Respectful Insolence

…but sadly, it’s not. Jenny McCarthy has struck again.

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Yesterday, given the release of Jenny McCarthy’s new book espousing antivaccinationism and autism quackery and the attendant media blitz the antivaccine movement has organized to promote it, I predicted that a wave of stupid is about to fall upon our great nation.

Well, the stupid has landed. And how. An interview with Jenny has just been published on the TIME Magazine website in which she “surpasses” herself. In fact, so dense is the stupid emanating from what passes for a “brain” in that empty head of hers that words fail me. Suddenly, my favorite snarky analogies about “black hole of stupid, beyond whose event horizon no intelligence or science can pass,” “waves of neuron-apoptosing stupidity,” or “the stupid, it burns thermonuclear” (or supernova or hypernova) all seem woefully inadequate to the task of describing the sheer magnitude of the stupid that issues forth from the interview.

Here’s a hint. Jenny thinks it’s acceptable that infectious diseases will return because of her efforts and those of her fellow antivaccinationists. She thinks it may be a necessary price:

TIME: Your collaborator recommends that parents accept only the haemophilus influenzae type B (HIB) and tetanus vaccine for newborns and then think about the rest. Not polio? What about the polio clusters in unvaccinated communities like the Amish in the U.S.? What about the 2004 outbreak that swept across Africa and Southeast Asia after a single province in northern Nigeria banned vaccines?

JM: I do believe sadly it’s going to take some diseases coming back to realize that we need to change and develop vaccines that are safe. If the vaccine companies are not listening to us, it’s their f___ing fault that the diseases are coming back. They’re making a product that’s s___. If you give us a safe vaccine, we’ll use it. It shouldn’t be polio versus autism.

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That’s right. In Jenny’s warped world, your children are acceptable collateral damage in the cause of promoting her unscientific belief that vaccines cause autism. Here’s a hint for you, Jenny: We already do have vaccines that are safe, and neither you (nor the antivaccine loons) are changing. The government and pharmaceutical companies are listening to you far more than your idiotic pseudoscientific nonsense deserves and even though you are a scientific illiterate. Scientists are wasting millions of dollars studying over and over again the question of whether vaccines are associated with autism and keep finding the same answer: They aren’t.

But it’s never enough for you. No matter how many studies exonerate vaccines as a cause of autism, you don’t believe them. You will never believe them no matter how many studies are done. In fact, I say you are lying when you say that “if you give us a safe vaccine we’ll use it.” The reason is that you have made it very clear that no vaccine will ever be safe enough for you. Regardless of how much evidence is presented, to you your Google University “education” in the dark underbelly of antivaccinationist websites and blogs will always trump science.

I have news for you, too, Jenny: You don’t have much of a record when it comes to scientific issues. After all, you used to think you were an “Indigo Mom” and your son Evan was an “Crystal child,” with abilities beyond that of normal children. Maybe you still do. You were, however, clever enough to know that if you were ever to be reborn as an “autism advocate,” a “mother warrior” fighting to find the cure, all of that “Indigo” woo would have to go. So you scrubbed your website shortly before the release of your first autism book. Too bad The Wayback Machine knows all.

That’s not all of the stupid in Jenny’s interview, however. Let’s take a look at a couple of other choice tidbits:

People have the misconception that we want to eliminate vaccines. Please understand that we are not an antivaccine group. We are demanding safe vaccines. We want to reduce the schedule and reduce the toxins. If you ask a parent of an autistic child if they want the measles or the autism, we will stand in line for the f___ing measles.

No, Jenny. It’s not a misconception at all that “your” Generation Rescue is an antivaccine group. It is, as your “Green Our Vaccines” march proved. No matter how much evidence goes against you, you still insist that it’s absolutely, positively got to be the vaccines. On the Age of Autism blog, any time a problem with a vaccine is found (or GR can make it seem as though a problem has been found), even if it has virtually nothing to do with childhood vaccines or autism (Gardasil, anyone?), it’s trumpeted on AoA as though it’s vindication for your cultish belief that vaccines cause autism. Whenever a claim is demolished (for instance, that mercury in vaccines causes autism), you move the goalposts, as you do in your interview here:

We don’t believe it’s only the mercury. Aluminum and other toxins also play a role. The viruses in the vaccines themselves can be causing it, too.

That’s nothing more than the “toxin” gambit that you like so much. I suppose I should be happy that you didn’t parrot the “formaldehyde in teh vaxines!” gambit. I wonder if Dr. Jay Gordon finally told you to stop it because it’s so dumb.

You also appeal to anecdotal evidence instead of science and hard numbers:

All you have to do is find a schoolteacher or principal and ask them that question. They would say they’ve never seen so much ADHD, autism, OCD as in the past. I think we’re overdiagnosing it by maybe 1%. Now you look around and there are five shadows — kids with disabilities — in every class.

No, Jenny. Studies have been quite clear that broadening of the diagnostic criteria and diagnostic substitution account for most of the increase. Again, anecdotal evidence easily misleads, something I’ve never been able to convince Dr. Jay of. “On the ground,” it may appear that way to teachers, but services are better for special needs children, and I doubt they ever consider whether diagnoses that were once common (mental retardation, for instance) have gone down as autism diagnoses have gone up.

Clearly, Jenny no longer even cares how much of a body count her activities will cause, because it’s now a holy war to her. The Satan vaccines are “stealing the souls from children,” as her the co-author of her newest book once put it; so she must endanger the children and allow some to suffer and even die, all so that they can keep their souls and not become autistic. Because in her world, suffering and death are better than autism; vaccines are the tool of the devil; and science absolutely does not matter in her coming to these beliefs.

Truly, Kevin Leitch was correct to label this McCarthygeddon because it’s all about what is in essence a religious, not rational, belief. It’s certainly not about science or science- and evidence-based medicine.

Comments

  1. #1 Interrobang
    April 1, 2009

    Wow. Jenny McCarthy hates her own kid. You’d have to, to refer to a disabled child as a “shadow,” when you’re the parent of one yourself.

    Speaking as someone who used to be that disabled kid in the classroom, I find that highly effing offensive. Nice dehumanisation, there, Jenny. I shudder to think what you’d do for an encore.

  2. #2 DLC
    April 1, 2009

    “We just want safe vaccines” they say.
    The ones we have now are as safe as we can make them.
    It’s not the vaccines, stupid.

  3. #3 MikeMa
    April 1, 2009

    Sorry to read she’s at it again.

    I can offer this Scientific American article as a small effort to deflect the stupid: Scientists Find ‘Baffling’ Link between Autism and Vinyl Flooring

    As with many unexpected results, more study in indicated but it would be nice to smash a little more science into her ignorance.

  4. #4 Terry
    April 1, 2009

    TIME has some culpability here too. Oprah is not a “news” organziation, but TIME is and providing this kind of unbalanced presentation is as repugnant as the anti-vax movement.

  5. #5 colmcq
    April 1, 2009

    well, y know. all these diseases aren’t helped by vaccination anyway. vaccines are deadly and CAUSE disease.

    But on a serious note, it may very well take a few deaths and permanently brain damaged kids to convince these morons that what they’re doing is profoundly wrong – a Darwin awards derby in which only the innocent will pay a heavy toll for their parents arrogance, ignorance and stupidity.

  6. #6 Pamela
    April 1, 2009

    Autism is environmental. Science says so…from USC and Vanderbilt University in the National Academies Press “We Need To Learn Where Toxins Impact Gene Expression to Find the Cause of Autism. “http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11946#toc. Also UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute study shows California’s autism increase not due to better counting or diagnosis and goes on to say it is likely environmental, http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/newsroom/newsdetail.html?key=1861&svr=http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu&table=published.

    And to the point of environmental trigger and vaccines, let’s just look at one issue… http://www.mothering.com/articles/growing_child/vaccines/aluminum-new-thimerosal.html

    I’ll make no editorial comments…just read the facts for yourself.

    And while you’re at it, you may want to read this analysis on the studies that supposedly prove vaccines are safe. Feeding the Hungry Lie, Feeding a hungry lie.

    And the twisting the AAP gave the facts regarding the most recent thimersoal study, Il Mercurio and the AAP.

  7. #7 The Science Pundit
    April 1, 2009

    The government and pharmaceutical companies are listening to you far more than your idiotic pseudoscientific nonsense deserves and even though you are a scientific illiterate. Scientists are wasting millions of dollars studying over and over again the question of whether vaccines are associated with autism and keep finding the same answer: They aren’t.

    Orac,

    What about the latest study that does show such an association?

  8. #8 Chayanov
    April 1, 2009

    So basically, rather than risk having children who might turn out to be less than “perfect” they’d just as soon let them die.

  9. #9 HCN
    April 1, 2009

    Terry said “TIME has some culpability here too. Oprah is not a “news” organziation, but TIME is and providing this kind of unbalanced presentation is as repugnant as the anti-vax movement.”

    Which is why I hit the link on the writer’s name, which gave me a form for a letter to the editor. I titled it “Killer actress, literally from her stupidity”, and in the body just added the links to this blog, the jennymccarthybodycount page and Kev’s McCarthygedden posting.

  10. #10 dt
    April 1, 2009

    JM:

    “Babies get the hepatitis B vaccine immediately after they’re born and the only way for a newborn to contract that disease is if the mother is a carrier. Why not just screen the mother? Evan was handed to me pre-vaccinated with a Band-Aid on his foot.”

    Errr… and that would have been caused by what exactly? Certainly not the Hep B vax, but a heel prick screening test for phenylketonuria (PKU).

  11. #11 gonzoknife
    April 1, 2009

    Her using polio as an example really pisses me off. My dad got polio the summer before the vaccine came out. He spent time in an iron lung (he had pictures) and the rest of his life in a wheelchair. On top of that he had to deal with post-polio issues such as respiratory problems.

    That she sees a return to these diseases as acceptable shows she has a very sick view of reality.

  12. #12 Orac
    April 1, 2009

    Science Pundit,

    You almost got me there. The e-mails that notify me of comments strip the links out; so I initially thought you were serious!

    Back to grant writing…

  13. #13 MIDawn
    April 1, 2009

    @dt: you are partially right; a band-aid on a heel could have been from the PKU. However, almost all blood tests done on babies (PKU, glucose, jaundice test – AKA bilirubin) are done from heel sticks.

    Disclaimer: while I was a newborn nursery nurse/OB nurse/nurse-midwife in the past, my children did not receive the Hep B injections as infants. They were still optional when my kids were born, and as both my husband and I had been screened AND vaccinated for our jobs, I did not feel they needed them at birth. My children DID get the Hep B vaccines when they were pre-teen age. All of their vaccinations are up to date and complete (except varicella, which both children suffered through as young children. I’d have rather they had the vaccine; my oldest was so sick and miserable that I ended up giving the poor child Tylenol with Codeine because she was in so much agony.)

  14. #14 James Fox
    April 1, 2009

    A couple of lawsuit’s from the disillusioned parents of disabled or dead children will likely be the only thing that will put a sock in Jenny’s mouth.

  15. #15 JohnV
    April 1, 2009

    Heh, I guess labeling them as pro-disease is more accurate and less inflammatory than I thought it was. I still did it anyway, but now it just seems so right :P

  16. #16 plognark
    April 1, 2009

    Yeah, but she’s got a *spectaclar* rack.

  17. #17 MikeMa
    April 1, 2009

    Anti-vax = Pro-disease. Pro-infectious, debilitating, deadly disease. Makes sense to restate the issue this way. Makes a stark and sadly, truthful point.

    Jenny McCarthy –>> Pro-disease

    I see billboard opportunities!

  18. #18 Noadi
    April 1, 2009

    My mom is a special ed teacher and she’s also the guardian for her foster brother who was born with fetal alcohol syndrome. Obviously I grew up around kids with a variety of special needs. It’s why I get so upset when I see Jenny McCarthy or other people dehumanizing kids with autism (or any disability). We talk a lot about her students because she likes to bounce ideas off me for class projects. She is not in the group who thinks that autism, ADD, etc. have increased. As she put it to me once: same kids, same problems, different labels. Not that changing diagnosis are a bad thing, it’s given her tools she didn’t have 20 years ago.

    These anti-vaxxers should be forced to travel to one of the handful of places that still have polio and see exactly what it does. Ditto with other infectious diseases. Make them watch video of small pox victims, the one disease we’ve managed to totally eradicate. Do they think we should still have a disease around with a 25% mortality rate? Let them see straight in the face what they are advocating.

  19. #19 Julian
    April 1, 2009

    Agh!

    You knew no proper skeptic could resist clicking that link!

  20. #20 Whitecoat Tales
    April 1, 2009

    Your heart has to go out to the parents. They’re just looking for someone to hold accountable. Jenny McCarthy, like all good demagogues, has given them something simple, and anecdotally believable that they can hold on too, however inaccurate it is.
    Once they’ve started that, the cognitive dissonance kicks in, and soon, all hope is lost.

  21. #21 dt
    April 1, 2009

    @MI Dawn. Yes the heel prick could have been things other than a PKU screen. But it certainly was not a Hepatitis B vaccine injection site.

    I think it just demonstrates Jenny’s willingness to jump to conclusions and imagine the worst as soon as she thinks something is wrong.

    And anyway, the infant of a Playboy model would in my book be considered as being at quite high risk of getting congnital infections such as Hep B from its “high risk” mother, and would merit being vaccinated.

