Thursday, April 23, 2009

Vaccine-Autism War: Jim Carrey Speaks and the Neurodiversity Hounds Howl

Jim Carrey, knowing full well the malicious attacks he would receive from the Neurodiversity "science" bloggers, (his partner Jenny McCarthy pushes the ND crowd into a full scale lather whenever she speaks) has expressed the very reasonable view that there are questions remaining to be answered about vaccines and their possible role in causing or triggering autism. The comment titled The Judgment on Vaccines Is In??? was published yesterday on the Huffington Post. In no time the Neurodiversity hounds were unleashed to smear and slime Mr. Carrey with irrelevant personal attacks and distorted summaries of the existing state of knowledge about vaccine and autism issues.

In less than 24 hours Kevin Leitch of lb/rb " fame" posted an attack piece on Opposing Views and his fellow Neurodiversity ideologue Orac posted his own hatchet job on his inappropriately named Respectful Insolence blog (there is nothing respectful about the manner in which Orac expresses his opinions about those who do not share his ND ideology). In fairness both ND bloggers do try to address some of the points made by Mr. Carrey but those points do not refute Mr. Carrey's assertion that the "judgment is not in" about vaccines and autism. The arguments they do make are lost in their sarcasm and anger. Mr. Leitch, under the apparent delusion that he is qualified to do so, even takes time to smear Dr. Bernadine Healy former NIH and American Red Cross head who has, like Mr. Carrey, pointed out the limits of the epidemiological studies relied on by Mr. Leitch and others as being conclusive and who has called for more research on possible vaccine autism connections.

The Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee has, after some false starts, quite properly indicated in its strategic plan for autism research that environmental issues, including possible vaccine autism issues, should be researched. Even if the IACC included vaccine autism research to placate those who question vaccine safety in connection with autism it is a step in the right direction.

The anger of Mr. Leitch, "Orac" and others who have closed their minds should not dissuade the IACC or anyone else with a genuine interest from trying to understand the ever rising autism epidemic that affects our children. Their very unscientific mindsets should not prevent the necessary research from being done.

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TannersDad said...

The most shocking thing to me about yesterday and Jim's post was the lack of media reaction. More than a quarter million folks went to read the post and yet nothing in the rest of the world during Autism Awareness month? Jim Carrey is a AAA+++ Star beyond star and still shooting. Somedays I feel we are banging our head against the wall. Too bad we will never stop. I guess we will have to keep turning up the volume!

farmwifetwo said...

Last night on the news was the battle of whether or not windmills were safe... "Oh, but the peer review science says it's so. These people who claim to be harmed by them have no idea".

I said to the Dh.. "sounds like the vaccine/autism camp".

I am certain vaccines had nothing to do with my children's autism. The signs have been there since birth.... but.... I also don't claim to know for certain, nor do I bash something I know little about. And reading links and believing those things that only support my POV... is not considered "knowing" the truth.


Fielding J. Hurst said...

The vaccine issue goes beyond 1) Mercury and 2) MMR in my opinion.

When my daughter had a seizure after her 4 month vaccine, the doctors dismissed the vaccines as the culprit from the first millisecond.

No more seizures until the 8 month vaccines when they started out the whazoo. Some were very long. Again, from the get-go, the doctors all said basically "no way, no how" were the vaccines related.

Here's some of what was injected into my daughter at the 4 month vaccines. All I want is for them to study the big picture and see if some combo of these things coupled with some genetic disposition or compromised immune system at the time of the vaccines are related.

* 3 types of polio viruses
* acellular pertussis adsorbed
* aluminum hydroxide
* aluminum phosphate
* ammonium sulfate
* yeast-based medium
* continuous line of monkey kidney cells
* diphtheria and tetanus toxoids
* formaldehyde
* Haemophilus influenza Type B
* neomycin
* phenoxyethenol
* Polymyxin B
* polyribosylribitol phosphate
* polysorbate 80 (Tween-80)
* RBCs
* streptomycin
* thimerosal
* washed sheep red blood cells

Anonymous said...

I'm a regular reader of Respectful Insolence (just getting that out there so you can disregard my comment).

I'm curious about how Orac has allied himself with the neurodiversity movement. He seems to proceed from a sincere belief in the safety of vaccines. As far as I can tell, the idea behind the Neurodiversity movement is a rejection of defining autism as a disease.

It seems misleading to say that Orac holds an ND ideology when he appears to be a spokesperson of the medical establishment, rather than a denialist of autism's disease status.

jonathan said...

Somehow, I believe you must be mistaken about Jim Carey knowing he would incur the wrath of neurodiversity bloggers. I doubt that he and Jenny McCarthy have even heard of neurodiversity, though I could be wrong about that.

The nicest thing anyone can see about the neurodiversity movement in my opinion is "What's that I've never heard of it."

Marni Wachs said...

The ND philosophy has some great elements to it, IMO, but they don't speak for my son who is low-functioning. There's no common thread whatsoever between their lives and abilities and my son's reality, and many on the autism spectrum. They speak for those who can do what they do and are in their groups, and that's it.

And, I think Jim Carrey is a wonderful influential rep for the cause (for more complete and unbiased research). He knows what to say and when to say it. He understands the material, is media-savvy and has common-sense to engage the average Joe/Jane out there.

Marius Filip said...

Somewhat off topic, but not too much.

It seems to me that Google is getting into the ND bandwagon.

Marius Filip said...

Marni, from my point of view, what's great in the ND movement is also present within the non-ND side - i.e. people who want recovery and/or cure for themselves or their beloved ones.

Namely: better recognition of autistic people, better care and understanding, better opportunities for them and better acceptance and compassion.

And this includes acceptance of some differences or autistic specifics as far as they don't fall outside normalcy and they don't do harm.

All these are not incompatible with fighting for recovery or cure because, ultimately, autism is what we're fighting, not the people affected by it.