New Book Heats Up War Over Autism and Vaccines

'Lightning rod' pediatrician's book is latest salvo in vicious debate
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jan 13, 2009 11:21 AM CST

(Newser) – A pediatrician’s book is making new waves in the battle over autism and vaccines, the New York Times reports. Paul Offit has received death threats from some who argue that vaccines can cause autism, but his book, Autism’s False Prophets, backs vaccines and says those who oppose them have been played for fools by doctors and lawyers who stand to benefit.

“Opponents of vaccines have taken the autism story hostage,” Offit says. “They don’t speak for all parents of autistic kids, they use fringe scientists and celebrities, they’ve set up cottage industries of false hope, and they’re hurting kids.” But the founder of a group that pushes treatment says he’s “very frustrated that Dr. Offit, who’s never treated an autistic child, is spending his time trying to refute the reality of biomedical recovery.”