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.