We have all evolved to associate one thing to the other. We associate by thinking; finding and looking for meaningful patterns in our surroundings. Another reliable way to associate one thing to the other is by the use of scientific methods. The problem over here is what to trust in making a decision, our cognitive thinking or the scientific method?
In recent years, there has been a seeming connection between autism and MMR-vaccines. The parents of the children diagnosed of Autism, are trying to look for a causal link between this complex developmental disability and vaccines that the children had received.
In 1998, a British surgeon, Andrew Wakefield, published a paper claiming that the MMR-vaccine had a causal link to Autism. He proposed that the measles virus traveled to the children’s intestines causing intestinal damage. This damage then allowed brain damaging proteins to enter their blood stream. Dr.Wakefield used stories of 8 children who had developed symptoms of autism within a month of receiving the vaccines.
Here is the article from Wall street Journal that i came across Junk Science Isn\’t a Victimless Crime.
These findings fueled the debate over vaccine safety and lead many people to a general distrust in vaccines.
This type of study has been replicated many times around the world and each time no causal link has been found. The following two articles from New Scientist proves that MMR-vaccine has no causal link to Autism; Autism rises Despite MMR Ban in Japan and MMR and Autism not linked, finds giant study.
I do not think Dr. Wakefield’s paper was statistically right. He based his conclusion on a very small sample size (about 12 children). He should have used a way larger sample size as in the other two studies disproving the existence of a causal link (more than 30,000 or half a million children).
Overall, What do we believe; Is there a causal link between MMR-vaccine and Autism? In spite of knowing that the research linking MMR-vaccine to Autism has some discrepancies, we still feel that there is a link. Do not forget we have the ability to overcome our feelings in a situation and replace them with a logical and scientific reasoning that would serve us better and help us advance in life.
If further interested, here is part 1 of 10 of Dr. Andrew Wakefield’s interview on his MMR study by Dr. Mercola.