Jenny McCarthy or 911: Who Would You Call If Your Kid Had a Seizure?

louder than words

Photo from Better World Books

I'm no scientist so I don't know what causes autism. As far as I know, noone does. Except for Jenny McCarthy, M.D., Ph.D, Playboy Bunny, actress. McCarthy knows that vaccines cause autism and she's doing her part by spreading the word.

In fact, despite the news that the scientific community officially discredited Andrew Wakefield and his false data study (the one that suggested there might be a link between the MMR vaccine and autism), McCarthy issued a detailed statement supporting him.

Jenny McCarthy is a celebrity, she has money to spend, and she has a pet cause. All of which make her very dangerous. Ordinary people believe what she is saying: moms and dads whose children suffer from autism; moms and dads who are deciding whether or not to vaccinate their kids.

I understand that the issue of autism and vaccines is probably one that's close to her heart. McCarthy's son Evan suffered from autism. I can't imagine how heartbreaking and difficult that must have been. According to the actress, he has since "recovered." Medical experts say that's impossible, so saying that it's even possible is irresponsible. It makes some parents of autistic kids wonder what they're doing wrong: Why can't I cure my kid? For that matter, why isn't McCarthy curing all kids of autism?

I am not a proponent of vaccines. I'm not entirely against them either. I don't know if vaccines are related to autism. Maybe they are; maybe they aren't. I'm not convinced either way—yet. But when I do need reliable information about vaccines or my kid's health, I don't look to Jenny "vaccines cause autism" McCarthy (or Amanda "anti-vaccinators are parasites" Peet) to get the "truth." I look to science and medicine and research and evidence and most importantly, authorities on the subject.

I use that information and my own instincts to help me make the choices that are best for my family. I would never impose my views on someone else. The stakes are much too high.

Jenny, you're attractive and mildly entertaining. I'm sure you're a great mom and a good friend. But please, for the sake of all those parents making important decisions about vaccines or choosing therapies for their autistic child, stay out of the debate, and quietly write a check to those organizations you support. Stick to doing what you do best: Throw on a bikini and make some crude jokes.

Do you think celebrities should be doling out medical advice on news shows? Do you listen to what they say? Where do you get your information on vaccines?

Related posts:

Celebrities on Autism: All for Better Book Sales?

Vaccine Debate Continues With Campbell Brown Rant

Actresses on Autism: Holly Robinson Peete Debates Amanda Peet

Autism and Special Diets: No Proof They Work (Yet)

autism, developmental delays, in the news, vaccines


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grouc... grouchymama

Well said, I completely agree. I don't understand why people are listening to an ex MTV personality over the experts that have actually set foot in a medical school. She has brought a certain amount of awareness to autism which is great but she also perpetuates a lot of information that is inaccurate as well.

auror... aurorabunny

Well...the Wakefield study really hasn't been discredited.  There's really a complicated and controversial backstory there and without knowing all if I don't believe it's fair to say that it's been discredited.

Vaccines are toxic, plain and simple.  I admire Jenny for trying to bring light to that fact, but on the other hand, I hate that she is a little nuts and makes those of us who don't vax look crazy.  I also don't believe for a second that her child is "cured" of autism. 

ethan... ethans_momma06

I agree with Aurora. And I also think that it is disheartening that parents listen to people like celebrities for all kinds of advice, medical, political, and financial. Normally it is all a double edged sword. She may create awareness for Autism, she may bring more awareness to issues with vaccines. But on the other hand she is creating a further rift in the road when people look at anti-vaxers. They aren't going to see the parents who adamantly research this stuff using medical guides, etc. They are going to see a rich ACTRESS who rubs them the wrong way and who they deem has no 'real knowledge' of what is going on. It sucks.

auror... aurorabunny

They aren't going to see the parents who adamantly research this stuff using medical guides, etc. They are going to see a rich ACTRESS who rubs them the wrong way and who they deem has no 'real knowledge' of what is going on. It sucks.

ethans_momma06 Feb. 11, 2010 at 2:07 PM

This.  Exactly.  It's not a decision to make flippantly, and no matter how anti-vax I am, I would NEVER pat someone on the back for deciding not to vaccinate based on Jenny's opinion or anyone else's.  You need to do the research for yourself or else you are making an irresponsible decision period. 

RanaA... RanaAurora

People with medical knowledge have tried to show her the difference between mercury poisoning and autism.  She thinks she's smarter than people who have dedicated decades to medical careers and science.

She is dangerous and needs to STFU.

MyLit... MyLittleJoshua

My 3 year old was diagnosed at 2 with autism. I prefer not to listen to what a celebrity has to say to begin with. I don't believe vaccines cause autism. I truly believe that children with autism are just born with it. Sometimes it doesn't show up right away. Do the research and you'll find that some children do not show the signs of autism till a little later in life when they start to show a regression. My son was fine up until around 2 1/2 years old until we notice some problems with his development such as speech where he was not talking at all. Jenny needs to do what she does best and be a celebrity, she is not a doctor by no means. Let the experts handle this.

nonmember avatar Dawn - Illinois

WOW!! Okay let me start off by saying I have four boys and three out of the four were completly vaccinated. Our last of the bunch was not and will not be ..... EVER. He had the first series of shots and SOMETHING HAPPENED. My son, had over 800 seizures a day. He was at five different hospitals, has seen ten different doctors and has been on at least 10 diferent seizures stopping meds..... NOTHING worked. My son now is on a VERY STRICT diet known as the Ketogenic Diet and has reduced his seizures from over 800 a day to 300 total since starting the diet on August 31, 2009.
Are Jenny and Jim crazy? Am I crazy? Do some kids react differently to vaccines than others? You know, I really wish, people would save their comments from when they are walking in shoes like mine!! I really believe, that we all are made, wired differently and what might effect me, may not necessarily effect you. It worked for Jenny and her boy, she is grateful and excited to spread he word, wouldn't you be?? I am about my son ... Luke.... 3 years old and the Ketogenic Diet is working for him. And you bet your bottom .... if I had enough time, money, the contacts that these two people have, I would be spreading this news from ALL sources I could. So, if you want to know more about my thoughts on this, my sons diet - call me 815-276-6542..... Dawn

TippyD TippyD

why is everyone so quick to judge Jenny on this? really? why are we not attacking the idiots that blindly follow an actress's advice that we call parents?? people need to be smart enough to do their OWN research! and not blindly follow a celebrity.. I have no problem with ppeople on either side of the issue as long s they have done their reseach and are comfortable with whatever consequences result from whatever their decision is..whether it be for or against vaccinating.

MyGir... MyGirlParadise

When it comes to OUR children, We the Parents need to make the decision on what is right for them NOT a celebrity. As adults we should know better than to "follow the loud mouth". Jenny did everything she did for the love of your child. She was a mommy who was so scared from day to day, minute to minute that she took matters into her own hands and did what she thought was right for her child. Everything was trial and error, as what WE non celebrity parents do with our children, whether NT to Autism to Down Syd or even allergies. Raising a child is not a science, their is no manual out there for it but there are a lot of books out there. All of which are very confusing if you take them all to heart.

Jenny is a mother. She has the right to think that she "cured" her son of Autism but to me that is just denial. Yes, she helped but she did not cure. She did things for her son that took him from one spectrum to the other side of the spectrum. WE all do that. When it comes to our children non of us just back and say "Oh Well, it is what it is." We fight.

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