Science vs. Jenny McCarthy

For those who missed it, here is most of a recent editorial in the WSJ by Dr. Ari Brown responding to Jenny McCarthy’s recent book which blames immunizations for her child’s autism. You can find the entire thing here if you have a WSJ subscription.

…Parents go through stages of grief when their child is diagnosed with a disorder like autism. We all want to blame someone for our suffering. That’s understandable. Was there something we could have done as parents to prevent this? But why hasn’t the media called out Ms. McCarthy on all the medical inaccuracies in her book? Has anyone actually read it? I have — cover to cover. Here are two revealing points:

Ms. McCarthy told Oprah that her son was a normal toddler until he received his Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine (at 15 months of age). Soon after — boom — the soul is gone from his eyes. Yet she contradicts herself in her book: “My friends’ babies all cracked a smile way before Evan did . . . he was almost five months old.” Which is it? Was he normal until his MMR vaccine or were some of the signs missed before he got that shot?

Ms. McCarthy also contends that mercury in vaccines caused damage to her son’s gut and immune system, leading to autism. Yet the mercury preservative Ms. McCarthy assails was removed from the childhood vaccination series in 2001. Her son, Evan, was born in 2002. It’s hard to trust Ms. McCarthy’s medical degree from the University of Google — she comments about the Hepatitis C vaccine that wreaked
havoc on a friend’s child. An inconvenient truth: There is no Hepatitis C vaccine.

Doctors do need to do a better job of guiding families through the maze of autism treatments. I also desperately want to know why autism happens and how to treat it. But let’s put our energy into funding autism research and treatment, not demonizing our vaccination program.

Ms. McCarthy is in the trenches, fighting for her son. I, too, am fighting. I am on the front lines everyday, trying to keep our kids healthy and protected. And, after all I have seen, one thing is certain — I’ve vaccinated my own kids and would do it again in a heartbeat.

Wow, the “University of Google.”

Dr. Mirkin was kind enough to provide a good followup link to Michael Fumento’s piece on the same subject.

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