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16 years ago, a doctor published a study (Wakefield/Autism)


from the bible belt
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This! My nephew is autistic. I can't imagine life without him. Nobody in the family or his doctor believes vaccines caused autism.

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Well, I knew it - because I'm old enough to remember when the study was refuted, and we had a subscription to the New England Journal of Medicine when they published the Danish study in 2002, and because my cousin was verbally attacked in her La Leche League group by a woman who insisted that she caused her daughter to become autistic by vaccinating her, and I saw that this cousin's next child wasn't vaccinated but also ended up with autism.

We don't ALL know it, though, because far too many people still believe this myth. They can hear a doctor tell them that vaccines are safe, but it doesn't change the panic online or the emotional pleas. Ben Carson can calmly explain that numerous studies have failed to show any link whatsoever between autism and vaccines, but that doesn't stop Trump from yelling about all the poor babies developing autism in the next second. Otherwise intelligent people can brag that they question things and distrust the financial interest of the pharmaceutical industry - but have a total blind spot for the fact that Wakefield never declared a conflict of interest with personal injury lawyers who were paying him, and ignore that Dr. Mercola is making a ton of money off his website and unproven products.

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yes but people still believe aluminum causes Alzheimer. people sometimes choose to be ignorant.

Someone once tried to "prove" this to me by describing a study where they had a dying man inhale gold dust, and then, after he died, they found gold in his brain. Now, how that means that putting aluminum on my armpits (in deodorants) will do anything, I have no clue.

It's the same with vaccine fears. They'll point out the aluminum content in vaccines it higher than the levels found to be harmful in IV solutions. Except, of course, vaccines aren't given by IV. Saying this is the same is like saying drinking a glass of water is dangerous, because it's enough to drown you if you inhale it.

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When celebrities like Jenny McCarthy jumped on the Wakefield train, you knew it was a lost cause. Even after he was proven wrong!!!!! There are people who still choose to believe his fake reasearch. Which horrifies me. The level of ignorance.

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Not only measles the whole mmr span, and there have been outbreaks in Germany and the UK. it is terrible what damage you can do by publishing this bs.

Ironically, fetal Rubella exposure is a known cause of autism.

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When celebrities like Jenny McCarthy jumped on the Wakefield train, you knew it was a lost cause. Even after he was proven wrong!!!!! There are people who still choose to believe his fake reasearch. Which horrifies me. The level of ignorance.

Fuck Jenny McCarthy. Fuck her for encouraging this, and fuck her for using her child to push her own stupid agenda...

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We just covered this paper in the class I teach. It has some fairly obvious issues, but probably passed peer review since Wakefield was a reasonably well known guy with a specialty in treating gastro and immune system problems like transplant rejection.

Amusingly, he even admits in the paper that he hadn't proven a link. Didn't act the same way at all the press conferences though.

I had my students try to design a study that would be better- most of them were able to fix the glaring flaws even as first year non-science majors.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have autism (aspergers syndrome) and the psychologist and psychiatrist I've been to theorise that it was a result of some brain damage I received when I was 2 (pot plants sitting on stands and 2 year olds that like to climb dont mix).

Not once have I been told that it could of occurred when I received vaccinations.

Plus my dad has no immune system (due to immune suppressants he takes to avoid his body attacking itself) and a bad case of the flu could kill him, lead along any sort of disease that's easily vaccinated against. Parents may think its their right not to vaccinate and it is but my family shouldn't have to be quarantined because of their irresponsible decision.

Its beyond just children, its about families and the greater public.

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I have autism (aspergers syndrome) and the psychologist and psychiatrist I've been to theorise that it was a result of some brain damage I received when I was 2 (pot plants sitting on stands and 2 year olds that like to climb dont mix).

Not once have I been told that it could of occurred when I received vaccinations.

Plus my dad has no immune system (due to immune suppressants he takes to avoid his body attacking itself) and a bad case of the flu could kill him, lead along any sort of disease that's easily vaccinated against. Parents may think its their right not to vaccinate and it is but my family shouldn't have to be quarantined because of their irresponsible decision.

Its beyond just children, its about families and the greater public.

Hmmm. That's interesting, because what I heard is that Autism is actually linked to genetics/conditions in the womb, and that Aspergers and other "higher functioning" manifestations of it are simply very skewed aptitudes. I've never heard of it being linked to brain damage.

But I agree with everything else.

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