Autism's False Prophets

Autism's False Prophets

Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for A Cure

eBook - 2010
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A London researcher was the first to assert that the combination measles-mumps-rubella vaccine known as MMR caused autism in children. Following this ""discovery, "" a handful of parents declared that a mercury-containing preservative in several vaccines was responsible for the disease. If mercury caused autism, they reasoned, eliminating it from a child's system should treat the disorder. Consequently, a number of untested alternative therapies arose, and, most tragically, in one such treatment, a doctor injected a five-year-old autistic boy with a chemical in an effort to cleanse him.
Publisher: New York ; Chichester, West Sussex : Columbia University Press, 2010
Edition: Paperback edition
ISBN: 9780231517966
Characteristics: 1 online resource (xxi, 298 pages) : illustrations, portraits


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Jan 29, 2013

From NYT article:

"But there will be no book tour for the doctor, Paul A. Offit, author of “Autism’s False Prophets.” He has had too many death threats.

“I’ll speak at a conference, say, to nurses,” he said. “But I wouldn’t go into a bookstore and sign books. It can get nasty. There are parents who really believe that vaccines hurt their children, and to them, I’m incredibly evil. They hate me.”

Dr. Offit, a pediatrician, is a mild, funny and somewhat rumpled 57-year-old. The chief of infectious diseases at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, he is also the co-inventor of a vaccine against rotavirus, a diarrheal disease that kills 600,000 children a year in poor countries.

“When Jonas Salk invented polio vaccine, he was a hero — and I’m a terrorist?” he jokes, referring to a placard denouncing him at a recent demonstration by antivaccine activists outside the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta."


Feb 05, 2011

This is a thorough account of how a few individuals, some misguided and some opportunistic, created doubt and confusion about vaccines especially the MMR vaccine.

It is well-researched and presented with no bias (in the back inside cover of the book there is a small note that states that all profits will go to autism research).

The last few chapters of this book are fascinating. The author explains the global context for the anti-vaccine movement.

Dr Offit is also a gifted writer - he is clear and direct.

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