home
RSS
Celebrities can be bad for your health
Jenny McCarthy is vocal critic of childhood vaccines, placing blame for her son’s autism on his vaccinations.
June 7th, 2012
03:57 PM ET

Celebrities can be bad for your health

Dr. Anthony Youn is a plastic surgeon in metro Detroit. He is the author of “In Stitches,” a humorous memoir about growing up Asian-American and becoming a doctor.

Two days ago, I saw a commercial for Jenny McCarthy’s show, “Love in the Wild.” I suspect that I’m not the only physician who’s happy to see her host this dating program.

It’s a better alternative than the role she’s held for the past several years: health care adviser.

For years, celebrities have acted as health advocates in the media. Most have limited themselves to pitching products. Wilford Brimley, a diabetic, acted as a spokesperson for Liberty Medical and their at-home diabetes treatments. Larry King has publicly endorsed Garlique, a garlic supplement that could help people with high cholesterol. More recently, soap star Lisa Rinna has endorsed Depends adult undergarments, even wearing them on the red carpet for charity.

Some celebs have stepped beyond product pitching to use their influence to promote health care research. Michael J. Fox has done wonders for encouraging new treatments for Parkinson’s disease. The late Christopher and Dana Reeve brought spinal cord injury research into the national spotlight. And who hasn’t worn a yellow Livestrong bracelet, promoted by Lance Armstrong as a way to help fund cancer studies?

Although these celebrities should be praised for their health care advocacy, others have used their influence to promote highly questionable medical theories.

Suzanne Somers has written more than 19 books on health, beauty and wellness. One of the most popular, "Ageless," promoted bioidentical hormones. But according to Dr. Margery Gass, director of the University Hospital Menopause and Osteoporosis Center in Cincinnati, “There’s absolutely no sound evidence that [bioidentical hormones] are any safer or more effective,” than traditional hormone therapy. In fact, these products, which are typically made in compounding pharmacies or derived from plants, have been described as "potentially dangerous" by the Food and Drug Administration.

And who can forget Tom Cruise’s bizarre anti-psychiatry rant on the "Today" show? While physicians readily admit that we don’t know exactly why certain psychiatric treatments work, patients’ symptoms are undeniably improved by them.

Arguably the worst cases of celebrities as health advocates involve those who promote a link between autism and childhood vaccines.

Some pediatricians are blaming the recent increase in vaccine-preventable diseases on parents opting out of vaccinations for their children. Many of these parents have been influenced by anti-vaccine celebrities. A University of Michigan survey found 24% of Americans place “some trust” in the information provided by celebrities on vaccine safety.

McCarthy has been the most vocal critic of childhood vaccines, placing blame for her son’s autism on his vaccinations. Since 2007, she’s appeared on numerous programs, including "Oprah," making claims about vaccines and autism that aren’t supported by peer-reviewed, scientific research.

One study she has cited, Dr. Andrew Wakefield’s landmark 1998 Lancet article, has since been thoroughly discredited and retracted.

So where are we now?

Vaccine-preventable childhood diseases are making a comeback. In 2010, nearly 10,000 cases of pertussis, or whooping cough, were diagnosed in California, the most since 1940. In 2011, the number of measles cases in the United States reached a 15-year high.  California is now taking matters into its own hands. State Assemblyman Richard Pan, a doctor, recently introduced a bill that would require parents to get counseling from a doctor before opting out of immunizations for their children.

As celebrities continue to exert their influence on the perceptions and beliefs of Americans, physicians are finding that we have to spend more and more time with our patients correcting misinformation.

I hope that bills like the one introduced in California cause celebrities take their influence seriously. With great power and influence comes great responsibility.

The opinions in this commentary are solely those of Dr. Anthony Youn.


soundoff (148 Responses)
  1. Hot Carl

    I heard Jenny on Howard/Sirius this week, WOW!

    June 7, 2012 at 17:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Joe

      Me too, she should sticking to what she does best; which she described on this weeks show and involves her mouth being occupied other than spouting dumb medical advice.

      June 7, 2012 at 18:18 | Report abuse |
    • cleareye1

      Who is Jenny McCarthy and why does she think she's an expert at anything? She looks like a typical witless blonde trying to look like one of Hefner's stablemates.

      June 7, 2012 at 20:28 | Report abuse |
    • cleareye1

      Dingbat!

      June 7, 2012 at 20:31 | Report abuse |
  2. Jimmy

    Who cares! Look at her!

    June 7, 2012 at 17:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mike

      Exactly...look at her but don't listen to a thing that comes out of her mouth. 🙂

      June 7, 2012 at 17:50 | Report abuse |
    • SmokedHookah

      People's lives are on the line.

      June 7, 2012 at 17:53 | Report abuse |
  3. Leucadia Bob

    Finally – a cnn article I can agree with. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2yNM8_QbWQ

    June 7, 2012 at 17:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Leucadia Bob

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2yNM8_QbWQ&w=640&h=360]

    June 7, 2012 at 17:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Locker

    Jenny McCarthy just wants someone or something to blame. She isn't a doctor, isn't a scientist and isn't qualified to make any judgement in this area. Why anyone would listen to some bobbleheaded blond about their kids life long health is beyond me.

    June 7, 2012 at 17:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Nick

      Walk into a Wal-mart and really take a look at some of the people. You will then understand why some people would believe every word of a bobblehead blond.

