The American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM), a national medical specialty society representing primary care and public health physicians who administer individual and community immunization programs, has called on ABC to cancel or revise the medical content of its program, Eli Stone, which suggests a connection between vaccines that contain thimerosal and autism. The show is scheduled to air Thursday, January 31.
As reported in The New York Times, the show depicts a lawyer who argues in court that a vaccine caused a childs autism. While the program includes statements that science has refuted any link between autism and vaccines, the episodes conclusion provides viewers with a very different impression; the jury awards the mother $5.2 million, leaving audiences with the potentially lethal misimpression that vaccines cause autism.
In light of the numerous, extensive, and authoritative studies that show no link between vaccines containing thimerosal and autism, ABCs Eli Stone could seriously damage ongoing public health efforts to increase immunization rates across all populations, said Michael D. Parkinson, MD, MPH, FACMP, president of the ACPM. We feel that ABCs decision to promote this false belief has the potential to significantly thwart important advancements weve made towards protecting our nations public health from disease.
ACPMs President-Elect and Executive Director of the Jefferson County Department of Health in Colorado added, The parents I talk to everyday dont understand the difference between the various vaccines that we recommend for their children and anything that implies that there is a danger with one will lead many parents to neglect them all.
|Contact: Paul Bonta|
American College of Preventive Medicine