We here at Adventures in Autism think that is a GREAT idea.
It is LONG past time to have an ACTUAL public debate between physicians, researchers and parent advocates that believe that there is a link and those that think there is not, an ACTUAL debate on the merits of the arguement. Have your opponent right there to respond, rather than just having AAP and CDC issue statements that they cannot be questioned on.
As a matter of fact Pamela Felice of The Educated Parent got in touch with Oprah earlier this year and asked for exactly that.
So if you are so inclined, I would encourage you to write to the Oprah show and let them know that you would like to see such a debate, not just Paul Offit and ECBT being given an hour to say whatever they want unchallenged, but an actual, equal time, debate.
Time and time again, those of us on this side of the debate have requested that CDC/AAP/those who deny the vaccine autism connection appear on TV alongside us to actually debate the issue, but apart from Larry King's program last spring with Jenny McCarthy, that request is pretty much universally turned down. And CDC would not even show up to sit next to AAP on Larry King. They just issued one of those damn statements to be read.
Is the topic of a vaccine/autism connection is of so little importance, and so little concern to the American public, that they can't spare one single person to show up and talk about it?
So we thank Ms. Pisani for being willing to participate in this public debate. Let Oprah know that this is the debate that you have been waiting to see!
I am the mother of a child who regressed into autism following his 18 month vaccinations. I have been reading and writing about the vaccine/autism connection for four years and believe that there is more than sufficient evidence to prove a link.
More importantly, apparently so does the Department of Health and Human Services as they have been quietly paying children with vaccine induced autism from the Vaccine Injury Compensation Fund for more than 15 years now, and they list the symptoms of autism under vaccine induced 'acute encephalopathy' on the VICP's web site. In addition, the head of the CDC, Julie Gerberding, went on CNN this spring and said that vaccines trigger autism in a subset of the population.
It is been incredibly frustrating to see advocates of the vaccine autism connection, like Jenny McCarthy, appear on national programs like yours to discuss it, and hear that CDC/HHS ubiquitously refuses to appear along side them and have an actual debate and be questioned on their claims. Instead they issue a statement to be read at the end of the show that they can never be questioned on.
Do they think that this is not an important enough issue for them to send one person to speak on their behalf? If the science is so sound that vaccines don't cause autism, then why are they so afraid to show up and be questioned on it?
However, it is my understanding that Amy Pisani of Every Child By Two has contacted the show and asked for an episode on the autism/vaccine connection, and I am writing to support her in her request. What this country needs is OPEN debate on this issue between physicians/researchers and parents on both sides on what the science really says, what the science is silent on, and who is overstating their case.
I think that Ms. Pisani has envisioned an hour for her and her experts (ECBT is funded by pharmaceutical companies) to extol the virtues of vaccines and ignore the questions and points that parents like me and our physicians would make, but honestly, that is pretty much what has been going on in this country for the last decade.
So instead, I hope you will consider Pamela Felice's request to your show from last spring:
With autism awareness month approaching in April and in light of the recent court ruling regarding Hannah Polling's vaccine related autism, I thought it might be interesting for Oprah to host a debate on the topic of vaccine safety.
Some suggested guests might include; David Kirby, author of Evidence of Harm, Dr. Robert Sears, Author of The Vaccine Book , Dr. Boyd Haley, head of the Chemistry Dept at Kentucky State University, Dr. Jerry Kertzinel, the DAN! Dr. treating Jenny McCarthy's son and Barbbra Lowe Fisher of the National Vaccine Information Ctr. on the Critic side.
Possible panelists who support the current vaccine program might include, Dr. Paul Offit, Dr. Julie Gerberding, Director of the CDC, a representative of the American
Academy of Pediatrics and/or a representative of Every Child By Two.
Personally, I would like to see Bernadine Healey expound on her understanding of the state of the research and why she is of the opinion that we can't no longer say that vaccines don't cause autism, or neurologist Jon Poling explain his understanding of the relationship between vaccine induced autism and undiagnosed mitochondrial disorders.
Thank you for your attention this vital issue.
Ginger Taylor, M.S.