Friday, February 13, 2009

OK, So I Lied...

More on vaccines.

I have taken no small pleasure in following the recent skirmishes over MMR, and vaccinations in general. I enjoy a good debate, but must confess to occasionally being driven to distraction by what I have found.

I am continually frustrated by the terribly closed minded attitudes I have encountered among those with feet firmly planted in the ant-vacc lobby. I suspect they feel the same about those of us who are pro-vacc.

We both cling to our evidence, and both are ready to deny the strength of the other's claims.

Fair enough. History is full of such claim and counter claim. What disappoints me is that, to my mind, the pro-vacc 'evidence' meets certain arbitrary criteria that define the strength of evidence, and the anti-vacc material does not.

To which, the anti-vacc lobby cry "foul"; the evidence is fake, it's a conspiracy.

Playing Devil's Advocate, if that were so, might not their evidence also be fake? Might the Hero of the anti-vacc lobby, Wakefield, be, in fact a liar of the highest order?

No; they will not allow it.

One rule for the goose, and another for the gander.

I am also slightly disappointed by the regularity that debate turns to name calling, or nonsense verse:

"Oho!' said the pot to the kettle;
"You are dirty and ugly and black!
Sure no one would think you were metal,
Except when you're given a crack."

"Not so! not so! kettle said to the pot;
" 'Tis your own
dirty image you see;
For I am so clean -without blemish or blot-
That your blackness is mirrored in me"

This is a reply, out of context lifted from JABS. They seem to have a great number of regular contributors, mostly specialising in selective interpretation of facts - tho in the interest of fairness, I mean selective in that it differs from my interpretation - and 'clever' insults. By all means, pay them a visit. Paranoia strikes deep, and all that...

As a counterpoint, may I recommend JABSLoonies. I enjoy this blog, recently discovered, immensly, tho, again, in the interests of fairness, this is largely because I agree with the author. And it's funny.

The debate rages on...

My current tuppence worth:

I had measles, mumps and rubella as a child. Yes, I'm fine, thanks for asking. But I still remember them, and they were shit. I did not enjoy them one iota; why would you wanna put anyone through that?

If, as has been claimed, MMR cause autism, why has there not been a decline in autism cases in line with the rise in measles cases and decreased uptake of MMR vaccination?

Why, as so many commenters claim, when vaccinated children get one of these diseases, do they not stop and consider how the disease has come to be prevalent in the community at all.The fact that vaccinated individuals can still fall ill is not news, but claims that because they do, vaccination doesn't work seems only to shore up the idea that vaccination doesn't work if people don't get vaccinated. You don't seriously expect me to believe that the disease is only prevalent in the vaccinated, do you?

Anyone?

Anyone?

Bueller?

Seriously, if any of my readers have strong beliefs re: MMR and autism, why have cases not gone down with the fall in MMR uptake?

3 comments:

Tor Hershman said...

Heck, folks iz always askin' moi for answers to questions that I ain't got the answers for.

I guess folks REALLY don't want the answers to the questions that I've got, can't blame them for that.

Stay on groovin' safari,
Tor

Nathan said...

If, as has been claimed, MMR cause autism, why has there not been a decline in autism cases in line with the rise in measles cases and decreased uptake of MMR vaccination?

The problem we have here is that people have chosen to set up camp on one side of the fence.

Sure there were quite a few people trying to balance carefully in the middle but most of those have tired and fallen off one way or the other.

Now once on their side it's generally the case that they won't investigate what is happening on the other side.
Whether this be due to stubbornness, laziness or just a general lack of active brain cells I wouldn't like to comment.

One cannot prove anything, by statistics especially, if not in possession of all the data.

It is because of this that we will probably take many more years of arguing before someone actually decides to rip the damn fence down so we can get an answer to Shroom's question.

Dr Jon said...

"Did you hear the one about the homeopathic patient who forgot to take his medicine? He died of an overdose!"

Seriously, why do a significant minority of people only trust the western medical establishment for acute treatment, and not for chronic treatment or prevantative actions? I don't understand it myself. Any ideas anyone?