Review and Video: Autism’s False Prophets by Dr. Paul Offit
Autism’s False Prophets: Bad Medicine, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure is a well-referenced, historical work that explains the dangerous and unnecessary controversies that have put the lives of autistic children at risk. Offit sets up his book by explaining how he has become a major player in the field of immunology. He then explores the process by which the autism/vaccine controversy has been given so much attention. He describes how parents and physicians worked together to create treatments that when put under scientific scrutiny, have no real efficacy.
Offit sets the tone of the book by showing how secretin therapy and facilitated communication were exposed as scams. He then debunks Dr. Wakefield’s study of the MMR vaccine and employs the scientific method to show how thimerosal and other mercury-based theories have no relevance.
Read on for more about the book and a video with author Dr. Paul Offit!
At the end of the book, Offit includes an epilogue focusing on Jenny McCarthy’s impact on the community through her books and television appearances. He is clear to point out that her “Mommy Instinct” does not make her an immunologist, psychologist, pediatrician or scientist. For those who believe that following the scientific method is the only way to come to an understanding about autism than Offit presents an important work that should be praised for exposing those who mislead the public and the opportunism of the lawyers, journalists, celebrities, and politicians who support them. Offit scientifically dismisses the sub-group of parents, journalists, researchers and activists that believe they know what is causing autism and how to cure it.
Paul A. Offit, M.D. is the chief of Infectious Diseases and the director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Dr. Offit has 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 will donate all royalties from sales of this book to autism research.
Review by Dana Commandatore, mother to a wonderful autistic boy.