  22. #22 SiMPel MYnd
    April 1, 2009

    I just sent this letter to the editor at Time:

    Seriously? This is the best that you could do in a Health & Science article? Jenny McCarthy and her band of loons are about as ANTI-science and ANTI-health as you can possibly get! Her and Generation Rescue spread lies and misinformation to promote their anti-vaccination message. Not one of their claims has any shred of scientific evidence to support it. None. Zip. No amount of science will be good enough for them and their anecdotal version of reality where vaccines and autism are concerned. As a result, we’re spending millions of dollars needlessly on repeating the same research over and over. The conclusion is always the same–VACCINES DO NOT CAUSE AUTISM.
    You giving her a forum for this message is incredibly irresponsible. How many children have to start getting diseases like measles and polio before you take away her forum? How many magazines do you have to sell with this D-list celebrity’s line of BS to make it worth a few kids’ lives? Your magazine has just joined the ranks of “People” and “Us” for real news.
    John Schneider
    Phoenix, AZ

  23. #23 MartinM
    April 1, 2009

    If you ask a parent of an autistic child if they want the measles or the autism, we will stand in line for the f___ing measles.

    That’s an amazingly dishonest comparison. Even if the anti-vaxxers were completely right about everything, the correct comparison would be between a 1/150 chance of ASD versus the combined risk of all possible outcomes of every vaccine-preventable disease. Ask a parent of a child who died of SSPE if they’d have preferred their child was ASD.

  24. #24 Joseph
    April 1, 2009

    All you have to do is find a schoolteacher or principal and ask them that question. They would say they’ve never seen so much ADHD, autism, OCD as in the past.

    They say the same thing about pediatricians, but once actual surveys are conducted, pediatricians generally say the increase is an artifact.

  25. #25 gb
    April 1, 2009

    vaccines do not cause disease … anti-vaccinationists do

  26. #26 Cynical Pediatrician
    April 1, 2009

    If there is any silver lining to this stormcloud of stupidity, it’s that perhaps the vaccine-questioning parents will begin to see exactly how batshit crazy and deluded JmcC really is. The vast majority of parents might fear autism*, but they also know enough to fear measles, and polio, and meningitis. Sorry, McCarthy, but most parents will still prefer a kid who’s “off” to one who’s “dead”.

    *Yes, there’s no connection b/t autism and vaccines–but we’re talking about folks who believe otherwise.

  27. #27 Blake Stacey
    April 1, 2009

    [O]nce actual surveys are conducted, pediatricians generally say the increase is an artifact.

    That was my mother’s instinctive reaction when she heard talk of an “autism epidemic”. She says that it’s all due to changing standards and increased reporting, and who are you to call my mother a liar?

  28. #28 Cynical Pediatrician
    April 1, 2009

    OK, here’s something I don’t get: if Jenny believes autism can be cured, then why is it so terrible and fearful? Just chelate a few times, follow a special diet, take some magic herbs (and spices), and you too can have a normal kid once again!

    Unlike encephalopathy or death, which, like diamonds, are forever.

    Even by her own reasoning, vaccines should be a good deal.

  29. #29 Karl Withakay
    April 1, 2009

    Beyond Hpyernova
    Beyond Pair Instability Supernova
    There exists…..
    the Big Bang of Stupidity
    or the Cosmic Brane Collision of Stupidity
    (I like the play in word with that one.)

    “It shouldn’t be polio versus autism.”
    It isn’t and never has been.

    “If you ask a parent of an autistic child if they want the measles or the autism, we will stand in line for the f___ing measles”
    How about if they want a chance at measles and autism, or just a chance at autism?

    “We are demanding safe vaccines. We want to reduce the schedule and reduce the toxins.”
    But botox is OK. Please define which toxins you are speaking of, and what level of those toxins you find acceptable, and please compare that standard to the levels of those same toxins children are exposed to from non-vaccine sources.

    “they’ve never seen so much ADHD, autism, OCD as in the past”
    Let’s assume that teachers have never seen so many children diagnosed with ASD, AHDH, OCD, etc before; is there really any difference in the student population, or just how those students are currently classified and/or whether they are allowed to attend regular schools?

    “I think we’re overdiagnosing it by maybe 1%”
    Based on what expertise/data?

    By the way, what increase in autism? http://photoninthedarkness.com/?p=158

    Wouldn’t it be a wonderful irony if someone could develope a vaccine that prevented or “cured” autism? I think the numbered light on Jenny’s neck would flash repeatedly while she asked Norman for help before she just shut down completely.

  30. #30 Ben
    April 1, 2009

    I have Autism. I caught it from a door knob. My diagnosis came much later ONLY due to the release of the DSM IV while I was still in middle school after I learned strategies to cope/mask it. That’s right: my symptoms decreased while my diagnostic criteria shot up. Effing brilliant. The widening of diagnostic nets, through both better criteria and testing methodology AND a greater willingness of parents, clinicians, and educators to seek and accept diagnoses, is the number one reason the rates are going up. Also, we’re breeeeeeeeeeeeding a hell of a lot more profusely now. Thanks, Internet.

  31. #31 Dan Weber
    April 1, 2009

    So basically, rather than risk having children who might turn out to be less than “perfect” they’d just as soon let them die.

    That’s what happens when your kids are a hobby rather than independent sentient beings with their own rights and personhood.

  32. #32 kitten
    April 1, 2009

    What kills me is that the original data saying there was a link were falsified: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/health/article5683671.ece

    And yet this continues, millions of research dollars later….

    And this: “they’ve never seen so much ADHD, autism, OCD as in the past”
    If this were true, it’s probably because many were institutionalized or at least put into special schools.

    Seriously, TIME couldn’t find ANYTHING ELSE to cover????

  33. #33 snoeman
    April 1, 2009

    @ MartinM:

    That’s an amazingly dishonest comparison. Even if the anti-vaxxers were completely right about everything, the correct comparison would be between a 1/150 chance of ASD versus the combined risk of all possible outcomes of every vaccine-preventable disease. Ask a parent of a child who died of SSPE if they’d have preferred their child was ASD.

    I think that’s spot-on. I’d like to ask Jenny: If a parent were asked that question, does she think they also stand in line for the chance at Polio, Varicella, Hib, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Tetanus, Mumps, Rubella, Diptheria, Pertussis, Meningococcal, Pneumococcal, plus whatever else?

  34. #34 Danio
    April 1, 2009

    She is truly loathsome. I emailed Time, for whatever it’s worth.

  35. #35 Sam C
    April 1, 2009

    I sense a smidgette of irritation… perhaps you could communicate this better if you framed it in a Nisbett-approved fashion?

    Grins madly, ducks and runs for cover…

    … while thinking that perhaps the phrase “McCarthyite Witch Hunt” can be construed in more than one way

  36. #37 Summer Seale
    April 1, 2009

    I sent a letter to the editor in response to the article:

    Dear Editors,

    I haven’t been reading Time magazine since years – the last time being when I was in High School. Your soft-balled questions article about Jenny McCarthy discussing her attitudes towards science shows me why I have missed nothing and gained everything by my choice.

    Thank you for proving, yet again, that you are a bunch of clueless apes. It was the sort of article which I expected to read in another pulp feel-good trash publication such as “People’s Magazine” instead of a genuine scientific article in a more newsworthy source.

    Jenny McCarthy has nothing intelligent to say. She is the kind of woman that gives the rest of us beautiful blondes a bad name. She is a self-serving idiot whose face is best left at the bottom of a bird cage – where your magazine now truly belongs.

    Have a wonderful time trying to adapt to the new digital medium, and we’ll see how much longer you stay around with articles such as these.

    Yours with complete and utter insolence,

    Summer Seale.

    P.S. Seeing as you may have trouble understanding the gist of this letter, due to your stupidity in interviewing Jenny McCarthy in the first place, I’ll sum it up for you in four words: Time Magazine Fucking Sucks.

  37. #38 Cthulhu's minion
    April 1, 2009

    Now this is just sheer speculation, but seems to me that the reason so many parents of autistic children blame the vaccines is because,if autism turns out to be genetic or a fetal developement disorder, they have no-one to blame and their perfect children weren’t made imperfect by the ebil doctors.

  38. #39 Don Miguel
    April 1, 2009

    I contracted polio the year before the vaccine came out. In treatment over the years I saw lots of kids suffering from the disease, many much worse than me. Some of them died, but all of us were left with a life of varying degrees of pain and disabilities.

    I hope there’s a special place in hell for the vulgar airhead Jenny McCarthy for even suggesting that polio may need to come back. What a vacuous sack of manure she is!

  39. #40 storkdok
    April 1, 2009

    @Science Pundit

    Ya got me! Pretty good one!

    As for JM, none of this surprises me. She wants to sell books, the more outrageous she is, the more publicity she gets. Why anyone takes this empty-headed twit seriously enough to buy her book is beyond me. They should have their HS diplomas revoked.

  40. #41 D. C. Sessions
    April 1, 2009

    The real proof of Jenny’s (et al) attitude towards vaccines is the quote on polio. Because we’re almost to the point of eradicating it for-freaking-ever — and they want to give it a reprieve from extinction.

    How many children got the smallpox vaccine last year, Jenny? Care to guess why? So what’s your problem with sending polio the same way?

  41. #42 John
    April 1, 2009

    Who made this vapid twit anything but annoying? I had a friend who had polio, this bitch never saw that pain. This is the newthink that we all were warned about in SciFi novels. Next up, depopulation to save the earth. Pick a card, any card. Slap this bitch until she feels like she has polio. Asswipe squared.

  42. #43 Whitecoat Tales
    April 1, 2009

    I was about to write a far-too-big response here. It ended up turning into a post on my blog so,

    http://beyondtheshortcoat.wordpress.com/2009/04/01/hard-conversations-vaccines-and-autism-part-1/

    The beginings of my ramblings on this subject.

  43. #44 Michele
    April 1, 2009

    The fact she spreads such misinformation and thinks she speaks for evey parent who has a child on the spectrum infuriates me. She is so scientifically illiterate, incompetent and irresponsible.

    It really goes to show her irrational way of thinking when she says vaccine manufacturers will be the ones to blame when we have a serious outbreak of one of these diseases. That just blows my mind. She’ll never see how all the fearmongering and misinformation she and her ilk are spreading is what’s really responsible. I can only hope that if the time comes when we see these outbreaks that there’s a national outcry and she’s forced to be held accountable for her words and actions. The willful arrogance and ignorance of this woman still manages to amaze me.

    Orac, I’ve heard Jenny repeatedly talk about what she calls toxins in the vaccines that she claims they want removed. Has she ever once given a breakdown of what these supposed toxins are, how they’re supposed to be harmful, and what she and her ilk think should be used to replace them so that the vaccines are ‘safer’ and still effective? She claims to be an authority now that she has her Google Ph.D. Why hasn’t she presented this information yet? I mean, come on, she’s an “expert”.

    But then I look at her and how utterly incompetent and irresponsible she is and know there’s no way she’d be able to do that. She’ll just keep screaming “toxins, toxins, toxins”.

  44. #45 michele
    April 1, 2009

    *sigh* typing while my kids are bickering. It should say “I can only hope that if the time comes and we see these outbreaks that there’s a national outcry and she’s forced to be held accountable for her words and actions.” not “I can only hope that if the time comes when we see these outbreaks that there’s a national outcry and she’s forced to be held accountable for her words and actions.”

  45. #46 Ronnie Schreiber
    April 1, 2009

    Whenever I come across an anti-vaccine luddite I tell them that I don’t think that vaccines are dangerous but that even if they were, as a parent and grandparent I’d take a 1/150 chance of an autistic child over a 1/4 chance of them dying of a childhood disease.

    As Hobbes put it, before the industrial revolution life was short and brutal. It was an unusual family that didn’t have to bury a child.

    McCarthy loves doctors and science when she it comes to important things like breast implants and botox (ironic how someone who thinks vaccines are poisons gets injected with botulism extract) but rejects things which keep kids healthy and prevent birth defects.

    Ms. McCarthy knows no history so she is not aware of why we vaccinate against measles. We use measles vaccinations more to prevent exposure of pregnant women to measles, which can cause birth defects, than to keep kids from getting sick.

  46. Thank you, Jenny, for your tireless and well-funded efforts to make my job as an ASD parent of an ASD child a living hell. It was way easier to get people to accept and befriend my child before you started spouting this utter shite about them being “shadows.” How you must loathe your own child to subject him to this. My heart goes out to him most of all.

  47. #48 IBY
    April 1, 2009

    How about “stupidity as dense as a big bang singularity?” Is that strong enough, or do you need more juice added to it?

  48. #49 Voice 0'Reason
    April 1, 2009

    Scientists Find ‘Baffling’ Link between Autism and Vinyl Flooring

    Aw, jeez, now someone’s going to tell us to stop injecting kids with vinyl flooring!

  49. #50 deatkin
    April 1, 2009

    Was it just a throwaway remark, or did Jenny McCarthy just blame ADHD and OCD on toxic vaccines, as well as ASD? Why stop there, Jenny? What about dyslexia? What about Clinical Depression? What about sleep apnea? Parents of children with developmental disabilities and abnormal psychology need something to blame!!!

  50. #51 BlackOrchid
    April 1, 2009

    yeah, deatkin, I noticed that too.

    turning into quite the broad spectrum!

    doesn’t that kind of make it harder to figure out what exactly is going on with Autism, conflating it with Tourettes and Retts and OCD and general anxiety and ADD and SAD and bunions and . . .

  51. #52 ababa
    April 1, 2009

    They are simply adjusting the goalposts yet again. The autism link becomes more and more implausible with Wakefield and mercury being dead ends, formaldehyde being laughable, anti-freeze being someone’s misunderstanding, aluminum coming up empty (they just *know* it’s bad, but can’t figure out why).

    Generation Rescue has to recast the net in a wider area if it is to keep the ad revenue .. err, I mean “donations” coming in.

  52. #53 Samantha
    April 1, 2009

    That’s right. In Jenny’s warped world, your children are acceptable collateral damage in the cause of promoting her unscientific belief that vaccines cause autism.

    Ever notice that all of the proponents of anti-vax stupidity are well off white people. At least I’ve yet to come across one who wasn’t. Any of you know of any? Why do you suppose that is? When affluent white people start to drop dead of, or suffer lingering agonizing deaths from, vaccine preventable diseases then, and only then, will people begin to wake up from the madness. Clearly the plight of the poorer (you have to assume that not all of them are poor by their nations’ standards) brown and black people suffering from vaccine preventable diseases is not sufficient to move people who think like Jenny McCarthy.

