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Court Rules Autism Not Caused By Childhood Vaccine 1056

Posted by timothy
from the thanks-court dept.
wiredog writes "From The Washington Post comes word that three special masters have decided that MMR vaccines do not cause autism. 'Special master George Hastings said the parents ... had "been misled by physicians who are guilty, in my view, of gross medical misjudgment." ... "the evidence advanced by the petitioners has fallen far short of demonstrating ... a link."'
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Court Rules Autism Not Caused By Childhood Vaccine

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  • by Hordeking (1237940) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:05PM (#26831351)

    Do we really want courts deciding scientific fact?

    Why not? The media industry decides on the law.

  • by illegalcortex (1007791) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:07PM (#26831373)

    Where have you been? Courts have always not only made medical decisions, but ones in various other areas of science, too, when there is a dispute. What exactly do you think forensics are, anyway? They do the same things courts have always done - rely on expert witnesses. As soon as you come up with a better way to correctly solve disputes involving factual claims, please do let the world know.

  • by Cathoderoytube (1088737) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:08PM (#26831419)
    No.. Courts make decisions based on evidence. Like in this case where there's no evidence supporting the claim that vaccines cause autism.
  • Jenny McCarthy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mcsestretch (926118) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:09PM (#26831433)
    Good, now maybe that idiot Jenny McCarthy will shut her mouth about this. There are no telling how many kids have been put at risk because they're listing to celebrities harping their pseudo-science.
  • by Z00L00K (682162) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:10PM (#26831463) Homepage

    Autism occurs and makes itself known about the same time as the vaccination occurs, which may explain why some people makes that connection.

    But even if there was a small risk of autism related to the vaccination the risks involved by not being vaccinated are higher and the risk of an epidemic is higher if there is no vaccination performed.

    So if it's possible to get a vaccination - get it. People avoiding vaccination are a breeding ground for diseases like polio and a lot of other nasty things. The only disease successfully erased is smallpox - unless it escapes a laboratory somewhere, in which case we may have a disaster on our hands.

    Personally I would call parents that are fighting against vaccinations as irresponsible and a danger to society.

  • by holmstar (1388267) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:12PM (#26831489)
    The plaintiffs (parents of children with autism) are required to present evidence that shows that there is a link between the vaccines and autism. The judge ruled that the evidence provided by the plaintiffs did not show such a connection, thus their complaint is dismissed. They can find more conclusive evidence and try again if they wish.
  • by flitty (981864) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:12PM (#26831497)
    No, and they don't. They've used science as evidence in a ruling. Pay attention.
  • Joy in Guilt (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jellomizer (103300) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:14PM (#26831513)

    I think for some reason a lot of people find joy in finding problems with progress. They seem to want every advancement we make as people to have some dark side effect that will lead us to our doom.
    There is being vigilant not taking things at face value, then there is going overboard and jumping to conclusions just to prove progress is bad.

    Just recently a bill was passed to stop a chemical from being put into children's toys, however there is no evidence that it is actually harmful in that amount. And is being replaced with new chemicals that could be just as bad, if not worse.

    Is it that they want to be Hero's saving us from them selfs or do they take joy in preventing progress.

  • Re: Courts (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheMeuge (645043) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:14PM (#26831525)

    Do we really want courts deciding scientific fact?

    I don't know do we?

    Because our society has certainly decided that scientists can no longer decide scientific facts. If that were not the case, we wouldn't be in this mess to begin with.

    Over the last 10 years, US and UK have spent tens of millions of dollars to provide "negative proof" of something that we had already known, just to quiet down the conspiracy theorists. But instead of quieting them down, this has empowered them, by giving them and their claims legitimacy. Now, we're faced with a situation where childhood vaccination has taken a nosedive, and we're seeing old goodies like measles re-emerge into small (for now) epidemics. And as herd immunity is eroded further, we will see additional diseases make an impressive comeback.

    So now that we took the right to make educated judgments about medical and scientific matters, away from doctors and scientists, we've also demonstrated that as a society we're incapable of making rational decisions... which isn't surprising. The only option left seems to be the courts, where reasonably educated judges may or may not rule according to the best data available. Well... at least there's a chance.

    And for those who will scream at me about mercury in vaccines, why don't you compare a single or rare exposure to a tiny amount of mercury... to how much mercury you must feed to your children via fish... and corn syrup.

  • Good! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by greg_barton (5551) * <.moc.oohay. .ta. .notrab_gerg.> on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:15PM (#26831549) Homepage Journal

    I tend to lean to the left side of the political spectrum, but two threads of liberal thought piss me off more than just about anything: anti nuke environmentalists and autism/vaccine linkers. Both group are as bad as any anti science fundamentalist, but in a way worse: they think that science and reason backs them up, when really it doesn't. They're just using it as a rationalization for their existing superstitions, mainly of the "don't mess with mother nature" variety.

  • by Sique (173459) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:17PM (#26831561) Homepage

    Who else should have the final say in a damage claim? Parents accuse the producer of the vaccine to have done damage to their children by causing their autism with the vaccine. The producer claims to be innocent. That's definitely something for a court to decide.

  • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:18PM (#26831593)

    But we didn't know the courts were going to listen to reason rather than urban legends and charlatans.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:18PM (#26831599)

    Honestly, it's different in every person. Those who may be built better might not have any issues with the vaccine. Those with weaker immune systems may have issues manifested later in life.

    It's honestly really stupid of us to say "It does" or "It doesn't" at this point. We don't know enough about how the human body works on a per case basis. All we can do is make generalizations.

    It's like saying AIDS will kill you.. For the majority of us, yes, it will. For the one guy in china that was found to be completely immune to the virus, no, it won't.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:19PM (#26831607)

    No, the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program
      explains why some people make this "connection"

  • Re:Whats next? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by clonan (64380) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:21PM (#26831647)

    No, the lack of thoes vacines is a leading indicator for...

    Children killed or brain damaged by their idiot parents.

  • Re:No proof yet... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by NerveGas (168686) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:22PM (#26831653)

    Yeah, it's funny that once they got rid of the supposedly "bad" stuff in vaccinations (thimerosol), not only did autism rates not go down... they kept getting [i]higher[/i].

    Obviously, something in our environment is making autism rates climb. But it doesn't look like it's the thimerosol. Even if it is from mercury (which I don't know of any data showing that it is), it seems to be mercury from some other source, not from thimerosol.

  • Re:Well then (Score:5, Insightful)

    by badboy_tw2002 (524611) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:23PM (#26831675)

    And when smallpox kills a few million 20 years after that, who do I get to sue?

