By J.B. Handley
Maybe doctors shouldn’t blog?
Along with many other bloggers with apparently no interest in actually reading Karl Greenfeld’s article in Time Magazine last week on Jenny McCarthy and the autism debate, Austin-based pediatrician Dr. Ari Brown wrote about it instead, and may have set a blogosphere record in the “lies per words typed” ratio.
Friday, Dr. Brown wrote a post titled “Jenny McCarthy changes her mind on autism”
for the blog Basil & Spice.
Herewith, the incredible lies and ignorance of another doctor trying to defend the indefensible, in this case by just making stuff up: #1: “Those of you who follow this blog and read my books know that I have never supported Jenny McCarthy's claims that her son developed autism from vaccines.”
You never have supported Jenny’s “claims” that her son regressed into autism? I am certain that a hallmark of good doctoring is to listen to the parents, particularly true when you’re a pediatrician. A second hallmark of good doctoring is to refrain from opining on the medical cases of patients to whom you have no direct access, like Jenny’s son.
Jenny McCarthy has written about many things she observed in her son after his MMR shot. Interestingly, a small sample of the side-effects from the insert label of the actual MMR vaccine appear to describe many of the things Jenny has talked about: “fever, syncope, headache, dizziness, malaise, irritability, diarrhea, vomiting, parotitis, nausea, myalgia, encephalitis, encephalopathy, febrile convulsions, afebrile convulsions or seizures.” #2: “Despite the overwhelming lack of scientific evidence, her "mission" to improve public awareness and draw attention to herself has been a pretty successful campaign.”
“Overwhelming lack of scientific evidence” is, of course, nothing more than the “Hungry Lie” I have written about many times where research regarding a single vaccine, MMR, has been generalized by pharma sympathizers to represent “all vaccines”, including the 10 other licensed vaccines given to our kids that have never been studied for their relationship to autism. Anybody want to bet that Dr. Brown tells the parents in her practice the same thing, falsely reassuring them that “the science has been done”?
Of course, Dr. Brown is right about one thing, and I’m sure she’s hearing it from parents every day: Jenny’s campaign has been successful. But, it’s been successful for reasons most doctors don’t want to admit: parents on every neighborhood corner in the country are telling the same story Jenny is telling. Without this chorus of confirmation, Jenny’s story wouldn’t resonate. #3: “More parents are freaked about vaccines (and have decided to risk leaving their child unprotected) and Jenny has just taped a pilot for a new talk show with Oprah. Congratulations, Jenny.”
At the very least, this is some snarky stuff for a pediatrician to write. Insidiously, Dr. Brown helps perpetuate a myth about our side that serves pharma supporters interests that we are 100% opposed to any and all vaccines.