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MMR and Autism: What Parents Need to Know Paperback – August 27, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-0415321792 ISBN-10: 0415321794 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (August 27, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415321794
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415321792
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,630,260 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


'Michael Fitzpatrick splendidly demolishes the argument that MMR causes autism by careful review of the scientific and other evidence. He also provides an insightful review of autism and its management, together with the role of risk aversion in health scares like the MMR. Every health worker, parent, politician and journalist concerned with these issues must read this brilliant book.' - Brent Taylor, Professor of Community Child Health, Royal Free and University College Medical School

'Fitzpatrick ... offers a profound and wide-ranging account including politics, philosophy and rationality, science and medicine, the media, the medics, history and autism itself from both sides of the fence and indeed the fence itself. Erudite without obscurity, economical without dryness, I found his book a gripping read - and so did my wife, a non medic.' - Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine

'This book is a tour de force. Extensively researched and impeccably argued.' - Health Watch

'Dr Fitzpatrick's book on the MMR affair goes well beyond the affair itself, and casts a searchlight on our society, indeed on our soul.' - Dr Anthony Daniels, Sunday Telegraph

'Michael Fitzpatrick is a general practitioner and also the parent of a child with autism. Fortunately he is also a very good writer and has produced a readable, well-discussed book about the MMR-autism saga. The book is informative, detailed, and accurate.' - International Journal of Epidemiology

About the Author

Michael Fitzpatrick is a general practitioner working in Hackney, London.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 27 people found the following review helpful By TrixieKQ on March 1, 2006
Format: Paperback
I found the information in the book useful and CALM!! It would be easy to double check Dr. Fitzpatrick's data if one were so inclined. I have two children on the autism spectrum, and have tried to find the same type of hard evidence supporting the claim that MMR causes autism. I have been unable to do so.

Readers should definitly keep open minds whenever they read anything, whether or not one wants to believe the results. When the subject is as important as this one, it is vital to think rationally and calmly. Hysteria is very rarely a good basis for decisions.
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32 of 41 people found the following review helpful By William Podmore on August 28, 2004
Format: Paperback
This superb book gives an extremely useful account of the current state of knowledge of autism and its causes. It also shows that parents should allow their children to be immunised with MMR. The author is a London GP, who has an autistic son James.

Dr Fitzpatrick reminds us of the dangers of measles, mumps and rubella. In the ten years before the first measles immunisation was introduced in Britain, 850 children died from measles. Since MMR immunisation was introduced in 1988, there have been only four deaths from measles, and 19 from complications. Japan, with a low uptake of MMR immunisation, has 50/100 measles deaths a year.

So the government is right to encourage mass MMR immunisation and to oppose the individual choice of separate vaccines, even though its promotion of `individual choice' and `personalised care' undermines all good NHS policies. The government's `faith-based' politics - evident in Blair's refusal to say whether his son Leo had been immunised - align it against both the medical profession and scientific evidence.

The original article that sparked the MMR immunisation scare, by Dr Andrew Wakefield, only raised the possibility of a relationship between MMR immunisation and autism: it put forward no evidence of a causal link, and specified no mechanism of transmission. In the subsequent five years, he has failed to substantiate his claim.

Since then, many independent researchers have proven that there is no causal link between MMR and autism, but Dr Wakefield refuses to accept the overwhelming evidence. He even told a US senate committee that the Royal Statistical Society had damned an important study that refuted his hypothesis, although this was not true.
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17 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Paul J. O'neill on June 27, 2004
Format: Hardcover
If anybody wants to waste $75 they have the dubious pleasure of reading the collection of 'Spiked' rantings against Dr.Wakefield and other Doctors trying to help a sub-set of autistic children with GI problems, children that the illustrious Medical Establishment, Pharmaceutical Companies and UK Government Fitzpatrick is trying to defend have so carefully avoided.
He makes bold statements claiming Wakefield is totally discredited but as usual only focuses on the 1998 paper yet declines to mention or discuss the research work by Dr. Tim Buie (Harvard), Dr. Arthur Krigsman (NY), Dr. Elizabeth Mumper, Dr. Michael Hart and others who have completely replicated Wakefield's research and in fact taken it much further. He also fails to mention that vaccine strain measles has been found in the GI tracts of many of this sub-set of autistic children and more recently published research by Bradstreet et al has found vaccine strain measles RNA in the cerebral spinal fluid.

He also fails to mention the UK Government's and UK Health Depts inability to actually argue basis science instead of epidimological studies. If their science is so overwhelming why not show it us, surely that would be a better use of the ink wasted to publish this book ?

What I fail to understand is why people like Dr.Fitzpatrick want to stand in the way of such researchers who at best will prove a causal link and ultimately a cure, or at worste waste a lot of their own time and reputation.

He portrays himself as persecuted by the anti-MMR lobby yet has unprecedented access to the media to put his negative case.
He mentions politics as being irrelevent in this MMR autism case, yet I would like him to explain why his former colleague at 'Living Marxism' is also persecuting Dr.
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6 of 38 people found the following review helpful By TnV on May 14, 2005
Format: Paperback
It is clear that there are those who write books about autism to share information, and others who write books about autism with a totally different agenda. This is not a book worth reading. I couldn't even finish it. It was a cure for my sister's insomnia however! VERY PRO VACCINES with a clear agenda. Thank God I borrowed this book, and didn't have to buy it. In a time where even our childrens on pediatricians are saying that the "mercury issue" of vaccines relating to autism IS PLAUSIBLE, this author "knows" they're safe. Wow, this one person in the entire universe knows the answer. Give me a break! WORHTLESS!
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