Jenny McCarthy, actress, author, and biomedical Autism treatment activist is featured in a TIME Magazine article this week, The Autism Vaccine Debate: Who's Afraid of Jenny McCarthy? Since claiming she successfully healed her son, Evan, 7, of Autism via unconventional natural methods and cutting-edge technology, and subsequently blaming the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine for Evan's Autism, McCarthy has received immense criticism from the mainstream medical community; they say she's offering hope to parents of children with Autism when indeed, there is none.
According to McCarthy, biomedical treatments are defined as those interventions that address "...physical ailments like epilepsy, leaky gut, candida, bowel disease, and food allergies." She goes on to say, "Evan went through conventional, intensive Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy as well as a host of alternative approaches, including a gluten-free and casein-free (GFCF) diet, hyperbaric oxygen chambers, chelation, aromatherapies, electromagnetics, spoons rubbed on his body, multivitamin therapy, B-12 shots and a range of prescription drugs."
The most vocal opponents of McCarthy hold a few things against her (ideas): 1). purportedly, there is no proved causation between vaccines and Autism, 2). biomedical treatments are unproven and dangerous, and 3). diseases, conditions, or illnesses cannot be healed.
This TIME magazine article, if nothing else, crystallizes our modern health paradigm, and the opposition those trying to break free of it will inevitably face: people working to identify and treat the cause of an illness or condition are unstable or have not done research; only doctors should be in control of a person's health and health decisions, and pharmaceuticals are the only means of reliable treatment; an individual knows nothing about his/her body or, in this case, her child's body, and such research and personal observations should not be trusted.
The article also brings into focus the fact that the public, largely, is not privy to the conflict of financial interests in these accepted scientific studies. This is made evident when the article's author, Karl Taro Greenfeld, writes, "...[McCarthy] blames the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine for giving her son autism. And yet research conclusively shows that vaccines are safe for children". But the reality is that this is not a cut-and-dry issue, and indeed, many major medical figures and researchers* at leading hospitals and universities agree with McCarthy's stance on vaccines. *Click here for a list of studies from such doctors.
In fact, a May 2000 editorial piece written by a fired editor from the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) discusses "the extent to which academic medicine has become intertwined with the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, and the benefits and risks of this state of affairs... The ties between clinical researchers and industry include not only grant support, but also a host of other financial arrangements. These include researchers who serve as consultants, join advisory boards, enter into patent and royalty agreements, promote drugs and devices at company-sponsored symposium, and accept expensive gifts and trips." It should also be noted that the Food and Drug Administration, which determines whether or not a drug (vaccine) is safe for use, relies on internal studies from drug companies and does no independent research; thereby, trusting for-profit corporations to self-regulate.
Mainstream media and the mainstream medical community have done a wonderful job at reminding us of just who McCarthy is: a former Playboy model, a D-list actress, a misinformed mom working on instinct; (because, of course, models, actresses, and mothers are unable to critically think). And while her natural approaches to her son's wellness, including the elimination of gluten from his meals (an inexpensive and healthful strategy that involves nothing more than a change in diet), are under fire for being "unproven", they are becoming increasingly popular because many people report a lapse in symptoms -- as did her son.
With 1 in 2 Americans chronically ill, 1 in 100 children diagnosed with Autism, and a pharmaceutical industry expected to take in $975 billion dollars globally this year, we must ask ourselves: with so much mainstream medical intervention taking place (especially in the form of vaccines and prescription drugs), why are so many people still so sick? Like Jenny McCarthy, should we instead start addressing the root of these health conditions? And, if we did, just how many people would actually find themselves (and their children) healthy?
- Generation Rescue
Scientific Studies Linking Vaccines to Autism
Exposing Conflicts of Interest at the FDA
Research for Sale
A slightly healthier forecast for global pharmaceutical sales in 2010
Chronic Care in America: A 21st Century Challenge, a study of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation & Partnership for Solutions: Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (September 2004 Update). "Chronic Conditions: Making the Case for Ongoing Care".