  • Re:Well then (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vux984 (928602) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:25PM (#26831721)

    The people who mandated them will say "sorry we didn't know," but the parents should be able to say to them "fuck you, you will pay horrifically for what you did to our kids, you miserable social engineers."

    And when the kids catch these horrible diseases what then?

    The parents will say, "Sorry we didn't know, we thought we knew best." Do the kids then get to say to the parents: "fuck you, you will pay horrifically for what you did us" ?

    Just curious.

  • by Adult film producer (866485) <van@i2pmail.org> on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:27PM (#26831749)
    Do we really want courts deciding scientific fact?

    I'm not seeing this the same way you are. What happened here is the court judged the evidence for vaccines causing autism as insufficient. In same way the court decided that 'intelligent design' was not sufficiently scientific to be taught in science classes, I suppose. The door is still open for the vaccine advocates to prove their case... but they have to do the research.
  • by Haeleth (414428) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:28PM (#26831763) Journal

    The one disappointing thing here is that the court blames physicians for the public misconception. In reality, the blame lies more with the mass media, who turned the original claims into a massive health scare.

    The vast majority of physicians correctly investigated the claims and determined that the evidence did not stand up to scrutiny. But the media took that and turned it into their beloved "lone rebel" story, with a parents' champion fighting to get the truth out while the sinister establishment tried to suppress it. Result? Massive decrease in vaccine uptake, threatening public health and risking a deadly epidemic. All because "your children are at risk" sells more papers than "oops, we goofed up, turns out vaccines are safe after all".

  • Re:Jenny McCarthy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eln (21727) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:28PM (#26831765) Homepage

    Not gonna happen. The anti-vaccine movement has long since stopped being about science (if it ever was) and has become a self-sustaining community of believers. Once a community like that develops around an issue, it's virtually impossible to get rid of it. These people have built an entire support system built around the idea that they are all bound by the fact that their poor kids got autism from the evil vaccines. They do not want to give up that support system, and will rationalize however they need to to keep it.

    They will likely claim the court has no right to make medical decisions (already happened in this thread!) or that the court is being manipulated by Big Pharma with its legions of lobbyists. Under no circumstances will they simply admit they were wrong.

  • Re:Well then (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LWATCDR (28044) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:28PM (#26831773) Homepage Journal

    "This is why I hesitate to let "experts" force major social projects on us. "
    So instead of "experts" you want people with no real education in the subject, no real facts, and a lot of fear and guess work to decide?
    We know that vaccines don't cause autism. Just about every kid has been vaccinated and they don't all have it.
    Vaccines could contribute to it but so could a lot of things. I blame DVDs myself. The huge increase in autism started when DVDs started to replace video tapes.
    So we should also ban DVDs.

  • by sirwired (27582) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:29PM (#26831795)

    If the government required vaccine makers to shoulder the burden of liability claims, absolutely no drug company would ever bother to manufacture them. They take a very long time to develop, sell for a relatively low price, are generally given to jury-friendly and photogenic children, and are difficult to manufacture.

    The powers that be have decided that the public health benefit of vaccines existing far outweighs the risk of the govt. having to pay out liability claims.

    SirWired

  • by db32 (862117) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:30PM (#26831803) Journal
    Really? What would you call the parents that fought against the HPV vaccination that had barely been tested yet has been made mandatory in places where the drug lords making it have the local officials in their back pocket? I do agree that vaccines in general are a good thing, but leaping into accusing parents of fighting against them as being a danger to society is exactly the kind of rhetoric and propoganda the drug companies want to push their stuff.

    Remember, these are the same companies that will probably never find a cure for anything because there is no money in a cure. If they can research how to cure your cancer for a one time charge, or keep you alive for an extra 10-20 years on expensive treatments which do you think they will pick? Blindly trusting the word of companies that have a vested interest in making sure everyone pays to have these things injected into every child is more irresponsible.

    I have personally had a rather bad interaction with the MMR vaccine. It was the 3rd shot in the series, about 5 minutes after the shot I wandered back from the waiting room and said I didn't feel good. I woke up with 2 ER folks checking my blood pressure and checking for damage from collapsing. So...while I generally believe vaccines are a good thing blindly trusting those who profit on you getting them when they say there is no risk is stupid and dangerous to say the least.
  • Re:Jenny McCarthy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Overzeetop (214511) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:30PM (#26831813) Journal

    We can only hope natural selection will manifest itself on this group.

  • by Locke2005 (849178) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:30PM (#26831819)
    There was no scientific evidence that Silcone Breast implants caused illness [nytimes.com] either, but that didn't stop them from driving Dow Corning into bankruptcy with claims that they did. People do have a right to their beliefs, even if they are paranoid delusions, they have a right to refuse to get their kids immunized. What they don't have is a right to is compensation for harm that occurred after another event with no evidence that the other event actually caused the harm. In this case, the original claim was that the mercury (Thimerisol?) caused autism; it was quickly removed from vaccines, and then the claim was changed to the vaccination itself caused autism. When that couldn't be proved, then the claim was changed to several different vaccines taken closely together cause autism. (This last claim isn't quite as ridiculous as the other claims, since vaccine safety is tested a single vaccine at a time, not in combinations.) Yeah, I'm sorry about your kids' medical problems, but, like silicone implants, there is no statistical evidence that the medical problems occur any more frequently in kids that have had the vaccinations than kids that have not. Post Hoc, ergo propter hoc [wikipedia.org] is still a logical fallacy.
  • by Mad Leper (670146) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:32PM (#26831849)

    Amish people are far less likely to be involved in automobile accidents than the general population. Amish do not vaccinate, therefore vaccinations cause automobile accidents..

    Do I need to spell out the sloppy thinking ?

  • Re:Well then (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mugnyte (203225) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:35PM (#26831889) Journal

    This is why I hesitate to let "experts" force major social projects on us.

    But you do this every day. The specifications for fuel containers, electricity transmission, microwave usage, drugs, food, drink as all brought about from open public discussion around a set of targeted studies. There are thousands of risks you take every day based on the statements of experts that set the margin for error as low as society wants, including the squabbling over the last few percentage points.

      If there's a link between vaccines and autism 20 years from now, then *society itself* will have learned something. You may be horrified, but this occurs every day, and plenty of children & adults "pay" for these mistakes. Lead paint, drugs come and go, gaseous output from industry, heavy metals in manufacturing, etc. Lots of exposure to the "safe" chemicals we make and use every day will undoubtedly have new effects learned about them in the future, and some will be negative.

