Friday, April 18, 2008

In the blue corner: Jenny McCarthy, in the red corner: people with brains.

CNN dedicated a significant proportion of their coverage to autism a while back. Unfortunately, that coverage included Jenny McCarthy and her amazing cure for autism. Which includes the sometimes dangerous practice of chelation. She, like many parents with autistic children, has attributed her son's autism to vaccinations, based largely on her degree from Google University.

Much of the hype surrounding the autism-vaccine connection is related to an apparent increase in autism diagnoses in the past couple of decades. This increase does correlate well with the increased number of vaccinations that children are receiving. Perhaps Jenny could Google "correlation does not imply causation." Better yet, here's the Wiki link. Here is a more fact based analysis of increased diagnosis rates by Steve Novella, a neurologist at Yale. Here is some more information about vaccine myths.

I don't know what causes autism, but I do know that Jenny McCarthy is not the first person I'd ask. Please take the time to talk to people that really know. If you don't trust your doctor, get a new one. Don't put your child's life in danger because some quack tells you to chelate. The point is, ask doctors about medicine, climatologists about climate change, and playboy centerfolds about who to sleep with to make you famous.

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