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Paul Offit - The Costs of Vaccine Denialism
Posted: 16 February 2010 04:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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I want to thank everyone for commenting on the first show and am so glad folks seemed to enjoy it, and that it got a lot of thoughts rolling around. Of course, with a guest as articulate and quotable as Paul Offit, you can’t really go very wrong.

Doug, I can do Devil’s Advocate too, but I think your distinction may be a meaningful one….

Off to plan the next show!

My best

Chris

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Posted: 16 February 2010 08:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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FYI Chris has a great segment from Morning Joe with Dr. Nancy Snyderman up on his blog HERE, about the nonexistent link between vaccines and autism.

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Posted: 16 February 2010 11:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Jane Russell - 13 February 2010 08:50 AM

While it is true that a relationship has been found between older parents and autism, it accounts for a very small percentage of cases.

Judging by the data from the NY Times article linked to by Jackson, the numbers appear to be far from insignificant.

Jules - 15 February 2010 04:33 PM

Also note the connection between diagnosis of autism and financial status. I would wonder if the connection between age of the parents also is in line with the fact that older parents may be more financially stable and able to secure diagnosis for their children. Young parents (very young) are often not in a financial position to get their children all the help they need.

Jules, I guess it would be interesting to compare the relationship between age and autism in the U.S. and Canada. If it is the financial status as you suggest that plays a role here, the numbers in Canada should be significantly lower—since healthcare in Canada is free.

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Posted: 16 February 2010 11:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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I found this:

How common is autism?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States, autism affects as many as 1 in every 150 children in that country. The statistics are the same in Canada.

Link.

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Posted: 16 February 2010 01:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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George, in Canadian health care, is psychiatric care and care by a psychologist, also free? Here mental health care is often considered separate from medical care, and is sometimes not included in health insurance plans. People who need to take their child for psychological care often find themselves paying cash, or begging the over-worked school counselors to provide counseling.

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Posted: 16 February 2010 01:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Jules - 16 February 2010 01:11 PM

George, in Canadian health care, is psychiatric care and care by a psychologist, also free? Here mental health care is often considered separate from medical care, and is sometimes not included in health insurance plans. People who need to take their child for psychological care often find themselves paying cash, or begging the over-worked school counselors to provide counseling.

Hmm, as far as I know psychiatrists (not sure about psychologists) are free as long as they are recommended by another doctor, usually a family doctor.

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Posted: 17 February 2010 02:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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I hope nobody here expected a quick turnaround from the anti-vaccers.

From Jenny McCarthy’s site, we have “A statement from Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey”:

Dr. Andrew Wakefield is being discredited to prevent an historic study from being published that for the first time looks at vaccinated versus unvaccinated primates and compares health outcomes, with potentially devastating consequences for vaccine makers and public health officials.

It is our most sincere belief that Dr. Wakefield and parents of children with autism around the world are being subjected to a remarkable media campaign engineered by vaccine manufacturers reporting on the retraction of a paper published in The Lancet in 1998 by Dr. Wakefield and his colleagues.

The retraction from The Lancet was a response to a ruling from England’s General Medical Council, a kangaroo court where public health officials in the pocket of vaccine makers served as judge and jury. Dr. Wakefield strenuously denies all the findings of the GMC and plans a vigorous appeal.

Links apparently not turned on for me yet, so here’s the url: http://www.generationrescue.org/wakefield_statement2.html

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Posted: 17 February 2010 04:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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It may be that the older parents are more aware of resources available to them, and thus, there may be a larger percentage of children who have older parents who are diagnosed as being on the spectrum.  However, it is not necessarily expensive to get a diagnosis, at least not in California, where a parent is able to self-refer to the Regional Center where a free evaluation is available.  However, it is likely that older parents are more aware of such resources and rights than are the younger parents.

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Posted: 18 February 2010 11:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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For the sake of simple falsifiability, hasn’t it been shown that some kids with autism never got the measles vaccine?

Aside, I was kind of hoping the new POI would have better theme music and a different introductory voice.

