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American Academy of Pediatrics demands ABC pull 'Eli Stone' debut

UPI News Service, 01/28/2008 

The American Academy of Pediatrics said it is demanding ABC cancel its premiere episode of "Eli Stone" because it incorrectly links vaccinations and autism.

The opening installment of the series, which is set to debut Thursday, features a lawyer who argues in court that a vaccine caused a child's autism, The New York Times reported.

While the show includes statements that science has refuted any link between autism and vaccines, the episode's conclusion delivers a contrary impression with a jury awarding a mother $5.2 million, leaving audiences with the idea that vaccines do cause autism, the AAP said.

"A television show that perpetuates the myth that vaccines cause autism is the height of reckless irresponsibility on the part of ABC and its parent company, The Walt Disney Co.," Renee R. Jenkins, president of the AAP, said in a statement. "If parents watch this program and choose to deny their children immunizations, ABC will share in the responsibility for the suffering and deaths that occur as a result. The consequences of a decline in immunization rates could be devastating to the health of our nation's children."

The AAP said no scientific connection has been established between vaccines and autism.

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Copyright 2008 by United Press International

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