Cleveland Clinic physician claims vaccines cause autism – outrage ensues

Cleveland Clinic

The Cleveland Clinic is one of the more prestigious medical centers in the USA. It’s cardiology program has been ranked the best for 20 years running in the USA. Much of my career was in cardiology, and if the Cleveland Clinic rejected one of our new products, it could mean the end of careers. Most of the innovative ideas in treating cardiovascular disease came from the Cleveland Clinic.

The Cleveland Clinic has numerous other respected medical programs, but this stands in stark contrast to the Clinic’s reputation in patient safety. In a Kaiser Family Foundation review of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) data for hospital acquired conditions in 2014, the Cleveland Clinic received a 8.7 score (1–10 possible, with 10 being the worst), which ranked the Clinic at the bottom 7% of hospitals. The Cleveland Clinic has instituted numerous strategies to improve its quality, but it does show some inconsistency on the management of their hospital.

Then this happened – Daniel Neides is a primary care physician and the director and chief operating officer of the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute, a claptrap of alternative medicine and medical woo. Dr. Neides decided to write a blog, and unsurprising internet indignation ensued as a result – he claimed that preservatives and other ingredients in vaccines are dangerous and are likely responsible for the increase in cases of neurological disorders such as autism.

And in case you think Dr. Neides has any useful words to contribute to this conversation, you would be wrong. The vast weight of real evidence supports the fact that vaccines are unrelated to autism spectrum disorders. The weight of evidence isn’t based on logical fallacies or cherry picking data, it is based on the scientific consensus.

There’s even a scientific consensus on vaccines, written by the the most prestigious scientific academy in the world, the National Academy of Sciences:

Vaccines offer the promise of protection against a variety of infectious diseases. Despite much media attention and strong opinions from many quarters, vaccines remain one of the greatest tools in the public health arsenal. Certainly, some vaccines result in adverse effects that must be acknowledged. But the latest evidence shows that few adverse effects are caused by the vaccines reviewed in this report.

Let’s look at Dr. Neides pseudoscientific nonsense essentially using the Cleveland Clinic as his own personal imprimatur of authority. Continue reading “Cleveland Clinic physician claims vaccines cause autism – outrage ensues”