      You are not living in the future, nor is society omnipotent. You can do your best to push the discoveries along as fast as possible, but you're going to have to accept your place in history, as we all. For example: you skipped the century of common transmission of animal-borne diseases in congested cities, but are now living in the century of plastic, fossil fuels and biological experimentation. There may never be a time when your actions don't involve some calculated risk, where you didn't do the calculations yourself.

    Right now, there is no observable link between vaccines and autism, and there may never be. Fund more studies if you want, but don't skip the vaccines, you're just butting heads with society in general.

  • by Hogwash McFly (678207) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:38PM (#26831951)

    A study of 10,000 non-Amish people found that none of those people had seizures after the vaccine. To me that is all the evidence I need right there.

  • by Chaos Incarnate (772793) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:42PM (#26831993) Homepage
    And the local public school district is still letting her attend?
  • by FireStormZ (1315639) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:42PM (#26831995)

    a court once determined the earth was at the center of the solar system as well..

    evidence about autism is not as iron clad but a court cant rule on what causes autism, that's for scientist to worry about.

  • Re:Whats next? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by furby076 (1461805) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:43PM (#26832007) Homepage
    Presently there is absolutely no medical evidence to support this. Lots of kids get these vaccines and are OK. The percentage of kids who gets these vaccines and develop autism is the same percentage of kids who get autism just because it happens.

    The only evidence that shows these vaccines may cause autism are the babbling chatter of actors/actresses like Jenny McCarthy, who frequently loves to go on insane rants/shout vests against doctors/scientists - telling them they are wrong and she is right.

    Autism is horrible, so is your kid dying of meals, mumps, chicken pox, etc. Let's not spread hype/garbage.
  • by seanadams.com (463190) * on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:45PM (#26832055) Homepage

    My neighbor believed this, her husband was dumbfounded, but he and the doctor couldn't convince her otherwise. I had never even heard of it before I had talked to her husband. Kind of sad.

    Well neither the husband nor the doctor played much of a role in the child's prenatal development, did they? Put yourself in Mom's position - she has to endure the feelings of guilt and inadequacy, not the sperm donor. As such she will naturally grasp any other explanation for the disorder, be it vaccines, overhead power lines, fluoride in the water, bug spray on her food, etc.

    It's the same reason we have these absurdly nebulous diagnoses such as Autism in the first place. We've even got "mild autism" if you can't handle the full euphemism. Maybe it was a meaningful diagnosis when it had a much narrower definition, but now it's used as an umbrella for everything from practically braindead to a little slow to even just "doesn't talk much". It's become like ADD or the "learning disability" they'd have if they were a little older.

    I have empathy for these families, but I don't think we're doing them any favors by constantly seeking different labels for everything, or using pseudoscience and finger-pointing to find a scapegoat for poor health, genetics, or luck.

  • Re: Courts (Score:3, Insightful)

    by phosphorylate this (1412807) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:47PM (#26832097)

    Thimerosal does not need to be in modern vaccines - single dose sterile packaging SHOULD be able to render it unnecessary. This is a good thing, while injecting trace amounts may not be statistically linkable to autism if you can avoid any unnecessary heavy metal exposure then you should. Same with radiation, X-rays or pesticides, each will eat away at your ability to live to 90.

    We currently have the technology and economics to avoid thimerosals use, perhaps some poorer countries do not. In the West problems only arise when health staff get sloppy and reuse packs or are unable to notice a seal broken during shipment. Blaming such incidents on the FDA not allowing mercury use is incorrect - its plane old management failure, its harder to fix and most of know it too well.

  • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:47PM (#26832099)
    Also in the context of this court case, the court did not specifically conclude MMR does not cause autism. The three masters decided that the plaintiffs could not meet a minimum burden of proof that a link existed. The plaintiffs did not have to prove that MMR caused autism; all they had to prove was that there is a plausible link. They failed to do that.
  • by deraj123 (1225722) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:47PM (#26832103)

    From what I can tell, the media defines pretty much everything.

  • by oneiros27 (46144) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:47PM (#26832105) Homepage

    I blame the concept of "fair journalism" in which each side of the story gets an equal amount of coverage.

    So, if it's 1 vs. 100 on an issue ... they both get an equal number of column-inches, it doesn't matter how absolutely stupid one side of the issue might be.

  • by Chris Mattern (191822) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:49PM (#26832149)

    People do have a right to their beliefs, even if they are paranoid delusions, they have a right to refuse to get their kids immunized.

    No, they don't, because unimmunized kids are a health risk for the entire community.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:51PM (#26832177)

    Are you contradicting yourself here? You claim that drug companies will never find cures to things, and then blame them for pushing vaccines. Vaccines are cures, so you're blaming drug companies for pushing cures? I don't get it.

  • by Vellmont (569020) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:54PM (#26832227)


    So...while I generally believe vaccines are a good thing blindly trusting those who profit on you getting them when they say there is no risk is stupid and dangerous to say the least.

    Who said there's no risk? There's always a risk. The GP was trying to point out that the risk of the vaccine is a lot lower than the risk of doing nothing (which a lot of people seem to ignore).

    I also don't really with how you've tried to polarize this argument into a series of extremes. Big Bad Pharma who "doesn't create cures" vs. Poor Ignorant Parents who lap up everything Big Pharma says.

    You shouldn't really blindly trust anyone. In this case we don't have to. There's huge rafts of evidence on the efficacy of these vaccines, and a long history of people dying of Measles, Mumps and Rubella. Isn't that what we're talking about here, not a vaccination (HPV) just developed practically yesterday?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:59PM (#26832319)

    "Remember, these are the same companies that will probably never find a cure for anything because there is no money in a cure."

    And if you actually research most of these phenomenons, you'll find that short of removing half your DNA and replacing it with off-the-shelf fresh ones, the cure is never going to happen. By the time one gets around to taking the meds for these, the damage is done.

    Right now, I'm on a drug that is a near proven cure for a half dozen cancers...I have a genetic disposition to one or two types, and taking this 'cures' me of having it by preventing it in the first place. After it is discovered? You can probably do like my father, whom we buried on Saturday, and hope the meds keep it in check while all other treatments work ('fortunately' for him, the cancer didn't get him...a heart attack after one of these treatments did).

