- Hardcover: 236 pages
- Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (August 25, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0415321786
- ISBN-13: 978-0415321785
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,188,195 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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MMR and Autism: What Parents Need to Know 1st Edition
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The Amazon Book Review
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'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.
Top customer reviews
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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. He has now moved to a private clinic in Florida run by an evangelical Christian.
We still know too little about the neurobiological framework of autism. The one thing we do know is that whatever else causes autism, it is not MMR immunisation. The facts show that MMR vaccine is safe, and that immunisation does not compromise natural immunity.
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.
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.Wakefield and others through his front page exposees at the Sunday Times. Isnt it strange how two former left wing Marxists are now so vehmently defending the Pharmaceutical Companies position, I wonder what could possibly be motivating them ???$$$
In writing this review I should declare my interest, I have an autisitc son who spoke in English and French prior to his regression into severe autism and explosive diarhea after his MMR at 15 months. My son has been scoped (not by Wakefield) and the GI Doctor found LNH/colitis/IBD and vaccine strain measles. Thanks to treatment with anti-inflammatories my son's diarhea has stopped after four years and just after his 6th birthday he started talking a little again. Treatment with these drugs is just a band-aid but they are giving my son relief to allow him to slowly recover but we need these so called 'discredited renegade Doctors' to be allowed to continue their research if a cure is to be found.
One last comment to Dr.Fitzpatrick - just because the UK Govt has its head stuck in the sand (or coffers of the Pharmaceutical companies) does not mean their position is correct. During your prolonged commentary on Govt opinion it would have been more balanced to have mentioned that the Japanese Govt withdrew MMR in 1992 because of safety concerns and recently paid compensation to more than 1,000 children damaged by MMR.
Also can he explain why the Swiss Govt is currently funding some research by the 'King of Mavericks', Dr.Wakefield, or are we to assume Switzerland is a Maverick Country now ?