Thursday, October 16, 2008

Buy two copies; one for you and one for Jenny McCarthy

Last month, I celebrated my twentieth anniversary in publishing.  Coincidentally, what is probably the most important book I have ever represented has just been published:

AUSTISM’S FALSE PROPHETS:  BAD SCIENCE, RISKY MEDICINE, AND THE SEARCH FOR A CURE, by Paul Offit, MD, should be the final word on the debate that vaccines cause autism. They don’t.  But it needs the help of readers everywhere to both buy the book and get the word out, and to review the book online wherever books are sold online.  Because right now, those that believe vaccines cause autism are the very vocal minority and their actions are threatening our kids.

“Herd immunity” is an interesting thing.  I had never heard the term until I started working with Paul, who is a renowned vaccine researcher and heavy-hitter at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.  It turns out that if you vaccinate enough folks, the viruses that cause disease don’t have the ability to spread.  But if enough parents refuse to have their children vaccinated, you create enough potential for the virus to spread.  Since there is always a pool of patients who don’t “convert” even after a vaccine, what happens is that they become susceptible to the virus and could suffer the same consequences as the unvaccinated.

Thus, every parent not vaccinating their children is putting other people’s children at risk. Seriously.  They might as well be driving drunk down the road with their kids in the backseat and following a school bus that makes frequent stops to drop the kids off.  At any time, these drunk drivers could kill their kids and someone else’s kid. 

As Paul describes so well in his book, the vaccines-cause-autism controversy was started by one doctor in the UK whose research was backed by personal-injury attorneys.  The “research” has been completely discredited, but parents of autistic children who believe that vaccines caused their child’s autism just won’t believe it.  It’s as though Columbus sailed to the east and arrived from the west, having proved the world is round, but the flat-Earthers just don’t believe him.  Don’t you know that Columbus is just a shill for the globe companies?  They can’t sell their fancy globes if the earth is flat, so they want you to believe it’s round. 

Right now, Jenny McCarthy, that brilliant medical expert, is leading the charge of the anti-vaxxers, while incidences of measles and other diseases that can be prevented by vaccines continue to rise, because those who don’t vaccinate their children are punching dangerous holes in our herd immunity. 

My heart goes out to all of those parents whose children have autism or ASD, but vaccines didn’t cause it.  And millions of dollars that are being spent trying to prove that vaccines cause autism could be spent researching real causes and real cures. 

One online review I read said that everyone should buy two copies of this book; one to read and one to send to Jenny McCarthy.  I love that plan.  Go for it.  Or just buy one and let everyone you know they should buy one...and to vaccinate their kids.  It’s for the good of us all. 



H. L. Dyer said...

I'm so glad this book is coming out, and I certainly hope it makes a difference.

In my work as a pediatric hospitalist, this issue is key. I've seen several bad outcomes from preventable diseases. The loss of herd immunity is a frightening concept.

Marian said...

Thanks for the recommendation! I'll see if the library has this book (not a whole lot of $ right now, but a great deal of interest in the topic).

Marian Perera
Toronto, Ontario

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