Jordan

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Posted: 18 February 2010 01:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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Jordan - 18 February 2010 11:40 AM

For the sake of simple falsifiability, hasn’t it been shown that some kids with autism never got the measles vaccine?

Aside, I was kind of hoping the new POI would have better theme music and a different introductory voice.

Jordan

Yes, even the children of Christian Scientists and other groups who decline vaccines for religious reasons, have developed autism as well. In such cases, these nonsense followers claim the autism was “triggered” by dairy products, non-organic foods, pesticides, gluten or wheat in the diet, mercury in fish, and other claims.

When there is “something wrong” with a child, the parents (understandably) want to blame someone. But that should be a short “anger” phase the parents work through in therapy or with the support of family, and then realize it’s not their fault, these things just happen, and focus instead on moving forward and helping their child to improve with special services and therapy.

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Posted: 18 February 2010 02:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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Jules - 18 February 2010 01:26 PM

In such cases, these nonsense followers claim the autism was “triggered” by dairy products, non-organic foods, pesticides, gluten or wheat in the diet, mercury in fish, and other claims.

Whatever causes autism I am sure it must be something “unnatural.” “Unnatural” is the Satan of the 21st century.

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Posted: 18 February 2010 02:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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Jules,

Thanks for that reply. So strange. If we wanted, we *could* abide the view that autism is triggered by dairy, or non-organics, or pesticides with little risk of significant harm. Not so with the anti-vaccers’ view, yet they are the most prominent voice. What’s up with that?

Jordan

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Posted: 18 February 2010 03:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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If only someone could start a rumor, that autism is caused by not following the recommended pediatric vaccine schedule!  grin

Strange they are so concerned with Autism, but not at all concerned about measles, chicken pox, rubella, mumps, pertussis, polio, tetanus, pneumonia, flu, etc.

Yes it is odd that they have the loudest voice. They are backed by fearful parents and nutty celebrities. What gives them fuel for the fire, is that symptoms or signs of autism arise around the same time a large series of vaccines are given (around 2 years old or so) Children developing normally suddenly regress. The parents can’t ignore the timing. They feel it must be the vaccines. Doctors and researchers have said time and time again, the timing is coincidence. It’s hard for parents to grasp. Various parents could blame different foods or environmental problems but no one could agree - but one thing they all had in common was vaccines - so that was their rallying point.

I can’t imagine being a pediatrician having to deal with parents who get their healthcare information off of woo-woo scare websites. I feel badly for them, having to spend so much time arguing with parents about why vaccines are needed and why they are safe. A friend at work, took her two year old for the series of “big vaccines” that so many are worried about. She started sort of saying “Well I’m a little concerned about what I’ve read online…” the pediatrician, probably frustrated and having been through this 14 times in a single day, stopped her mid-sentence and put her hand out “Ah ah ah ah - no. It’s safe. I wouldn’t give it to him if it wasn’t safe. He’s getting it. Here’s a brochure about vaccine safety.” She crammed the vaccine brochure in her hand and said “RELAX!” and got the vaccines out.

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Some people can read War and Peace and come away thinking it’s a simple adventure story. Others can read the ingredients on a chewing gum wrapper and unlock the secrets of the universe.    - Lex Luthor

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Posted: 22 February 2010 08:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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wow. Great Interview of an expert witness. “Chris Mooney makes it look easy”...Chris gently returned to the topic, letting Offit emphasize that it is fully established that if vaccines were a cause of autism, the studies would show it—and they don’t.  He covered all the questions that were occurring to me and branched into other areas where there have been problems (thalidomide, reactions to swine flu vaccine) as well as current thinking on the causes of autism.

[link for review of Autism’s False Prophets in IJ Epidemiology—encouraging intro only]

[ review in Salon]

I wasn’t really aware of how fervently Offit has been attacked.

Mooney has some comments on his Discover blog including a good quote..this reminds me that sometimes I have wished that POI had transcripts.
[Mooney blog entry]

I have a niece who is severely autistic, and her parents chased every chance of a cure and every hint of hope.  It’s tough.

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