      June 7, 2012 at 17:59 | Report abuse |
    • ME

      I think you had it at the first sentence. Not trying to White-Knight her - she should STFU and GBTW - but what do you expect from a society that expects there to be a cure or answer for everything?

      There's still things we just have to shrug our shoulders about and say, "we don't know the answer yet". And before someone says it, it's not proof of some supernatural force or being.

      June 7, 2012 at 18:00 | Report abuse |
  6. Leigh

    Am I looking at the fact that she strongly resembles a man?

    June 7, 2012 at 17:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jimmy

      You're kidding, right?

      June 7, 2012 at 17:31 | Report abuse |
    • inewt

      Very square chin, she does look like her gender was a reassignment.
      Regardless, she is a dumbo, and a danger to others when she uses her transient celebrity to give a platform to her ill advised ideas.

      June 7, 2012 at 18:57 | Report abuse |
  7. Jesus

    There's a direct link between autism and women who ingest both prescription and illicit drugs and/or alcohol during pregnancy

    June 7, 2012 at 17:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Syndrome Zed

      No there isn't – I'm one of the people doing the research, and I'm glad someone FINALLY spoke up about this. In fact, I think McCarthy should be held responsible, along with the parents, for every kid that dies from Measles or other vaccination-preventable diseases from now on.

      FYI, the only environmental conditions linked to autism are strong maternal immune system activations, like when the mother gets the flu or another viral infection during pregnancy, and a couple of prescription drugs related to stopping epilepsy. No other illicit drugs have been linked to autism (though knowing the research I would guess ecstasy use during pregnancy might create some risk). Alcohol causes its own syndrome of problems, not autism.

      June 7, 2012 at 18:18 | Report abuse |
    • inewt

      There is a direct link between dumb and dumb.

      June 7, 2012 at 18:58 | Report abuse |
    • serveJBR

      syndrome Zed- thank you for your efforts to clarify, research etc. Do not, however, overlook the fact that many assumptions can be made, but relatively few exact / for-sure determinations can be made when it comes to "perfect science", i.e. we know vaccines have saved millions and millions of lives and are truly medical miracles, but we don't know all the possible side effects, there are too many variables, there is no way to prove that Jenny's son wasn't damaged by vaccines, rather only that most of us don't seem to have been hurt by ours and that most vaccines and boosters do prevent the disease they are intended for. There is some proof, though, that some people have been hurt by vaccines, so again, thank you for the ongoing research. We know many physicians disagree about efficacy, contraindications etc., albeit to a lesser extent than some parents who don't know why their kids brain seems wrecked.
      And, for the record, all you genius' out there judge Jenny, pretty sure she went to Princeton or some Ivy League school / she's no Walmart, genetically defective moron. Her genes may have a defect, but not manifested in her appearance or intelligence as far as I can tell.
      And while you're researching your hypothesis that vaccines are completely safe, maybe you can explain why every ED drug, acne drug, allergy drug etc etc. has million side effects including death, listed in the commercials we all hear over and over, but vaccines are completely safe? I'd be very interested to know if it's because public health officials think the "herd" is dumb and can't decide for ourselves, so a few kids that don't "react" well is OK because we save the herd (... of Walmart shoppers).

      June 7, 2012 at 19:09 | Report abuse |
    • brobin

      They didn't say they were perfectly safe, they said they don't cause autism, and that has been shown over and over again. There are rare and some more common, but minor side effects of Vaccines, which are spelled out. They in no way imply the risk of the vaccine overcomes the risk of the diseases they prevent.

      There are studies linking autism to folic acid deficiency and potentially exposure to some anti-depressants. Feel free to avoid the anti-depressants and take folic acid, but go get your kids vaccinated for the good of everyone.

      June 7, 2012 at 19:25 | Report abuse |
    • Ann

      serveJBR-Perhaps you should focus on researching your facts before spreading false information. Jenny McCarthy did not go to an Ivy league school, she went to Southern Illinois University and she didn't finish. Your inability to cross check facts by simply googling them should make anyone question your credibility. Also, perhaps you should turn to the studies in the journals to make an informed opinion. Sure scientists can be wrong, but just like Dr. Wakefield who had his findings retracted.

      June 7, 2012 at 19:57 | Report abuse |
  8. Jay

    Thank you. I'm sick of celebrities, and other people in general, going around making claims that are completely false or unsupported by any kind of research in an attempt to persuade and convince others of something that is just not true. In my opinion it is down right criminal.

    June 7, 2012 at 17:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • serveJBR

      whatever, "criminal", could be if she's dispensing medical advice, but I haven't heard her say don't, just research it. All I can say is ask your self, How many times have people, scientists ended up being never wrong? Of course I trust my Dr., but is he / she perfect? Have I ever gotten crap service in healthcare? Might the nurse be an idiot who didn't store the shot correctly? Might the company that made the batch have made one mistake in the one dose that my kid got, or her kid got. Maybe. So, don't be too 100% sure about much, could get a surprise at some point. There is no way to know 100% about vaccine safety, all Drs and scientists will admit that, too many variables and some people do have bad reactions. All a study proves is that they haven't found a link. Not that there isn't one. It's like saying Saddam didn't have WMD for sure 100%, just because we didn't find them. It seems he didn't, but it is faulty logic to assume he didn't just because we didn't find them- they may have been taken out of country during the months and months we waited to go in. You have to look at current efficacy before you huff and puff about "criminals". There criminal Dr.s for heaven sake. Is this plastic surgeon article author ethical, doing work that does no harm, or does he scar and maim and disfigure like some do? He might be a criminal.

