Confessions of a Quackbuster

This blog deals with healthcare consumer protection, and is therefore about quackery, healthfraud, chiropractic, and other forms of so-Called "Alternative" Medicine (sCAM).

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Mercury and autism: a damaging delusion

13 May 2005

Mercury and autism: a damaging delusion

A new book by a New York journalist falls for some contagious myths about the dangers of vaccines.

by Dr Michael Fitzpatrick

Evidence of Harm: Mercury in Vaccines and the Autism Epidemic: A Medical Controversy, by David Kirby, St Martin's Press, New York, April 2005.

As the parent of an autistic child, and as a doctor distrustful of government and corporate involvement in healthcare, I might be expected to respond positively to this book. If there was convincing evidence that vaccines containing the mercury-based preservative thimerosal cause autism, perhaps I would join those currently applauding David Kirby's book on his coast-to-coast US promotional tour. But since there is no such evidence, I fear that his misguided endorsement of the anti-mercury cause can only compound the damage that this campaign has already done, both to families affected by autism and, by undermining public confidence in the childhood immunisation programme, to the welfare of children in general.

Kirby, a freelance journalist in New York, presents this 'medical controversy' as a confrontation between two camps.

(there's more.....)