Today’s news is filled with reports that the man who did the research that showed a link between the MMR vaccine and autism apparently manipulated the data. I must admit that I didn’t pay that much attention to the study when it first came out. I do have several friends, though, who were very concerned. Some were concerned enough to forego the vaccinations for their children.
Now we find out that there were only 12 children in the study; of those 8 were reported to have developed autism within a week of the MMR vaccine. But, some of those children were exhibiting symptoms before their MMR vaccine. Others were reported as having symptoms when they didn’t. In other words, the data was completely fiction.
We live in a world where anything can become news. Any bit of information can be picked up and broadcast as thought it’s legitimate research. And, to be honest, I have some trouble trusting the medical establishment because they have financial ties to pharmaceutical companies. Plus, they have changed their tune so often on so many things, it’s hard to believe much of what they say.
So, who do I trust? It’s more important than ever for us to look beyond the headlines. Search out the research. Look at it with a critical eye. Look for balanced perspectives. Very little in this world is truly cut and dried.
What works for one person might not work for another. Listen to both sides of an issue. Trust your instincts—if something sounds too good to be true it probably is. On the flip side, if something sounds absolutely ridiculous, it probably is.