      June 7, 2012 at 19:21 | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      @serveJBR
      Vaccines are the single greatest success story of modern medicine. The main basis for all autism-vaccine connection is from the Wakefield study which has been discredited, retracted and Wakefield lost his medical license because of it.

      June 7, 2012 at 22:19 | Report abuse |
  9. Pablo

    No offense, but celebrities' "advice" kills WAY less people than medicine. I think it's a bit hypocritical that the medicine that doctors are promoting has essentially killed over 3 million people in the past 27 years, and how many people has Jenny McCarthy's advice, or whoever else has an opinion, killed?

    I could care less about Jenny McCarthy's opinions, I think it's more important to think for yourself, rather than let ANYONE (including Jenny McCarthy, or the doctor that wrote this article) tell you how to think. There's a lot of misinformation out there....

    June 7, 2012 at 17:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • itsdinnertime

      you do realize that before vaccines became available millions of people were dying. just the spanish influenza alone killed at least 50 million people between 1918 and 1920. of course modern medicine isn't perfect, but the alternative is much worse.

      June 7, 2012 at 17:57 | Report abuse |
    • Calichica

      So if you say that medicine has killed way more people than celebrity advice has, does that mean that if you don't take any medicine or get any medical treatment, you'll live forever??? Oh yeah, we still die and medicine isn't fool proof. Cancer treatments can delay the progression of the disease but no one will magically be given immortality with medicine. Medicine is a practice and it isn't perfect but for a celebrity to make medical claims that she has not studied and can find no correlation to is a bit irresponsible especially when children are becoming sick with diseases that can be preventable.

      June 7, 2012 at 18:01 | Report abuse |
    • Pablo

      I never said medicine was bad. I'm talking purely about misinformation in general. Doctors, pharmaceutical companies, and celebrities are equally responsible for misinformation. Medicine has done wonderful things for humanity, but it's also a double-edged sword if you don't read between the lines. That's all I'm saying.

      June 7, 2012 at 18:03 | Report abuse |
    • Vince

      This is a ridiculous assertion. Certainly people have free speech and can "think" whatever they want, but doctors and scientists base everything off of science. Jenny McCarthy was merely looking for something to blame her son's autism on. Also, in order to accurately make a comparison between doctors and Jenny McCarthy you'd have to base that on numbers following advice. You said that "doctors advice has killed 3 million people in the past 27 years". I don't know where this number came from, but this is very small. Assuming that there are 400 million people in the U.S and in 27 years only 3 million have died from advice of doctors? There have been billions of opportunities for doctors to be wrong in 27 years and only 3 million died as a result? Now take Jenny McCarthy, thousands of people have taken her advice. According to the website jennymccarthybodycount.com 888 people have died following Jenny's terrible advice. This is a far greater and obviously it shows that it's far more risky to take Jenny McCarthy's baseless advice versus the advice of scholars.

      June 7, 2012 at 18:03 | Report abuse |
    • Vaccine lover

      10 Kids die every year in California of pertussis. It is vaccine preventable. So she has killed that many and more will die in the coming years. Do people who don't vaccinate kill? Yes they do since they are the vector for preventable disease. Are these people who don't vaccinate a direct health and security risk to the stability of the United States? Absolutely, and so they should choose to be part of herd or be forced to leave.

      June 7, 2012 at 18:04 | Report abuse |
    • Pablo

      Vince, WHO EVER SAID to take Jenny McCarthy's advice vs doctors??? You did!

      June 7, 2012 at 18:14 | Report abuse |
    • Barbara Sheridan

      Amen to that. The medical industrial complex loves to act like they have all the answers, but they clearly do not. I'm not suggesting that doctors should never be consulted or that their medical advice should be automatically rejected, but they are not gods and I agree that sometimes it may be best to question their approach and keep an open mind. However, many doctors' backs immediately go up if you question the basis of what they are telling you, or if you ask about "alternative therapies", which they clearly view as heresy. For example, my husband suffers from chronic back and neck pain. He went to a neurologist who, without conducting any tests, listened to him describe his pain, diagnosed him with restless leg syndrome and reached for a prescription pad to prescribe him seratonin inhibitors. When I balked at the idea that such drugs were necessary to treat the alleged condition and asked him about what other options were available, he was completely uninterested in discussing it further. I asked him about yoga and massage treatments, hardly crazy stuff, that I had read had helped others with similar issues, he just shrugged and said he could try it. When i suggested that perhaps my husband could try those things first without taking drugs that alter his brain chemistry and cause side effects, he just shrugged again, probably because he didn't stand to gain anything from recommending them, whereas I'm sure he'll get a nice junket from Pharma to play golf in the Caribbean as a result of writing those prescriptions. And this was a doctor listed in those "top doctor" guidebooks. Given that "modern medicine" is really not very old in regard to human history, and that for much of human history, medicine has largely been quackery, you'd think they'd be a little more humble.

      June 7, 2012 at 18:15 | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Pablo, you are spreading some misinformation right now. Wow.