  53. #54 maidden
    April 1, 2009

    Idea: invent some new “indigo child” story to convince Jenny that her kid isn’t autistic after all, he’s just a different kind of special. We could even work into it the vaccine angle, not as causing the “specialness”, but just bringing it out, so that vaccines are perfectly safe for kids who aren’t “special”, and will actually be a good thing to reveal the “specialness” of some kids.

    Just basically give her some new woo to latch onto. Designed so she won’t be, you know, killing people.

  54. #55 Krubozumo Nyankoye
    April 1, 2009

    Samantha at 9:35 makes a good point. None of these people who are opposed to vaccines have ever seen what a world without them looks like. I suggest they all go a live two or three years in Liberia, or Sierra Leone, or Guinea, or Mali, or Burkino Faso, or the CAR, or Congo. And I don’t mean live in a tourist hotel in some major city, but in a bush village.

    But then I realize that even if they did, they are so utterly devoid of the ordinary faculties of reason, that they would misunderstand the experience.

    It is a pity there are such abject fools in the world, it is a crime that their benighted opinions are given wide currency by malicious greedy fools.

  55. #56 Fiamma
    April 1, 2009

    I have held back from saying this, but really, I hate nothing more than “celebrities” who come out for a cause ONLY after it affects them. Then, due to their money and who they know, they can back whatever doctor/quack that spews the dribble they believe and want to hear. Add to that mix their self-centeredness and sheer ignorance of anything scientific and methinks we have a movie of the week!!

  56. #57 Dawn
    April 1, 2009

    In Orac’s warped world, everyone’s children are acceptable collateral damage in the cause of promoting his pharmaceutical funded so-called scientific belief that vaccines are safe and don’t cause autism.

  57. #58 Dawn
    April 1, 2009

    Oh, did I forget to mention that vaccination rates are dropping all over the world too? I cannot believe that it slipped my mind. Well, I’m off to celebrate this huge victory! Thank you Orac for reminding me how important this battle really is.

  58. #59 Jess
    April 1, 2009

    Did anyone see Jenny and Jerry Kartzinel on Good Morning America? Sawyer let them slip and slide all over the place. It’s autism–ooooops! It’s also asthma! And it’s the top three bad things in the environment! What are we talking about? Who cares!

  59. #60 Summer Seale
    April 1, 2009

    My god, Dawn, you are insane.

    People like you are advocating that we go back to the dark ages when a bout of “the flux” might most likely kill lots of people around you.

    Don’t like vaccines? How about the certainty of burying at least one child per family? How about the certainty that you probably wouldn’t live until the age of forty?

    The fact is that vaccines and medicine in general, have transformed the human experience in more positive ways than anyone could have possibly imagined. Tell somebody from the year 1909 that the “plague” of influenza would no longer kill them a century later and they might look at you as if you were mad.

    Then again, that is exactly what you are. Mad. You are insane to want to go back to that time. Do you have any idea of what polio did to the human race? Do you have any inkling of the millions of children and adults who were killed because we had no vaccines against diseases?

    I suspect that you think we should all go back to a more “natural based” lifestyle, whatever the hell that means. You’re simply a modern-society tamer version of the Taliban, screaming about a more “holistic” time which never existed. Life was short, ugly, and brutish. Perhaps that is what makes it so attractive to you in some ways: like often attracts like.

  60. #61 Heraclides
    April 1, 2009

    For those writing to the editor, one small caution: the piece was written by Time’s science editor.

  61. #62 ANB
    April 1, 2009

    Was Karzinel really blaming my carpeting for autism? Does that mean the drapes cause impetigo? Can I catch an STD from the wainscoting? I’m freakin’ out, man!

  62. #63 Chris
    April 1, 2009

    Dawn said “Oh, did I forget to mention that vaccination rates are dropping all over the world too?”

    Did you forget that measles is returning to those countries. Especially places like Germany, the UK and Switzerland. From http://www.epha.org/a/3408

    The countries with the highest prevalence of the disease (Germany, the UK, Switzerland, Italy and Romania) are also the countries where the vaccination rates are below 90 percent, which is well below the World Health Organisation’s target of 95 per cent.

    Children getting measles with a one in a thousand chance of serious complications from deafness, blindness, mental retardation to even death actually makes you happy!? You are one sick cookie.

  63. #64 Autumn
    April 1, 2009

    I wonder exactly when advocating against vaccinations can fail to be free speech. If a reasonable person were likely to take action based immediately on the speech, and such action constituted a “clear and present danger” to the community, the speech is not protected. What McCarthy and her ilk do is akin to walking into a hospital for the severely depressed and advocating suicide. If they actually believe that their words will cause people to not vaccinate children, their words are criminal.

  64. #65 Ted H.
    April 1, 2009

    I like the term fractal wrongness:The state of being wrong at every conceivable scale of resolution. That is, from a distance, a fractally wrong person’s worldview is incorrect; and furthermore, if you zoom in on any small part of that person’s worldview, that part is just as wrong as the whole worldview.

    There’s a motivational poster for is as well, but I don’t know how to post the link.

  65. #66 Don Miguel
    April 2, 2009

    “Did you forget that measles is returning to those countries. Especially places like Germany, the UK and Switzerland.”

    No doubt due to immigration from some of the “enlightened” countries where religious leaders claim vaccines are part of some Jewish conspiracy to wipe out future martyrs. My kids were born there (one Germany, one Switzerland). Each received their first vaccines on the first visit to the pediatrician.

  66. #67 John C. Welch
    April 2, 2009

    Chris, you’re being rational. You cannot begin to comprehend the intensity of Dawn’s self-centeredness, and her nigh-sociopathic inability to care about anyone but herself.

    If you told her that she could cure her kids of autism/prevent them from getting it by grinding up six babies and feeding the slurry to them, she’d have a Deluxe-sized Bass-o-Matic and a chute set up so fast it would make your head spin.

    Because anything, ANYTHING AT ALL, no matter what is acceptable to Dawn and the rest of her crew as long as it means she doesn’t have to ever deal with the most probable cause of Autism: A bad draw in the genetic lotto.

    If it means she can blame someone else for her kids autism, she’d put every doctor in a camp and her pulse would never twitch.

  67. #68 Derek Bartholomaus
    April 2, 2009

    For the record, Jenny McCarthy believes that Evan is a “Crystal Child” and herself an “Indigo Mom”. Link: http://childrenofthenewearth.com/free.php?page=articles_free/mccarthy_jenny/article1

    -Derek
    http://www.jennymccarthybodycount.com/

  68. #69 Chris
    April 2, 2009

    Don Miguel, the reason for lowered vaccination in Switzerland and Germany are the Waldorf schools. It is nothing to do with immigration. See:
    http://www.eurosurveillance.org/ViewArticle.aspx?ArticleId=18838

    The outbreak described here indicates that the anthroposophic community also is an at-risk group of measles spread, because many parents in this group choose not to vaccinate their children with the MMR vaccine [4]. Anthroposophy, based on the writings of the mystic and social philosopher Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925), combines human development with an investigation of the divine spark found in all of nature. The movement has marked education (Waldorf/Steiner schools) and medicine. Anthroposophical doctors emphasise nature-based therapies that support the body’s innate healing wisdom. Antibiotics, fever-reducing agents, and vaccinations are used at one’s own discretion only [5].

  69. #70 Uncle Dave
    April 2, 2009

    Autumn wrote;

    “I wonder exactly when advocating against vaccinations can fail to be free speech.”

    Yea, the yelling fire in a crowded theater limit of free speech has been suggested before I believe.

    There is a joke told by a movie critic about a poor performance in a movie role and I can picture Jenny McCarthy as the subject of the joke.

    Jenny McCarthy played Ann Frank in the story of Ann Frank. She was so bad that when the NAZI’s were pounding on the door of the Frank home everyone in the audience yelled at the screen, “SHE UPSTAIRS IN THE ATTIC!!!!”

  70. #71 marty
    April 2, 2009

    No, no, no. They’re right. If you take away vaccines you *will* get many less kids with Autism.

    Because, instead, there will be many less kids.

    Jenny McCarthy. Pro-Death.

  71. #72 Monado
    April 2, 2009

    Yeah, we can go back to the good old days of paralyzed diaphragms and iron lungs. How would she like to spend her life in an Iron lung ward? Maybe she’ll get an overdose of botox one day.

    I read in the news about a woman dying about six months ago in a power failure, because her at-home iron lung failed and so did the backup system.

    My favourite cousin (older than I) had polio when he was four and limped badly for the rest of his life with one leg several inches shorter than the other.

    The woo is spreading and doing its damage. My son is thinking he won’t get his cats vaccinated, because it might not be good for them and might not do any good. I gently remind him that even cats live a lot longer than they used to and that distemper is an incurable viral disease. Even indoor cats can get it from the dust people track inside.

  72. #73 autismnostrum
    April 2, 2009

    Nobody called me to ask which one I preferred. I’ll take autism over measles, thanks. Not that it’s actually a choice. But nice of her to speak for me again.

  73. #74 miket
    April 2, 2009

    Problem is not Jenny. Problem is all the rest of idiots who give her attention; all the primitives who pray over a sick kid; all the religious types that beat a kid to death because he did not say amen. Too bad there is no vaccine against stupidity – have you noticed the ever increasing numbers lately? We don’t let them kill themselves because all the protections (Caution: the beverage you are about to enjoy is extremely hot)

    Throughout the blog nobody mentioned pertussis – that is another bad one that used to kill perfectly good babies. And what about yellow fever and all manner of tropical diseases against which you need to be vaccinated to “safely” travel to tropical locales. The sad part is that unvaccinated kids have nothing to say about the problem while their vaccinated parents grew up and reproduced.

  74. #75 sff
    April 2, 2009

    Autistic, ADHD and OCD children are Shadows? Shadows???? How f**ing dehumanizing … how can these people talk about THEIR OWN CHILDREN this way? Earth to Jenny McCarthy: being diagnosed with a mental or developmental problem does not make you worthless.

    And polio is REALLY F*ING HORRIBLE. If you’re willing to accept its return to avoid a NONEXISTENT risk… I don’t even know anything strong enough.

    Erm, sorry to over-rant, but this is just unbelievable.

    @dt:
    >>And anyway, the infant of a Playboy model would in my >>book be considered as being at quite high risk of getting >>congnital infections such as Hep B from its “high risk” >>mother, and would merit being vaccinated.
    Well, maybe. Not *all* Playboy models necessarily would have that kind of history. It doesn’t automatically follow that someone engages in risky sexual behavior just because they’re willing to be photographed nude. (I’m sure there’s a lot of overlap between the groups, but not 100%).

  75. #76 Don Miguel
    April 2, 2009

    “Don Miguel, the reason for lowered vaccination in Switzerland and Germany are the Waldorf schools. It is nothing to do with immigration.”

    Interesting, Chris. I never heard of any of that when I lived there, but it has been more than two decades. It’s not surprising though: I knew people there who really believed that US TV shows reflected reality and that what they read in Pravda was “The Truth.”

  76. #77 Richard Eis
    April 2, 2009

    -People have the misconception that we want to eliminate vaccines. We are demanding safe vaccines.-

    -We don’t believe it’s only the mercury. Aluminum and other toxins also play a role. The viruses in the vaccines themselves can be causing it, too.-

    -we will stand in line for the f___ing measles.-

    So, she wants vaccines without any chemicals or…erm…virus…(why is this not eliminating vaccines when you remove all the ingredients?) But then she is quite happy to get the wild version of measles for her child.

    DYou do not need a university degree to see the obvious.

  77. #78 Militant Agnostic
    April 2, 2009

    @miket

    not used to kill babies – it still can thanks to anti vax loons. We have a pertussis outbreak in southwestern Alberta right now.

    http://www.chr.ab.ca/bins/content_page.asp?cid=5075-5106-5079-17077-17512

    Someone from the Chinook Health Region atrributed to the large number of alties in area. She compared the antifaxxers to someone who is so worried about something falling on them from above that they get hit by a car because they are looking up when they cross the street.

  78. #79 dy
    April 2, 2009

    And in France it is related to (the same?) religious schools too:
    http://www.eurosurveillance.org/ViewArticle.aspx?ArticleId=18961

  79. #80 Corina Becker
    April 2, 2009

    Quote:JM: I do believe sadly it’s going to take some diseases coming back to realize that we need to change and develop vaccines that are safe. End Quote

    Sooooo, we should stop treating people with cancer because the treatment(s) isn’t/might not be 100% safe? Because that’ll sure make them scientists look for a better cure! Never mind that people die from cancer.

    Oh idiocy, thy name is Jenny McCarthy.

    (I’m focusing on that particular part, because I already use her book as a daily taunting and enraging mechanism to speak up on a regular basis as an autistic individual against McCarthy and the anti-vaccine and pro-cure fractions. I’ll leave the ranting for my own place.)

  80. #81 embertine
    April 2, 2009

    Ever notice that all of the proponents of anti-vax stupidity are well off white people. At least I’ve yet to come across one who wasn’t. Any of you know of any? Why do you suppose that is?

    Good point, Samantha, and I’m going to have to agree with Krubozumo; they have no experience of a community decimated by these diseases. They feel safe to indulge their ridiculous woo because they don’t believe it will happen to them.

    I wonder what will happen when these kids grow up and these diseases are rife in an unvaccinated adult population? I suppose fewer children will be born with autism if half the adult population are sterile from mumps and the other half miscarry from rubella.

  81. #82 Kitty
    April 2, 2009

    This woman sickens me.

    Polio should be allowed to return to get the pharmaceutical industry to produce safe vaccines?