    As for MMR, do you have any autoimmune diseases? If so, you should have been disqualified immediately for the live vaccine. If not, you might want to get checked for any. Fortunately, these diseases save more lives than they hurt and the problems are well noted. I have a problem with them being given by nurses and other non-physicians without consultation, but again, considering they most likely save hundreds of lives to every one lost, I think they are doing fine...even if I occasionally have the same reaction you did. Sometimes you have to do the research yourself, or just realize you'll never get out of life alive anyways and take risks...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:59PM (#26832323)

    Except that we can correlate the following:

    1. the vast majority of slashdotters don't have children,

    2. the dangers of lead are so great that pediatricians advise expectant mothers against eating most types of high-lead fish (such as swordfish,kingfish,non-farmed tuna even) where the lead ppm/ppb is far lower than that in the thimersol

    3. which has most assuredly still not worked its way out of the vaccine supply system entirely. The thing is, fair disclosure should be said. The public spazzes out and manufactures have to pull toys off of shelves for lead levels (that in some cases) was lower than what was in vaccines

    4. Vaccines are often given to children weighing under 15 lbs. If we prorate exposure to the adult body, would you be willing to tolerate a known teratogenic chemical dosing scaled for the it-beer gut? No consumer in their right mind would.

    5. Correlation while not causation is enough to have warning labels on tobacco products, saws (caution blade is sharp) lawn mowers (do not reach under blade while motor is spinning).

    Assume people are inherently incompetent -- that's they only way any company can reliably attempt to do business (what gives with the 3 inch pull strings on kids pullalongs?!?!?)

    There's just too much to actually follow up fairly in a comment

  • Re: Courts (Score:2, Insightful)

    by zaffir (546764) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @04:04PM (#26832425)

    Worrying about the mercury in Thimerosal is like complaining about the poisonous gas - chlorine - in table salt.

  • Re:No proof yet... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by sabs (255763) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @04:11PM (#26832553)

    You idiots rated this guy insightful? He's just a troll. Autism is not about sugar. My son has autism, (but not ADHD) and it has nothing to do with sugar. Spend sometime with these kids and watch them struggle through life, before you spout your idiotic nonsense.

    Damn, I wish I had some moderation points today..

  • About autism? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tjstork (137384) <todd,bandrowsky&gmail,com> on Thursday February 12, 2009 @04:11PM (#26832559) Homepage Journal

    Have you ever seen an autistic kid? They might be a bit hyperactive, but for the most part, they could completely care less about whether they are friends with other kids or not. IT was explained to me thus: if a deaf kid or a blind kid took the autism communications diagnostic tests, they'd still pass because they do something to compensate for their communications shortcomings. The autistic kid doesn't even care.

  • Re:No proof yet... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MightyYar (622222) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @04:12PM (#26832565)

    Don't forget the study showing that older parents are more likely to produce offspring with autism. [ama-assn.org] Oh, and fertility treatments [bio-medicine.org] seem to be linked as well.

    So increased detection, better understanding of the disease, people having children later in life, and increased use of fertility treatments would all seem to have some effect.

  • Re:Jenny McCarthy (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jaypifer (64463) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @04:15PM (#26832623)

    You are painting with too broad a brush. All anti-vaccine people do not have autism fears. Some people just don't want the government to dictate the shots that go into their children. The government isn't always right. Be thankful that people are fighting for right to choose what you do with your children.

    That said, the fact that science cannot find a cause for the incredibly rapid increase of autism in industrialized nations isn't helping matters. People are looking for a common link and keep coming to a solution that is common to these nations and immunization stands out. It may not be true, but it isn't that irrational.

  • Re:Well then (Score:3, Insightful)

    by FireStormZ (1315639) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @04:16PM (#26832639)

    why is it everyone thinks this is an 'in for a penny in for a pound' issue?

    Small pox vaccine for 5 yo = good idea...
    Chicken pox vaccine for a 5 yo = wtf?

    whooping cough vaccine for infants = good idea
    barely tested hpv vaccine for 9yo girls = wtf?

  • Re:Whats next? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by lgw (121541) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @04:16PM (#26832643) Journal

    You're causing a serious problem in the community entirely because you're some combination of selfish and stupid. Of course you can get away with not vaccinating for some contagious disease, because you're a free rider on everyone else doing it.

    There's some small risk in vaccination (very small, but it exists). You want eveyone else's kids to take the risk so that your kid doesn't have to. That's evil. Plain, simple, selfish, evil. Stop hurting other family's children to protect your own - you benefit from society in so many ways, you need to participate in society where it really matters.

    This isn't "do your part, recycle" or some other BS, this is your very real duty to protect all children in society by taking a very slight risk with your own.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 12, 2009 @04:19PM (#26832677)

    I have a friend that won the lottery right after getting vaccinated. Now I get vaccinated for diseases that don't even affect my gender.
    The family of 5 down the street has no autistic people. The family down the street doesn't eat dairy. To me that is all the evidence I need right there.

    Seriously, why do people with math and logic skills this bad read slashdot? Did they get lost on the way to a gossip site?

  • Re:No proof yet... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chosen Reject (842143) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @04:20PM (#26832699)

    The problem here is that the schools would refuse to provide services to kids who didn't get the diagnosis, and then kick the kids out of school when they would be disruptive. So the parents were left with no alternative but seek a doctor that would give them what they wanted.

    Wait, what is the problem? Either the kids actually have Autism and doctors should have diagnosed them, or parents of disruptive kids without Autism need get their kids to behave. Maybe you worded it wrongly, but it sounds like you are saying the problem is that schools are refusing to provide services to kids who don't need those services. That's not a problem. If the kid isn't Autistic, he shouldn't be treated as if he is. If a kid isn't Autistic and is being disruptive, he should be kicked out and the parents should be told to deal with that, not shop around for a doctor willing to misdiagnose just so the parents can claim that their non-Autistic kid isn't really a bad person.

    Or are your really suggesting that the problem is doctors need to do a better job of detecting earlier so that autistic kids can get the services they need? I'm really not sure. Please clarify.

  • Re:Whats next? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by plague3106 (71849) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @04:23PM (#26832743)

    Huh? Since when is it evil to care about your family over someone whom you don't know? Seriously, I could give a damn about a family I don't know. I want MY friends and family to survive.

    I can also argue that you're being selfish; forcing one person to get a vaccine, for which you acknowledge a risk, for their kid so YOURS isn't in risk. THAT is selfish; expecting someone else to risk their kid for yours.

  • Re:Jenny McCarthy (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jonny_eh (765306) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @04:24PM (#26832769)

    Unfortunately, not being vaccinated also affects rational people in the community. Some kids cannot get vaccines due to allergies, and there's a percentage of kids who do get vaccinated, but it is ineffective. These kids rely on other kids to be vaccinated, in order to reduce their chance of exposure. This is called her immunity. For herd immunity to be effective, it is believe that a 95% vaccination rate is required. The MMR vaccine has now fallen below that rate in the UK thanks to pseudo-scientists like Andrew Wakefield.