      June 7, 2012 at 18:20 | Report abuse |
    • Pablo

      Joe, explain yourself. I'm telling people that they should research things themselves. Not buy into everything that doctors say or Jenny McCarthy. How is that spreading misinformation??

      June 7, 2012 at 18:25 | Report abuse |
    • donna

      So when you're in the ER, do you tell the doctor that you need to wait and research what they are recommending? Don't bash people for listening to their doctors. And it's dangerous to suggest that you can know just as much as your doctor by doing your own research. I live with severe chronic health problems and I do a lot of research, but I also know that I don't have the background to understand the variables like my doctors do.

      "Medicine" is a huge category. The person you are accusing of being hypocritical actually used specific examples of times when medical advocacy from celebrities has been very useful, then he discussed the case where he thought it was harmful. And you think you are thinking more logically to say that he's a hypocrite for doing so when you say that "the medicine doctors are promoting" killed 3 million people? Which doctors, which of the millions of possibilities relating to medicine are you referring to?

      June 7, 2012 at 18:50 | Report abuse |
    • abqTim

      Total offense taken. What kind of math is that???? Medicine since man discovered Herbs has saved 100 of millions of lives. Jenny’s and your dumb math will destroy the world if no one was to ever take another vaccination from now on. You are as bad as her dumb advice. Didn't you read the part about “Vaccine-preventable childhood diseases are making a comeback" It's in no small part to idiotic advice from dumb blondes and their even dimmer followers. Diseases grow exponentially and it won't be long before her stupid medical advice and your stupid math kill many innocent children.

      June 7, 2012 at 18:57 | Report abuse |
    • inewt

      Medicine may not be fool proof, but celebrity is Fool's Proof.

      June 7, 2012 at 19:00 | Report abuse |
    • Dustin

      And how many lives has medicine saved in the past 27 years?

      June 7, 2012 at 19:08 | Report abuse |
  10. cancerman

    Alternative medicine can also be bad for your health,. Flakey, untested scams like "Gerson therapy" that encourage people to stop taking scientifically proven medicines and switch to expensive alternative plans KILL PEOPLE.

    Even Steve Jobs isn't immune to the allure of such scams, toward the end he expressed regret for following a variation of the Gerson therapy rather than more aggressively treating his cancer with scientifically proven medicines.

    Gerson and their like should be held criminally responsible for all the deaths they have directly caused.

    June 7, 2012 at 17:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Pablo

      Cancerman. I have to disagree. The traditional approach to treating cancer, chemotherapy, only "cures" 3 to 6% of all cancer patients (and this is on a 5 year survival span). What happens after 5 years is not recorded, since the chemotherapy itself is carcinogenic.

      The Gerson Therapy you cited, has not killed NEARLY as many people as cancer treatments, or medicine. Last year alone, 250,000 people were killed from medicine, doctor and hospital errors alone.

      Can you cite any sample listing of Gerson Therapy deaths you speak about? I have not heard of any.

      June 7, 2012 at 17:44 | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Pablo = ignorance

      June 7, 2012 at 18:21 | Report abuse |
    • Pablo

      Joe, what are you 7 years old?

      June 7, 2012 at 18:29 | Report abuse |
    • donna

      Pablo, you can't talk about cancers as if they are a single disease. There are like 200 different types of cancer that all have different types of prognoses ranging from curable to hardly treatable, with everything in between. Chemotherapy isn't used for all types of cancers, and your "stats' are meaningless out of context.

      June 7, 2012 at 19:32 | Report abuse |
    • j

      Pablo, you're a dangerous nut. Please stop spreading your misinformation.

      June 7, 2012 at 19:44 | Report abuse |
  11. Publicus

    This website says it all: it keeps tabs on the number of people killed and injured by diseases fully preventable by the vaccines Mccarthy demonized:

    http://jennymccarthybodycount.com/Jenny_McCarthy_Body_Count/Home.html

    June 7, 2012 at 17:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. oz

    Unfortunately many doctors are just as stupid and provide bad information just as much as these celebs.

    June 7, 2012 at 17:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Rain Man

    Doctor can be bad for your brain 😦
    Dear plastic surgeon, do you know current statistics?
    About 1 in 88 children has been identified with an autism spectrum disorder
    (for boys – 1 in 52)
    http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/data.html

    June 7, 2012 at 17:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • toddflanders

      What does those statistics have to do with not trusting doctors? You make no senseLeave the comments to the adults please

      June 7, 2012 at 20:18 | Report abuse |
    • Rain Man

      toddflanders
      I'm very sorry, but you are brainwashed. This plastic surgeon has a very nice skills in this field.
      "So where are we now? In 2010, nearly 10,000 cases of pertussis, or whooping cough, blah, blah, blah.."
      and nothing about current autistic epidemic in US.

      June 7, 2012 at 21:18 | Report abuse |
  14. Todd

    It can be a very dangerous thing to spread unconfirmed information relating to medical treatment.

    I know someone who refused sugary for a benign tumor because they heard you can beat it with an all vegetable "super" diet. Turned out to be noneffective and by the time they realized this, the tumor was to big to be operable.

    The diet in no way harmed this individual, but because it was not effective, you can easily argue that spreading those claims prevented them from undergoing surgery that would have likely saved their life.

    FDA says a product must be safe and effective. Everyone forgets about effective.

    June 7, 2012 at 17:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. nitrous

    I think her son's autism was due to his breast-feeding on her silicone-laden boobies.

