Wednesday, January 5, 2011

"Whoso shall offend one of these little ones..."

Every so often a story appears about some new research discovery, is sensationalized by the media, is subsequently discredited, and then turns out to have done a lot of damage. I'm reminded of all of the trouble, destroyed reputations, and damaged relationships  surrounding "recovered memory." Obviously, many parents, made aware of the "research" referred to below, and believing they were doing the best thing to protect their children, in fact did just the opposite. From CNN:
A now-retracted British study that linked autism to childhood vaccines was an "elaborate fraud" that has done long-lasting damage to public health, a leading medical publication reported Wednesday. ....

"It's one thing to have a bad study, a study full of error, and for the authors then to admit that they made errors," Fiona Godlee, BMJ's editor-in-chief, told CNN. "But in this case, we have a very different picture of what seems to be a deliberate attempt to create an impression that there was a link by falsifying the data." ....

The now-discredited paper panicked many parents and led to a sharp drop in the number of children getting the vaccine that prevents measles, mumps and rubella. ....

In the United States, more cases of measles were reported in 2008 than in any other year since 1997.... More than 90 percent of those infected had not been vaccinated or their vaccination status was unknown, the CDC reported. ....
Retracted autism study an 'elaborate fraud,' British journal finds -

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous11:47 AM

    I found this post very interesting. Needless to say, a subject close to me. I clicked thru and read the article. I found these two sections also very interesting.

    "But perhaps as important as the scare's effect on infectious disease is the energy, emotion and money that have been diverted away from efforts to understand the real causes of autism and how to help children and families who live with it," the BMJ editorial states.


    Dr. Max Wiznitzer, a pediatric neurologist at Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital in Cleveland, said the reporting "represents Wakefield as a person where the ends justified the means." But he said the latest news may have little effect on those families who still blame vaccines for their children's conditions.

    "Unfortunately, his core group of supporters is not going to let the facts dissuade their beliefs that MMR causes autism," Wiznitzer said. "They need to be open-minded and examine the information as everyone else."

    Last night I went to my Autism Support group meeting. One thing that was brought up was that one of my friends had seen a tee shirt that basically said that if 1 in 146 kids a day were being kidnapped Congress would be doing something. Well, that is the rate of kids being diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum.

    And I know at least one parent who no matter what is firmly convinced and will always believe that the only reason her son is on the spectrum is because of being vaccinated. One reason, I believe, is because people do not want to admit that their child is not perfect.

    Patrick is not perfect. Then again, who among us is? I believe that there is a genetic component. But it is what it is. Every day can be a challenge. We have our ups and our downs. The good days are really outnumbering the bad ones these days.


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