    POLIOMYELITIS: State of Iowa, 1945-1970
    1945- 320
    1946- 620
    1947- 176
    1948- 1236
    1949- 1217
    1950- 1399
    1951- 466
    1952- 3564
    1953- 613
    1954- 1445
    1955- 561
    1956- 580
    1957- 21p*/57np*
    1958- 35p/38np
    1959- 285p/123np
    1960- 6p/19np
    1961- 10p/8np
    1962- 4p/3np
    1963- 0
    1964- 1
    1965- 3p/1np
    1966- 0
    1967- 1
    1968- 1
    1969- 0
    1970- 0

    *p – paralytic *np – non-paralytic

    A simple Google gives the above stats for just one US state. An obvious example of the benefits of vaccination which this stupid woman ignores.

    Yes, Jenny, lets get ready for the return of polio.

    While we’re at it how about bringing back Diphtheria too?

    We could have a revival meeting, bring the kids, you could bake a cake.

  82. #83 LC
    April 2, 2009

    Skin colour has very little to do with it – it is just what variety of loonies you have pushing it and what their claims about vaccines are. A case in point the religious loonies in Nigeria, who claim vaccines are part of the ‘new world order’ to sterilize/infect the citizens. Unsurprisingly the area is also rife with polio, measles, etc.

    But it the case of Crazy Jenny and her ilk, I would agree it is because they have had it so easy. Pack them off to Nigeria and I bet they would be screaming to be vaccinated.

  83. #84 Just a thought...
    April 2, 2009

    Not surprisingly, Kim Stagliano (as the leader of the malignants at Age of Autism . com) has again moderated away a few minimally dissenting comments I attempted to leave on that website in response to the JMcC article. While forums like this AND AoA are quite polar opposites, I appreciate how dissenting opinions (even when they are as blatantly brainwashed as Dawn) are still permitted here. There’s no middle ground, no neutral zone where opposing sides can have rational discussion. But I suspect this will never happen, as ‘they’ will never accept serial evidence-based data exonerating vaccines, and we can never accept their pseudoscience, conjecture, flawed anecdotal evidence, and disseminated paranoia. Sorry, we are, in fact, standing up for the health of our kids by supporting vaccinations.

    Level-headed members of the autism awareness movement should be embarrassed by their spokesperson. Sorry, spokesbunny.

  84. #85 HolfordWatch
    April 2, 2009

    Most of the ideas behind the ‘spreading evil’ of vaccine effects etc. are summarised in Kenneth Bock’s Healing New Childhood Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Asthma and Allergies: The Groundbreaking Program for the 4-A Disorders.

    The 4 factors that he blames for these disorders that he reports at 1 in every 3 children are:
    1) Toxins in the air, oceans, foods, etc.
    2) Nutrition deficiencies
    3) Vaccinations
    4) Children’s ability to detoxify is compromised.

    Children can be ‘healed’ by his own mix and match of:
    1) Nutritional Therapy
    2) Supplementation Therapy
    3) Detoxification
    4) Medication.
    Above all, he says, children need parental love (I’m just reporting).

    Fractal wrongness image for Ted H.

  85. #86 Joseph
    April 2, 2009

    Level-headed members of the autism awareness movement should be embarrassed by their spokesperson. Sorry, spokesbunny.

    She’s a spokesperson of a small faction of the autism communities, not the whole.

  86. #87 Liesele
    April 2, 2009

    And here in the suburbs of Washington DC we have measles back: http://www.gazette.net/stories/04012009/rocknew213045_32472.shtml
    Good thing my son with ACC (and my other kids) have been vaccinated. Hope herd immunity is good enough too. But I wonder if the measles vaccine caused his brain to have incompletely formed his corpus callusum and septum pellucidum in utero? I mean, if it can counter all science, why can’t it reach back in time?

  87. #88 JohnV
    April 2, 2009

    I’m disappointed, Dawn shows up but doesn’t threaten anyone with physical confrontations :(

    I would like to add, however, that you are one seriously evil person Dawn if you’re celebrating the impending return of massive, preventable deaths by infectious disease.

  88. #89 amhovgaard
    April 2, 2009

    ANB: If you can get an STD from the wainscoting, you must have really wild parties…

  89. #90 MIDawn
    April 2, 2009

    A little OT…can anyone get into neurodiversity.com? I’m just getting a blank screen and “database unavailable”

  90. #91 catgirl
    April 2, 2009

    She says she wants a safe vaccine, so we should ask her what would count as a safe vaccine. What would it take for her to actually accept that a specific vaccine is safe? If many well-designed studies show them to be safe and that’s enough to convince her, then how would she ever know if it is safe or not? Maybe someone should just make a random website that says they’re safe, and she’ll believe it then.

  91. #92 Richard Eis
    April 2, 2009

    -She says she wants a safe vaccine, so we should ask her what would count as a safe vaccine.-

    it will be safe when it contains no chemicals or virus. She has said so repeatedly.

    so…good luck with that. This is not a person to be argued with or to show data to.

    She is Fred Phelps in a dress.

  92. #93 Phoenix Woman
    April 2, 2009

    Since the only medical authorities (outside of plastic surgeons) she likes are dead ones, let’s reference Paracelsus, since he’s got a nice woo-ey sounding name:

    “All things are poison, and nothing is without poison. The dose alone makes a thing not poison.”

    Hint to woomeisters: This is why using chelation therapy for anything other than ridding the body of cancer is a supremely stupid move. It’s like using a power sander to remove urine from the body: The urine is leaving of its own accord without need of outside assistance, and the means chosen to “assist” will cause lots of harm but no good.

  93. #94 Militant Agnostic
    April 2, 2009

    @Pheonix Woman – Don’t you mean heavy metals not cancer? Otherwise that is an excellent analogy for chelation therapy.

  94. #95 Nobody Important
    April 2, 2009

    Just to clarify, “shadow” is not a reference to the kid. A “shadow” is a helper assigned to a kid who’s mainstreamed in a regular education class. The helper “shadows” the kid, providing assistance where needed.

  95. #96 lytefoot
    April 2, 2009

    Ever notice that all of the proponents of anti-vax stupidity are well off white people. At least I’ve yet to come across one who wasn’t. Any of you know of any?

    Unfortunately, yes. In my city, there’s a strong belief among certain segments of the African-American population that vaccines are a plot to make their children… somehow defective… and keep them poor and marginalized. Generational poverty, it seems, is a result of nefarious vaccinations. That’s why community health people are always trying to make you vaccinate your kids.

  96. #97 MikeMa
    April 2, 2009

    lytefoot
    What you describe was portrayed beautifully in an HBO special on polio vaccines in (mostly) India. The sentiment that America was pushing vaccines to kill muslims was shown until a muslim woman in a burkha explained the value of having all kids vaccinated.

    The social aspect is very important it seems. If someone not sufficiently like you asks you to do something, you may react badly out of fear, hate, whatever. Trust is everything. You must recruit (in this case) caregivers likely to be trusted by the target populations, whatever the nature of that population, if you truly wish to succeed.

  97. #98 Dangerous Bacon
    April 2, 2009

    Seeing 90+ responses this fast convinced me that the flaming stupid had to have cropped up in the comments. In medicine, we call this the “Dawn” sign.

    Once again, Jenny and her adherents are behind the times in blaming vaccines for autism. The truth has come out, and it is ugly indeed.

    The problem is VINYL FLOORING. It’s proven. There’s a study. Plus they’re talking about it on CureZone, which is a prime source of reliable health information:

    http://www.curezone.com/forums/fm.asp?i=1387874#i

    The Amish don’t have vinyl flooring and don’t have autism. What more proof could you possibly need?

    It’s time for Big Flooring to stop hiding this problem and begin greening their products. Or as Jenny would say, it’s f_____g time to stop this s___t.

  98. #99 bozzy
    April 2, 2009

    Scientists Find ‘Baffling’ Link between Autism and Vinyl Flooring

    Guess what these guys also found:

    “Children in the study also were twice as likely to have autism if their mothers smoked cigarettes.”

    Jenny, now we have found the cause of your son’s autism! As we all know about Jenny’s smoking while pregnant history.

  99. #100 Liesele
    April 2, 2009

    My favorite study that mixed up correlation and causation was the Scandinavian pediatrics study which purported to demonstrate that nightlight use caused myopia. It took a few months before it was retracted, the investigators having finally realized that myopic parents were more likely to be using nightlights in their infants’ rooms than parents with better vision, and all they had demonstrated was the genetic component of myopia.

  100. #101 Carol
    April 2, 2009

    Interobang, ‘shadow’ doesn’t refer to the child with special needs. It refers to an aide in the classroom who assists a child with special needs. When Jenny says she sees ‘shadows’ in every class, that’s what she means.

    She’s still wrong about why so many are now diagnosed and about vaccines.

  101. #102 notmercury
    April 2, 2009

    More choice Jenny Wisdom:
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,364496,00.html

    It was like every mom explains, it’s like a spaceship came and stole the child’s soul. I had a child that was smiling and hugging me and calling me mama and no longer knows I’m there. Like that.

    Recovery, the real thing, it’s not a cure, a really great analogy I give is autism is like getting hit by a bus. You can’t be cured but you can recover all those lost things that you once had.

  102. #103 Mu
    April 2, 2009

    That Swedish study linked above also has 1 in 66 kids with autism, this beat even JMc’s worst estimates. But what the data most likely really showing is “poor kids are more likely to have “autism” then rich kids”, as indicated by the other factors they found. PVC floor tiles, poor ventilation and smoking parents all point to me to the less well-off sector of society.

  103. #104 Antaeus Feldspar
    April 2, 2009

    As hateful as they are, Jenny’s hateful and idiotic comments about autistic people may be giving the autistic community a great opportunity. The time seems ripe to start an Autism Spectrum Anti-Defamation League, which responds immediately and aggressively in every public venue where Jenny’s ignorant comments get aired, pointing out that she and her followers promote hate-filled stereotypes of people with ASDs and advocate worthless pseudoscience.

    The general understanding of science in the population is sadly low, and this makes it difficult to communicate a message like “Jenny’s claims about toxins in vaccines are complete b***s***.” It’s much easier, however, to communicate the message “Jenny is promoting hate speech when she says that autistic people have missing souls and steal the souls from others,” and once that message has been received, it’s easier to communicate “Jenny claims that she has science behind her, but it’s the same sort of pseudoscience that hate groups always have.”

  104. #105 D. C. Sessions
    April 2, 2009

    If many well-designed studies show them to be safe and that’s enough to convince her, then how would she ever know if it is safe or not?

    Well, I won’t swear that this would be enough, but she would certainly insist on a large (>100K) multi-generational prospective double-blind study, with the controls being 100% unvaccinated and following chemical-free diets.

  105. #106 Prometheus
    April 2, 2009

    Jenny and her crowd say they’d rather have measles than autism – as if that was a real choice!

    In logic, that’s known as a false dichotomy.

    In reality, the choice is not either measles or autism, it’s a lot simpler than that. Since there is no data suggesting that the measles vaccine causes or contributes to autism (all previously cited data having been shown to be either erroneous or fraudulent), the choice is:

    measles or NOT-measles (i.e. the measles vaccine)

    By repeating this false dichotomy, the pro-infectious disease advocates (e.g. Jenny McCarthy) are trying to “frame” the debate as a “choice” between measles and autism. In reality, autism isn’t one of the possible “choices”.

    The only choice is either to protect yourself or your children from dangerous infectious diseases or to surrender to unreasonable (and unsupported) fear-mongering and leave you and/or your children vulnerable to a well-known and well-documented risk of death or permanent disability from wild-type measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, pertussis, Hemophilus influenza B (HiB) and others.

    That’s your choice. You can believe Jenny – “B-list” ex-bunny – that vaccines cause autism OR you can believe the hundreds of researchers who haven’t found an association between vaccines and autism.

    You can believe an ex-actress with a “Google PhD” (Jenny McCarthy) that vaccines are more dangerous than the diseases they prevent OR you can believe hundreds of years of human experience with what are now vaccine-preventable diseases.

    We know that measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, pertussis…etc. can kill and cripple children. We know that vaccines are able to prevent the wholsale slaughter of children by these diseases. And we have a lot of data showing that there is no connection between vaccines and autism.

    Choose wisely.

    Prometheus

  106. #107 Scrabcake
    April 2, 2009

    TIME hasn’t been a news rag for at least two years now. I cancelled my subscription when I noticed that the monthly schedule for cover stories was
    First Week: “Is [insert religion or religious figure here] Real?”
    Second week: “Our Schools are Going to Hell!”
    Third week: “Can Peeps [insert bizarre food item here] prevent Ebola? [insert horrible disease here]” (This would be where Jenny’s interview fits in)
    Fourth week: “Closeup of Politician Head”
    Alright, next week it’s religion again. Shall we cover Jesus? People like Jesus…yeah, I know, we did the shroud of Turin last month, but Jesus sells our rag. How about a closeup of a byzantine icon with a glow effect applied. YEAH!
    Also, I think the problem with OCD and ADD etc in our classrooms has to be over-diagnosis. I’m sorry doctors, but with all the pushy jerk parents out there, there just has to be some sort of impetus to just send them home with a bottle of drugs. I’d guess that at least half of these are discipline cases, and there has been a shift in parenting trends away from disciplining one’s children towards viewing every little hyperactive annoying thing they do as being “adorable” to you and everyone around you.

  107. #108 M
    April 2, 2009

    Dawn said, “In Orac’s warped world, everyone’s children are acceptable collateral damage in the cause of promoting his pharmaceutical funded so-called scientific belief that vaccines are safe and don’t cause autism.”

    No, Dawn, in Orac’s world, everyone’s idea that they can understand scientific work without the requisite (formal or informal) education is acceptable collateral damage in the cause of ensuring that as many children as possible live long enough to become adults.

    He has my complete and unhesitating support on this one.

  108. #109 JustaTech
    April 2, 2009

    Dawn, you are a genocidal maniac. You are mad. I hope that someday your children can forgive you for it.