    June 7, 2012 at 17:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. SmokedHookah

    Some of the comments are unbelievable.

    We need to promote skepticism and not faith.

    June 7, 2012 at 17:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jimmy

      You're crabby.

      June 7, 2012 at 17:56 | Report abuse |
    • Pablo

      Well said SmokedHookah

      June 7, 2012 at 17:58 | Report abuse |
    • abqTim

      Do you even know what the word "faith" means???? It means "belief that is not based on proof"

      June 7, 2012 at 19:16 | Report abuse |
  17. ME

    What? We're not supposed to get our opinions from celebrities, as they are not likely to be experts in the fields they promote outside of their career? Shocking!

    June 7, 2012 at 17:56 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ME

      However, I must admit.... She's still damn hot.

      June 7, 2012 at 17:57 | Report abuse |
  18. SmokedHookah

    We need to promote skepticism, and not faith.

    The worlds religions have managed to make stupidity into a virtue. Whether we should embrace stupidity or reason is not a matter of debate.

    Everyone would agree that reason is superior for the workplace.

    Why not for many more aspects in our lives?

    June 7, 2012 at 18:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Benjamin

    A highly appropriate article; as Bill Gates points out, the lie about vaccines and autism is a lie that kills.

    June 7, 2012 at 18:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. SmokedHookah

    I hate reality deniers.

    Global warming skeptics, HIV deniers, birthers, Holocaust deniers, and other idiots who try to tarnish the best method that allows us to better navigate through our world have created new religions. It doesn't matter what matter of reasonable argument you present. They will stick to the premise that they are correct no matter what. Like children.

    People should learn more about epistemology.

    June 7, 2012 at 18:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Lola's sister

    "Who hasn't worn a Livestrong bracelet"? you ask? Uh, millions haven't. I haven't. I hate those things. Money wasted on non-recyclable plastic/rubber/poly products that end up in landfills and never biodegrade...what is the point? Most knowledgeable people agree that Lance juiced his way to those victories, but even if he didn't, I don't care about his stupid bracelets, or the pink ribbons and headbands and stickers. I had cancer; my son has autism. I like science; I like research; I like evidence and irrefutable proof. I know, too, that medicine is fallible and that many things are fluid. There are no definites about some of this stuff. But...I really bristle to see "Who hasn't worn..." with reference to those infuriatingly annoying bracelets. As for Reeve, he didn't care about spinal injuries until he got one. Even if his efforts have borne fruit, it's sad that self-interest is what drives these works. Michael J. Fox didn't care about Parkinson's before he was stricken either. As for Ms. McCarthy, she's reason not to watch a show I got a big kick out of last year (the MALE host was most engaging!), and her statements about vaccines and autism have damaged so many people I wish she could be charged, convicted, and imprisoned, not just for the cosmetic surgery and peroxide, but for the promulgation of fiction as fact. So sad. So vile.

    June 7, 2012 at 18:20 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ME

      Wow.. Bitter much? It's called promotional material.

      As for their motivations, why should you care if they're helping because they experienced something first hand? I guess that means you can't promote cancer research because it would be selfish?

      And then there's this gem: "I wish she could be charged, convicted, and imprisoned, not just for the cosmetic surgery and peroxide..." You'd criminalize this? I hope the "just" in that sentence was an error.

      June 7, 2012 at 18:55 | Report abuse |
    • Julie

      You are missing the entire point of the article! I never reply to these comments but this is the most ridiculous thing I have ever read. He was mentioning the Livestrong bracelets to show that celebrities can have good influence in raising money for research. And how on earth can you possibly fault someone for not caring about a cause until it affects them??! And I don't agree with Jenny McCarthy, but you think she should be imprisoned? I just cannot get over the ridiculousness of your comments.

      June 7, 2012 at 18:59 | Report abuse |
    • donna

      I agree with Julie. You seemed to have missed the entire point- and it doesn't rest on whether or not everyone likes those bracelets. And there is nothing wrong with being interested in a cause because of your personal experiences with it. That's how people tend to operate: personal experiences play a major role in personal motivations. Why try to demonize that?

      June 7, 2012 at 19:20 | Report abuse |
  22. Ross

    I am a phamaceutical chemist for 25 years and nobody cares what the truth is about drugs and/or vaccines, they have allready been told what to do by the "experts" at the center for disease control and only get mad if you confuse the issue with facts.

    June 7, 2012 at 18:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • donna

      Not all consumers of medicine think the CDC is infallible or politically neutral.

      June 7, 2012 at 19:27 | Report abuse |
  23. toonapi

    rememb2r what 2 pac said?

