Monday, July 15, 2013

Jenny McCarthy on 'View': A new forum for discredited autism theories

Interesting take on Jenny McCarthy joining the view.  I am just excited that she can bring the subject up in front of millions!

Comedienne turned Playboy centerfold turned autism advocate Jenny McCarthy may not have a medical degree like Dr. Mehmet Oz. But she has publicly embraced some medical opinions that are even more flimsily supported by scientific evidence than some of those espoused by her TV colleague.

And now that McCarthy's got a seat on "The View," she'll have a similarly vast audience to misinform.

When she's not holding forth on sex -- and let's face it, McCarthy's probably no less qualified than many others to speak expertly on the subject -- McCarthy portrays herself as an expert on the subject of autism, a neurodevelopmental disorder with which her 11-year-old son, Evan, was diagnosed in 2005. Since 2008, when she became president of the autism organization Generation Rescue, she has been a leading voice in the community of activists who believe that childhood immunizations cause autism.

"Think of autism like a fart, and vaccines are the finger you pull to make it happen," McCarthy so memorably put it. McCarthy has said her son was handed to her after his birth, "pre-vaccinated with a Band-Aid on his foot," and that was the beginning of all the trouble. (It should be noted here that no vaccine is administered on the foot immediately after birth. But a phenylketonuria test, which ensures that a baby has an enzyme necessary for normal growth and development, is routinely conducted at that time.)

McCarthy has also asserted that with measures such as detoxifying the body of heavy metals and yeast and maintaining a gluten-free, dairy-free diet, an autistic child can recover.
This is quackery begotten of fraudulence, exacerbated by mistrust of science and panic over a disorder that upends parents' lives and their hopes for their children. Add celebrity to that already combustible mix, and you get a fiasco that has already opened the door to the resurgence of preventable childhood diseases such as measles and pertussis.

Where did Jenny McCarthy get her ideas? It's probably best to start in 1998, with Andrew Wakefield, the British physician and researcher whose research first linked autism with the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) Vaccine. In an article published in the respected British medical journal The Lancet, Wakefield and his collaborators claimed they had discovered a link between the MMR vaccine and subsequent diagnoses of autism, as well as a gastrointestinal disorder.

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1 comment:

  1. This is pathetic. As a parent of a child with autism I know that diet is sure not going to change her diagnosis but someone out their is going to listen to this hogwash and not get the proper treatment for their child and we all know that the earlier we start treating this (as much as you can treat) the better outcome our children have. My daughter was not social at all hated changes in her environment as wells as changes to her routine. After working with her we have a child that has friends, is learning to communicate with peers and can now manage her fears on change all of this is still on going and she is still autistic but she is learning to live with the challenges.