Did you hear the big news yesterday? The study that says that the measles vaccine in children causes autism turns out to be a fraud. The British Medical Journal claims that study was an elaborate fraud. It seems that Dr. Wakefield, the doctor that did the study was paid $700,000 for the outcome of the study. What has this done with parents in the United States? It caused parents to questions and in turn refuse vaccinations for their children. There has been a drastic decline in the number of children being vaccinated…hopefully this will change.
Why is this an important topic? Because many of you who have been diagnosed with a chronic or other life-altering illness depend on these studies, as do your doctors, to develop treatment plans. This could mean the difference between getting better or getting worse. It’s amazing that parents made their decisions based on one study. I find that to be a bit unusual, but panic sets in and since autism is truly scary for parents I can understand them climbing on board to save their children. So what does this mean for you?
It means that if you’re looking for particular new treatment options talk with your medical provider. If you’re looking at specific studies ask to see the studies. If there is only one study done ask the medical provider why they are willing to begin this treatment protocol without other studies to substantiate the findings. There are cases where a study is ended early because the outcomes are so startling and the benefits of the drug are quite pronounced. It’s okay to ask your medical provider questions about the studies they follow and in turn then use for treatment plans.
As patients, we have a responsibility to ourselves, our lives, and our families to be as thorough as possible when investigating treatment options. The study about vaccinations and autism was done in 1998; that’s 12 years of trauma inflicted on parents who are struggling to decide about vaccinating their children. In addition, parents who did vaccinate their children and their child is autistic have been suffering with their decision to vaccinate. According to news reports, there are no studies that correlate vaccinations and autism, other than the one that was just deemed a fraud.
Be careful. Be thorough. Be curious. Be a participant in your healthcare!