Measles and MRM – A lesson to be learnt

In my last Blog I mentioned the apparent lack of responsiblity in some reporting of certain scientific evidence and guess what happened just the other day….

On Friday morning it was announced on the news that cases of Measles (which is a highly infectious disease that can cause death) rose in England and Wales by more than 70 percent in 2008 from 2007. This third straight annual rise apparently reflects the impact of an“recommendation” in 1998 Study which appeared to link the combined measles, mumps and rubella injection t to Autism. Actually this Study never said that and the “link” was barely referred to in the Study.

So how did a passing comment in a large study become a major health issue?

The finger has to be pointed to the doctors who chose (whether out of stupidity or negligence) to focus on an unproven link.   Had the doctors actually read the Study they would have noted that this link was simply an afterthought and that required testing  by a separate randomized clinical study.  This is what scientific proof is all about.

But why was it that a small number of ignorant doctors were allowed to get so much coverage?  Who was responsible for swinging public opinion towards favoring the ignorant as opposed to the knowledgeable?  Perhaps the story was simply too good for the journalists to resist giving a balanced opinion.   We do know that a lot of GPs at the time were busy telling their patients to have the MRM but many were resisting due to press coverage which seemed to favour the more interesting but none the less the wrong interpretation.

As it turned out the Doctor that started this piece of nonsense over the link between MRM and Autism has been dealt with by GMC (General Medical Council) and is no longer able to practice but should not those, who persuaded so many not to take the MRM jab,  be accountable since had they read the Study it would have been reasonably apparent that the link was tenuous at best.

Boring old responsibility – makes for dull stories but good advice


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