  • Re:Good! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @04:26PM (#26832815) Journal

    I doubt very much that what particular X is marked on a ballot closely correlates to who is making the MMR autism claim. Maybe some left-wing politicians might try to buy some votes by humoring them, but this isn't so much a political issue as an issue of a small group of people advocating a pseudoscientific claim bolstered by one horrifically awful study and a whole lot of wishful thinking.

  • by Choad Namath (907723) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @04:32PM (#26832909)
    Why is it so hard to understand that someone could have both received an MMR vaccine and been diagnosed with autism without there being any relation between the two? Most people with autism have had an MMR vaccine, just as most people without autism have had an MMR vaccine.

    Where is the supposed plausible evidence?
  • by Chris Mattern (191822) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @04:34PM (#26832953)

    Wrong.

    1) Vaccines are never 100% effective. But if every one is immunized, the chances the bug will get to someone whose vaccine fails is very low.

    2) Like any other species--in fact, *more* than just about any other species--bacteria and viruses evolve. Give them a reservoir to evolve in, and the vaccine can become useless.

  • Re:Whats next? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Thursday February 12, 2009 @04:36PM (#26832999) Homepage Journal

    Seriously, I could give a damn about a family I don't know. I want MY friends and family to survive.

    Good point! Give me all your money. Now. I don't give a damn about your family that I don't know. I want MY friends and family to have money.

    I can also argue that you're being selfish; forcing one person to get a vaccine, for which you acknowledge a risk, for their kid so YOURS isn't in risk.

    Call me selfish, then. I'm also collecting tax money from you to fund my kids' schools. I'm a right bastard, aren't I?

  • by tthomas48 (180798) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @04:39PM (#26833053) Homepage

    >>Actually most outbreaks of previously controlled disease are due to immigration (specifically illegal immigration) but yea lets just assume its the very small % of parents who dont vaccinate an 8 week old baby..

    I didn't say that most outbreaks were caused by unvaccinated children. The majority of US children are still vaccinated currently. But that's just another check in the "Reasons to Immunize" column.

    >>Why the hell is chicken pox mandatory it makes no earthly sense.

    Because chicken pox is preventable and life-threatening to those who did not get it as children and the immuno-suppressed. A better question is "Why the hell should they have to die because you don't like the national vaccination policy?"

    >> Medical decisions should be made by parents, period.

    No. The fact that we have so many antibiotic resistant diseases explains why this is not true. Parents have already made far too many "medical decisions" to get their kids viral infections treated with antibiotics, thus killing people with the beautiful antibiotic resistant strains of diseases they've helped create. I don't really want your kid to die of a preventable disease just because your a libertarian. Nor do I want your unvaccinated kid to become a petri dish for new super-bugs that will eventually supercede my kids immunity. I see no difference between your belief in your ability to second guess the medical establishment and Christian Scientists treating their children through prayer.

  • by Rycross (836649) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @04:40PM (#26833071)

    3) Some people cannot be immunized, due to weakened immune systems or allergies, and you are putting those people at risk.

  • by jgtg32a (1173373) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @04:42PM (#26833113)
    I think that the word Fair need to be banned from all public use.
  • Re:Jenny McCarthy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ellis D. Tripp (755736) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @04:47PM (#26833193) Homepage

    Unfortunately, natural selection will manifest itself (in the form of excess deaths from preventable diseases) on the CHILDREN of this group.

    The vast majority of the parents responsible were vaccinated themselves, and would have the immunity that their children will lack.

  • by grumbel (592662) <grumbel@gmx.de> on Thursday February 12, 2009 @04:52PM (#26833305) Homepage

    Herd immunity [wikipedia.org], if you get enough people vaccinated, even those few without protection, are protected and you can basically force a disease into non-existence, if on the other side you don't get enough people vaccinated herd immunity no longer works and people will die as a result of that.

    Its also questionable if freedom should allow you to let your child suffer and possibly die if a cure exists.

  • Re:Good! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gilgongo (57446) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @05:03PM (#26833523) Homepage Journal

    I tend to lean to the left side of the political spectrum, but two threads of liberal thought piss me off more than just about anything: anti nuke environmentalists and autism/vaccine linkers.

    What on earth makes you think this has anything at all to do with "liberal thought"? Surely it's a completely apolitical issue??

    You must be living in a serious bubble if you think that only liberals think you shouldn't "mess with nature." In fact, I nominate your post as the most dumbfounding I've seen on /. this week! And you've got 5 points!!

  • by tthomas48 (180798) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @05:04PM (#26833541) Homepage

    1) Immune suppressed kids can't get vaccines. The fact that you would even suggest this makes me think you don't know enough about vaccines to be making educated choices.
    2) Vaccines are not medicine. They are generally some form of the disease that triggers an immune response that builds up antibodies without causing full blown symptoms of the disease.
    3) Vaccines are a special case because they only work effectively if everyone uses them.

    The federal government is really quite giving in this case. You don't have to get these vaccines if you don't want them. You just can't go to public schools and risk infecting everyone else. I think vaccines are a really good line to draw. It's something that only has significant value if everyone does it, and it's a ridiculously cheap solution that has hundreds of years of science behind it. If you think about it, almost all of the medical decisions doctors make are based upon significantly less scientific evidence. Vaccines make even drugs like aspirin look ridiculously under tested. It might do you good to research the history of vaccines.

    But I'm not going to argue further with you. That is why I draw the Christian Scientist connection. The anti-vaccine crowd do not believe in vaccines. Scientific evidence is beside the point.

  • by ClayJar (126217) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @05:14PM (#26833695) Homepage

    I'm no expert, but I don't see how the mothers antibodies could be protecting the child after delivery[...]

    From the Merck Manual Home Edition [merck.com]:

    IgG, the most prevalent class of antibody[...] is the only class of antibody that crosses the placenta from mother to fetus. The mother's IgG protects the fetus and infant until the infant's immune system can produce its own antibodies.

    IgA: These antibodies help defend against the invasion of microorganisms through body surfaces lined with a mucous membrane, including those of the nose, eyes, lungs, and digestive tract. IgA is present in the bloodstream, in secretions produced by mucous membranes, and in colostrum (the fluid produced by the breasts during the first few days after delivery, before breast milk is produced).

    Obviously, this is anything but a comprehensive review of the relevant medical literature. I personally wonder how long actual antibodies last (as opposed to the immunity of which they are one facet). Hopefully, this has piqued your interest enough that you'll look deeper yourself.

    But I could be wrong, maybe antibodies get through as well, it just doesn't seem likely.

    How "likely" does it seem that you would have five classes of antibodies? I'm not going to beat you over the head about being wrong (which would make me, what, a bio-nazi?), but I will call you out for relying on supposition and gut feeling instead of doing even the most basic checking (not even "research") before spouting off.

