Don Quijote by Honoré Daumier(1868)
Discussing autism issues on the internet often invites wild and baseless accusations no matter what point is being made. Mention the word vaccine though and you can be guaranteed someone will react irrationally. Such is the case of Kev Leitch, a knight errant in search of a battle in which to prove himself, who has falsely accused me of being an "anti-vaxxer". For the record both of my sons have received the recommended and required vaccines, I have never attributed my youngest son's autistic disorder to receipt of any vaccines and I have often recognized the important role of vaccines as a public health tool which has prevented and controlled some deadly diseases. So why does Kev call me an "anti-vaxxer"?
My sin? I keep an open mind on issues about vaccine safety, the extent to which vaccines are used today and the way in which they are pushed and promoted in our modern society. I particularly object to the constant smearing and marginalizing of anyone who questions vaccine safety. Kev Leitch is one of those who, for reasons unknown to me, feels compelled to twist and slant comments of anyone, even this humble blogger, who do not treat vaccine issues as though they have been decided for all time by some holy text.
Sir Kev's need to defend vaccines from all threats real or imaginary, present or anticipated, emerged again in this post in which he accused me of being an anti-vaxxer and making "implied" false statements. Making an implied false statement is quite a trick. I have no idea how I did it or what false statement I implied but I will leave that explanation to Sir Kev:
The Poling family was successful in advancing a vaccine injury claim on behalf of their daughter Hannah Poling to the point of settlement by US authorities. Hannah’s father is Dr. Jon Poling, a practicing neurologist in Athens, Georgia, and clinical assistant professor at the Medical College of Georgia. He reviewed his daughter’s case in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on April 11, 2008. In his comments Dr. Poling explained how mitchondrial dysfunction was related to his daughter’s case and to the existence of a possible mitochondrial dysfunction subgroup of autism disorder. He also discussed, as a medical doctor who expressly recognized the importance of vaccines in preventing serious diseases, the need for public health authorities to abandon fear tactics and conduct research to restore confidence in public health authorities and vaccines
At no point in my comment did I state that vaccines cause autism. I have never, ever stated that vaccines cause autism disorders and that was not implied in my article. My position on autism disorders generally is that we do not know specifically what causes them but they appear to be caused by the interaction of genetic and environmental factors. We do not know what specific environmental factors are involved because so little research has been done on the environmental side of the equation. There are many possible environmental factors which MAY cause autism disorders including vaccines, particularly those given to pregnant women. I have maintained, and still do, that more research should be done on all possible environmental causes or triggers of autism disorders including possible vaccine triggers. For taking these positions Kev Leitch falsely accuses me of being an "anti-vaxxer".
Nor did I state or insinuate in my comment that mitochondrial dysfunction causes autism disorders. I did indicate that the study will prompt much more research on possible connections between mitochondrial dysfunction and autism disorders. I also commented on the fact that any mention of a possible connection, and of a possible vaccine connection, would result in more of the kind of smearing and marginalization that was seen in the Economist article that I had referenced.
The Economist article that I quoted in my comment was a knee jerk attempt to find a target (lawyers) in anticipation of issues arising from the Autism and Mtiochondrial Dysfunction study. Kev Leitch has, once again, done exactly the same ... as expected.
On to the next windmill Sir Kev.
On to the next windmill Sir Kev.