There has been much talk about the recently published study by Dr. Teresa Deisher from Sound Choice Pharmaceuticals that shows a correlation between vaccines produced in cell lines procured from aborted fetuses and the incidence of autism.
The reaction in my estimation has been polarized. Either people love it and are telling all their friends that the MMR, Hep A and chickenpox vaccines cause autism, or they are dismissing the study as bad science. With such a contentious subject, I think this is pretty normal.
I would like to stand somewhere in the middle. This study does not prove that these vaccines cause autism. I don’t think Deisher, et al. would say that. This study shows a correlation between the use of these vaccines and the incidence of autism.
Let me go back to middle school science and go over the scientific method. The first step is to notice a relationship between A and B and come up with a hypothesis that A causes B. The next step is to construct a sound experiment to prove that A actually causes B. It may be that B causes A, or that A causes C which in turn may cause B. If said experiment shows a direct causal effect between A and B, then more experiments need to be constructed to continually prove that A causes B. If much data is collected that proves that under tightly controlled circumstances that A does in fact cause B, then we can say that A causes B.
Where does the Deisher study fall in this process? In my estimation it is only step one. Deisher has collected much data to come up with a reasonable hypothesis that these vaccines may cause autism. Good for her for coming up with an alternative hypothesis to a baffling disease. This should be investigated further, but it is not a study that definitely proves these vaccines cause autism. There is so much more work to do and I thank Dr. Deisher for taking on the challenge. In the discussion, the study states:
The strong ecological association between human fetal cell line-manufactured vaccines and autistic disorder change points calls for further investigation of these childhood vaccine contaminants, and for the sake of preserving critical vaccination coverage, even a return to animal-based manufacturing.
I agree that further investigation is needed. I, for one, would like to know more.
Here is the problem. As I said before, this is not proof that vaccines grown in fetal cell lines cause autism. Anyone who insists that it is, is doing a disservice to parents who struggle with the decision to vaccinate. Until a direct causal relationship is proven, all we can say is that there may be a correlation.
I believe these vaccines are important to the health and well-being of children. I believe it is acceptable for parents to use these vaccines to protect their children and consequently people in the community who are immune compromised or cannot get vaccinated. My mother’s desk mate in the second grade died from the measles. I know that vaccines are an effective way to prevent the spread of disease.
Use of vaccines grown in aborted fetal cell lines is acceptable because right now there are no alternatives. That does not mean we should not be vocal in our objection to the use of fetal cell lines that came from the murder of an innocent. We must demand alternatives. We may be ignored, but we should still be vocal.
That is my two cents.