Download MMR and autism : what parents need to know by Michael Fitzpatrick PDF

By Michael Fitzpatrick

"Speculation that MMR - the mixed vaccine opposed to measles, mumps and rubella - could be a reason behind autism in kids has provoked fierce controversy and frequent anxiety." "Though scientific opinion is overwhelmingly in favour of MMR, the crusade opposed to the vaccine has made many fogeys frightened and careworn. either execs and fogeys fight to deal with the ensuing anxieties and fears and locate it Read more...

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The MMR controversy has been characterised by way of one-sided discourses. within the clinical global, the burden of opinion is overwhelmingly in favour of MMR. within the public global, the anti-MMR crusade has Read more...

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A scandal erupted in the 1970s over the drug companies’ attempts to avoid paying appropriate compensation to the victims’ families. Although Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) was first identified in cattle in 1988, it was not until 1996 that it was recognised that this condition was transmissible to humans in the form of ‘variant’ Creuzefeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD), a rapidly fatal brain disorder. The ensuing scandal concerned the issue of whether adequate steps were taken by those in authority to safeguard the public or to warn of the dangers of this terrible disease.

There are striking parallels between the whooping cough and MMR scares. Both emerged from studies presenting a small series of case reports. Both put great emphasis on the close temporal association between vaccination and the appearance of the adverse effect. Defenders of the vaccines pointed out that both fits and autism commonly appeared around the time of immunisation and that, if one followed the other, coincidence was the most likely explanation. Although readily criticised for being open to bias in their selection of cases, and for confusing association with causation, case report studies had a profound effect on public opinion, particularly when presented in the form of ‘human interest’ stories in the popular media.

It also reveals that in the current climate of healthrelated anxieties some parents are prepared to forgo immunisation for their children and expose them to a real risk of infectious diseases in response to a speculative risk of autism. Tony Blair has hailed the establishment of NHS Direct—a 24-hour, nurse-led, telephone advice service—as one of the major achievements of his first thousand days as Prime Minister (Guardian, 26 February 2000). This symbolic ‘one-toone’ communication between the anxious citizen worried about a health-related problem and a proxy for the caring, listening Prime Minister, is a potent image of the new therapeutic relationship between the government and the people.

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