autism my kids suffer from is mild. Both boys are mainstreamed in school and while the oldest will always be the obviously "weird" one, both stand a good chance of being able to live independently once the wife and I can't handle them. Thats my biggest worry and I'm a worrier from way back.

The ones that would break your heart are the other kids at their therapist's office. Some of them are just off the charts. Wouldn't trade places with their parents for anything.

Thanks again.

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