Despite encountering outrage from the American Academy of Pediatrics, ABC said Monday that it plans to go ahead with the planned broadcast of an episode of the new legal drama Eli Stone in which the title character convinces a jury that mercury in a vaccine was responsible for a child's autism. The Academy and numerous health authorities, including the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, dispute such claims, citing many studies that rule out any link between childhood vaccines and autism. In a statement, AAP President Dr. Renée Jenkins said, "A television show that perpetuates the myth that vaccines cause autism is the height of reckless irresponsibility." She said that if parents who watch the program "choose to deny their children immunizations, ABC will share in the responsibility for the suffering and deaths that occur as a result." The network said that it would agree to air a
disclaimer at the opening of the show stating that the story is fictional.
Whoever (whomever?) greenlit this script should be beaten. Anyone who doesn't vaccinate their kids because they're worried about the unproven and unlikely mercury-autism link should be beaten. Anyone who chooses not to vaccinate their kids because they watched Eli Stone should be beaten twice.
My kid (due in 6 weeks) will get the Hep B vaccine within an hour of birth, and he'll get every vaccine on the vaccination schedule. If I were having a girl (or already had one), she'd be getting the HPV vaccine ASAP.
I'm doubly bummed by this news because I really like Jonny Lee Miller (although I hadn't planned to watch the show).
I'm sure Bad Science will have something shortly, too.