5.18.2010

PBS and Vaccinations


Enjoy Birth made an observation today regarding Vaccine Wars. And I agree.

My number one goal is to make sure that parents are making extremely informed choices regarding their families health care. I don't have an issue when your choices are not mine, the professional in me has no judgment, as long as it is done with true INFORMED choice.

PBS Frontline recently did a bit called Vaccine Wars. I knew when I saw it scheduled to air that it was going to be a promotion for vaccinations rather than a balanced debate allowing families the chance to glean both sides and make educated choices. I knew I was going to be upset. If you so choose, you can see the whole thing on the site referenced above.

Doubly frustrating was the fact that Dr. Jay Gordon's extensive interview was completely left out of the final product. He responds here.

Although I understand the need to cut some people from the show because of time constraints, some points he makes about that issue are:
"The Frontline show was disgraceful. You didn't even have the courtesy to put my interview or any part of the two hours we spent taping on your web site.

You created a pseudo-documentary with a preconceived set of conclusions: "Irresponsible moms against science" was an easy takeaway from the show."...

"No one pursued Dr. Offit's response about becoming rich from the vaccine he invented. He was allowed to slide right by that question without any follow up...."
"Jenny McCarthy resumed being a "former Playboy" person and was not acknowledged as a successful author, actress and mother exploring every possible avenue to treating her own son and the children of tens of thousands of other families."
I am, otoh, very very happy to see Dr. Sears' interview there. He shares intimate information as to his opinion of many of the books on the market that question vaccinations. I love that he talks about his alternative vaccination schedule, I don't love that the questions are very slanted to portray the CDC and vaccination/schedule that is already in place as superior and the best choice. I do love that Dr. Sears says that, although he trusts the CDC, he believes that the system could be better.

And finally, I LOVE that he advocates for physicians to man-up (so to speak) and simply admit when vaccines do give children bad reactions - which can save those children from further harm.

So, all in all, I don't like war, but I like good healthy debate, a parent's complete right to full and informed options and risks, and I like doctors being held accountable to honesty when medicine goes awry.

6 comments:

delightfulpregnancy said...

I saw the second half of the PBS show and I whole-heartedly agree with your take on it. (I really should go back and watch the first half, but I already have blood pressure problems! As in, it would send my BP a'risin!) I told my husband about the show and described it very similar to descriptions in this post...the "irresponsible mothers vs. scientists."

And yes, they made Jenny McCarthy look totally uncredible. There's was lots of fear-factor tactics used in their presentation. Ironically, I was watching this with the family i work for...I was doing some laundry folding while they had it on. When the show ended, the family was all commenting about what a balanced view the show had!! It took a lot of self control not to blow my wad. :)

I did not know that Dr. Gordon's interview was completely left out of the show. Sad. Thanks for posting this. I'm with you, Nicole, in that no matter what decision parents make, at least make sure it's a totally informed decision.

P.S. Added you to birth blogroll on my new blog. :)

momcostume said...

I agree with you...and it's really uncool that the popular media keeps messing with the way they share facts and opinions.

Sheridan said...

Thanks! I totally agree, debate is good, but you need both sides presented to be a debate.

I think that they think war makes better TV.

birthamiracle said...

I didn't know PBS did this show, but I'm going to post your link to my blog's June favorites because some of my readers would enjoy your response I'm sure! It is SO dissapponting that those concerned about vaccination are not given a fair chance. You know it's all about who has the most money (and government approval) that gets the media support. These people are just desperate to protect their image and will do anything they can to attack the other side! Ugh!

birthamiracle said...

I didn't know PBS did this show, but I'm going to post your link to my blog's June favorites because some of my readers would enjoy your response I'm sure! It is SO dissapponting that those concerned about vaccination are not given a fair chance. You know it's all about who has the most money (and government approval) that gets the media support. These people are just desperate to protect their image and will do anything they can to attack the other side! Ugh!

birthamiracle said...

I didn't know PBS did this show, but I'm going to post your link to my blog's June favorites because some of my readers would enjoy your response I'm sure! It is SO dissapponting that those concerned about vaccination are not given a fair chance. You know it's all about who has the most money (and government approval) that gets the media support. These people are just desperate to protect their image and will do anything they can to attack the other side! Ugh!

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