Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Doctor Responsible for MMR Vaccine/Autism "Study" Told to Fuck Self, Horse He Rode In On

I'd like to thank future Mrs. Grump for pointing this story out for me, as it gives me a scientific topic to cover for the week and, more importantly, it gives me the opportunity to rant on one of the more prominent rat bastards in recent history: Dr. Andrew "vaccines cause autism" Wakefield. The BBC reported yesterday that Dr. Wakefield has been removed from the medical registry by the General Medical Council. The GMC concluded that during his study where he links the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccine to autism, Dr. Wakefield utilized ethics slightly below those of Dr. Nick Riviera.

Hi, everybody!

Hi, Dr. Nick!

Rot in hell, you quack!

First of all, the guy is a gastroenterologist. Would you let your dentist study the effects of radiation on your sperm count? Then what the hell business did this guy, who specializes in the digestive tract, have in linking the MMR vaccine to autism? Well, his business was that he was being paid by lawyers acting on behalf of parents who claimed MMR vaccines hurt their children. So, Wakefield just so happened to have concluded that MMR vaccines caused bowel problems and also led to autism. Maybe he just tacked on that bowel problems bit to justify having a vaccination study performed by a goddamn gastroenterologist. "But wait," you may point out, "just because Wakefield happened to find the results that he was paid specifically to find does not mean that his results were not accurate." That may be true, but I'd say that having the majority of your colleagues call "bullshit", and then having most of the people who supported Wakefield in his study retract their claims a few years later may indeed indicate that he wasn't entirely correct in his findings.

Keep in mind, however, that the GMC didn't boot his ass because he was wrong. They kicked him out because he quite obviously had no grasp on the concept of ethics. Ethics, for example, are what keeps someone from "carrying out invasive tests on vulnerable children which were against their best interests." One such test was performed at his son's birthday party, where he paid the young guests money to take their blood. Oh that's just great. As if kids didn't already have enough to worry about when a stranger offers them money.

And the GMC might not have been reprimanding him for being wrong about his findings in this particular case, but that sure as hell doesn't mean that the general public shouldn't be giving him shit. And we should also be giving shit to all of the people with no scientific background who somehow gave credence to this guy's malarkey, causing a drastic reduction in vaccinations and a spike in measles outbreaks. I, for one, am looking directly at you, Jenny McCarthy. And to think, I used to be in love with you back when you were a quirky, sexy Playmate of the Year/MTV host and I was just a player of Magic: the Gathering/virgin.

But now, you've convinced yourself and others that you are a medical expert because your son has autism. And I realize that I have no idea what that's like to have a loved one who suffers from autism, and I take no pleasure in your pain. But when I have the lion's share of the medical community saying that MMR vaccinations do not lead to autism, I just can't find it in myself to side with the host of Singled Out. Plus, I still blame you for turning Jim Carrey from a harmless, rubber-faced goofball, to this:

I honestly have no words

So take a minute to celebrate today as the GMC scores one for logic and further exposes a "doctor" as a fraud. But we really need to do a better job at calling celebrities out on their bullshit. We can't take information as valid just because someone has the fame to make themselves heard even if they are totally unqualified in their assertion. I mean, would you believe Heidi Montag if she told you that she got Down's Syndrome from one of her many plastic surgeries. Although, now that I think of it, we may be on to something there.

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