    As real as it seems the American Dream
    Ain't nothing but another calculated schemes
    To get us locked up shot up back in chains
    To deny us of the future rob our names
    Kept my history of mystery but now I see
    lady liberty is a hypocrite she lied to me
    Promised me freedom, education, equality
    Never gave me nothing but slavery
    Fathers of our country never cared for me
    They kept my answer shackled up in slavery
    And Uncle Sam never did a dam thing for me
    Except lie about the facts in my history
    Coming straight that resides within
    Go toe to toe with a panther and you just can't win
    Suffered fame bats suppressed the rest
    The rich get richer and the poor can't last
    My Mother never let me forget my history
    Hoping I was set free chains never put on me
    Wanted to be more than just free
    Had to know the true facts about my history
    I couldn't settle for being a statistic
    Couldn't survive in this capitalistic
    Government cause it was meant to hold us back
    Using ignorant, drugs, to sneak attack
    In my community think of unity
    But when I charged them, tried to claim immunity
    I strike America like a case of hard disease
    Panther power is running through my arteries
    Try to stop oh boy you'll be clawed to death
    Cause I'll be fighting for my freedom with my dying breath
    Do you remember that is what I'm asking you?
    You think you living free don't let me laugh at you
    Open your eyes realize that you have been locked in chains
    Said you wasn't civilized and stole your name

    June 7, 2012 at 18:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. BO Stinks

    Who cares about the Hollywood Nuts?

    June 7, 2012 at 18:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. KItty

    I cannot believe this guy is attacking bio-identical hormones, when many of the top doctors nationwide are proponents of them. Suzanne Somers didn't just hatch a goofy idea out of nowhere. She researched and interviewed the top doctors in their fields about the latest in hormonal therapy, cancer treatments and anti-aging. And no one is still sure what causes autism. I suspect the age of both parents play a role, given that people are waiting longer to marry and have children, but who really knows? What a condescending jerk this doctor is!

    June 7, 2012 at 19:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jessie

      As a physician, and a female with many peri-menopausal patients, I have thoroughly looked at the medical literature when it comes to this matter in an effort to find safer alternatives for my patients. Any one can claim to be an expert in a subject area. Anyone can come up with a study that proves whatever he or she wants it to prove. Real scientists use studies with good designs and valid statistical methods to base their decisions. People who aren't trained in science and math cannot tell a good study from a piece of garbage. I have yet to find any statistically significant, well-designed, randomized, placebo-controlled studies that prove that these alternatives work.

      June 7, 2012 at 20:42 | Report abuse |
  26. Jez

    Her botox and filler injections probably caused her son's autism.

    June 7, 2012 at 19:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Jeff

    Jenny McCarthy should be ashamed of herself. How many babies have gotten sick because of her misguided medical advice.
    She might have good advice on where to get a Brazilian wax, but that's it. Go away, evil woman with blonde hair and big boobs.

    June 7, 2012 at 19:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. LGLK

    Anyone see the recent episode of Pregnant in Heels featuring a pregnant lady who refuses to vaccinate her child when he's born because "who gets Polio these days?" and "the colustrum in the breast milk will help the kid fend off Polio or meningitis, etc."? ?!?!?! This is the problem: ignorance coupled with sensationalism of these so-called celebrity "experts" – and just because they're famous! I have 2 kids, one of which is autistic. Had the same doctor, same series of vaccines, spaced out the same way. One is autistic, the other is not. Also, imagine your kid going to the playground, playing near a kid who has not been vaccinated, and who could potentially contract and spread a deadly disease they cannot possibly fight on their own. Please.

    June 7, 2012 at 19:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Jennifer

    Too bad she can't be tried for practicing medicine without a license.

    June 7, 2012 at 19:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. PS

    What about you doctors?! Have you come up with a suitable explanation for why our normal children suddenly display autistic symptoms almost hours after receiving those vaccines? Have you ensured that a follow-up treatment/therapy is administered to kids who suddenly lost their abilities to speech? Have you done any further research into what needs to be done differently to prevent autism after vaccinations? Who cares for your snide essays now? Jenny is just a concerned mother – albeit with a microphone pointed to her mouth. We mothers would have said the same and much more, if only we had her celebrity.

    June 7, 2012 at 19:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Burbank

    Doctors can be bad for your health too! I wish they would stop "practicing" medicine and get down to the real thing!

    June 7, 2012 at 19:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • donna

      Those of us who wouldn't be alive without modern medicine might disagree with you about whether or not they are doing the "real thing." If you want perceived perfection, stick with religion.

      June 7, 2012 at 19:49 | Report abuse |
  32. samsart

    McCarthy and so many other 'celebrities' should be abolished from the airwaves. There is more and more information coming to light, every day, about possible causes for autism and so many other syndromes. I suspect in her zeal to find a culprit in her son's case, she wouldn't look at her behavior during pregnancy- and I'm not suggesting she did anything illicit~ rather the effect of too much or too little in the way of vitamins, minerals, etc. during pregnancy does affect the outcome of the health of the child. Diseases that at one time the WHO declared eradicated are coming back- with a vengeance. When you stop vaccinating, when you have a globally fluid population, when you have talking heads- which is my term for McCarthy, you have a 'perfect storm' for medical disasters. She has a right to her views. She has a right to fight for the best life for her child. She does not have the right to encourage people to disregard sound science. Period.

    June 7, 2012 at 19:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • PS

      @samsart – McCarthy does not have a right, but you do?! Look who is suddenly insinuating in a highly "medical sounding tone" that "effect of too much or too little in the way of vitamins, minerals, etc. during pregnancy does affect the outcome of the health of the child"!
      Families like ours are very caring, educated and responsible people that have autistic children, now grown up to be independent college-going individuals. No one helped us. No one gave us assistance of any sort. I cook healthy meals at home every single day, I taught my kid until he reached college, I have a healthy body and healthy mind. My kid displayed autistic symptoms soon after getting his vaccinations. Until then we have home videos of him growing normally and even verbalizing age appropriately. You do not know what you are talking either. Who needs your medical advise?