  109. #110 amhovgaard
    April 2, 2009

    D. C. Sessions: chemical-free diets? free from chemicals like H2O? Somehow I don’t think she’ll be able to get several generations if they have to stick to that diet…

  110. #111 Michael
    April 2, 2009

    Up until now Jenny was almost amusing. But for her to say that we should allow a polio epidemic…..I am at loss for any words that are even remotely civil.

    I want to scream.

  111. #112 Chayanov
    April 2, 2009

    Also, I think the problem with OCD and ADD etc in our classrooms has to be over-diagnosis. I’m sorry doctors, but with all the pushy jerk parents out there, there just has to be some sort of impetus to just send them home with a bottle of drugs. I’d guess that at least half of these are discipline cases, and there has been a shift in parenting trends away from disciplining one’s children towards viewing every little hyperactive annoying thing they do as being “adorable” to you and everyone around you.

    I wonder about that, sometimes. Years ago, the cartoon “King of the Hill” took that approach to the problem. The boy got in trouble at school because he was hyperactive from eating a lot of sugared cereal. The diagnosis of ADHD was reinforced by the father, who noted that the boy had a tendency to not pay attention when his father was lecturing him. I’m sure that explains some of it.

  112. #113 Chris Krolczyk
    April 2, 2009

    JenniMonster:

    I do believe sadly it’s going to take some diseases coming back to realize that we need to change and develop vaccines that are safe. If the vaccine companies are not listening to us, it’s their f___ing fault that the diseases are coming back. They’re making a product that’s s___. If you give us a safe vaccine, we’ll use it. It shouldn’t be polio versus autism.

    What the fuck?

    Even if a link between vaccines and autism did exist, can that publicity-happy bubblehead actually believe this horseshit? That the risk of polio, at least to her, is a viable alternative to autism? One of those diseases is potentially fatal, either by itself or in terms of side effects; the other, although extremely serious in terms of psychological disorders, is not. Period. And the same goes for other potentially fatal infectious diseases where vaccination is called for.

    That’s a very special kind of stupid she’s using these days.

  113. #114 Samantha
    April 2, 2009

    Thanks to those who responded to my question regarding anti-vaxers and race. I’m well aware of the antivaccination hysteria among those who believe polio vaccines are a plot by rich nations (usually the US) to sterilize/sicken/whatever certain segments of the world’s population. That hysteria isn’t at all helped by the vaccine autism hysteria. I was thinking specifically of autism related antivaccination hysteria in my initial comment though. One of the issues that I think has been ignored while good money and energy was poured into the whole autism vaccines thing is the relation of soci-economic status/race to rate of diagnosis, access to services, and long term outcomes. If anyone knows of that kind of research please let me know. Thanks again.

  114. #115 Dr. P
    April 3, 2009

    This is an excellent example of what I’m sure has been stated before. This is not a debate of fact but of science versus religion; they started with something that was essentially their declaration of faith(vaccines–bad) and no reasoned discussion of fact will change their mantra. The debate would have been over long ago if it was anything else; hell, in terms of the data now accumulated its already over.This is a jihad that cannot be discussed in rational terms.Evolution vs creationism is the other obvious example, in form if not in content.It is perceived as a test of their faith for them to “brave the provaxers” and the secondary fallout(untold morbidity and mortality as a result of their stupidity)is not even an issue with them. To consider the consequences would be to reconsider their faith.The requisite leaps in logic and disregard for self examination however, often leads to precisely the abhorrent types of statements both Jenny and Dawn spouted.And the appalling ignorance of their statements doesn’t begin to occur to them.

  115. #116 Matthew Cline
    April 3, 2009

    I should note (unless she was being impersonated by a troll) that Dawn believes that vaccinations are method used by the New World Order in order to decrease intelligence of the world population, because a stupid population is easier to control. And if you believe that, it makes perfect sense to celebrate the worldwide decline in vaccination.

    Unfortunately, yes. In my city, there’s a strong belief among certain segments of the African-American population that vaccines are a plot to make their children… somehow defective… and keep them poor and marginalized. Generational poverty, it seems, is a result of nefarious vaccinations. That’s why community health people are always trying to make you vaccinate your kids.

    Unfortunately, this isn’t surprising. For years there’ve been urban legends that various fruit drinks and soft drinks contain chemicals designed to do various nefarious things to African Americans. It’s not surprising that such urban legends would mutate to blame vaccines, since the idea of evil chemicals coming from injections has a lot more emotional resonance than evil chemicals coming from drinks you can buy in a grocery store.

  116. #117 Mu
    April 3, 2009

    Well, it has been shown correct for Schlitz Bull 40s, the even identified the chemical as ethanol.

  117. #118 papa zita
    April 3, 2009

    To those considering the comment about antivax nutcases being well off and white, I remember many years ago that Lisa Bonet was spouting antivax garbage on a talk show, so better to say it’s something more to do with being well off and self-indulgent than anything else.

  118. #119 Paul
    April 3, 2009

    I’m a pediatrician, and I can speak a little about the diagnostic and therapeutic approach to ADHD. We’re all faced in our clinics with pressure from parents to provide a solution for their child’s behavioral issues many times a week, and I can assure you there is no perfect tool by which to characterize behavioral issues and whether they would be amenable to psychopharmacology. I’m a young physician and I’ve seen a lot of academic medicine recently, and we make every effort to look for other factors contributing to attention issues and hyperactivity (vision and hearing screens, psychoeducational testing and screening for learning disabilities, attempts to instill some consistent discipline in the home, etc.). It is not uncommon for kids carrying a diagnosis for ADHD to come from tumultuous households with inconsistent (or absent) parenting/discipline, so at a minimum there’s certainly room to propose a genetic and social environmental factor contributing to poor defense mechanisms, hyperactivity, and behavior problems … but certainly no evidence to suggest the cause is rooted in environmental “toxins”… you know, like thimerosal or aluminum.

  119. #120 D. C. Sessions
    April 3, 2009

    It is not uncommon for kids carrying a diagnosis for ADHD to come from tumultuous households with inconsistent (or absent) parenting/discipline, so at a minimum there’s certainly room to propose a genetic and social environmental factor contributing to poor defense mechanisms, hyperactivity, and behavior problems

    For those not familiar with ADHD, this is at least partly a reference to the fact that ADHD parents are in many ways the worst possible caregivers for ADHD kids.

  120. #121 notmercury
    April 3, 2009

    papa zita:

    “To those considering the comment about antivax nutcases being well off and white, I remember many years ago that Lisa Bonet was spouting antivax garbage on a talk show, so better to say it’s something more to do with being well off and self-indulgent than anything else.”

    I don’t know, Lisa Bonet isn’t that well-off but she’s pretty white.

  121. #122 Reality Rounds
    April 3, 2009

    Jenny McCarthy went to my competing High School. Her school was known for the pretty stupid girls. Mine was known for the ugly smart girls. Now she is rich, still stupid and a playboy bunny; and I am a not-so rich, still smart, nurse.
    Wouldn’t trade a thang! BTW, JM will be on Larry King tonight. I will be blogging live!

  122. #123 Reality Rounds
    April 3, 2009

    Could her breast implants have caused her child’s autism? Just wondering.

  123. #124 Reality Rounds
    April 3, 2009

    Could her breast implants have caused her child’s autism? Just wondering.

  124. #125 Dr. P
    April 3, 2009

    Oh, Jesus , that’s tonight….Jenny with technical information is like a chimp with a loaded gun in a crowded elevator….you now it won’t be pretty, you just don’t know how or when the hell will break loose… I don’t think I have the stomach for it…

  125. #126 Dawn
    April 3, 2009

    Does any sane person on this board know what a Mitochondrial Disorder is? If not, than please people – you should not be privy to this conversation.

    Chris – please show me that measles is deadly in Germany, UK, and Switzerland – if you cannot, then please spare me the “measles is happening right now BS”.

    John, I believe that my son has a Mitochondrial Disorder – this means no vaccines until proven otherwise, thanks.

    Mitochondrial Disorders are more prevalent than expected. You cannot say for certain that vaccines do not cause Autism until you have proven that vaccines do not cause Mitochondrial Disorders or at least, aggravate them in a large number of children. This my friends, has yet to be proven.

  126. #127 Ruth
    April 3, 2009

    Dawn-Could you define mitochondria in your own words, not a cut’n’paste? I can give you some info, but I need to know how detailed to make it. Do you know what normal mitochondria do?

  127. #128 Chris
    April 3, 2009

    Dawn, do you even know what mitochondria are?

    Anyway, from http://www.eurosurveillance.org/ViewArticle.aspx?ArticleId=18837

    As expected, the majority of measles cases were unvaccinated (87%) where vaccination status was known (92%). Although no deaths have yet been reported for 2007 cases, four countries reported 19 deaths for 2005-2006 cases (Table 2), 15 of which (80%) were in children under 5 years of age. Pneumonitis was the established cause of death in 13 cases and acute encephalitis in four cases. In the remaining two cases the cause was unknown or not reported. Overall, for the period 2005-2007, acute encephalitis was reported in 21 cases and distributed in the following age-groups: <1 year (14%); 1-14 years (38%); 15-19 years (19%) and ≥20 years (29%). It was the cause of four deaths mentioned above. In 2007, of the 97% with a known hospitalisation status, 859 cases were hospitalised (23%).

    And:
    http://www.eurosurveillance.org/ViewArticle.aspx?ArticleId=18838

    Why do you think measles is safe?

    [sarcasm]Do you think if someone has defective mitochondria that the bad mitochondria should be removed?[/sarcasm]

  128. #129 flim flam
    April 3, 2009

    come on chris! get with the program!. All dawn needs to do for poor long suffering dawn jr is chelate those bad toxic mitachondria away!. Add some HBOT, an elimination diet, a couple of high colonics and voila! neurotypical once more.

    Alas, still no vaccine for gross idiocy…

  129. #130 Dawn
    April 3, 2009

    Actually no, Chris, if you knew about Mitochondrial Disorders you would know that these children who “regress after their live-virus vaccines such as the MMR or Flu” you would know that according to their risk factor- they cannot handle viruses – even manufactured, weakened ones….so, please, spare me, does anyone even know the slightest bit about this disorder – or are we going to spew forth “facts” from the NY Times?

  130. #131 Chris
    April 3, 2009

    Oh, most expert on mitochondria disorders Dawn, edumacate us poor ignorant fools… How do those with mitochondria disorders do when they get fevers from measles or influenza?

  131. #132 Dawn
    April 3, 2009

    Hey, flim flam, the above message applies to you too. You apparently spelled the disorder wrong too – whether it was a mishaps or not, you obviously do not have a clue as to what the disorder is all about either. Read up dumb-dumb.

  132. #133 Uncle Dave
    April 3, 2009

    Attention!!!!!!!
    Put Dawn down

    check out CNN.

    Jenny McCarthy, Dr. Kartzinel, Jim Carey and J.B. Handley are on Larry King Live tonight.

    Some good opposition to the “Yell fire in a crowded theater group” by a Dr. Max Witznitzer (sorry if I recollected the spelling incorrectly).

  133. #134 Dr. P
    April 3, 2009

    Dawn, there is no “Mitochondrial Disorder” per se, it is a heterogenous group of enzymatic defects; as such you can’t make a specific claim as to a syndrome. I’ve got a few such children in my own clinic, so it’s the height of ironic arrogance that you come to this board to educate all of us. My personal experience(also being involved in the care of many children with ASD)is that there isn’t that much difficulty differentiating the two types of kids.The kids with those specific defects you describe are more severely globally affected much earlier than any child I’ve seen with ASD that is not in the presence of another diagnosis; the neurologic exam of children with ASD is often normal except for some soft findings (MILD hypotonia). In general, if there are hard signs beyond social/ speech/ you need to be thinking about an alternate diagnosis or there is more than 1 issue at hand and ASD is not first on the priority list in terms of diagnosis. I’m fortunate to practice across the street from a well regarded neurological research center and my patients are followed by child neurologists that are associated with this program and they have never recommended changing their vaccine schedule; you’re telling me that your’e privy to management protocols that they know nothing about?Oh, and riffing on a typo is childish and in poor form ;do you really feel the need to there? If so you ask yourself why.

  134. #135 David M.
    April 3, 2009

    Dear Borat, excuse me, Orac and your disciples:

    Just saw the Larry King show and I’m afraid Jenny, Jim, Bernadette Healy and J.B. Handley cleaned the clocks of those two arrogant doctors who were there to sprout vaccine happy talk.
    Jenny and the others rightly called for a vaccinated vs. unvaccinated study. Which has never been done. You guys can even look that one up.
    And that one doctor who actually tried to deny that autism rates have shot up since the vaccine schedule increased in the 90s looked like a fool.
    He actually equated the increase in autism rates to baseball stadiums moving in the fences and batters being juiced on steroids. Geez, not the best analogy I have heard especially since steroids are usually injected and cause the users testicles to shrink, among other things. I hope Borat, excuse me, Orac and the above aren’t on the juice. But it may explain a lot if you are.
    Also, I think the CDC has the time and resources to fund a study comparing vaccinated vs. unvaccinated seeing they did a big study last week on…wait for it…pets causing people to trip. Wow. Good use of resources. Maybe they will next do a study on how American use too much salt. Oh wait, they did that last week too. My bad.
    I know Borat, excuse me, Orac and the readers of this blog love trashing autism parents and can’t stand calls for more research into vaccines so I expect Borat, excuse me Orac, and the crew above to trash me and say I think the moon landing was faked or that Martians killed JFK or that Paul Offit is the Anti-Christ or something like that. Nah, nothing like that. I just think, like Bernadette Healy, who has more credibility on the issue of vaccines and autism than Borat, excuse me, Orac or any of the disciples on this chain, that more of the right research needs to be done and this issue is not closed.
    But hey did Borat, excuse me, Orac or anyone else see the new stats which show The United States has the highest number of mandated vaccines for children under 5 in the world (36, double the Western world average of 18), the highest autism rate in the world (1 in 150 children, 10 times or more the rate of some other Western countries), but only places 34th in the world for its children under 5 mortality rate. (That is not a good stat, just so you Star Trek, stat geeks can understand.)
    Wow those numbers might even make Borat, excuse Orac, and his fans stop and think. Or maybe not. Wouldn’t want any new research to cloud your minds on an issue.

