Stop Jenny!

Found via Autism Vox:

Good luck with that. I think she’s unstoppable. She bugs me with how she makes life with autism seem to be a fate worse than death. It’s not.

It’s actually quite good.

ETA: In the interest of full disclosure I’ll remind my readers that we delay and selectively vaccinate.

FURTHER EDIT: And Bede was diagnosed as autistic at age 4 and had received no vaccinations.

16 thoughts on “Stop Jenny!

  1. I really take a disliking to this statement on that website:
    “Ms. McCarthy has no educational background, and no license to give any type of medical advice on any medically related topic.”

    As a homeschooling mother, I don’t have an educational background or license to teach my child myself, but there is no way I am going to let that stop me from making decisions about what is best for my son.
    I know that this is about so much more. I know that many families disagree with Jenny McCarthy and the idea that Autism should be considered something to fix or cure, but what about the families who feel hopeless and lost? A lot of people watch a lot of television and I think that if just one person sees her speaking or reads her book and then says, look, there could be an alternative. That is a good thing.
    I don’t need a doctor to tell me what I should or shouldn’t do with my child and I don’t think she needs a medical degree to pursue and particular treatment for her son and then write about the results. (in her son’s case, the results were positive and that is good too).

  2. wow, that Hall of Shame site is frightening! i guess i am an encourager of disease, too. i have always wanted to have something in common with Jenny McCarthy!

  3. I have to admit that I’ve been one of those parents that don’t vaccinate and Autism is one of the main reasons that I don’t. I’m writing this out of pure naiveness because I only know little bits about autism, but I seem to hear all these stories about how vaccines have prompted autism like behaviors. Awhile back I watched an Oprah where they had video from two weeks before vaccinations and then two weeks after vaccinations. There was a very huge difference in this child. The before was a cheerful, energetic child where the “after vaccinations” was a very different little boy. I’m sure you’ve probably seen this. Help educate me, because this is what replays through my head when I even think about vaccines.

    Thanks Fee.

  4. Jill, I have those videos of my daughter. Before…happy, energetic, very social, afterwards…following her around with a camera begging her to look at me, talk to me, just stop WALKING for two seconds, because all she did AFTER recovering from her 108º temp and staring spells was walk in circles about five foot diameter, flipping a pencil up and down.

  5. The purpose of the site is not to criticize Jenny as a person or or make any statements about homeschooling but to explain exactly why Jenny is demonstrably wrong with regards to the science on this issue and why you shouldn’t worry about getting your children vaccinated because the very thing Jenny and those who share her ideology publicly claim to want, safe vaccines, already exists in the here and now. No, they’re not 100% safe but nothing is 100%. Vaccines are, however, about 95% safe, pretty much as safe as things come.

    The statement, “Ms. McCarthy has no educational background, and no license to give any type of medical advice on any medically related topic” is an entirely valid criticism given that we’re talking about life and death medical issues. Not only does she not have a piece of paper attesting expertise on these matters but there’s nothing in her background to suggest any real reasonable medical education on which to justify her split from the consensus of 99% of the experts who’ve studied these matters their whole life and have evidence to support those conclusions.

    And while we don’t doubt Jenny and company’s sincerity in their view, the degree of one’s confidence in a belief does not necessarily correlate with the validity of said belief. And in Jenny’s case, it simply has the misfortune of being completely wrong. The evidence illustrating why it is wrong is presented on the website, which is constantly being updated and will soon include a FAQ section.

    For every testimony of a perceived timing coincidence between vaccination and appearance of autism symptoms, the real scientific community is capable of presenting dozens more of children who have died simply because they weren’t vaccinated against easily preventable diseases. That is why Stop Jenny exists and why it’s so important that parents gain autism awareness. . . real autism awareness. Unlike Jenny, Stop Jenny doesn’t simply ask people to trust us but rather asks people to think critically and investigate the evidence for themselves. We’re trying to draw further attention to this issue and give people a jumping off point on which to begin their own investigations.

  6. Actually, I think everyone should worry about getting their kids vaccinated and I do not in any way consider someone an expert just because a piece of paper says that they are.
    My child is an individual who is not recognized as such by a vase web of pharmaceutical companies, CEO’s, politicians and medical personnel who believe and spread the misguided information that vaccines are 95% safe.

