Thursday, 25 April 2013
Who is to blame for measles outbreak? Yuppies, or Yippies?
The possible spread of the the measles outbreak in Swansea should be a real cause for concern and not just for parents who swallowed the Andrew Wakefield discredited claims for a link between the MMR jab and autism. It's easy to say, "Oh! I blame the parents", much as we would regarding child sex abuse in the Catholic Church. Why let your kids associate with, and show respect to, a known set of paedophiles, and so on. More justifiable is the blame attached to the press, nothing sells like a good health scare. Why it's almost as good as a royal scandal. Well there's a health scare now all right and it's a real one this time. Ben Goldacre was on the case regarding Wakefield right from the start and much interesting detail can be found on his site. But apart from gullible but well meaning parents and equally gullible but totally amoral journos I feel that some of the blame may lie a bit closer to home. The radical movement of the 60's and 70's wanted more than a mere economic revolution, we wanted to change everything. To call into question everything and although a great deal of good came out of this we also, in some instances at least, threw the baby out with the bathwater. I know from bitter experience how perfectly viable political groups ended up peering into their own stern-tubes and drowning in a mire of homoeopathy and tarot readings. Science was a part of "the system" and to be treated with suspicion and eventually much of this would filter through to the mainstream leaving us with a lot of people who are more inclined to listen to some New Age bullshit than the dull (but knowledgeable) local GP.