A little indelicate but, then, that describes Jenny as well.
But wait, you ask, 'lives', Drek? Isn't that a little harsh?
No. It isn't. Not only are folks who promote the vaccines --> autism nonsense placing our lives at risk directly- by facilitating the spread of preventable infectious disease- they are also indirectly leading to more problems with autism. See, every dollar used to promote an incorrect association between vaccines and autism is a dollar that could have been spent on autism research. Likewise, every dollar spent combating these blowhards is a dollar that could have been spent of preventative medicine instead. So, yes, there are essentially casualties associated with this insanity. And I'm not the only person who thinks so.
An enterprising individual or individuals have recently* established the Jenny McCarthy Body Count page, which explains itself thusly:
Jenny McCarthy is a celebrity from the United States. She is most well known for posing nude as a Playboy Playmate, for picking her nose on the MTV show Singled Out, and for being the girlfriend of actor/comedian Jim Carrey.
In 2002 she gave birth to a son named Evan. In 2006 she started promoting Evan as being a “Crystal Child” and herself as being an “Indigo Mom”.
In May 2007 Jenny McCarthy announced that Evan was not a “Crystal Child” after all, but had been diagnosed with autism (there is a possibility that he may have been misdiagnosed). She holds on to the mistaken belief that Evan’s alleged autism was caused by his receiving childhood vaccines. Most anti-vaccination believers claim that the compound thimerosal led to an increase in autism cases. The Measles/Mumps/Rubella vaccine is their usual target. However, thimerosal was never used as a preservative in the Measles/Mumps/Rubella vaccine. All vaccines licensed since 1999, with the exception of a few multidose container vaccines, have not contained thimerosal as a preservative. Autism has not declined since 1999, thereby scientifically disproving this connection. In addition, Jenny McCarthy's child, Evan, was not born until 2002, well after thimerosal had been removed from most childhood vaccines.
In June 2007 Jenny McCarthy began promoting anti-vaccination rhetoric. Because of her celebrity status she has appeared on several television shows and has published multiple books advising parents not to vaccinate their children. This has led to a dramatic increase in the number of vaccine preventable illnesses as well as an increase in the number of vaccine preventable deaths.
Jenny McCarthy has a body count attached to her name. This website will publish the total number of vaccine preventable illnesses and vaccine preventable deaths that have happened since June 2007 when she began publicly speaking out against vaccines.
Is Jenny McCarthy directly responsible for every vaccine preventable illness and every vaccine preventable death listed here? No. However, as the unofficial spokesperson for the United States anti-vaccination movement she may be indirectly responsible for at least some of these illnesses and deaths and even one vaccine preventable illness or vaccine preventable death is too many.
If you visit the site you'll see two counters: one for "Number of Preventable Cases," (currently at 720) and one for "Number of prevantable deaths" (currently at 142). And they have links to the statistics to back up their figures. And they provide a good set of resources for folks who want more information from people who have the training and experience to evaluate the safety of vaccines.**
Take a look around. It's stark, it's direct, and it's absolutely right.
* And by "recently" I really mean "recently I became aware of".
** Hint: This does not include former Playboy models. She may be a very nice person, but she's a long way from being a physician or biomedical researcher.
As a random aside: It concerns me that NewSocProf regards me as a "disciplined blogger." Seriously? Me? I just like to talk. A lot. Discipline doesn't enter into it.