I imagine everybody knows about the problem of the gay Republican politician. There are lots gay Republican politicians, but to be a good Republican these days you have to denounce anything that smacks of homosexuality. This, of course, leads to all kinds of hypocrisy. The gay community is divided about whether these people should be outed or not.
We have a similar problem in the autism movement, and those are the leaders of large autism organizations who refuse to acknowledge that there is an epidemic, refuse to spend any of the money that they have extracted from this community on anything related to vaccine safety issues, mercury or any of the methodologies being investigated by DAN and related researchers.
But at the same time they are taking their own affected children to DAN doctors, chelating their kids, getting them scoped by Wakefield or Krigsman, and refusing vaccines for their children. Are they liars? Are they hypocrites? Are they the people who will get us to where we need to go? And what should be done by the rest of us with our own "gay Republicans." Should we ask them to explain themselves? Is the discrepancy between their public actions and statements and their private actions anybody else's business. Are we not allowed to ask them what they are doing in Arthur Krigsman's waiting room when their organizations won't even acknowledge that GI issues are part of autism. Are we being complicit in hypocrisy by remaining silent?
I have been thinkin' a little about this and here are my initial thoughts.
I am thinking there are two different ethical scenarios. Because we are talking about children's medical information, I think that we need to be sure we don't step on children's rights.
I am thinking if a parent tells someone in confidence about their child's treatment, and asks that you keep it private, regardless of their public stance, you should not break that trust, unless there is some sort of mistreatment of a specific child going on.
If you see a parent in a waiting room, I think that asking the question, "Why are you not preaching what you practice", is legit. I think that question should be asked in private first to give them the chance to really do some self-examination about the impact of their decision to with hold vital information from other parents who are looking to them as leaders for some direction as to what they should do for their own child.
But if they are given that opportunity and sufficient time to really come around, then I don't think I could condemn anyone who 'outed' them.
I think about this in the context of my own blogging. Now head of a multi-million dollar autism organization I ain't, but I have put myself (and my child to some extent) out in public. I have made myself a public figure (in the legal sense) by blogging. If I am unwilling to open myself up to scrutiny on the issues that I bring to the table, then I have no integrity.
If I encourage parents to look in one direction for treatment while I am pursuing another for my child, then shame on me.