Bear with me, and you’ll see why I’m upset.
When you have a chance, please read this excellent, insightful response to Dr. Oz’s show about autism, from Dr. Ari Brown at http://autismsciencefoundation.wordpress.com/2011/02/17/response-to-dr-oz-show-from-dr-ari-brown/
Autism is a tricky disorder with some tricky issues surrounding it. Issue #1 is obviously vaccines. The original report linking vaccines to autism has been thoroughly discredited, not only by many of the people who wrote it, but also by further studies and meta-analysis of studies. However, because of people like Dr. Oz - who handled the subject miserably on his show - this issue will never be put to bed.
The organization Autism Speaks has divided against itself over the issue: with limited funds available, should still more money be poured into the vaccine question, or is it time to move on and fund other aspects of research?
Dr. Oz and pediatrician Dr. Bob Sears both said on the show that they used a “delayed” vaccination schedule, although there is no evidence this prevents autism. Just as many kids develop autism on the delayed vaccine schedule as on the regular schedule. However, with the delayed schedule, young children do not receive their shots when they are most at risk.
In fact, a patient of Dr. Sears did not receive his MMR shot, he contracted the measles, and he was responsible for an outbreak in San Diego that ultimately lead to the exposure of 839 people and 11 more cases of measles (all in unvaccinated children). Four children contracted the measles in Dr. Sears’s waiting room. One baby, too young to be vaccinated, was hospitalized - at a cost of $15,000. Another 48 children who were too young to be vaccinated had to be quarantined for several weeks.
Dr. Sears said online it “doesn’t actually matter” if the child was his patient. His thoroughly inadequate response: “Fortunately, all cases passed without complications, as is usually the case with measles.”
No complications? Illnesses, hospitalization, untold anxiety, quarantines, lost work days for parents, and medical expenses apparently mean nothing to him. Measles can cause brain swelling and pneumonia, and is not a benign disease. A measles outbreak in 1990 resulted in the deaths of three children.
For more information on the Sears-related outbreak, please see the excellent summary at http://justthevax.blogspot.com/2010/12/ho-how-did-i-miss-this.html
New York Times ran an article about “vaccine skeptics” called “Public Health Risk Seen as Parents Reject Vaccines.” Dr. Bob Sears is quoted as saying he didn’t think vaccinating children is a “critical public health issue.” What do they teach at Georgetown University School of Medicine?
Dr. Wilbert Mason responded to the article, saying, “We would not be having a debate about vaccines at all if people realized the tremendous costs in suffering and human life we incurred before vaccines became available… This is a free country but we should all feel some responsibility to our fellow citizens and their children.”