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Vaccines and Autism: A Story of Medicine, Science and Fear

Posted Feb 01 2011 7:26pm

Tomorrow on National Public Radio (US) The Diane Rehm Show will host a discussion of autism and vaccines: Vaccines and Autism: A Story of Medicine, Science and Fear

In 1998 a research paper was published that linked the childhood measles, mumps and rubella vaccine to the onset of autism, a life long developmental disorder. Follow up studies could not replicate the findings casting doubt on its conclusions, and earlier this year it was proven that this original study was, in fact, fraudulent. But the damage was done. Childhood vaccination rates dropped resulting in outbreaks of measles and whooping cough. Funds that would have gone to new research into the causes of autism were diverted, and surveys indicate that about one in five Americans continues to believe that a childhood vaccine can trigger autism. A story of fraudulent medical research and its consequences.

Guests will be:

Seth Mnookin: Author of “Feeding the Monster: How Money, Smarts, and Nerve Took a Team to the Top” and “Hard News: The Scandals at the New York Times and Their Meaning for American Media.” He is a contributing editor at “Vanity Fair” and a former senior writer for “Newsweek.”

Dr. Roberta DeBiasi: pediatric infectious diseases physician at Children’s National Medical Center

Alison Tepper Singer: Founder and President of the Autism Science Foundation, formerly Executive Vice President of Autism Speaks, served on the federal Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC.)

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  3. Laurentius Rex:
    What really is insulting about the whole debate is the reality that autism doesn't even matter to these people, it is simply a "McGuffin" an excuse to troll out the most fearful folk demon du jour and pin it on the big villain. It could as well have been Morgellon's (Morgellon's what!?) or Consolvo's Ulceration for all they care, as long as it plays in the Cinemas of the mind as a classic tale of the old West, Cowboys and Indians. Hey even if the movies were black and white the issues never were.
  4. sharon:
    LR, that has been my hunch for a while too. I cant help thinking some capitalise on the fact we have little understanding of the etiology of ASD. And then others through fear and confusion simply follow. Very cult like behaviour.

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