      June 7, 2012 at 19:55 | Report abuse |
  33. bob

    Most Celebrities are trash with money that crave attention, and not exactly Einstein's

    June 7, 2012 at 19:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Shawn Siegel

    If you really think that parents of vaccine damaged kids base their opinions or beliefs on the word of Jenny McCarthy, it says more about you than about either them or her.

    For anyone interested in the welfare of their children, be aware that the CDC changed the diagnostic parameters of paralytic polio the year after the vaccine was introduced. The change was so drastic as to automatically eliminate two thirds of the cases – with the stroke of a pen. They simultaneously changed the definition of a polio epidemic, thickening the requirement from 20 cases in 100,000 to 35 in 100,000, cutting almost in half the number of outbreaks that would thenceforth be so labeled. Similar shenanigans were pulled with the incidence of non-paralytic polio.

    With disease eradication like that, you don't need parlour tricks, or charlatans, eh?, and I'm afraid that's par for the course. It's all a matter of trust.

    June 7, 2012 at 19:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • toddflanders

      wow....paranoid much?

      June 7, 2012 at 20:21 | Report abuse |
  35. Rob

    Jenny's herpes probably had more to do with the autism than any vaccines.

    June 7, 2012 at 20:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. kmwittig

    If people are dumb enough to listen to some celebrity giving medical advice and even dumber enough to follow that advice, then in time the will be in need of a real doctor.

    June 7, 2012 at 20:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. BRod

    Anyone who gets their medical advice from a celebrity should not procreate.

    June 7, 2012 at 20:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Helpfulheroine

    People who believe whatever celebrities say deserve whatever negative they get for being so stupid. That being said, isn't it interesting that something like 80% or more of the kids in California who contracted small pox during the recent outbreak were all vaccinated from small pox? I'm not against vaccines, but I am wary of drug companies pushing them and other drugs on increasingly younger babies, etc. Also, just because something is not a peer-reviewed study does not mean it's not true. I stated for years that the best gaydar is whether the man walks more with his shoulders or hips, and I've always had better gaydar than my gay friends. Only a couple years ago did I see a study regarding sexual orientation and the physical walk of a person. Moreover, you can't prove cancer clusters, but how many of you want to live under an industrial power line?.....

    June 7, 2012 at 20:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. James

    Jenny is just living up to her last name by making baseless accusations without proper regard to evidence. The only difference is that she's accusing the medical profession of causing autism rather than Hollywood types of being communists.

    June 7, 2012 at 20:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. M.E.

    If you're dumb enough to get your medical advice for your childs health from a celebrity, it's probably better for your kid to die anyway as it clears the future gene pool of your idiotic DNA.

    June 7, 2012 at 20:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. 2media

    I wonder how much they paid the author of this article. While I agree that many celebrities abuse their influence, truth is you should always do the research. All these vaccination theories come up because there are millions of babies with various issues! The author is saying there is no proof that vaccines are causing these issues. Lets flip that. Is there proof proving that vaccines aren't the cause of these issues?? ..... Exactly. Look at history, Fen Phen? Hey lose weight, take this miracle pill! Oh, It may cause heart issues. There is no proof though. So, if you listen to the underlying message of this dumb article. If it was the 1990's, take Fen Phen because no proof of health risk.....yet.

    June 7, 2012 at 20:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. herfules

    Penn & Teller brilliantly explain vaccinations in a way anyone can understand:

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfdZTZQvuCo&w=640&h=360]

    They use some bad language in this video.

    June 7, 2012 at 20:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Jessie

    Thank you for this article. As a physician, I know that medicine isn't perfect, and that pills are not the answer to everything. Nonetheless, I truly believe that vaccines are are the single-most important contribution to the field of medicine ever. History has shown that deadly and disabling diseases have been completely wiped off the face of the earth as a result of these vaccines. In the hospital where I work and teach, we have many medical residents who originate from developing countries where not everyone has access to these vaccines. They see diseases like polio, measles, pertussis, diphtheria, etc and see the effects of these diseases. These residents are absolutely astonished at the fact that many Americans choose not to vaccinate their children and cannot fathom why parents would risk their children getting these diseases. These selfish parents are using "herd immunity" to protect their unvaccinated children. We are reaching the point in certain areas of the country where herd immunity is waning because of the high rates of unvaccinated children. It's a shame that it most likely will take thousands of children dying from preventable diseases for people to get a clue. Also, those poor people who either are allergic to vaccines, or have weak immune systems and cannot mount a response to vaccines are going to have to suffer because of other people's foolishness.

    June 7, 2012 at 20:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • guest

      Thousands of children dying from preventable diseases in America? Only a couple of childhood vpd's possibly cause death (in immuncompromised or undernourished children) others are convenience vaccines (i.e chicken pox, rotovirus, hep a, b and flu) . I would hope that in medical school you would be taught how to recognize and treat vpd's. Btw how many adults are up to date on all their vaccines for "the herd"?