    The point about homeschooling is to say that I do not have teaching credentials, but I know what is best for my child and so I choose to homeschool and do a pretty great job. Jenny McCarthy does not need credentials to make valid decisions about her son’s health.

    I neither attest to vaccines causing autism or being totally benign, but I am absolutely disgusted by the lack of choice that some would have us be victims of. As parents it is our right to vaccinate or not to, regardless of our reasons, and should be respected as such.

  7. “Actually, I think everyone should worry about getting their kids vaccinated and I do not in any way consider someone an expert just because a piece of paper says that they are.
    My child is an individual who is not recognized as such by a vase web of pharmaceutical companies, CEO’s, politicians and medical personnel who believe and spread the misguided information that vaccines are 95% safe.”

    I agree with this 100%.
    I believe in INFORMED CHOICE when it comes to vaccination. I did not have this choice for over 12 years. Now that I do, I have informed myself through *research* and have made the choice (my right as a parent) not to vaccinate any more. Individual children’s needs are not one-size-fits-all, and their health care shouldn’t be, either.

  8. Bianca, this has already been addressed. It’s not about a piece of paper but a demonstrated understanding of the science. Just like I would demand a trained surgeon to perform a needed operation, I demand that the people providing medical information have a demonstrated knowledge of what they’re talking about. Jenny has no such knowledge and her information she presents is wrong. Much of the evidence for this is available on the site.

    And the purpose of the site is not a political one. That is why nowhere on the site do we discuss the politics of whether or not vaccines should be legally mandated or not. Lastly, you are suggesting that the scientific consensus regarding the safety of vaccines is merely a faith-based belief. This is not the case. Numerous studies over the years confirm this. If you have data that proves vaccines are less successful, please present it to a peer-reviewed medical journal.

  9. I’m just chiming in here to point out that there are other issues to the vaccination debate than just autism. Some of us parents who are concerned about vaccines see it as a much bigger picture than just the question of a connection between vaccines and autism. One aspect of course if the right to make choices about our children’s healthcare, and another is the larger picture of health as more than just a battle against disease, that is, health as an approach to living that includes working with our natural immunity through nutrition and other holistic approaches.

    The 95% safe comment really rubs me the wrong way, because I know that the questions aren’t anywhere near that easily quantifiable. For each available vaccine there is a benefit to risk assesment that is complicated by risk of exposure to the disease as well as the severity of the disease and the risk of both short term and long term reactions to the vaccine (which will always be somewhat unknown).

    I know this is a bit off topic as far as autism, I’m just trying to broaden the scope of understanding as far as possible objections to the stopjenny website. I’m not a fan of Jenny McCarthy for a number of reasons, but I’m also a parent who guards my rights to make decisions for my children based on my beliefs and values (and my research) as I see fit.

  10. That’s fine if you want to debate the politics of whether or not certain vaccines should be voluntary or mandatory but my point is that this seems like a poor criticism of the Stop Jenny website because the site never addresses this political issue. The site strictly is concerned with the contrasting specifically what Jenny McCarthy is saying about vaccines and autism with the actual scientific facts about these things.

    Now I’d be happy to look at any peer-reviewed, controlled studies or evidence you might have that suggests that vaccines are significantly less than 95% safe and that holistic “medicine” is an effective form of medical treatment.
    But if this is just your personal opinion or belief, that’s not a good enough reason to justify changing the data on the site as I can assure you that that data is not only quantifiable but quantified. Further every study is required to report the appropriate error bars and medical professionals determine a risk vs. benefit ratio for every procedure based on not just generalities but for each specific patient.

  11. Wow, you really aren’t even understanding what my point was. I was trying to help you understand how the approach your website takes to offering information might turn off people who might have some sympathy for your overlying message. I have no interest in debating anything with you.

    When I used the term “holistic” I didn’t mean any form of “medical treatment”. If you can’t understand that treating or fighting disease isn’t the only way to approach health or wellness than we really don’t have anything to discuss.

    I won’t comment anymore on this post. Phoebe, I do think that you and I are on the same page on all of this. I honestly don’t know if vaccines cause autism. I am not afraid of autism. My beautiful niece is autistic, and I’m so glad to know you and to have my ideas about autism enlarged by your wonderful kids. I know that your family is happy and a beautiful example of what I wish for my family. I miss you guys.

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