    If we collectively make fun of Ted Stevens for speaking "authoritatively" about things he does not understand in the least (series of tubes!), I would suggest that we are perfectly within our rights to call out each other for spouting equally ill-informed drivel about topics on which we have not bothered to read.

  • by OrangeTide (124937) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @05:15PM (#26833711) Homepage Journal

    And if evidence does appear, the ruling can be overturned. It's a pretty straightforward system.

  • Re:No proof yet... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mrchaotica (681592) * on Thursday February 12, 2009 @05:16PM (#26833715)

    Obviously, something in our environment is making autism rates climb.

    That's one possibility (and it might be a very good one; I'm not disputing that). But, there is another possibility, which is that the rate of incidence of autism has stayed the same, but that our ability to diagnose it has increased. How many people that we call "autistic" today would have just been called "weird" or "slow" 50 years ago?

  • Re:Jenny McCarthy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Atriqus (826899) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @05:20PM (#26833787) Homepage
    Is it a rapid increase in the actual condition in industrialized nations, or a rapid increase in the ability to identify the condition?
  • by feyhunde (700477) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @05:23PM (#26833841)

    The reason they want chicken pox early is not for your child to not develop it at school.

    The reason goes back to herd immunity and the mutation rates in humans meaning if enough people get the disease it mutates into a new form that adults are not immune from. If enough people are vaccinated that human chickenpox is uncommmon, the mutation rates are low enough the vaccine will be stable so adults who get it and never had it won't get it.

    Pregnant women who get chickenpox as an adult can not only have their unborn child die from it, but have been known to drop dead of it themselves. 10,000 people are hosptialized each year with it in the US.

    What's really important though beyond the health risks for you child to spread chicken pox beyond the home (can take 3 weeks to incubate), is to understand what about the vaccinations were causing allergic reactions. Several vaccines have alternative methods, although some are a bit more controversial

    A skin reaction may not exist for the oral version of the vaccine. Polio is the poster child for the oral polio vaccine (although there have been one or two flaws with that one).

    The odds of your child being reactive to any additional vaccines are tiny. Of course being allergic to any of them in the first is also pretty tiny. Hopefully when you're ready to get the rest there will be no issue, and hopefully the ones that are most needed at the age recommended (typhus for example) aren't an issue.

  • Re:Jenny McCarthy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ceoyoyo (59147) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @05:24PM (#26833867)

    The initial hypothesis that immunization might be responsible is not irrational. Hanging on to that hypothesis as truth in the face of more and more studies showing no link (and the original positive study that showed a link and started the whole thing being exposed as a fraud) is irrational.

    If you don't want to get your kids vaccinated because you're afraid of the government, I think you're wrong, but go for it. Trying to scare other people into agreeing with you using the autism bogey man is just plain wrong.

  • Re:Jenny McCarthy (Score:1, Insightful)

    by k1e0x (1040314) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @05:31PM (#26833975) Homepage

    I'm an anarchist. I don't believe in government. The reason why is because whereas there are people who think they represent government, and there are building that are called government buildings.. nobody have ever been able to show me what government actually is beyond that of what is called a "body corporate" (or body politic). In other words, created in law, a type of "legal fiction". All governments exist in the minds of men, (or are nothing more physically than a document lying in some file cabinet somewhere.)

    In subscribing to a kind of mass religion, there are a great many people out there today who do actually believe in government. they believe it's "the government" not people who solve problems, or that "the government" requires them to do various things, not the police man with the gun..

    So you can see.. just because a majority of the people believe in something, it doesn't make it true.

  • by StickyWidget (741415) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @05:33PM (#26834023)

    Troll Much?

    Vaccinations are mandatory because freedom loving hippy trippers that don't consider the costs to other people's children decide not to get their brats vaccinated. And those brats infect other hippytripper brats, and those.... Wait. Could your stupidity actually be coming back on your children?

    The reason people get "freaked out" when YOU tell them that YOU don't vaccinate YOUR kids is not because they are scared for their own kids. It's because of YOUR failure to protect your children from:
    1. Measles - causes facial scarring, corneal scarring, and blindness
    2. Mumps - can cause infertility on older victims
    3. Polio - cripples children. Completely. Paralysis and often Death for those that contract it
    4. Smallpox - Facial scarring, blindness, limb deformities, paralysis.

    You see, they are actually recoiling in horror at what a despicable, inhuman, horrible parent you are. Children face risks. Lots of them. Before adequate medical care, clean water, and all the other modern conveniences (starting about the 1900s), lots of children died before their 5th birthday. And you have just increased their risks from our wonderful 2009 statistics back to the 1909 statistics. Not vaccinating your child opens them up to all of this, Vaccinating opens them up to a tiny risk. Easy FREAKING choice.

    My two cents: You should be locked up for child endangerment if you don't vaccinate.

    ~Sticky

  • Re:Well then (Score:3, Insightful)

    by vux984 (928602) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @05:34PM (#26834043)

    Yes, I've seen Serenity. In fact I own it, its a good movie.

    They thought they had a cure for social strife, which easily kills more people that contagious diseases do..

    I've also seen "The Last Man on Earth" and "The Stand". If we can go to fiction land the pendulum swings both ways.

    In the real world something like smallpox has killed more people in a day than all the vaccines administered in the last 100 years combined.

    Even if the odds of the vaccination killing you are 1:10,000,000 and the odds of the disease killing you are 1:1,000,000 you common sense dictates you should take the vaccination.

  • Re:No proof yet... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 12, 2009 @05:52PM (#26834381)

    I can see what you mean, but it's entirely possible for a child to be disruptive and the issue not be autism. It could be sheer naughtiness (which may be a disorder in its own right, but not autism), it could be secondary to something like chronic pain (undiagnosed constipation is a common one), it could even be some sort of home problem or abuse. None of those things are autistic spectrum, and all of them take time to tease out. Until a child reaches an age at which they acquire complex social interactions (or should), characteristic behaviour is difficult to spot.

    Think about it this way: if someone says 'my computer keeps crashing' I would assume (as a Slashdot member) you would know how to go about diagnosing that - you would need to see the complex behaviour of interacting with the operating system in order to work it out. If it was a rack in a server farm and you just had a blinking LED telling you it's not working, that wouldn't be enough.

    In the meantime schools can be unsympathetic because they just see a naughty child. The nub of the issue is that actually we everyone, including schools, should be sympathetic to any child with behavioural problems, because whatever the issue, the solution is for parents and other responsible adults to provide a supportive environment, not to chuck the child out.

