Private Practice Scores a Big, Fat ZERO

Anyone watch Private Practice last night?  If you did, you’ll know why I feel rather insulted by it.  If not, let me catch you up on what happened.

The show was about a mother of three sons.  Her eldest has autism and the other two kids are typical.  They’ve just returned from Europe where her son with autism was getting some new treatment.  She’s in the dr’s office because her 2nd son is sick and she just wants to make sure everything is ok.

Turns out her son has the measles and the whole clinic goes nuts about the outbreak.  They start pressuring the mom to immunize her third son and they’re on her really hard about not giving her boys the MMR.  They end up wanting to call child and family services and calling her abusive, etc.  She’s crying because she’s seen what the MMR has done to her son with autism and it would kill her to vaccinate her other two boys, she’s terrified of it.

They end up killing off the boy with measles.  Right before he dies the Dr. RUNS at her other son and sticks him with the MMR “saving” his life and then the mother watches her son die while I get up and walk away because I can’t watch anymore.  The second time I’ve had to turn that show off because it was too sad.

Anyway, what do you think about that?  I found it super insensitive and over-dramatic.  It really bothered me a lot.

I chose to delay Isaac’s immunizations long before we found out about Silas’ autism.  Isaac got his first shots on schedule and my gut just said no.  I will immunize Isaac but not when he’s so little.

The MMR also did NOT give Silas autism.  He’s up to date on all vaccinations and I never noticed a change.  Silas was actually more withdrawn and hollow as an infant/baby than he is now, he’s bright and alive now.  I must have done something right without knowing it.

I don’t even know if I agree that the MMR causes autism.  Yes the parents see a change but 18 months is also when most cases of autism show up.  Is it the immunization or just when it starts happening anyway?  I don’t know.  In my case, it was so different.

As parents we’re put in this really hard situation, who to listen to?  So many factors to think about.  In Canada, immunizations save our government a lot of money.  In the USA immunizations make the drug companies very rich.  Yes they’ve worked wonders for getting rid of diseases but we’re still a very very unhealthy nation.  Yes measles, mumps and rhubella cause complications and sometimes death but ALL of our ancestors have had those diseases and obviously most have been fine from it.

There’s lots of side effects from the vaccines as well.  From rashes to fevers to severe allergic reactions to blood disorders and…perhaps…autism.  There’s lots of other things in vaccines that you don’t really want in your body either.

Pardon my french but you’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t.  You cannot say I’m an abusive parent by not immunizing Ikey.  I’m an educated parent that’s going with her gut, I’ve learned my gut is 99% right.

Anyway, Private Practice last night took a hard stand for vaccines.  It caught me off guard and I found it to be really, really, really rude.  They were pushing a STRONG point but did they have to call her abusive?  Did they have to make the mother look like a dough-eyed idiot?  Did they have to kill that boy off? No.

Another case of the media taking things WAY too far.


  1. I felt like that too…it was CLEAR agenda pushing. I think that lots of us deal with that conflict within ourselves when deciding if we should immunize our kids. If not within ourselves, definitely from the public health nurses!! I’ve had it out with them more than once. Ephram has been immunized on “our” schedule as well. Ultimately, my gramma had polio…so immunizing is pretty much decided in my mind, but I’m not convinced that a little 10 pound baby needs all that junk pumped into them; if not the vaccine itself…then certainly all the preservatives, etc. that are also in them. It is possible to get green vaccines (without preservatives) at private clinics, but they cost more than I can afford.

    I DID find the woman who played the mother to be an extraordinary actress. But in the end, it was too much for me to watch as well.

    PS One small correction: they didn’t kill off the boy with autism, they killed off his un-immunized brother.

  2. The show “House” took the same stand. House ripped into this lady who hadn’t immunized her child. I think that a parent should have the right to do what they feel they need to do. We decided to immunize Emily, but not without reading a lot about it. I don’t think they’ve done enough definitive studies on the link between vaccines and autism to be so hard nosed one way or the other. I just think that means more studies are in order. I don’t think I could have watched that episode of private practice purely cause I’m prego and would just cry because I would have. I cry at happy stuff let alone sad stuff.

  3. I’m so with you! That is just wrong for the media to push such a sensitive subject in that way. It’s damn hard deciding whether to immunize your kids. I waffled for a long time. We delayed Jude’s till he was 6mo and then didn’t get all the shots. And just like you, I was just going with my gut. What else do we have to go with? We are damned if you do or don’t. The health nurse tried to scare me into all the immunizations by saying that Jude would be the only child to die if he picked up a needle. I’m sorry but at 2mo he’s not picking up any needle. I’m passionate about this too, can you tell?

  4. Ug, I’ve been so back and forth on the MMR – it’s so hard to know what to do…there are very strong mixed messages out there – and you only get one shot with your kid. I’ve immunized Malakai with everything, but think I will delay the MMR till he’s 3. But I’m still not sure. Not looking forward to making that call to the health clinic and having “the talk” in a few weeks when he’s one.

  5. It sounds like that show was SO insensitive. Why push things so far? Thank you for sharing your story in this post.

  6. Hi! Thanks for your comments on my blog 🙂

    I liked your post. I will say that I disagree with you. I feel that the research on MMR causing autism is very clear (that it doesn’t) and I was really thankful to see that you don’t believe it caused autism in Silas.

    I am a proponent of vaccinating kids fully by the age of 5, when they are most likely to spread it to other kids and the susceptible population. The problem with not vaccinating is that as a society, we’ve allowed individuals to make individual decisions with the expectation that we will have herd immunity – that at least 80% of the population will vaccinate (and protect the other 20% – and in that 20% are people who cannot receive vaccinations, like those who are severely immunocompromised and young babies). Once the immunized rate falls below 80%, we are susceptible to outbreaks. So to not vaccinate? Is a difficult one for me to swallow, given the outbreaks in Utah and San Diego. A friend of mine gave birth two years ago and her 2-week-old baby got pertussis and nearly died.

    But I have an autoimmune disease, and we have a history of autism (clearly genetic – more than one generation) in our family, and we are hopefully expecting. Will I vaccinate my baby on schedule? Probably not. Not because I think the vaccines cause autism, but because I don’t know if my already immunocompromised child needs multiple immune insults to his/her little body. So for our baby, we will probably vaccinate on an alternative, but consistent, schedule. We may break up the MMR vaccine to three separate vaccinations. But our child will be vaccinated, no question.

    That was a little long, huh? I will write a longer version on my blog when I get back from a baby shower (for someone else obviously)!

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