Medical Misinformation on Network TV
A new ripped-from-the-headlines courtroom drama, "Eli Stone," premiers on ABC Thursday night, and in the first episode, our hero (Eli Stone) takes on an evil pharmaceutical company that manufactures children's vaccines. Stone's client is the mother of a child with autism.
The episode concludes with a $5.2 million jury award for the mother, leaving viewers with the impression that the old claim that vaccines cause autism is true — or is at least as likely as the charge that smoking causes cancer. See the New York Times review.
The National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) is calling on ABC to cancel the episode. The organization issued a press release:
There is no definitive scientific study that proves a direct link between autism and vaccines. In fact, vaccines have been proven to be one of the most powerful, cost-effective public health interventions ever developed. "It is disheartening to know that a television show will air misinformation that could have detrimental effects on our children's health. Parents are urged to continue vaccinating their children to protect them from preventable diseases" said Carolyn Jaramillo de Montoya, MSN, CPNP, president of NAPNAP.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is calling the TV show "the height of reckless irresponsibility."
To learn more about autism or vaccines visit http://www.napnap.org/, http://www.aap.org/ or http://www.cdc.gov/.