  • Re:No proof yet... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Taevin (850923) * on Thursday February 12, 2009 @06:07PM (#26834673)
    I say to you, sir, that this here is America and we'll not have any of your personal responsibility nonsense.
  • Re:No proof yet... (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 12, 2009 @06:11PM (#26834739)

    So, why are you even telling people about your "diagnosis", if you're not trying to be a "special little snowflake" and brag about your internet fad disease? Nobody cares.

  • by frank_adrian314159 (469671) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @06:12PM (#26834763) Homepage

    As someone once said, the media probably isn't biased as much left or right as much as it is biased towards conflict. Because of this, they have a tendency toward inflating a minority view until it's strong enough to make a "good story" by becoming equal to the majority view. In some cases, this is a good thing (one whistle blower can be enough to bring down an entire governmental agency), but usually it distorts more than clarifies. Throw into the mix an adversarial philosophy taken from the courts (i.e., by having two sides fight it out, the truth will be known - and don't worry if there's a third, fourth, or fifth side) and it's a wonder that this sort (Autism scare) of thing doesn't happen more often.

  • Re:No proof yet... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 12, 2009 @06:17PM (#26834851)
    Well, that depend on what is his "shut in" process. An austistic one, like mine, would be that it suddenly becomes hard to perceive other people, that he has difficulties to isolate human voices from background noise, and such socialization related problems.
  • Re:Jenny McCarthy (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Pixie_From_Hell (768789) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @06:19PM (#26834885)

    This ninth-grade argument crap is insightful?

    Read about herd immunity. The point is that vaccines only have to be effective most of the time (someone above quotes 95%, so let me use that for the sake of argument). If a large percentage (say, 95%) of a community is immune to a disease, then it becomes difficult for this disease to spread and it dies off. This means if everyone gets vaccinated, then it only has to work for 19 out of every 20 people.

    So what Duradin might be saying is: they do work, but not completely, so the vaccine deniers are endangering everyone.

    This is really my perspective: Vaccines are a risk. They are a small risk (and not, I believe, from autism). The risk of the disease to the community is greater than the risk of vaccines. By refusing the vaccines, people benefit from others' immunity (and thus from other people facing the risk of vaccines) without sharing any of the cost. That's selfish.

    You might argue that it's not the government's place to force these risks on us all. I see it as we the people accepting the communal risks of vaccines as better than the communal risks of disease.

  • by Rycross (836649) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @06:23PM (#26834961)

    So basically, there's a large body of evidence quantifying the risk. You, your wife, and your doctor chose to ignore the evidence, because you felt bad about it. Congrats for making emotional, rather than logical, decisions.

  • Re:Jenny McCarthy (Score:2, Insightful)

    by R2.0 (532027) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @06:28PM (#26835051)

    "You are painting with too broad a brush. All anti-vaccine people do not have autism fears. Some people just don't want the government to dictate the shots that go into their children. The government isn't always right. Be thankful that people are fighting for right to choose what you do with your children."

    Ah, yes - the libertarian argument against vaccines. Of course, the government tells you to drive on the right side of the road (and I mean that in both ways, Britons), stop at traffic signals, etc. Why should you be subject to such petty interference in your right to travel?

    Libertarianism is great on paper, but I don't think it could make the jump to real life.

  • by moosesocks (264553) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @06:31PM (#26835127) Homepage

    Really? What would you call the parents that fought against the HPV vaccination that had barely been tested yet has been made mandatory in places where the drug lords making it have the local officials in their back pocket?

    IIRC, the most commonly offered objection to the HPV vaccine was that HPV is typically transmitted via sexual intercourse, and there's no sex in the USA.

    Honestly, I find it a bit revolting that a cure to cancer is being ascribed to malice and greed.

    27% of Americans have HPV (45% among those aged to 20-24). Even though only a small percentage of those infected will develop cancer, other forms of HPV can display a variety of symptoms. Vaccination seems like a pretty damn good idea.

  • Re:Jenny McCarthy (Score:3, Insightful)

    by amRadioHed (463061) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @06:35PM (#26835181)

    Unfortunately it's not only those who choose not to be vaccinated which are effected. Vaccines aren't perfect and people who have been immunized can still get sick if they are exposed to an outbreak from those who haven't been immunized. They are likely to develop a milder illness if they do get ill, but they aren't entirely safe from these dangerous diseases. The anti-vaccine people are doing everyone a grave disservice, not just their family.

  • Re:Jenny McCarthy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by waxigloo (899755) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @06:39PM (#26835257)
    The problem is that it is not a matter of individual health -- it is a matter of community health. To prevent epidemics, a certain threshold of the population must be vaccinated. By not vaccinating your child you are not just threatening its life, but the communities overall well-being. As the husband of a pediatrician who honestly believes that not vaccinating your child is tantamount to child abuse (perhaps another thing that parents should be able to choose to do to their children?), I think this is exactly the sort of thing the government should dictate.
  • by Rycross (836649) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @06:44PM (#26835373)

    Your problem is that you have an overly-simplistic black-and-white view of how diseases spread. Diseases don't just spontaneously appear, and they don't stay the same disease forever. Vaccines are not perfect, and there is a failure rate.

    If you have the one kid without the vaccine, and the vaccine rate is 99%, then in all likelihood that disease is not going to spread beyond the one kid. At best you may get one or two. But if you have 10% of the kids without vaccines, then there is a nice pool for that disease to spread. Because more kids are catching it, more people in general are exposed. Now that 1% starts coming into play. Enough people have the disease for enough time, and you may evolve strains that aren't stopped by the vaccination. You've now re-introduced the disease to the public. Congrats.

    No-one cares whether that guy over there is vaccinated. What we care about is that the scare-mongering is causing people to avoid vaccination. If this gets bad enough, we will very likely see these diseases become big problems in the general population again.

  • Re:Jenny McCarthy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by datababe72 (244918) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @07:01PM (#26835621)

    The risk is to the children who are too young to be immunized yet.

    For instance, the first MMR shot is usually given at about 1 year.

    When my daughter was 11 months old, we had a measles outbreak in my neighborhood in San Diego. The outbreak originated with a family who chose not to vaccinate their kids. They went on vacation to Switzerland, where they ran into some other people who chose not to vaccinate, and were exposed to measles. The original kids came back from their vacation and exposed other kids at their charter school, some of who were also not vaccinated by parental choice. Then someone took a sick kid to a doctor's office without realizing their kid had measles and exposed a bunch more kids, some of whom were too young to be vaccinated yet. From there, the outbreak moved to a day care center and a swim school.

