abortion, autism, celebrity, drugs, Jenny McCarthy, Jim Carrey, Mother Jones, nanny state, Science, Thalidomide, vaccination
Actors Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey are taking a drubbing in the press for maintaining their stance that certain vaccinations promote autism in children now that the publication that originally published the allegations has distanced itself from them. This is something of a change from the more mixed press coverage McCarthy received before these latest revelations.
The suggestion seems to be that Hollywood celebrities like McCarthy and Carrey have no scientific expertise. This would hold more weight if some of Hollywoodland’s more ridiculously non-scientific beliefs were examined more closely.
Moreover, as the Mother Jones article would suggest, many people believe that it is immoral for parents not to vaccinate their children. Again, this argument might make sense if there were some consistency in how we as a society view the rights of individuals to dictate what goes in their own bodies. Abortion is as a choice; drug use (illegal drugs, I mean–not the ones which keep pharmaceutical executives fat) is not. Where does vaccination fall within this ethical continuum?
I am not a scientist; I can’t say who’s correct, but I guess I’d side with the preponderance of medical evidence over the opinions of Drs. McCarthy & Carrey. But before we burn McCarthy at the stake, let’s try to keep things in perspective: even science is fallible.
I believe that Jenny McCarthy has a child affected with autism after an innocculation, so she is speaking from personal experience; and she is not alone. I don’t say Ms McCarthy is right; I’m saying that people can only speak from their personal experiences. My husband has been vilified for having ‘non-existent’ CFS/ME, but his suffering is very real.
For the record: I had my own children innocculated despite the bad publicity, because I would rather have an autistic child than a dead one; but they suffered no adverse reactions. As I understand it, however, autism manifests itself around the same age the MMR jab is given and so the link may be a matter of coincidence; but who are we to say that a parent who suspects the link to be fact should not be allowed to say so? One day she may be proven right and we may be thanking her for her courage.
I agree not to burn McCarthy at the stake for her stance against vaccinations…..she gives us other reasons to do that (joke). I think its arrogant of her and Carrey to assume that just because they are celebrities, people will listen to them. True, tv stars do having louder voices. But if you are a wise parent, you will do your own research and not refrain from vaccinating your children just because 2 movie stars say not to. It’s irresponsible. Make your own decisions
Some Guy said:
It’s not at all arrogant for McCarthy and Carrey to assume that people will listen to them just because they’re celebrities—it’s obvious that people will. What’s arrogant is the assumption that people should listen to them about anything outside their actual area of expertise. If I want to know how to act like a jackass on film, I’m not going to look for an explanation from a scientist. Likewise, we shouldn’t put a whole lot of stock in the scientific advice we get from actors.
We couldn’t agree more. We generally disregard the opinions of celebrities, excepting, of course, the real estate advice of Mr. Erik Estrada.