      June 8, 2012 at 01:09 | Report abuse |
  44. Katie

    Why no mention of their need to look young, wrinkle free, and twenty pounds underweight? Always Jenny McCarthy and vaccines. Please. If I was the mother of an autistic child and I thought a vaccine caused it, I'd probably speak out too. I'm just the mother of a child who had seizures after a vaccine, the aunt of child whose bowels stopped moving after the rotovirus vaccine, the friend of a mother whose child ended up in the hospital with congestive heart failure at the age of two months after the first round of five vaccines, and the friend of a mother whose child developed type I diabetes at the age of four and a half, after a whopping round of booster shots. While no one has determined a link between autism and vaccines, all the rest of these problems HAVE been linked to vaccines, and still the CDC, Medical, and Pharmaceutical industries push for even more to be given to babies. I too say NO MORE, NO WAY.

    June 7, 2012 at 21:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Ed

    Switch back to the vacines that were created by scientists before the know traitor, george bush, came along and lowered the standards on pharmaceutical companies and their products. Jenny is right of course, and we all know someone with a child born healthy that became autistic after this triple vacine was given to them.

    Think for yourself. The media is controlled by bankers whose sole purpose is to steal money from the public. Everything placed on television or in the media is a lie in one form or another. Usually the lies are hidden withen other truths. Like this disinformation, which pretends Jenny is putting down all vacines, when she specifically discusses the one we all know damaged the poor helpless children. The truth is free, which is why it is not on televison, or on the corporate owned websites.

    Of course, the best advice is to turn off your tv and start to interact with other thinkers. Use your computer to search for the known truth, which you have to think for yourself to determine it's authenticity. Just because someone you like, or dislike, promotes something, doesn't make it true. You still have to think for yourself, live your life for yourself, and only you can watch out for, and are responsible for your loved ones. Don't trust fake authority figures. Use your logic. Stop being lazy thinkers.

    June 7, 2012 at 21:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. t4two

    I don't blame Jenny McCarthy for any of this, it's the idiotic parents that take her word as "sound" medical advice. Both my kids were vaccinated around the same time this all came to a head and I did a little research, talked to our Peditrician and got them vaccinated, it's called parenting. Anyone that allows a celebrities ideals and teachings guide their medical choices, shouldn't be having children.

    June 7, 2012 at 21:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • donna

      We already know that gullible people have kids- it doesn't do any good to say that these kids just shouldn't exist. And since what they do can impact what happens to others, it's worth caring about what they do do...

      People who believed her, weren't just listening to a celebrity, but they were listening to the stories controlled by the media- the same media that runs stories like this (CNN included).

      June 7, 2012 at 22:03 | Report abuse |
  47. Ed

    Penn and Teller are quite funny. They were hired to make that commercial because they are good at pretending. But the examples they used were for 4 year olds, when parents are the audience. Only a lazy thinking adult would consider that Penn and Teller ad truthful. Instead it makes more of a case for Jenny being right, otherwise the pharmaceutical companies would have put out something about the mercury in the shots, and all the reports, which are on line, showing the exact opposite to be true.

    You see how Penn and Teller lumped all vacines together as being the same? Not true. Most of the earlier vacines were discovered by god fearing scientists, who were driven to protect their fellow human, instead of coming up with the cheapest solution to pretend to cure one thing, while causing hundreds of other negative side effects.

    Sorry, it's too late. We already know the horrors of being treated like cattle.

    I would tell the pharmaceutical companies to stop spending money on these disinformation exercises, and spend more money on actually fixing their vacine. I bet if you check their budget sheets, they cut the research and development money for the vacines and moved it over to their propanda departments.

    They figure autistic kids will have to be treated for the rest of their lives, and they will buy even more pharmaceutical products for all the diseases the child's weakened bodies will create in the future. A win win for the criminal banks, and corporate thieves.

    Global criminals is all these pathetic people can be considered.

    June 7, 2012 at 21:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Edward

    Penn and Teller are quite funny. They were hired to make that commercial because they are good at pretending. But the examples they used were for 4 year olds, when parents are the audience. Only a lazy thinking adult would consider that Penn and Teller ad truthful. Instead it makes more of a case for Jenny being right, otherwise the pharmaceutical companies would have put out something about the mercury in the shots, and all the reports, which are on line, showing the exact opposite to be true.

    You see how Penn and Teller lumped all vacines together as being the same? Not true. Most of the earlier vacines were discovered by god fearing scientists, who were driven to protect their fellow human, instead of coming up with the cheapest solution to pretend to cure one thing, while causing hundreds of other negative side effects.

    Sorry, it's too late. We already know the horrors of being treated like cattle.

    I would tell the pharmaceutical companies to stop spending money on these disinformation exercises, and spend more money on actually fixing their vacine. I bet if you check their budget sheets, they cut the research and development money for the vacines and moved it over to their propanda departments.

    They figure autistic kids will have to be treated for the rest of their lives, and they will buy even more pharmaceutical products for all the diseases the child's weakened bodies will create in the future. A win win for the criminal banks, and corporate thieves.

    Global criminals is all these pathetic people can be considered.

    June 7, 2012 at 21:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Edward

    Sorry, i didn't think the post was going through. It hadn't showed up yet, so i used my other email address.

    June 7, 2012 at 21:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. donna

    I think the author should have acknowledged that it's the media that gives celebrities like her the ability to reach the masses. From CNN 4/22/2008 by McCarthy and Carrey:
    "In light of the recent Hannah Poling decision, in which the federal court conceded that vaccines could have contributed to her autism, we think the tide is finally turning in the direction of parents like us who have been shouting concerns from our rooftops for years..."

    June 7, 2012 at 22:06 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.