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Not Only Fiction, But Badly Mistaken Fiction February 2, 2008

Posted by Jim Satterfield in Media, Medical Research, Science & Society, Science & the Media.
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When I heard about ABC’s new show, Eli Stone, I thought it sounded like an interesting premise that could be fun to watch so I tuned in for the premier the other night. But as the New York Times notes today the case that attorney Stone finds himself switching sides on is a really bad example to use when it comes to representing the underdog as justice for the average person over the large corporation. It’s so bad I couldn’t bring myself to watch the whole show because they are pushing an idea that has been disproven multiple times. The case involves a woman convinced that the mercury in the preservative of the vaccine that her son received is responsible for his autism. This idea has been researched to death and not, as happens in some cases, purely by the manufacturer. Some of the most prestigious health care organizations in the world don’t agree with this belief. In fact, as the NYT piece points out, the rate of autism has continued to increase even as vaccine manufacturers have phased out the use of mercury in childhood vaccines. But the writers and producers of the show ignored facts, ignored logic and chose to fan the flames of finger pointing that has lost any connection to reality. I just don’t know if I can reward that kind of bad taste by ever watching their show.

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