2/03/2010

A Martyr Made: OSR and Wakefield, Anything to save the Children

Stagliano has a piece up on Huff that, while is nowhere near the steaming pile of horse manure that her Offit-pope was, still leaves the mind reeling.
"I'd like to provide the voice of an autism Mom, hoarse from yelling into the wind for a cumulative total of thirty seven years."
Creative math! See, see, see, look, I've got three kids, so I've got lots and lots of years experience, so I get to add them all up. If Stagliano's hoarse, perhaps she ought to consider that her rhetoric is her problem. The flat earthers and the new earthers are hoarse.The 9-11 truthers are hoarse. The holocaust deniers are hoarse. All for damn good reasons. So are the folks who persist in misguided ideas that vaccines are to blame for autism, that mercury is to blame, that lyme disease is to blame, and the SV-40 is to blame.
"You see, I have three daughters with autism, ages 15, 13 and 9."
I have three children, too. Let's add up their years: 20, 8, 6. Damn. I guess she wins, huh, with the creative math? That's okay, I've got friends who could beat her if they used their children's ages. Notice the appeal to pity and authority here by Stagliano, twinned together. There is no substance, none. And notice, if you caught her on CNN, if you're paying attention around AoA, that they are backpedalling. Wakefield never said the MMR caused autism. Okay. Then why the hell is he one of the pedestals of the movement? Hmmm?
"Autism isn't an abstract battle ground to me."
Who the fuck is it an abstract battleground for? The GMC or the Lancet? So, they should ignore Wakefield's lapses because you have to deal with autism and anything to cure and recover your children, right?
"I don't write about autism to gather virtual high fives from a like minded community or to protect an industry or my own turf."
Who is she talking about and to? What's her frikking point? Oh, I get it, she's saying the GMC did this to curry favor with the medical and pharmaceutical companies. This post by Stagliano is all about protecting her turf. It's all about high fives, as well, or she wouldn't need to censor dissentors on AoA. The whole idea that the GMC hearings and the Lancet retraction could have anything to do with censoring autism treatments is absurd on its face. But, she's had a rough month, hasn't she, what with the whole mining chelator on her children's breakfast food? What's a gal to do but entrench?
"My family eats, sleeps, breathes and ultimately, will die, with autism overshadowing every move we make."
See, there's your martyr, there's your poor pity me. Lovely, isn't it? Yeah, "overshadowing" is overly dramatic and emphasizes everything that autism has cost her. She's just loads of fun, isn't she? I'm sure her children appreciate knowing they are such burdens on her. My bright boy will be by my side until I die, but his autism and cognitive impairment do not overshadow my life or my every move. They guide and influence, yes, but that was what I signed up for when I became a mother. Even if my children were "normal," their entire being would guide and direct my movements for the rest of my life. They are my life and my breath. To see their issues as burdens would be a choice. It is a choice I refuse to make. It is a choice Stagliano and kind could also refuse to make.

"We need a thousand doctors like Andrew Wakefield, who are willing to risk their careers and reputations in order to find out what is happening to our children and how to heal them."
Oh, hell to the no we do not. And it isn't about slapping other's backs metaphorically or not. We do not need doctors like Wakefield. We do not need doctors like Geier. We do not need researchers like Haley. I'm sure Stagliano is convinced that these people aren't snake oils salesman, just like she's convinced she's not doing AoA to get high fives. She's all about the children.

Wakefield's Thoughtful House is all about  helping the kids, healing them. Of course they are, all while charging close to 400 dollars an hour to do so. Damn, that's generous.

Stagliano thinks this is helping, though:

"That's what physician scientists do after all. Help and heal."

Damn straight that's what they should do. They should do so ethically without having one hand in a lawyer's wallet, too.  And they shouldn't run invasive procedures that don't need to be done. And they shouldn't send their samples to labs they have more than a reasonable idea isn't equipped to handle the tests.
After all, we should consider the kids, the folks with autism. Stagliano says so:


"I implore you to consider the patients. Remember the children, young adults and older persons with autism for whom GI disorders and other medical conditions are a very real problem."

Let's. Let's remember that. Let's remember that they deserve to be cared for by ethical, honest, competent practitioners. They are not experimental lab rats. They are not guinea pigs. They deserve better.

3 comments:

Kristen said...

"My family eats, sleeps, breathes and ultimately, will die, with autism overshadowing every move we make."

My husband and son have an ASD, my daughters have blond hair, so what? It doesn't define our family, it is just who we are.

"I'd like to provide the voice of an autism Mom..."

She forgot 'irrational'. This woman does not speak for me, it is very sad that she can't see how precious and unique her children are. Screw normal.

Squillo said...

If I felt about my kid's atism the way Ms. Stagliano does, I think I'd be even angrier at Wakefield than I am.

Quite aside from his ethical shenanigans, his well-documented scientific misconduct sent autism research down a rabbit-hole that set back the search for a cause--and prevention and cure--years.

It requires an astounding level of double-think to continue defending Wakefield, regardless of what the GMC found. It's indicative of the fact that, to some, the idea of linking vaccines (especially MMR) to autism--in any way possible--has become the essential cause. It's ass-backwards.

KWombles said...

Hi, Kristen. I agree on it all! :-)

Squillo, maybe we should just call them the ass-backwards movement?