Pediatricians fear new television series might be harmful to children's health

Filed under: Places To Go, Health & Safety: Babies, In The News, Media, That's Entertainment

The American Academy of Pediatrics are not fans of ABC'S new series Eli Stone.

In fact, the nations largest pediatrician group is so unhappy with a storyline of the first episode, they've sent a letter accusing ABC and its parent company, The Walt Disney Company of "the height of reckless irresponsibility" if they air it. Sheesh, what's got their stethoscopes in such a bunch?!

Apparently the centerpiece in the first episode of Eli Stone involves a court case about a vaccine which is thought to have caused a child's autism. In a dramatic scene, it is revealed to the court room that a top executive at the fictional vaccine company did not allow his own child to get the shot, jurors side with the family, and they are awarded a huge sum of money.

The real-life pediatrics group has dealt with the public long enough to know what will come next.

"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," said Dr. Renee R. Jenkins, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics said in a statement.

Marc Guggenheim, who helped create the show, said the first episode shows how a fictional company covered up a study that raised questions about its product and the message is really about "the downside of the corporatization of America" and not about the (as yet unproven) link between vaccinations and autism.

It's easy to say people are able to sort fact from fictional in television, but I can tell you that I was pregnant when E.R.'s horrific Love's Labor Lost episode aired and according to him was my OB's 7th case of self-diagnosed pre-eclampsia that week. There is so much melding of fact and fantasy in television it can be easy to pick up on something that is completely untrue and run with it.

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