    Luckily, my daughter was never exposed. She got her MMR shot on schedule and all was fine in our family. However, at least two other infants caught measles. They recovered, but I imagine they and their families had a really bad week or two. Also, the risk of complications up to and including death are higher in younger children. (As an aside, the death rate from measles in developed countries is about 1 in 1000 cases).

    If my daughter HAD been exposed and come down with measles, I would have been very, very angry at the parents who chose not to vaccinate their kids. And if they had explained their beliefs by referencing Jenny McCarthy, I might have been tempted to violence. If you want to take medical advice from some starlet instead of a doctor, fine. But when the consequences of that advice impact MY kids, you've crossed the threshold from misguided to negligent, and I honestly think you should have to answer for your actions.

  • Re:Jenny McCarthy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by snowgirl (978879) * on Thursday February 12, 2009 @07:02PM (#26835635) Journal

    The last time parents chose about vaccinations was the vast public trial of the polio vaccine.

    The government didn't authorize it, and the FDA still didn't even regulate vaccines at that point. Parents simply offered their children up to be experimental guinea pigs because the fear of polio was THAT BAD.

    I'd rather not see mumps measles and rubella get so common that parents are willing to risk their children's safety upon unproven technologies, when the vaccines are proven.

    Universe knows we need to protect people against bogus medicine... there's a reason why we started regulating drugs, because of patent medicine and swindlers.

    There are some choices that are just so simple and basic that the government should be dictating them. Like "hey, the only active ingredient in a drug should not be cocaine."

  • Re:No proof yet... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mab_Mass (903149) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @07:07PM (#26835715) Homepage Journal

    Don't forget the study showing that older parents are more likely to produce offspring with autism. Oh, and fertility treatments seem to be linked as well.

    Nice try, but that would imply that somehow parents bear some form of responsibility, which is unthinkable.

    Clearly, the evil corporation did it, because someone (else) has to be blamed, right?

  • by goodmanj (234846) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @07:20PM (#26835937)

    Before I saw Rain Man I had never heard of Autism

    Me neither. But before I saw Rain Man I had a kid in my elementary school classes who was never really "with us" emotionally, doing terribly in classes, etc... and another couple kids who just seemed a little distant and odd. And then one day I learned what the word "autism" meant, and said "oooh, yeah, I've seen that."

    Multiply that experience by 300 million Americans, and you've got yourself an "autism epidemic".

  • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland&yahoo,com> on Thursday February 12, 2009 @08:25PM (#26836915) Homepage Journal

    "Be thankful that people are fighting for right to choose what you do with your children."

    Not in this case, not getting a child vaccinated hurts everyone. Non vaccinated children may cause mutations in a virus rendering the vaccines useless. This can not happen in a vaccinated child.
    Communities getting sick is bad for economics, overall health.

    "That said, the fact that science cannot find a cause for the incredibly rapid increase of autism in industrialized nations isn't helping matters."

    That's incorrect. It is the broadening of the term. In fact, the 'increase' follows the broadening of the term exactly. In fact, when the vaccines where changed in 1998 it had NO impact on the 'autism' rate; which was expected.

    "People are looking for a common link and keep coming to a solution that is common to these nations and immunization stands out."

    It's no more a common link then drinking water is a common link. It was rational to think this 30+ years ago, not any more.

    "It may not be true, but it isn't that irrational."
    Based on all the evidence, and there is mountains of it, it is irrational to keep thinking vaccines are the cause.

  • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland&yahoo,com> on Thursday February 12, 2009 @08:48PM (#26837209) Homepage Journal

    Chicken Pox cause death, brain damage, scars, and when your older they come back in the form of shingles. Shingles can be so painful that people have been know to kill themselves.

    And the only reason not to give multiple vaccines in one shot is because you are a mean SoB that likes to see kids get poked with needles.

    Please get a clue.

  • by Estanislao Martínez (203477) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @09:19PM (#26837533) Homepage

    There's been some research that has shown by certain ages a person's capability to learn an initial language drastically cuts off. Barney, and the rest of his never-change-facial-expressions-non-human-faced friends, deprive babies of the non-verbal cues normal human interaction produces.

    Not that I know much about this topic, but I understand that the problem with this what you're claiming here is that children don't learn language from TV humans with changing facial expressions, either. They learn it from actual real-life interaction with other people. So to the extent that you can blame TV for this, it's not easy to single out Barney as being particularly relevant.

    I'd recommend Eve Clark's book, First Language Acquisition [amazon.com] if you want to check whether I'm remembering this right.

  • by jjohnson (62583) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @09:33PM (#26837665) Homepage

    If my kid ends up blind because you didn't vaccinate your kid on horseshit pseudo-scientific grounds, do you think I'll give a shit about the active/passive distinction in moral philosophy?

    FYI, if you want to look at the ethics of the situation, you also need to read up on 'collective action problems'.

  • by thief_inc (466143) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @09:49PM (#26837851) Homepage

    My son has autism and I agree with you whole heartedly. After I got custody I cut of my cable. No TV, no Movies, no DVDs. The improvemt in my son in a six month period was dramatic. He literally knew nothing and the only activity he would do was fold up paper to make Blue Cluesn notebooks. No ABCs, No colors, No numbers no interactions with others.
    After 6 months he knew all of that. After a year he could read and now he is acedemically at grade level. His communication is still poor and he barely speaks in complete sentences at age 7. He does interact more with kids and he will play with other kids rather than parallel play. I have given the TV back but it is limited. I do my best to engage him in activities that force him to interact with others. We started Cub scouts this year and I I bring him out in public to teach him how to behave(many parents do not bring out there autistic children because its to stressful.) But how else are they going to learn appropriate behavior unless they experience it? So please if you see a parent with a screaming kid have some patience with us, we want our kids to be productive members of society rather than another SSI check.

  • Re:No proof yet... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Skweetis (46377) on Friday February 13, 2009 @09:23AM (#26842097) Homepage

    Obviously, something in our environment is making autism rates climb. But it doesn't look like it's the thimerosol. Even if it is from mercury (which I don't know of any data showing that it is), it seems to be mercury from some other source, not from thimerosol.

    Not to mention, worrying about the mercury in your thimerosol causing autism is like worrying about being poisoned by the chlorine in your table salt, or the flammability of the hydrogen in your tap water. Component elements of compounds undergo a chemical reaction when they combine, and don't retain their original properties.

    Does anyone remember an article that was posted here several years ago about higher autism rates in areas with a lot of high-tech companies? It's been a while, but I seem to remember that the rates were higher among children of two parents with autistic tendencies themselves, suggesting that the possibility of a genetic link exists.

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