Monday, January 28, 2008


In case you’ve been away from the net lately, ABC is currently promoting a new lawyer show, Eli Stone. And the first episode promises to be memorable. The title character will represent a family suing a vaccine manufacturer, alleging that a toxic component in a vaccine triggered their son’s autism.

Generally I’m not a big fan of lawyer shows, because they tend to oversimplify things to fit into a one-hour time slot. Likewise, I think focusing on thimerosal ⎯ and the fictional vaccine component in the Eli Stone episode sure sounds like the regrettably non-fictional thimerosal ⎯ has been counterproductive. Instead of establishing the process by which various toxins can trigger autism, which I believe would assuredly lead to mercury and thimerosal as a major, and perhaps the single greatest, contributing factor, we have focused solely on that one “what” before we have established the “how.” This has allowed those who would fail to see the forest (i.e., the CDC, the IOM, the AAP, and, of course, the vaccine manufacturers) to hack at that one tree with half-truths and half-baked epidemiology.

Still, we must be on to something because those guys keep acting scared. When word got out about the premier episode of Eli Stone, the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) prepared an over-the-top letter of protest to ABC, filled with self-righteous indignation. They are demanding that ABC not run the show. They protest that the American public ⎯ you know, us idiots without medical degrees ⎯ will believe a fictional television drama rather than their doctors. That protest speaks volumes of how our country’s pediatricians view their own credibility ... or lack thereof.

Since none of us has actually seen the show, it’s a bit premature to talk about its merits or deficits. The AAP’s heavy-handed attempt at censorship, however, is in front of us and deserves comment and censure. But rather than reinvent the wheel, I would simply direct you over to Ginger’s blog, where my friend (as usual) has beaten me to the punch and done a far better job than I could.


Blogger Captain Asshole said...

Amen. Almost as disappointing as medical professionals' contempt for their patients is the fact that there are actually people who will actually consider this episode as "newsworthy".

In any case, I share your sentiments (though with a healthy dose of expletives)

1/29/08, 1:03 PM  
Blogger Wade Rankin said...

Hmmm. Okay.

1/29/08, 4:31 PM  
Blogger Andy said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11/24/08, 2:52 AM  

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