At last The Lancet took action. No link between vaccines and autism.

It was absolutely clear for scientists that vaccines don't cause autism.
Simply because the rise of autism in countries where no vaccines are given to children mimicks the rise of autism in countries where vaccines are given, when careful, standardised diagnoses are made.

The whole way Wakefield and his team conducted the research was not up to the quality (and quantity) standards of proper research.
And... which is as important... the results couldn't be replicated.

It was interesting to see over the years that in countries where medical opinions are by law the privilege of people who are qualified to make medical judgements, people didn't belief in a relationship between vaccines and autism.
And in countries where everyone can spread his or her opinion about everything without having to take responsibility rumours were soon labeled "the truth", and people who knew how to play the media were called "experts".

I bet many of those "experts" earned a nice amount of money with appearing on TV and selling stories and alternative therapies.
By the way they targetted me when I spoke out against a link between vaccines and autism from the first moment on after I saw Wakefield's research, I knew that a lot more than believing the wrong prophet was at stake.

The way that for instance Jenny McCarty waved even the undisputable statements of The Lancet away was a clear illustration of how people can stick to their wrong assumptions.
And it's a pity that people just follow her blindly, instead of questioning themselves why on earth they hand themselves and their opinions over to someone who is in confict with doctors and scientists all the time.
Persistence is an honorable characteristic, but knowing when to change your mind and opinion in the light of overpowering evidence is at least as honorable.

But maybe I'm just lucky to have seen the signs and signals of autism in my 4 boys way before their vaccinations.
And maybe I'm lucky to accept that we don't know everything, and that nature is a strong force and we know just only part of what it does and how it works.

Science began with simple questions: why does something happen, how does it happen?
And from these simple questions people struggled to create a system to draw conclusions and to describe how reliable they are.
They used a lot of common sense in that they wanted to be able to get the same results when the same methods to find them were used.

Every day experience taught that when something occured once it wasn't a guarantee it would happen again, and that when events occured in a certain order that didn't mean the first event caused the second.
So they tried to control events to see what happened.

Research isn't a backyard game for those who like to see what they want.
Research is subject to lots of rules and requirements which have emerged in a long process.
This guarantees carefullness and limits the amount of mistakes, but it also limits the rate of development.

And all the time scientists have to describe what they do, because others should be able to get the same results under the same conditions.

Science doesn't create make-belief, but it does describe and recreate reality in such a way that others will be able to get the same results and won't see what's not there.

I know there are parents who keep saying that vaccines caused autism in their child.
They subject their (other) children to preventable health risk by not vaccinating.
Their children will call them to responsibility later in life.

But why would they stick to drawing conclusions from two events that took place in the life of their children?
Is it to flee from the rotten feeling that maybe genetics plays a role and that we, moms, conceived without knowing we would cause autism in our children?
Is it to forget what we ate, because maybe a cause will be in our food?
Or is it to push away the chilling fear that we might have seen the signs and signals of autism in our children earlier, so our child would have has better support?

It's for all of us as individual persons to answer to the questions life poses.

One of the main questions is: do we have enough knowledge to draw certain conclusions and do we want to take responsibility for what we tell others?

And do we have the guts to change our minds when we need to?

At least and at last the Lancet took action.
It should have happened a lot earlier.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin