Today, I sent the following letter to Renée R. Jenkins, M.D., of the American Academy of Pediatrics, who led the effort to chastise ABC for its plan to air an episode of its new lawyer drama, Eli Stone, this Thursday, in which anti-vaccine zealots who think vaccines cause autism are valorized:
Dear Dr. Jenkins,
We are writing to congratulate you on your bold, science-based statement regarding the premiere episode of the new drama series Eli Stone on ABC.
We at the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH.org) particularly admire your intervention because we find that all too often, physicians and scientists remain mute when science and medicine are distorted. Your letter and press release have already had a positive effect, prompting ABC to add a disclaimer alerting viewers--many of whom will be parents unaware of the facts on vaccine safety--to the fictional nature of these irresponsible allegations.
We believe that as a result of your efforts, fewer parents viewing Eli Stone will come away believing that there is a causal link between childhood vaccinations and autism. In all likelihood, many children will be spared illness--and worse--that might accompany the fear-induced avoidance of recommended vaccines.
Dr. Elizabeth Whelan
American Council on Science and Health