Autism's False Prophets
Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure
By (author) Paul A. Offit
Autism's False Prophets by Paul A. Offit
Book DescriptionA London researcher was the first to assert that the combination measles-mumps-rubella vaccine known as MMR caused autism in children. Following this "discovery," a handful of parents declared that a mercury-containing preservative in several vaccines was responsible for the disease. If mercury caused autism, they reasoned, eliminating it from a child's system should treat the disorder. Consequently, a number of untested alternative therapies arose, and, most tragically, in one such treatment, a doctor injected a five-year-old autistic boy with a chemical in an effort to cleanse him of mercury, which stopped his heart instead. Children with autism have been placed on stringent diets, subjected to high-temperature saunas, bathed in magnetic clay, asked to swallow digestive enzymes and activated charcoal, and injected with various combinations of vitamins, minerals, and acids. Instead of helping, these therapies can hurt those who are most vulnerable, and particularly in the case of autism, they undermine childhood vaccination programs that have saved millions of lives. An overwhelming body of scientific evidence clearly shows that childhood vaccines are safe and does not cause autism. Yet widespread fear of vaccines on the part of parents persists. In this book, Paul A. Offit, a national expert on vaccines, challenges the modern-day false prophets who have so egregiously misled the public and exposes the opportunism of the lawyers, journalists, celebrities, and politicians who support them. Offit recounts the history of autism research and the exploitation of this tragic condition by advocates and zealots. He considers the manipulation of science in the popular media and the courtroom, and he explores why society is susceptible to the bad science and risky therapies put forward by many antivaccination activists.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780231146364
(229mm x 152mm x 28mm)
Imprint: Columbia University Press
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publish Date: 5-Sep-2008
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Paul A. Offit
Pandora's Lab: Seven Stories of Science Gone Wrong, Hardback (March 2017)
For readers of no-nonsense tell-alls such as Being Mortal and Do No Harm, mediagenic doctor and research scientist Paul Offit presents seven breakthroughs that backfired with catastrophic consequences to our health and environment.
Bad Faith, Hardback (May 2015)
When Jesus said, "Suffer the children," faith healing is not what he had in mind
Deadly Choices, Paperback (March 2015)
A renowned researcher vigorously challenges the anti-vaccine movement in this powerful defense of science in the face of fear.
Killing Us Softly, Paperback (June 2013)» View all books by Paul A. Offit
More people than ever are using alternative medicine. But, as expert Dr Paul Offit explains, these untested therapies are ineffective, expensive and even deadly.
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Author Biography - Paul A. Offit
Paul A. Offit, MD, FAAP is the chief of Infectious Diseases and the director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia as well as the Maurice R. Hilleman Professor of Vaccinology and professor of pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He has received numerous awards, including the J. Edmund Bradley Prize for Excellence in Pediatrics from the University of Maryland School of Medicine, the Young Investigator Award in Vaccine Development from the Infectious Diseases Society of America, and a Research Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health. An international expert on rotavirus-specific immune responses, Dr. Offit is the coinventor of the rotavirus vaccine RotaTeq, for which he received the Jonas Salk Award from the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, the Gold Medal from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and the Stanley A. Plotkin Award in Vaccinology from the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society. He has donated all royalties from sales of this book to autism research.
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