Thursday, 27 November 2008


Is it going to take an epidemic to change things?

The above news story is quite saddening, as a nurse, a scientist and a person. Some very scared people once believed this man and his (at best) inconclusive piece of research. I'm not going to go too deeply into the specifics, but when everyone - including the research team at the time - said the issue (the link between autism and the MMR vaccine) needed further research and one person says: "No, it's conclusive" surely this hints at something. Then link it to the possible conflict of interests and you should have a doctor stripped of legitimacy.

Unfortunately, Wakefield used an oldie-but-goodie within medical/quackery circles. If you tug on the emotional heart strings hard enough, with an air of threat about you, logic goes out the window. People can't think sensibly, act irrationally. In this case they continue to give reverence to this debunked research.

Until this research and the fallout from it, measles was well under control in this country. Now, as the leading story reports, it has shot up. Because it has not been a problem for a decade or two, people have forgotten how horrible measles can be. Make no mistake: measles can kill. It does, and has in this country already for the first time in over a decade.

I hope Wakefield is happy with himself. I feel sorry for the scared parents, but in the same sense I don't consider ignorance an excuse in any situation. Especially when it could lead to misery, sickness and death. It's a bloody shame.


GrumpyRN said...

I agree completely with you, I did a post about this a while back but it was too angry and I removed it. Yours is more reasoned.

OFMN said...

Really? Me and the word 'reasoned' are strange bedfellows, but I like it!