MMR, Jeni Barnett and Bad Science.

Discussion in 'Off Topic Area' started by Smitfire, Feb 6, 2009.

  1. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    Recently a DJ called Jeni Barnett hosted a call-in show on LBC about the supposed "dangers" of the MMR vaccine.
    In this show she spouted some of the most ridiculous anti-science nonsense you'll ever hear.
    Ben Goldacre put up an excerpt of this show to illustrate how little this woman knew about what she was attempting to criticise (at one point asking why a man that had had a flu jab still caught a cold!!).
    Ben Goldacre has since been contacted by LBC and its parent company and threatened with legal action.
    However thanks to the power of the interwebs stuff never can find the clip here.

    You'll need a strong will as I'm sure most people will end up smashing their monitors as a stand in for Ms Barnetts face.

    More info can be found here.

    This type of thing really makes me angry. An uneducate person paid to spout potentially dangerous rubbish and then protected by legal teams and intimidation when an individual calls them on it.
    Not sure why I typed this really but just wanted to increase the awareness of what good and important work Ben Goldacre is doing and that this is going on.
  2. CKava

    CKava Just one more thing... Supporter

    Another reader of Ben Goldacre! Wohoo... I agree the whole fiasco is ridiculous but this whole event has cheered me up due to the updates wherein various bloggers have started hosting small snippets which don't break 'fair use' and transcribing the whole interview and the incident is being protested about across a whole variety of sites.

    I say Ben gave a talk before Christmas about aids-hiv denial in South Africa and he is doing very important work. Good to raise his profile.
  3. holyheadjch

    holyheadjch Valued Member

    Parents who refuse to allow their children to be vaccinated with MMR should be made to pay for all medical treatment that is incurred as a direct result of that refusal.
  4. Topher

    Topher allo!

    Good to see the Streisand effect is in fill swing!

    I'm not sure I would blame the parents (entirely). I blame the media.
  5. EmptyHandGuy

    EmptyHandGuy Valued Member

    They do pay when they pay taxes. I've not had either of my kids vaccinated and will not until there is proof that there is no chance at all of autism being caused.
  6. Topher

    Topher allo!

    You've have it backwards.

    You do not prove that vaccines do not cause autism. You demonstrate that vaccines do cause autism. Until that burden has been met (and it hasn't) we must regard vaccines as safe (they are).

    In short: there is no evidence at all of vaccines causing autism.

    Here's a good article on the topic:

    Here are some good on going sources for objective info on vaccinations: (The Alleged Autism Epidemic, The Increase in Autism Diagnoses: Two Hypotheses)
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2009
  7. Moosey

    Moosey invariably, a moose Supporter

    They are at greater danger from measles than autism.

    Are you choosing to subject them to a real risk from measles rather than an imaginary one from autism?
  8. bassai

    bassai onwards and upwards ! Moderator Supporter

    Both of my kids had the triple jab and neither is autistic.
    The very least you can do is pay for the seperate injections so your kids are at least safe.
  9. Burnsey

    Burnsey Armchair liberal

    Nice to see that there are some fellow Goldacre readers on the site. For anyone else interested this is his website and contains loads of articles written by him

    As for the evidence based on whether or not MMR causes autism, the cochrane collaboration published a review for which the abstract is here The cochrane collaboration is a non profit organisation that published systematic reviews of studies related to a wide variety of medical studies.

    Read it and make your own mind up.
  10. Moi

    Moi Warriors live forever x

    My sister just payed to have her kids done with the seperate jabs like in the good old days.

    Not when it's your kids. You do what you feel is right. Science has been found to be wrong many times.
  11. holyheadjch

    holyheadjch Valued Member

    But when (if) your kids catch measles, my taxes will have to subsidise their medical care because you get your medical information from tabloids rather than doctors. As far as I am concerned, that is unacceptable.
  12. Topher

    Topher allo!

    Well then as Moosey said, you'll only be putting them in bigger risk... the very real risk of measles vs. the unsubstantiated risk of autism.

    Vaccines are safe.

    I don't blame parents however. The media are responsible for all of this mess.
  13. CKava

    CKava Just one more thing... Supporter

    It's good your sister got them vaccinated however it's unfortunate she wasted money and forced the children to receive unnecessary extra injections. As holyheadjch states the controversy over MMR vaccines is largely a media creation and if your taking your health advice from the media or from fringe anti-science groups you're actually putting your child at greater risk rather than protecting them.

    Sorry Martial Dad but this is crap... I understand the sentiment but simply put, parents intuition, based on a media controversy, is not more reliable than the hundreds of studies that have shown conclusively that vaccines are not linked to autism. There isn't even a plausible mechanism through which they could be which hasn't been conclusively discredited. Needlessly placing your child at risk of catching harmful preventable diseases because of a media scare is not cool. I'd recommend reading some of the articles on the topic by Ben Goldacre for a start.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2009
  14. laugarfist

    laugarfist New Member Supporter

    So we should pay taxes and do as we are told like good little sheep? No, we have the right to make the choice but I would qualify that by saying parents should read up on MMR from various sources and make their own minds up.

    I decided not to have my son immunised with the MMR vaccine.
  15. CKava

    CKava Just one more thing... Supporter

    What sources did you consult to come to your decision?
  16. Moosey

    Moosey invariably, a moose Supporter

    Do you feel that parents should have the right to make bad decisions regarding their kids' safety?

    e.g. if a parent decides that childhood illnesses could be cured by "beating the devil out of them", would it be their right as the parent of the child to do whatever they want?
  17. laugarfist

    laugarfist New Member Supporter

    A load of articles my dad gave me, our doctors, health visitors, some of the medicine/science websites already mentioned and mine and my sisters history. We both reacted badly to immunisation (not autism). I'll try to look up the articles I was given against MMR and post the links but it won't be tonight. If I don't in the next couple of days then anyone is welcome to pm me and remind me. I have a memory like a sieve :D
  18. laugarfist

    laugarfist New Member Supporter

    No because that would be inflicting violence on another. Not that I'm against that totally but not (we are on an MA forum) against kids.

    It's a poor arument you use by comparing physical violence with a choice not to vaccinate.

    I do belive parents have the right to raise there kids as they see fit as long as they are trying to do the right thing and not causing harm.

    I don't see not vaccinating as causing harm btw though I agree it has the potential to cause harm later, or not. These are the hard choices we face as parents.
  19. Moi

    Moi Warriors live forever x

    My youngest daughter reacted badly to the MMR. Changed her overnight. Nothing wrong with her but she was different after that jab.
  20. laugarfist

    laugarfist New Member Supporter

    Yeah that was the main decider with us. Personal history. My sister overnight started having fits and blackouts and I went from being a relatively normal child to one that suffered a lot of low level illness for several years.

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