Docs Demand ABC Pull Vaccine-Autism Drama
Pediatricians worry that 'Eli Stone' will give autism fears a shot in the arm
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 29, 2008 4:17 AM CST
Vaccines are shown in a refrigerator, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2007, at the Polk County Public Health Dept. in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Angry pediatricians are demanding the first episode of new ABC legal drama "Eli Stone" be pulled because of its dangerous message about childhood vaccinations, reports USA Today. Doctors say the storyline, in which a woman wins a $5.2 million judgment against vaccine companies because of her son's autism, will give viewers "the destructive idea that vaccines cause autism"—and trigger a drop in vaccination rates, said a statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Critics of immunization argue that a mercury-based ingredient in childhood vaccines can cause autism, but several medical studies have found no link. ABC "will bear responsibility for the needless suffering and potential deaths of children from parents' decisions not to immunize," said the statement to ABC. The network has rejected the request, but plans to run a disclaimer at the start of the show emphasizing that it's fictional.