April 17, 2008, - 1:22 am
By Debbie Schlussel
Last year, I told you about self-anointed medical “expert,” Jenny McCarthy.
Yup, the same Jenny McCarthy who has a medical degree from the Hugh Hefner School of Advanced Silicone Medicine and Porn Sciences. And don’t forget her valuable medical expertise gleaned from her days hosting MTV’s “Singled Out” and her current scientific gig “dating” (euphemism) Jim Carrey.
Because her son is autistic, she looked for something to blame it on, and . . . voila, “child vaccines cause autism.” At least, that’s her theory and that held by a growing group of alarmists with the same medical “expertise” as McCarthy.
And it’s frightening parents from giving their kids necessary vaccines against diseases that are now making a comeback because of Jenny’s Bimbo Science. McCarthy and her ilk have succeeded in persuading otherwise responsible parents to retreat back to the Stone Age when it comes to their children’s health and available preventative medical treatments. Who knew that taking off your pants for the world (that’s how McCarthy reached the D-list) would cause modern pediatric medicine to regress decades?
It’s like a scene from the movie, “Idiocracy.”
Sadly, giant medical institutions are also buying into this chic, hip new fad of Bimbo Science. Yesterday, Henry Ford Health Systems–one of the largest chains of hospitals and health care centers–hosted former Playboy centerfold McCarthy at a large banquet to address its physicians and medical staff and impart upon them her B-movie and Playboy naked video medical theories.
A local TV station ran a clip of Henry Ford’s chief of pediatrics praising McCarthy’s bizarre views on vaccines. I thought I was daydreaming. But then it got worse. On video, McCarthy told the audience that her son is no longer autistic because she’s giving him certain vitamins and a gluten-free diet. She said she can take her son “on” and “off” autism in a three-month span, based on diet, exercise, and vitamin supplements. Hmmm . . . has she been channeling Tom Cruise? Autism is a mostly permanent condition that isn’t shed by a summer of workouts and cuisine at the spa.
But don’t tell that to Dr. Bimbette or the actual physicians at Henry Ford Healthcare.
Ironically, on the same day that McCarthy was on her Bimbo Junk Science tour of Detroit, a real-life brain scientist, Sam Wang, had a great op-ed against Dr. Jenny. Wang–whose sister is autistic and who is associate professor of molecular biology and neuroscience at Princeton University–is co-author of Welcome to Your Brain: Why You Lose Your Car Keys But Never Forget How to Drive and Other Puzzles of Everyday Life. That means he might know just a tad more about what causes autism than Jenny McCarthy, BD (Doctor of Bim).
I am angry that this coverage is spreading dangerous myths. My sister, Karen, is autistic. In the 1970s, my parents wondered why she behaved so differently. . . .
Autism is a neurological disorder, and its signs appear by the age of 1 or even earlier. It is highly inheritable. In identical twins where one is autistic, the chance that both are autistic is greater than 50-50. Even non-identical twins and siblings are at increased risk. . . .
Recently, celebrities such as Jenny McCarthy and other activists have taken to the airwaves to repeat the myth that autism is linked to vaccination. Although peer-reviewed scientific evidence overwhelmingly opposes their views, they have attracted attention. In a recent discussion on Larry King Live, three pediatricians invited to make the case for science were no match for McCarthy’s star power. Situations like this could mistakenly persuade parents to leave their children unvaccinated and vulnerable to contagious diseases. . . .
What are McCarthy’s credentials? She is an actress and comedienne[DS: not sure she's either of those] – with an autistic son. Her career took on new life after she wrote a best-selling pregnancy guide. Like all parents of autistic children, she wrestled with the question of what caused his disorder. She recalled that her son was vaccinated about the time his symptoms first appeared. Aha! That’s it. Here is an example of her reasoning: “I believe that parents’ anecdotal information is science-based information.” . . .
She concluded that two events happening around the same time must be linked. They used the principle that coincidence implies a causal link. [DS: Wang describes how a rescinded, mistaken study finding blamed autism on thimerosal, but McCarthy's son] was born in 2002, after thimerosal was removed from vaccines.
The problem is compounded by “source amnesia,” in which people are prone to remember a statement without recalling where they heard it or whether the source was reliable. . . . Such errors of reasoning hinder us from distinguishing real causes from coincidences. . . .
I wish that preventing autism were as simple as withholding a few injections. . . . I understand the vital importance of vaccination, not only for maintaining our baby’s health but also protecting our community from infectious diseases. Our daughter’s next shots are in two months.
Sadly, the people who buy into Jenny McCarthy’s Silicone Bimbo Science aren’t the kind blessed with critical thinking skills or the kind to read an op-ed like this . . . even in McPaper (USA Today).
And that’s why McCarthy’s “scientific lectures” to Medical Doctors and personnel of a major hospital in a major city will continue . . . and will harm American children’s health.
Perhaps those parents who listen to McCarthy and risk their children to diseases thought to be a thing of the past are the latest form of Darwin’s “natural selection.”
You wouldn’t trust this peroxide blonde with built-in floatation devices to treat you for cancer. Why would anyone consult her for advice on their own developing kids’ health?
Don’t embrace this new “McCarthyism.” Skank “science” is bunk.
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