  135. #136 HCN
    April 4, 2009

    David M. blustered “Jenny and the others rightly called for a vaccinated vs. unvaccinated study. Which has never been done. You guys can even look that one up.”

    Have you actually read (with comprehension) this blog. Especially the stuff on ethics and IRBs?

    And continues to bluster with “And that one doctor who actually tried to deny that autism rates have shot up since the vaccine schedule increased in the 90s looked like a fool.”

    Like changing the scope of the diagnostic criteria in 1994 had nothing to do with it? Uh, huh:
    http://www.theness.com/neurologicablog/?p=454

    Continuing with “United States has the highest number of mandated vaccines for children under 5 in the world “… Right, what about Japan? Check it out:
    http://idsc.nih.go.jp/yosoku/vacpdf/EN_05-1.pdf … by the way, all vaccines are voluntary in the USA, it just happens that some are actually needed to go to public school. If you want to know what it means to truly be mandated try traveling in some countries without proof of a yellow fever vaccine (hint: you will be detained, taken to a clinic and forcibly administered the vaccine, or deported).

  136. #137 Dr. P
    April 4, 2009

    Uh, Mexico’s schedule is actually pretty similar to ours and, no their incidence of autism is lower;Don’t you guys go on about how ‘multifactorial’ the disease is or does that term only mean something when you’re trying to implicate vaccines? There are thousands of potential culprits out there and you focus on the one thing that has been studied into the ground….Yes, it actually has…What SPECIFIC information, do you hope to gain from an ethically challenged study that hasn’t already been addressed? Or do you have no other grounds to continue to rail against the ‘machine that is big medicine’?

  137. #138 Joseph C
    April 4, 2009

    Not only is your Borat bit not even remotely witty, it contains a bit of irony. Simon Cohen, the cousin of the actor who plays Borat, is a leading autism researcher. And he regards the vaccine-autism hypothesis as being debunked.

  138. #139 Dr. P
    April 4, 2009

    Oh, and before you get on to imply again that vaccines have made no impact on chidhood mortality stats go look up the top 10 causes of death below five ; most of the numbers are related to trauma/nonaccidental and otherwise, cardiac and tumors.

  139. #140 Caro
    April 4, 2009

    My my, David M., you really kicked the anthill there, my friend. Bravo to you, sir! Orac and his acolytes don’t like it when someone challenges their inbreeding….er, “scientific knowledge.” They don’t really understand why people like you and me would ridicule them in this way. I mean, after all, the trashing of autism parents is a pointless and brainless passtime for these dolts, so God forbid that any of the parents return the favor.

    Well done, David M. Well done!

  140. #141 Joseph C.
    April 4, 2009

    Caro,

    It’s not about trashing autism parents. Several autism parents who post on here are on the correct side of this. It’s about trashing anti-vaccine nutjobs such as yourself.

  141. #142 HCN
    April 4, 2009

    Caro,there are also parents here with disabled kids who have also been hospitalized with vaccine preventable diseases. Trust me, the diseases are worse than autism. I would ask you to kindly shut up on issues you know nothing about!

  142. #143 Vindaloo
    April 4, 2009

    I don’t think people like Caro and David M should shut up. For me, it’s enlightening to see their ignorance on display. When these google phd-earning warriors equate interbreeding and scientific knowledge, the rest of the world can put their inane comments into context.

    Antivax Dawn said, “if you knew about Mitochondrial Disorders you would know that these children who “regress after their live-virus vaccines such as the MMR or Flu” you would know that according to their risk factor- they cannot handle viruses – even manufactured, weakened ones”

    Now really think about what this moron just said and what the underlying implications are: these kids, in her scaremongering and science-free opinion, will “get” autism if they’re breathed upon by most people. I guess she’d advocate the ridding of all door handles since they’re a principal vector in the autism “epidemic”.

  143. #144 RickK
    April 4, 2009

    *sigh*

    No amount of science, no studies, nothing we do can fight testimonials like these in the eyes of parents:
    http://larrykinglive.blogs.cnn.com/2009/04/03/lkl-blog-exclusive-autism-is-preventable-and-reversible/

    The ONLY thing that will change the playing field is a real body count – American kids with polio and CRS and measles-induced pneumonia.

    With all this hype, there MUST be quite a number of families who are choosing not to vaccinate at all. If they really care about this issue, they should seek out studies so we can actually see the rates of autism in the unvaccinated.

  144. #145 Just a thought...
    April 4, 2009

    I’m a pediatrician, and I can speak a little about the diagnostic and therapeutic approach to ADHD. We’re all faced in our clinics with pressure from parents to provide a solution for their child’s behavioral issues many times a week, and I can assure you there is no perfect tool by which to characterize behavioral issues and whether they would be amenable to psychopharmacology. I’m a young physician and I’ve seen a lot of academic medicine recently, and we make every effort to look for other factors contributing to attention issues and hyperactivity (vision and hearing screens, psychoeducational testing and screening for learning disabilities, attempts to instill some consistent discipline in the home, etc.). It is not uncommon for kids carrying a diagnosis for ADHD to come from tumultuous households with inconsistent (or absent) parenting/discipline, so at a minimum there’s certainly room to propose a genetic and social environmental factor contributing to poor defense mechanisms, hyperactivity, and behavior problems … but certainly no evidence to suggest the cause is rooted in environmental “toxins”… you know, like thimerosal or aluminum.

  145. #146 ababa
    April 4, 2009

    Jenny and the others called for a vaccinated vs. unvaccinated study? And how much are they going to donate towards it? None, as usual.

    You see, they care about research up until the point where it means they need to do it. If they fund it then they can’t pick apart the results when it shows, yet again, no link. Oh, and it would cost them money too.

    Didn’t anyone ask Jenny or JB how much money from Generation Rescue goes towards research in proving this link they say is so obvious? You have a right to know where your donation dollars are going.

    Caro and David, keep on supporting and sending them money – full page newspaper ads, phone surveys and “office expenses” will really get to the heart of this matter. Just don’t expect them to ever put your money where their mouth is – wouldn’t want to cut into those book sales.

  146. #147 Caro
    April 4, 2009

    Let me ask all of you a serious question. This is not to be insulting in any way, but were you offended by mine and David M.’s posts?

    Again, this is a serious question that contains no mischief or malice. I just want to know if they offended you.

  147. #148 sophia8
    April 4, 2009

    Yes Caro, you and David M’s post offended me. (Unlike you, I do not presume to speak for anybody else.)
    You assume that no parents of autistic children disagree with you or post here;
    you assume that no parents of children damaged by vaccine-preventable diseases, or adults who have been damaged by vaccine-preventable diseases, disagree with you or post here;
    you assume that no adults on the autism spectrum disagree with you or post here.
    In short, you don’t bother to disturb your assumptions and baseless claims by reading through this blog and its comments.
    Deliberate ignorance always offends me.

  148. #149 notmercury
    April 4, 2009

    And I’m guessing that GR contributes to travel expenses when Jenny, Jim, JB, & Jerry go on LKL. An appearance like that is nothing more than book promotion and I’m sure the profits aren’t going toward autism research either.

    Jenny McHandley and Co. have never been interested in legitimate research, they only want the world to believe what they think they know.

    Dr. Jerry must not be a very good autism doctor if his kid is still autistic and JB’s son is still autistic. I guess God doesn’t love those kids the way he loves Evan.

  149. #150 Prometheus
    April 4, 2009

    “Let me ask all of you a serious question. This is not to be insulting in any way, but were you offended by mine and David M.’s posts?”

    Just speaking for myself, I wasn’t offended. I’m used to the arrogance of ignorance and saw that all of the insults and snide remarks were simply a way to cover up the discomfort you felt when trying to rationalize your beliefs to a group that contains people who really know the material.

    Nope, not offended at all – no more than I am offended by Scientologists who try to convince me that all mental illness is the result of possession by alien souls. As usual, I felt a little sad that there are so many people in our modern world who have chosen the “Dark Side” of superstition and ignorance, but that’s not a new experience for me.

    From your question, I assume that you intended to offend people and are trying to do a bit of “damage assessment”, since it is beyond comprehension that you two could write what you did without intending to offend. Well, as I said, you didn’t manage to offend me, though I imagine there were people who were offended.

    I suppose congratulations are in order – you acheived your goal of offending a few people. I imagine that you also managed to convince a few people that your “position” (your “belief”) is utter nonsense by your incoherent rant. That’s why Orac lets you comment here – to show people who are undecided exactly how impoverished your “reasoning” truly is.

    Prometheus

  150. #151 HCN
    April 4, 2009

    Caro said “Again, this is a serious question that contains no mischief or malice. I just want to know if they offended you”

    Did you not read what I wrote? Do you think it is fun having a kid who cannot speak very sick and in the hospital? Why do you think the diseases are not a real issue? Why do you think people like me try counter the stupidity of the pro-infectious disease idiots?

  151. #152 Marc Abian
    April 4, 2009

    Cara, I’m going out on a limb here and guessing you’re not a scientist who studies vaccines. Why then do you feel qualified to contradict these scientists?

  152. #153 HCN
    April 4, 2009

    Marc Abian said “Why then do you feel qualified to contradict these scientists?”

    Or parents of disabled kids who have been hospitalized?

  153. #154 Caro
    April 4, 2009

    My point is that if you were offended, then perhaps you need to assess the way you treat anyone who disagrees with you.

    Sophia8, how do you think that the people who do believe that there is a connection feel when you and the rest of the people here ridicule them. You assume that everyone agrees with you, that all scientists and doctors are on your side. You are wrong.

    If you were offended, then good. That means you have a conscience and you don’t like being treated as I treated you. I ask that you truly think about how you treat those that you claim are anti-vaccine – as if you are all the experts on what is an isn’t anti-vaccine – and put aside our differences and work to help these kids. That is the ultimate goal of both rational sides of the argument, not getting rid of vaccines.

    If you weren’t offended, there is no hope for you. It means you are worse than monkeys who fling shit at each other. Such ridicule and derision shows that you are trying to compensate for your failures. Bullying and such antagonistic anger denotes stupidity. It means that you are not on the rational side of the argument. It doesn’t take a scientist to tell you that.

  154. #155 HCN
    April 4, 2009

    Caro, do you have a real point? Are we to molly-coddle the ones who spew falsehoods about vaccines and their non-existent connection to autism, while the rates of vaccine preventable diseases increase? Look at Evil Dawn, she actually denies the posted news reports of increases of measles (with real deaths) in Europe. She, Jenny McCarthy and their ilk are actually lying about the effects of the diseases!

    Why should I be nice to people who have actually posted on this blog that only unhealthy kids suffer and die with measles? Like that is a perfectly acceptable outcome if the child is not “perfect.” They seem to get upset when I tell them that my child does have a severe genetic heart condition, and is in real danger from those diseases — and ask them why my son is less deserving of life than their perfect little cherubs.

    Also, what really pisses me off about the Generation Endangerment organization started by JB Handley and friends, is that it is focusing on a non-issue and completely ignoring the what is really needed. It is taking focus away from school to work transition problems, the real needs in education and employment support to our grown children.

    That is the real crime.

    Now get off your high horse, stop it idiocy with the vaccines and start supporting the real issues. If you do not understand what they are, printout these posters and paste them in front your computer screen:
    http://aspergersquare8.blogspot.com/2009/03/autism-awareness-month-posters.html

  155. #156 Caro
    April 4, 2009

    Are you a scientist that studies vaccines, Marc? Is Orac? The core of my message is that insults are unnecessary.

    Your second question is a valid question. I don’t contradict these scientists, other scientists do. And I find it annoying that Orac and the majority of the people on this site are unwilling to accept the possibility that vaccines are not off the hook. While we know much about the body and brain, we still have a long way to go. The simple fact of the matter is that we do not know what causes autism, have no clue, so that means that we cannot reasonably rule out vaccine reactions.

    Now, Marc, I pose a question to you. Why do you feel that you need to insult parents who have reason to believe that the condition of their child(ren) was caused by a vaccine reaction? Why not help them come up with ways to help their child(ren) instead of mocking their pain.

  156. #157 MartinM
    April 4, 2009

    The simple fact of the matter is that we do not know what causes autism, have no clue, so that means that we cannot reasonably rule out…

    …leprechauns.

  157. #158 HCN
    April 4, 2009

    Caro being completely clueless said “The simple fact of the matter is that we do not know what causes autism, have no clue, so that means that we cannot reasonably rule out vaccine reactions.”

    What utter idiocy! Have you not been paying attention? Too much money has been spent on studies in several countries on three continents (okay, Japan is actually an set of islands) using millions of children that show no connection between vaccines and autism.

    Now… there is real actual factual evidence that there are a series of genetic markers. Which makes sense since no autistic child is exactly like the other.

    Caro, why do you feel the need to insult real parents like myself who have been dealing with this issue for almost two decades? And that includes dealing with the real diseases before there was a vaccine for them? My kids all got chicken pox a year before the vaccine came out, and trust me… that was a full month I would have loved to avoided with a vaccine (considering I had two children in speech therapy at the time, both were in twice per week… not a fun time).

    Again, why do you want to insult us parents with disabled kids who have been and can be severely injured by the real diseases?

    Now read this very carefully, and try to understand:

    Vaccines do not cause autism. This has been studied, and the answer is still vaccines do not cause autism. It is a dead issue.

    The real issues are: education, transition from school to work and employment support.

