Ratings not responsibility

I understand that “The View” is replacing Hasselbeck with Jenny McCarthy.  I also understand that she has a child with autism which she (without any scientific evidence) attributes to his receiving vaccines.  Vaccines are generally given prior to the onset of autism, so seeing this association, Ms. McCarthy and others have concluded that vaccines caused the autism. I am saddened for the guilt Ms. McCarthy feels at allowing her child to be vaccinated. She is most certainly not responsible for her child’s autism.

It is easy to confuse an association with cause and effect. For example during the World War 2 bombing of London, rescue workers were going through the wreckage of a building looking for survivors. They found an elderly gentleman who was unclothed in a bathtub. When they got to him, he said, “That’s the last time I’ll drain a bathtub. I pulled the plug and the building collapsed.” Clearly this is an association and not cause and effect.

I spend a lot of time educating folks about vaccine safety based on science. There is no credible evidence that vaccines cause autism. On the other hand we don’t know what causes it and until we do many will conclude that an association is really a cause. Let me strongly encourage you to get your child vaccinated. These vaccines are unquestionably lifesaving, just not in the dramatic way that a trauma surgeon saves lives.


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