February 7, 2009
The Lie that Started It All: Doctor Who Claimed MMR Caused Autism Falsified Reports
In 1998, DoctorÂ Andrew Wakefield published a report in The Lancet medical journal claiming the MMR vaccine caused Autism in 8 out of 12 children within days of receiving the vaccine. Â This set off a scare that caused a drop in vaccinations for measles, mumps, and rubella from 92% to 80%. Â While this doesn't seem like much, a population requires 95% vaccination to receive "hurd immunity". Â Well, as the Times Online reported, the doctor falsified reports in the journal entry. Â There was only one case where autism-like symptoms occurred within days of the shot, while the rest had concerns about their behavior before the vaccination was given. Â So why is this particularly disappointing? Â Because it was a doctor that gave this information. Â A doctor, who threatened thousands of children with childhood measles, mumps, and rubella, because he caused an unnecessary scare and untrue link to a genetic condition. Â But the damage doesn't stop at those children at risk because they were never vaccinated for these deadly diseases.. Â N0, he set Autism research and treatment back 20 years by convincing people that vaccinations were the cause of Autism. Â So instead of research scientists checking on development of the brain during this period, they were distracted by angry parents duped by this one doctor. Â The pain isn't in those children at risk, but those children who with autism, whose development was stunted as people squabble over the actual cause. Â Parents would then claim that if they skipped shots, ate only tea leaves, or stood on their heads to "get the toxins out" would improve, even though the children still had obsessive, repetitive behaviors quite typical of autistic children. Â Their children were not being "cured", but rather their brains were performing the miracle it is so capable of doing: Â It was learning and developing in spite of the increased neurons in their brains. Â I sincerely hope that Doctor Wakefield understands the full impact this little desire to get published has had on the world, and on the Autism community. Â I hope, somewhere, he is reading this post and realizes the pain that he has caused parents of those precious children with the unique and diverse qualities resulting from having a more dense brain than "normal" children. Â Sir, shame on you.