The Autism-Vaccine Debate: What We Can Learn

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If there’s one thing we can be sure about, it’s that the MMR vaccine doesn’t cause autism. Multiple court cases have ruled this causal relationship out because the evidence doesn’t prove the link and cannot be replicated. In addition, co-authors of the original study, the study’s publisher, and the UK General Medical Council have all ruled the hypothesis unsound and guided by unethical motivation.

Now that we can rest knowing our children will be protected from mumps, measles, and rubella without the risk of developing autism, the bigger question to ask is:

How did all this happen?

How did one study, conducted in 1998, cause such a storm? Why did it take 12 years for us to finally put this suggestion to rest? What toll has this common misconception taken on children receiving vaccines and on autism research?

These are the questions I want to research in the upcoming months. What we find can help shed light on how and why false cures gain popularity and what effects they have on the community. In autism treatment, these quick-fix cures abound; let’s look at why.

If you have suggestions, ideas, or sources please comment.

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