Motherhood, Marriage and Other Wild Rides

Health, Happiness and the Pursuit of Mommyhood

MMR doctor Andrew Wakefield Fixed Data on Autism February 13, 2009

As many of you know, I am very cautious about how many and what types of vaccines my children receive. I’ve talked about it several times, most recently here.

In the spirit of fairness and balanced journalism, I must share this article I just read this morning. Written by Brian Deer for the UK’s Sunday Times, it reports on how Andrew Wakefield, the doctor who sparked the scare over the safety of the MMR vaccine for children, misreported results in his research, creating the appearance of a possible link with Autism.

Keep in mind, this is a “Sunday Times investigation,” although it opens the discussion once again about the causes of Autism. The Autism Society of America explains, “Research indicates that other factors besides the genetic component are contributing to the rise in increasing occurrences of Autism, such as environmental toxins (e.g., heavy metals such as mercury), which are more prevalent in our current environment than in the past.” What I would like to know is if it’s not in the vaccines, then what is the source of our children’s exposure to mercury? What is it about our “current environment” that is so mercury-laden?

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health’s fact sheet, “Elemental mercury is a shiny, silver-gray metal that is a liquid at room temperature. It can be found in thermometers, barometers, sphygmomanometers, dental amalgams, batteries, fluorescent lights and electrical switches. It also was commonly found in household latex paint prior to the early 1990s.” Are we to blame fluorescent lights and light switches for the threat of neurological disorders? Oh yes, it’s virtually impossible now to find fish to eat which is not contaminated with mercury. (This former sushi fan was astonished by this warning list from the Natural Resources Defense Coucil. If you are pregnant or plan to serve fish to small children, it is essential to read this.)

I guess I’m especially sensitive to pharmaceuticals. My son Noah must face a surgical procedure this Spring which requires he be anesthetized with ketamine. My husband and I lay awake at night shuddering at the thought. We already witnessed the horror of anesthetizing a child when little Joseph cut his lip and chin at age two and required emergency surgery. For my births, I chose to stay home and deliver my boys in a birthing tub, attended by my husband and midwives–accepting no drugs of any kind, and I was overjoyed with both experiences and what easy, and fast labors they were. Yes, my sons have been vaccinated for a number of potential threats, but we have carefully selected those vaccines while refraining from others, and we have staggered the schedule so that they would not receive injections too frequently, or before their bodies had a chance to accept the foreign vaccine and readjust. I also prefer they have a chance to grow between each vaccine. It seems counter-intuitive to pump so many pharmaceuticals into such little beings. 

Until the verdict on the safety of vaccines is absolutely clear, I’ll remain cautious.


7 Responses to “MMR doctor Andrew Wakefield Fixed Data on Autism”

  1. 79 Says:

    Great Health Reports Sources…

  2. 59 Says:

    Health Information Resources…

  3. sherrijax Says:

    I agree. Years ago in the 70’s a friend’s baby died the night he received his first vaccinations. This happened after getting a thorough well-check where everything indicated he was a healthy infant.

    In 1975 Japan raised the minimum age of vaccinations from 2 months to 2 years—after that, SIDS [crib death] meningitis, infantile seizures and other infectious diseases in infants were almost nonexistent. Japan moved from 17th place via infant mortality to 1st place, indicating Japan had the fewest number of infant deaths worldwide. However, in two year olds infectious diseases such as meningitis increased. In 1988 Japanese parents were allowed to choose in reference to vaccinating under the age of 2—at that time SIDS drastically increased.

    I won’t say that the increase in required vaccinations are the only contributing factor to Autism but intuition tells me it has something to do with it . However, viewing it from both sides it’s not an easy decision to make to vaccinate or not, and it can be very difficult to bring about change with something this controversial. It took years, even though there were those who recommended treating scurvy accurately via vitamin C [citrus fruit] before the recommendation was taken seriously.

  4. rjlacko Says:

    Thanks for the valuable contribution to the discussion, Sherri. The information about Japan is certainly fascinating. It’s one of the most difficult decision a parent must face–the choice to protect our children from one threat at the expense of potentially exposing them to another. The one reassurance we have is that, for the first time in the history of the world, the common, everyday patient has all the same information readily available to read, explore and prayerfully consider that their own doctor has! Before a ped visit, parents can learn what he or she will be assessing at their child’s age, and what vaccinations are scheduled, and the ingredients, history and any news items or governmental agency updates or lawsuits attached to those vaccines. Knowledge is, as they say, power.

  5. childhealthsafety Says:

    Sunday Times journalist Brian Deer made it up. Check out these links:-

    “Sunday Times Journalist Made Up Wakefield MMR Data Fixing Allegation”

    “Sunday Times Journalist Admits Wakefield MMR Data Fixing Allegation Is Unqualified Speculation”

    “Sunday Times Journalist Challenged Over Role in US MMR Cases”

    “Sunday Times’ London Editor Must Quit Over False “Wakefield MMR Data Fixing” Story”

    “US Federal Court, US Justice Dept & The Sunday Times – More Questions Than Answers”

  6. Dr. Wakefield’s formal complaint to the UK Press Complaint’s Commission against journalist Brian Deer.

  7. rjlacko Says:

    Thank you for your input, Harold. This topic remains a mystery. The arguments about vaccinations throw the spotlight off other potential hazards which may aggravate an existing genetic disposition for Autism.
    Just last week, it was time for my son’s boosters at his annual check-up. He is now 4, and I while I’m still fearfully weighing the pros and cons about the protection he’ll receive from his innoculations vs. the threat of a neurological disorder, the conspiracy theorist in me wonders how much a “booster” has to do with recurring income for the pharmaceutical companies.
    I do hope that in our lifetime we discover why Autism rates have skyrocketed–and we do something about it.

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