  158. #159 HCN
    April 4, 2009

    Caro:
    Printout these posters and paste them in front your computer screen:
    http://aspergersquare8.blogspot.com/2009/03/autism-awareness-month-posters.html

  159. #160 Joseph C.
    April 4, 2009

    Bravo to you, sir! Orac and his acolytes don’t like it when someone challenges their inbreeding

    The core of my message is that insults are unnecessary.

  160. #161 Dr. P
    April 4, 2009

    Caro , I think you need to reread the posts;I don’t see much that can be construed as mom trashing and I’m more than happy to discuss autism and vaccines as such ( I can only speak for myself) but when people post as you did or David’s cheesy ‘borat’ post or Dawn’s ‘any sane person’post it seems to me that any personable discussion of the topic quickly degrades into cheap shots and ad hominem attacks that have little to do with any exchange of ideas; their defensive position doesn’t imply that anything offensive was actually said, only that they feel threatened when their belief system is challenged and they responded accordingly.

  161. #162 Dr. P
    April 4, 2009

    to respond to Caro’s second point, you don’t have prove what the cause of autism to be able to provide evidence as to reliable associations;We don’t have a cause for SIDS, but there is reproducible evidence that sleep position can be a cofactor; We don’t have a specific cause for autism but vaccines as a cofactor can be reliably discounted, the evidence is there to allow us to look elsewhere. It does not logically follow that because we don’t know what it is that we can never know what it isn’t.

  162. #163 sophia8
    April 4, 2009

    Sophia8, how do you think that the people who do believe that there is a connection feel when you and the rest of the people here ridicule them.
    Caro, please show where I have ridiculed anybody here.
    That will, of course, require you to read though all the posts and comments on this blog, so something good will may come out of it.

  163. #164 sophia8
    April 4, 2009

    Me: “Deliberate ignorance always offends me.”
    Caro (in reply): “If you were offended, then good.”

  164. #165 ababa
    April 4, 2009

    notmercury said: And I’m guessing that GR contributes to travel expenses when Jenny, Jim, JB, & Jerry go on LKL. An appearance like that is nothing more than book promotion and I’m sure the profits aren’t going toward autism research either.

    You are correct. Generation Rescue’s publicly available tax records show that they have invested exactly zero dollars in scientific research. Phone surveys is the closest they have come to actually researching anything. The lion’s share (90+ %) goes toward advertising and “office expenses”.

    Even if I did agree with the anti-vaxers, I would seriously question that organization and its motives. But, then again it just goes to show what anti-vaxers are after – they have no interest in truth that doesn’t coincide with their beliefs.

  165. #166 Skeptyk
    April 4, 2009

    @HCN: Thanks. As a parent of a disabled, chronically ill young adult, thank you.

    @ Caro: Caro?
    Caaroooo!
    Where aaare you?

  166. #167 David M.
    April 4, 2009

    Jumping back onto this in the glow of the rout by Jenny McCarthy on Larry King.
    Like Dr. Bernadette Healy, who knows more about vaccines, autism and medicine than anyone in this chain or even the fabulous Borat, um Orac, I am simply calling for a study of vaccinated vs. unvaccinated. It has never been done and the CDC, which is supposed to make sure vaccines and medicines are safe and other scientific stuff like that, has the money or they wouldn’t be funding studies on pets tripping dogs.
    But to put my views into complex scientific terms that even the Manhattan Project brainiacs above would understand, here goes:
    Okay, there is a group of people who appear normal and open minded. But suddenly they start listening to this doctor and reading his blog and this doctor starts forcing cow manure, stale bologna and Kool-Aid upon these people. And they eat and drink it without question. Suddenly these people lose the ability to think for themselves, become weak-kneed whenever someone mentions that doctor’s name and they foolishly make fun of anyone who dares to question this doctor and his diet of cow manure, stale bologna and Kool-Aid.
    Being a reasonable person, I think there should be a full study comparing people who have eaten this cow manure and stale bologna and drank the Kool-Aid to those who haven’t.
    I hope that helps everyone.

  167. #168 dedicated lurker
    April 4, 2009

    David, that’s what biomed is. Bologna and kool-aid.

    And with that analogy, I would first want to know what the scientific basis for it was. If there’s none (like the vaccine/autism link) studying it’s a waste of time and money.

  168. #169 Joseph C.
    April 4, 2009

    the CDC, which is supposed to make sure vaccines and medicines are safe

    That’s actually the responsibility of the FDA. Guess your “degree in Google” didn’t teach you that.

  169. #170 notmercury
    April 4, 2009

    I’m not so sure that Bernadine Healy knows more about vaccines, autism and medicine than anyone here but I’d love to see her (or your) outline for such a study. I’d even let my kids participate. Both are autistic but only one has been vaccinated and I know several other sib sets like them.

  170. #171 Orac
    April 4, 2009

    In fact, I’m pretty darned sure that Bernadine Healy doesn’t know more about vaccines, autism, and medicine. She was the most clueless NIH Director I can remember in my entire medical career, and she’s lately become downright crank-like.

  171. #172 David M.
    April 4, 2009

    He has arisen. His highness Orac is here. (Let me compose myself. Okay I am ready now.)

    So what this all boils down to is this, Orac:

    Do you want to man-up and put your cherished “science” to the test and endorse the call for an independent study comparing vaccinated against unvaccinated.

    I am calling you out, man to man.

    Or to put it more directly – Are you gonna bark all day little doggie, or are you gonna bite?

    If your “science” is so powerful and all knowing then you have nothing to fear and the study will show you are right and my side is wrong and then you can dance in the end zone for the next five years.

    So what do you say, Doc, do you have any stones in your pocket or are you going to take your balls and go home.

    Your readers and I are waiting.

  172. #173 Vindaloo
    April 4, 2009

    David M bleats out a “man to man” challenge? How pathetic! Go back to your AOL chatrooms and hone your skillz, brother!

    Or… you could embrace reason and science. I’ll help you out with your fantasy study: mainstream science is pigeonholed into adhering to ethical standards and your little pretend study just doesn’t cut the mustard.

    You, David M, are likely used to DAN! quacks that just aren’t bothered by those little things like IRBs, ethical standards, and the scientific process. Your razzle-dazzle and science-free form of “medicine” are not tolerated by mainstream scientists and physicians.

    By the way, your inane insults to a guy with serious academic and medical credentials (all because you don’t understand science) serve to make you look like a teenager who is pissed that he just got grounded.

  173. #174 Skemono
    April 4, 2009

    I am simply calling for a study of vaccinated vs. unvaccinated.

    In other words, you want to expose people to unnecessary and completely avoidable risk of life-threatening diseases, all for the faint glimmer of hope that this will validate your thoroughly-discredited position rather than simply accepting that you’re wrong.

    It has never been done

    No?

  174. #175 has
    April 4, 2009

    Do you want to man-up and put your cherished “science” to the test and endorse the call for an independent study comparing vaccinated against unvaccinated.

    Shorter David: My ego demands child sacrifice.

  175. #176 Joseph
    April 4, 2009

    Do you want to man-up and put your cherished “science” to the test and endorse the call for an independent study comparing vaccinated against unvaccinated.

    Regulars here at RI are not only open to this idea but they have volunteered to design and carry out the study, if allowed; namely, Prometheus.

    You see, there’s a big difference between people who insist on the vax vs. unvax study, who think it will prove something; and the more scientifically-minded people who understand confounding, methodological issues, ethics and so forth, and who also understand that a negative result won’t convince anti-vaxers of anything.

  176. #177 Chemgirl
    April 4, 2009

    Oh yeah, I totally want to believe someone willing to drop the F-bomb in an interview for a nationally read news magazine.

    Jeez, McCarthy, if you want us to even consider the possibility you might be legitimate, try being a little more professional at least.

  177. #178 Sarah Trachtenberg
    April 4, 2009

    McCarthyism.
    All the more reasons to keep professional bimbos out of science. It’s a sad fact that celebrities influence more people than do scientists or other experts who might actually know what they’re talking about.
    I was never a huge fan of MTV, but I remember Ms. McCarthy in her salad days and I was never impressed. People said she must have blown every exec at MTV to get her job and she expressed herself through bodily functions on late night TV (I think it was Letterman).
    Yep, I’m really going to expose kids to deadly diseases rather than they develop autism…that’s much better…

  178. #179 David M.
    April 4, 2009

    Sound of crickets from “fearless leader”…have heard from the Privates but not the General…his blog fans wonder did Orac turn yellow and abandon his faith in science and head for the hills when actually challenged to support the call for a scientific study comparing vaccinated vs. unvaccinated…inquiring minds want to know…but alas, all quiet on the Orac front…too bad he took his balls and went home…or maybe he is just attending some Star Trek Convention in a Klingon suit…good night, good luck and keep adding vaccines…We have 36 now. With 50 you get Egg Roll…

  179. #180 Fevers?
    April 5, 2009

    I remember reading, when my son was very young, a theory that the supposed vaccine-autism link could be related to high fevers spurred on by the child having been given multiple vaccinations at once (very young children are given as many as 6 to 8 vaccinations in one visit, IIRC … maybe the pediatrician who posted above can make a comment about that).

    I raised my concern about this to the pediatrician; he carefully and sensitively explained to me the need for vaccines in light of the devastation he had personally seen in his own young patients who had caught vaccine-preventable diseases. I understood his position, he understood mine, and together we came up with a vaccine schedule that was comfortable for us (not more than 2 shots in one visit, with visits a month or so apart).

    What he didn’t do was insult me or make me feel bad for wanting to protect my son. And I hope there are a lot of pediatricians like him who are willing to work with concerned parents to come up with constructive, workable solutions, rather than just label them as “anti-vaccination nutjobs” and give up. Personally I’m very glad my son has gotten the vaccines, and also that he got them at a slow pace.

  180. #181 ababa
    April 5, 2009

    Yeah how dare he not be hammering Refresh on his browserall night on a Saturday to answer a very obvious troll that has nothing better to do than hide behind the warm blanket of anonymity and dish out grade school insults.

    You are an excellent representation of the anti-vaxers David. Your “brilliant” study has been discussed many, many, many times on this blog. Please learn to use the Search feature.

  181. #182 ababa
    April 5, 2009

    You see Fevers?, pediatricians are like that. A great deal of them would be happy to sit down and explain in detail why vaccines work and any risks associated with them. Assuming you sit down and are willing to listen.

    Now on the other hand, if you come in and call them names, claim they are just trying to profit from big Pharma and hurt children or flat out deny every shred of evidence they provide as being made up they will tend to be less patient with you.

    People on these blogs tend to be less patient with folks like David because David is not a unique snowflake. He has brought nothing new to this conversation that hasn’t been said and addressed hundreds of times already here and other places. He is just yet another silly troll that found this blog and thinks that the only reason this discussion still exists is simply because he hasn’t graced us with his big idea yet.

    Same thing that most anti-vaxers thought about every theory that has been studied and disproved. Not one theory has been proven even remotely valid. They have been batting .000 and are still striding up to the plate like Babe Ruth.

  182. #183 Fevers?
    April 5, 2009

    ababa, yes, I am absolutely willing to listen to our pediatrician. He went to med school, has been a doctor for more than a decade, and knows what he’s talking about. I just know what I read on teh internets, journal articles, and the occasional book. :)

    I’m also interested in autism, because both of my sister’s kids exhibited ASD-like behaviors when they were young. That was why I investigated the link in the first place. Of all the theories I read about, the only one that made intuitive sense to me was the infantile fever-autism link idea.

    For his part, our pediatrician was probably thinking that it was better to have a partial success, even if it meant humoring me in wanting to “go slow”. He probably did think I was a bit of a kook (sometimes I think I was myself), but he was polite enough not to call me one to my face. Which probably increased my willingness to listen to him about the issue.

    Overall, this series of blog comments strikes me as a shockingly un-civil dialogue, on both sides, which is one of the reasons I decided to weigh in with a different approach. I’d be interested in discussing the infantile fever-autism link theory with anyone, on either side, who is willing to give up the playground blustering and just talk, even if you think the theory is complete bunk (and if you do, I hope you’ll take the time to tell me why you think so.)

  183. #184 Skemono
    April 5, 2009

    Sound of crickets from “fearless leader”…have heard from the Privates but not the General…

    And I note that you’ve ignored everything that we’ve said, too. Since you seem to ignore everything else, why on earth should we think that you wouldn’t also ignore a study of “vaccinated vs. unvaccinated” (especially given that such has been done)?

    his blog fans wonder did Orac turn yellow and abandon his faith in science and head for the hills when actually challenged to support the call for a scientific study comparing vaccinated vs. unvaccinated

    No, Orac’s blog fans are grown-ups and aren’t bothered by schoolyard taunts of cowardice. Also, his blog fans have actually read his blog posts, such as this one where he explains how medical science actually works, and why your suggestion is a childish parody of such, and vastly unethical.

    But I expect you’ll just ignore all that and fall back on your routine of calling Orac a chicken.

  184. #185 T. Bruce McNeely
    April 5, 2009

    David M: What you are proposing was done a few years ago in a different context. It was called the Tuskegee Syphilis Study.

    So, fuck you, you unethical piece of shit.

  185. #186 Paper Hand
    April 5, 2009

    Fevers?

    The problem with that theory is that multiple studies have disproven any connection between vaccines and autism. If there were, indeed, a real connection, then that notion would be a plausible hypothesis to explain the correlation, and one that could be easily tested, by simply looking to see whether vaccine-induced fevers were more common in children later diagnosed with autism than in those not diagnosed. However, as no correlation exists, the theory falls apart.

  186. #187 Fevers?
    April 5, 2009

    Hi Paper Hand,

    Thanks for answering my post.

    “multiple studies have disproven any connection between vaccines and autism”

    Correct.

    So, putting aside the supposed vaccine-autism link for a moment, are you aware of any published study that has looked for a correlation between high infantile fever — regardless of the cause of the fever — and a later diagnosis of autism?

