Saturday, April 2, 2011

That's All They Need

Anti-vaccine "doctor"  meets with Somali parents in Minneapolis...

We note with utter amazement that shortly after an outbreak of measles among Somali children in Minneapolis, discredited former doctor and anti-vaccine advocate, Andrew Wakefield, visited the Twin Cities to meet with Somali parents to discuss with them the cause of their childrens' autism.  This is the same Wakefield who had his paper alleging a connection between the MMR vaccine and autism formally retracted by the British medical journal The Lancet.  This is the very same Wakefield who has been struck off the medical register in the U.K. for scientific misconduct.  Why on earth would anyone want to talk to him about the health of their children?

Star Tribune medical reporter Maura Lerner has done a stand up job reporting on the recent measles outbreak, fear of vaccination in the Somali community, and most recently the visit by Wakefield.

So, what sort of response do you suppose Ms. Lerner received for telling us - warning us - that Wakefield was in town, preying on the fears of our neighbors?  Gratitude?  Respect?  A hearty, "Well done, Maura!"?

Nope, she has been pilloried by both sides, the anti-vax loons who never saw a "Big Pharma" conspiracy they didn't believe in and the skeptical purists, who not only want Wakefield tarred and feathered, but also to make absolutely certain that he is never, ever referred to as "Doctor" again.  I'm reminded of the adage, "No good deed goes unpunished."

Well, I'll say it.  Well done, Maura!  Keep up the fine work.