End the Vaccine-Autism War Now: Do The Comparative Study and Quit Demeaning the Parents Who Actually Care for Autistic Children
Posted Nov 10 2009 10:00pm
The vaccine-autism war has continued unabated, primarily because of the actions of Dr. Paul Offit, Dr. Thomas Insel and the IACC. It will continue until a credible observational study comparing autism rates in vaccinated and unvaccinated populations is done.
The IACC ventured near a possible end to the war when it contemplated doing an observational study comparing autism rates in vaccinated and unvaccinated populations. Instead, under Dr. Insel's direction, it engaged in procedural shenanigans to take the option off the table, aggravating hostility and suspicion amongst those who observed the onset of autism symptoms in their children after vaccination.
Dr. Insel added to the mess by informing Senator Harkin's committee that such a study could not be done. Dr. Bernadine Healy, former head of the NIH, and Dr. Julie Gerberding, formerly of the CDC, have both stated that the observational autism study could and should be done. Dr. Duane Alexander has also stated that such a study could be done.
Dr. Paul Offit signaled that it was OK for the media to heap scorn on vaccine concerned parents when he painted himself as a martyr and began a crusade to silence any criticism or questioning of vaccines. Now mainstream media and bloggers, including alleged science bloggers , routinely demean and admonish the people who are actually helping autistic children ... their parents. In doing so they are hurting those same autistic children and elevating hostilities in the vaccine-autism war.
It is parents, not Dr. Paul Offit, who actually do the day to day caring for autistic children and who represent their children's interests. In telling these parents to sit down and shut up, in mocking these parents, the "vaccines above all else crowd" are in fact signaling their contempt for the role of the family, the role of parents, in caring for and raising children.
The IACC can continue to sit by and hope that the current Offit inspired media offensive against parents of autistic children who question whether vaccines caused or triggered their child's autism will silence those parents. It is a false and futile hope. Not because these parents are inherently stubborn but because they require more than condescension , flawed, conflicted, statistical massages, and trite cliches (correlation does not imply causation) before they will be persuaded.
If the IACC wants to end the vaccine-autism war it will recommend funding to do the comparative study called for by Dr. Healy and Dr. Gerberding and have it done by credible, conflict free, research authorities. The more the IACC resists calls for such a study the more it will appear it has something to hide. If it wants the vaccine-autism war to continue it will refuse to conduct the study.