Sunday, November 13, 2005

The anti-MMR campaign dismissed by Science

Dr Michael Fitzpatrick wrote an excellent article called When quackery kills available over at Spiked.

It is about the death of a five-year-old autistic boy in the USA following mercury chelation and how campaigners continue to blame medical and scientific authorities for poisoning children with vaccines. Journalists endorse the anti-MMR campaign without critically examining the claims of its promoters and the scientific evidence against the autism link. Or could it be, that they just don't understand science

The false belief in the MMR-autism link has caused parents to feel guilt over giving their children the vaccine, and it unfortunately made some parents decide not to have their children vaccinated. Instead they believed in anecdotal evidence delivered by fellow parents, who saw with their own eyes that their children became autistic after receiving the MMR vaccine. I will give you one good example why anecdotal evidence is unreliable:

Galileo presented the view that the Earth revolved around the sun and rotated around its own axis, but people could see with their own eyes that the sun rose in the east and set in the west. They believed what they saw, and concluded the earth was the center of the universe and the sun revolved around the earth and not opposite. However, their observation did not prove Galileo was wrong. The people were not aware that association does not prove causation. Scientific research is required, and what you see is not always evidence of truth.

MMR protects children against three potentially serious diseases and now this Cochrane review concludes that the truth about MMR is that it does not cause autism. How much more research do we need?

The entire review (PDF):
Vaccines for measles, mumps and rubella in children.

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