Image description: Bearded pale-skinned male, wearing a blue shirt, looking into the camera. Text: Del Bigtree Emmy award-winning medical journalist and producer of the documentary Vaxxed: From Coverup to Catastrophe. I find disturbing the number of doctors I'm hearing from who tell me that they know that vaccines are linked to autism but that coming forward with the truth will destroy their careers.
They literally say, "I don't want to get Wakefielded"
Claim: Physicians who express the belief that vaccines cause autism all have their careers destroyed.
- Larry Palevsky MD is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics (FAAP). He is on record as asserting that vaccines can cause autism. He is still a FAAP and evidently his practice is thriving
- Robert Sears MD, FAAP is on record as advising parents who fear autism to delay vaccines. He has published several best-selling books and Sears Family Pediatrics seems to be thriving.
- Jay Gordon MD FAAP has been vocal in his opinion that vaccines may cause autism. His practice seems to be robust.
- The late Mayer Eisenstein, MD was very vocal about his belief that vaccines can cause autism. His practice, Homefirst Medical Service, was evidently quite robust at the time of his death and may still be continuing to provide care in Illinois. He published a book Don't Vaccinate Before You Educate.
- Toni Bark MD loudly proclaims that vaccinated children have autism and other disorders. Her practice seems quite robust.
- David Brownstein MD has written that vaccines are "toxic" and cause all matter of ills.
This is just a convenience sample of US physicians who have publicly proclaimed that vaccines may be causal in autism and who still have thriving practices. The idea that "Physicians who express the belief that vaccines cause autism all have their careers destroyed" is false.
Secondly, I am wondering.... if there are a number of doctors who believe the vaccines cause autism myth, isn't it unethical of said doctors to stay silent on this claim? Updated after speaking to some physicians: Physicians have an ethical obligation to speak out against a procedure that in their professional opinion could be harmful.
Claim: Andrew Jeremy Wakefield's career was destroyed because he revealed that vaccines cause autism.
Disambiguation No, Andrew Jeremy Wakefield was struck off the UK's medical register because he displayed a pattern of dishonest, unethical behavior. This pattern stretched over years. And years. No such thing as the bowel disease he claimed. It was damning enough that he was fired parted company from Thoughtful House .
Claim: Del Bigtree Emmy award-winning
Disambiguation What is an Emmy? It's the awards given to television shows, analogous to the Oscars for film. The thing is, there are so many more television enterprises than films that there are multiple awards.
The show on which Bigtree worked as a producer, The Doctors, was nominated for the The Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk Show Informative in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2016. It won in 2010, while Bigtree was listed as one of the producers. Yes, he shared an Emmy with four executive producers, two supervising producers, and 22 other producers.
Claim: Del Bigtree is a medical journalist. In television-land, "producer" means writer. In the US, the phrase more commonly used is "health care journalist". There's a society, The Association of Health Care Journalists,
an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing public understanding of health care issues. Its mission is to improve the quality, accuracy and visibility of health care reporting, writing and editing. AHCJ is classified as a 501(c)(6), a nonprofit professional trade association.
Let's look at what the AHCJ thought worthy in the same year as Mr. Bigtree's show won its Emmy: 2010 Television Awards from the AHCJ:
First Place: China Health Series; PBS NewsHourk: This series looked at tobacco usage and obesity in China. In China 350 million people, including a significant number of medical professionals, light up on a regular basis.
Second Place: This Emotional Life; PBS: This series unfolds across three two-hour episodes and explores the human desire and struggle for happiness and the ways we can ultimately attain it.
Third Place: A Crisis in Caring: California's School Nursing Shortage; Kelly Peterson, KVIE Public Television: If your child becomes sick or injured at school, legally there might be no one who can help them. In one Northern California school district, there is only one nurse for 14,800 students, 20 times more than the recommended national standard.
In the same time span, Mr. Bigtree' producer credits for such Doctors episodes as
So if Mr. Bigtree is a "medical journalist" the body of his work is.. not particularly impressive.
In my view, Mr. Bigtree's qualifications as a medical journalist are in line with Mr. Wakefield's claim to be an autism advocate: baseless.
I also seriously doubt that there are more than a handful of doctors who have the false belief that vaccines are somehow causal in autism.