Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Avoid Embarrassment; Read Citizen Cain

Thanks to Orac, I have recently become aware of a population that is suffering . . .from lack of reading Citizen Cain. HealthLawProf quotes a reader, in this post, making a blunder that could have been easily avoided had the reader, or the HealthLawProf, only made Citizen Cain a daily part of his/her reading. The post states (links and emphasis added):
I just read Arthur Allen's article in Slate after linking to it from your blog. I am the father of an eight-year-old autistic boy, and, like many parents of kids on the autism spectrum, I think it's premature to take one side or the other on the thimerosal debate. I certainly do not accept the thimerosal/autism connection hook, line and sinker. I also agree with others who believe RFK, Jr.'s recent article overstated the case. Mr. Allen's article, on the other hand, goes way, way too far in the other direction, IMHO. He glosses over some facts, conflates issues (e.g., citing research tending to invalidate the MMR vaccine/autism connection, which has nothing to do with the thimerosal debate) and, most tellingly, completely ignores at least one major development -- the recent DECLINE in the incidence in autism diagnoses as measured by the State of California, a decline which roughly coincides with the removal (or least reduction) of thimerosal from childhood vaccines. . . . The data are far from conclusive, and the decline, at least from my lay perspective, seems modest, but how does Mr. Allen get away with ignoring this news?

Faithful readers, having read this post, you know why Mr. Allen could safely ignore the supposed news of a decline in autism diagnoses in California. Because there is no such decline, despite an erroneous David Kirby article in the Huffington Post. Autism diagnoses among young children continue to rise; there has been a slowdown in the rate of increase in the overall autism case load, likely because of increased numbers of older autistics dropping out of the system.

Let this be a lesson. To avoid embarrassing blunders, read Citizen Cain every day.

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