    This interests me because if a fever-autism connection were to be made, parents who want to “prevent” autism (assuming that’s a worthy goal) could potentially be persuaded to take steps to prevent or quickly treat infantile fevers, rather than fighting against their children being vaccinated.

  187. #188 Ema Nymton
    April 5, 2009

    David M, do you realize that you’re a moron?

    Just thought you should know.

    Don’t worry, I’ll make sure to remind you often, as you really are dumb enough to need an awful lot of repetition to get it into that mass of crap you call your brain.

  188. #189 Dr Benway
    April 5, 2009

    Hi fevers,

    High fevers in young children are common –much more common than autism. That means that high fevers cannot be a sufficient cause.

    Many patients with autism do not have a history of high fevers in infancy. That means that high fevers cannot be a necessary cause.

    However, it’s likely that the condition we recognize as autism is actually several, separate disorders, each with its own etiology. So it’s possible that high fevers play a role in one sub-set of the autism population.

    The recent case in the news about Hannah Poling illustrates how oxidative stress can be damaging to children with mitochondrial disorders. These disorders are quite rare, but can be associated with autism-like developmental delays.

    In my opinion, we’ll get the most bang for our autism research buck by focusing on genetic factors and on educational and behavioral interventions.

  189. #190 Joseph
    April 5, 2009

    So, putting aside the supposed vaccine-autism link for a moment, are you aware of any published study that has looked for a correlation between high infantile fever — regardless of the cause of the fever — and a later diagnosis of autism?

    What they are saying now is that high fevers can cause autistic children to have improved behavior.

    I’m personally skeptical of either hypothesis.

    There’s a hypothesis that I once encountered in PubMed by chance. It was that fever suppression with antipyretics might be a risk factor for autism (Torres, 2003). I thought it was just another of countless crazy hypotheses that exist. But I remembered it when the stuff about the effect of fever on behavior more recently become known (Curran et al. 2007)

    Of course, an infection can result in encephalitis.

  190. #191 David M.
    April 5, 2009

    It is a simple question that I am still asking.

    Does Orac endorse the calls for a vaccinated vs. unvaccinated study?

    Yes or No.

  191. #192 Wren
    April 5, 2009

    David M.,

    I wouldn’t generally presume to speak for someone else, but given his previous posts and, well, reality, I’m going with no as the answer to your question.

  192. #193 gaiainc
    April 5, 2009

    Let’s try this again, David M. The study you propse is patently unethical. Orac explained why [url=http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2009/03/if_you_hand_me_some_stupid_yes_in_fact_i.php] here [/url] which Skemeno has already pointed out. Please read the post since it answers your question.

    I don’t understand and I think I will never understand why people believe that death from a preventable disease is preferable to autism. My son is getting all his vaccinations on schedule and I have a history of autism in my family. There is no way that I could live myself otherwise. Autism is not a cause of death. Measles, hib, strep pneumoniae, pertussis, diptheria, tetanus, mumps, rubella, and rotavirus all are.

  193. #194 Dedj
    April 5, 2009

    “Does Orac endorse the calls for a vaccinated vs. unvaccinated study?”

    Doubtful.

    So far the calls for a vaccinated vs. unvaccinated study:

    have shown no awareness of previous studies
    have not given any plausible reason for why the rise in vaccines is an alledged causative factor in autism, but previous less vs. more vaccine studies are supposedly inneffective in finding a link
    have shown no awareness or mention of ethical considerations
    have shown no mention of confounders or cofactors
    are based on known false information by known incompetant commentators
    are based on the opinion of “expert authourities” who are experts in their own field, but not in immulonlogy, autism or epidemiology
    are not supported by the leading experts in the relevant field(s)
    are based on comments by actual relevant authourities that have been quotemined
    are based on the work of people who have a history of incompetant research, up to the point where some are deemed too incompetant to be a valid expert in a court of law – even within their own field

    and that’s by no means an exhaustive list.

    I would guess that Orac does not support the calls for the study but would if the main proponents managed to break out of their current habits and actually start making some decent sensible proposals.

  194. #195 Denice Walter
    April 5, 2009

    re Bernadine Healy:(oh,where to begin… just her tone of voice, facial expressions,choice of words,her outfit…oh,she’s insufferable)She is one of the *experts* often cited by Gary Null as an “insider” who “tells the truth about vaccines”;of course,this is usually followed by a long rant involving “secret meetings”,”internal memoranda”,”lost e-mails” “death bed confessions” from scientists,”special correspondence” from lab workers,”payoffs”,and other devices better left in the 1960′s spy novellas from whence they originally came.

  195. #196 Dr. P
    April 5, 2009

    David, I notice that in all the antagonistic, emotional, and condescending language, you didn’t actually answer the question; the question was what SPECIFIC information do you hope to gain. Not, how the study would be done, nor the ultimate conclusion that any hardcore antivaxer will never be able to admit to(vaccines are safe). In the U.K. in the early nineties you had an excellent example of a population that stopped vaccinating in the wake of the Lancet article that we know was significant because the incidence of measles and pertussis increased; the rate of change in the incidence of autism? None at all; we have a population that has been been compared to itself over time, fairly useful data , no? This has been readdressed in several different countries and asked in many different ways and the corroboration of evidence has been the interesting thing here, because as we all know the reproducibility of the study is the cornerstone of its reliability when discussing the scfientific method. Please avoid cheesy comments and stick to the subject at hand , otherwise you really don’t have anything useful to say.

  196. #197 Joseph
    April 5, 2009

    The thing with the vax vs. unvaxed study is that, from a purely scientific perspective, I’d be all for it, so long as it’s done right. I don’t think a randomized study could be done, but a retrospective study might be doable. It just can’t be done by someone like the Geiers, who I bet have never considered or controlled for a confound in their entire careers.

    However, as a parent, I think we need to stop dwelling on a dead end at some point. These hypotheses are distractions and they are not free. The more crank-like parents of the autism communities had their chance. The government listened to them. A lot of money and research effort was spent on their ideas. Those ideas didn’t pan out. Sorry.

    For a change, I think the authorities should listen to the parents who are more reality-based and scientifically-minded. Fine, keep looking for a cure; you could very well find it some day. But at the same time, I think other priorities should be:

    - Do an exhaustive survey of undiagnosed ASD in adults. If you find that in fact autism is very rare in adults, so be it. But if not, let’s stop this nonsense talk of an “epidemic” once and for all.

    - Help us determine why some autistics have good adult outcomes (some very good) and others don’t. Is it treatment? Is it something that can’t be helped? Most importantly, does the social environment matter?

    - Determine how autistics can be best integrated into the educational system and the workforce. Do autistics have strengths that can be used by employers in specific ways?

    - What can be done to help autistics have an adequate self-concept? Does neurodiversity as a worldview help as suggested by the recent BRAINHE study?

  197. #198 Skemono
    April 5, 2009

    I don’t think a randomized study could be done, but a retrospective study might be doable.

    Hasn’t that already been done with the MMR vaccine in Denmark?

  198. #199 Joseph
    April 5, 2009

    Hasn’t that already been done with the MMR vaccine in Denmark?

    In Denmark and Japan. In Japan they basically had a natural experiment, as the MMR vaccine was only used in Japan from 1989 to 1993.

    The anti-vaxers, however, are now asking for studies of vaccines as a whole, now that the thimerosal and MMR hypotheses have been thoroughly trounced.

  199. #200 Tsu Dho Nimh
    April 5, 2009

    fevers?I’d be interested in discussing the infantile fever-autism link theory with anyone

    OK … if fever is enough to cause autism, why wasn’t the fever from measles, which can go as high as 40° Celsius (104° Fahrenheit), causing autism? Why doesn’t the fever from the various viruses that babies are susceptible to causing autism?

    Most of the studies on autism are showing that it acts as if it is inherited: sibling studies, cousin studies, and generational studies.

    The brain structure in some parts of autistic persons’ brains has (on autopsy) been found to be different than that of non-autistic retarded persons and of non-autistic persons of normal intelligence. That structure develops in early pregnancy, and it’s developing wrong.

    There are also differences in how autistic versus non-autistic infants view motion, before they are vaccinated or after it doesn’t matter.

  200. #201 dt
    April 6, 2009

    The “fever” hypothesis seems to fail, for the reasons tsudohmimh mentions, among others. (Some like to also implicate acetaminophen given for the fever).

    People like EvilDawn like to spout about whatever the latest buzzword is, irrespective of its validity, hence the references to mitochondrial disorders (ie Hannah Poling). Could high fever be a trigger for neurological progression in someone with an underlying mito disorder? Well fever might precipitate oxidative stress and have a detrimental effect, but this is largely theoretical and unquantifiable, and as we know, febrile illnesses in children are ten a penny. It is likely that vaccination (only one chance in ten of fever) is actually a good strategy to avoid what would be a universally-occuring febrile reaction (99 in 100 cases) if a child caught measles, or mumps, or chicken pox etc.

    The mitochondrial disorder/fever hypothesis for autism is therefore one that actually calls for universal vaccination as a means for reducing the risks of autism. Perhaps there is someone who sees sufficient numbers of mito kids who are unvaccinated to do a retrospective “vaccinated vs unvaccinated” study to look at this? Probably not, since the numbers required would be too great, but its something worth thinking about.

  201. #202 The Hypocrisy! It Burns!!
    April 6, 2009

    HCN, so let me get this straight. It’s ok for you and the rest of the deranged sociopaths on this site to insult parents, but when one or more of those parents insults you back, you whine and snivel and say, “Y dey make fun uv me? Y?! I no unnerstan. I haz a sad :-(”

    The Hypocrisy! It burns with the stupidity of a thousand Oracs! It threatens to go thermo-nuclear. The fires of hell threaten to boil forth from the earth and scour all life….Ooo, Dr. Who is on!

    To Caro, you were not too insulting. Good job in trying to point out how hypocritical they are. You say they are trying to overcompensate for something. I think it’s the Freudian sexual attraction to their mothers.

    Orac, your claim that Dr. Healy was a terrible director? I see, so it’s you who judges things like this? Right. Pull your head out of your ass you fucking shithead.

  202. #203 Joseph C.
    April 6, 2009

    The Hypo,

    Why so angry? I thought the perception is that Jenny McCrazy’s 1890312310th Larry King Live appearance was an epic win for the anti-vaccine cult.

  203. #204 Mu
    April 6, 2009

    Hypo, so let me get this straight. It’s ok for you and the rest of the deranged sociopaths on this site to insult parents, but when one or more of those parents with an understanding of science insults you back, you whine and snivel and say, “Y dey make fun uv me? Y?! I no unnerstan. I haz a sad :-(”

    Fixed that for you.

  204. #205 HCN
    April 6, 2009

    Hello, Common Sue.

  205. #206 ababa
    April 6, 2009

    Common Sue, you claim that Dr. Healy is not a terrible director? I see, so it’s you who judges things like this?

    Just getting a head start on your favorite tactic of answering questions with other questions.

    If I didn’t know better, based on your foul language I’d place even money on the possibility that you were Jenny McCrazy herself. You certainly seem to be about as intelligent. Do you eat your own vomit like she does as well?

  206. #207 K. Alexander
    April 6, 2009

    Caro, wait, what? The entire point is that the burden of proof rests upon the shoulders of the claim-maker. All reasonable and vetted research performed to date fails to establish a link between vaccines and autism. If, as you say, “vaccines aren’t off the hook”, neither are Gummy Bears or wool sweaters, or any random possible vector you could dream up. What’s so special about vaccines?

  207. #208 Yagotta B. Kidding
    April 7, 2009

    All reasonable and vetted research performed to date fails

    Fixed that for you.

    What’s so special about vaccines?

    Needles make Baby Jesus cry.

  208. #209 Aquaria
    April 8, 2009

    During the teen growth spurt, my uncle caught polio pre-vax. My grandmother got him through it, but he’s had health problems ever since. One arm stopped growing; it’s shorter than the other.

    But he’s the lucky one. Five other kids who contracted it at that time died, one after years of suffering. People lived in absolute terror of this disease, and for good reason. Does she understand where the March of Dimes came into being?

    Oh–wait. She’s too fucking stupid to know anything worthwhile.

    She is a waste of oxygen.

  209. #210 Aquaria
    April 8, 2009

    Oh, and by she from the second paragraph on, I meant Jizzy McCrazy.

  210. #211 K.R
    April 9, 2009

    Jenny McCarthy needs to be stopped. I hate the fact that when people hear the word autism they will think of this bloody idiot! Lets put the spot light on a real family dealing with autism. How about a family that struggles everyday to just survive? How about a family that has lost their home or bankrupted their assets to pay for therapy? How about a family with more than one child or more than one autistic child? How about a family that doesn’t have a nanny to look after their child? The therapies that do help children are being ignored because of her(and others like her) lies and the thousands she has deceived into believing her. People need to accept the fact that their genetic makeup is the cause of their child’s affliction. I know it’s hard to accept this fact….believe me….we still struggle with this realization everyday, knowing that we’re the cause of our sons’ autism.

  211. #212 Bryan
    September 19, 2009

    Ok, I dn’t know what an “Indigo” individual was a second ago. I just looked it up. From the marketing definition: “characteristics include: creativity, high energy, hypoglycemia, nonconforming behaviors, physical and emotional sensitivity, and intuitive nature”

    So… that describes me from young kid to present day. They’re characteristics of an above average intelligence child. The “intuitive nature” is the ability to make very fast logical connections between disparate concepts in short time. “Nonconforming behavior” more or less stems from that: we “get” things that others don’t, and as a result react differently to such stimuli.

    Now, this kind of annoys me. The site is essentially marketing for a bullshit, antiscience book on how to raise “indigo” kids: essentially cripple them intellectually with crystal healing bullshit.

    Your kids are smart. Why not encourage that, rather than ruin them with nonsense?

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