Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Dear Mr. Picard,
For consumers without training in research methodology and practices, evaluating scientific evidence related to one's health can be a daunting task. It is not unreasonable for consumers to assume, however, that the researchers who conduct such research are presenting information that is accurate, objective, and gathered using high levels of ethical standards. When these criteria are not met, then the information presented is, at best, of little worth and at worst, highly dangerous.
As you effectively pointed out in your article, the suggested (but now discredited) link between the Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism has had far reaching negative effects by putting the health of scores of children at risk. Fearful parents, who had placed trust in the "findings" of Andrew Wakefield, shunned vaccines due to concerns about autism. Articles like yours, which set the record straight on this manufactured health controversy, should reverse the trend of lowered levels of vaccinations, thus decreasing the risk that our children will become infected with diseases that had previously been highly under control.
I would like to add, however, that in addition to the health risks that resulted from parents heeding the assertions of Wakefield regarding vaccines and autism, what is rarely mentioned is the lost time, money, and emotional energy used by taking the so-called vaccine-autism link seriously. Rather than focusing our attention on discredited vaccine risks, parents and professionals alike have wasted resources that could have been used to further develop and refine effective intervention strategies for children with autism.
Sharon A. Reeve, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Advisory Board Member, Association for Science in Autism Treatment
Read More at http://www.theglobeandmail.com/.../article1859560