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The MMR controversy has been characterised by two one-sided discourses. In the medical world, the weight of opinion is overwhelmingly in favour of MMR. In the public world, the anti-MMR campaign has a much greater influence, centred on the fears of parents that the triple vaccine may cause autism in their children. Both professionals and parents struggle to cope with the anxieties this creates, but find it difficult to find a balanced account of the issues. In MMR and Autism Michael Fitzpatrick, a general practitioner who is also the parent of an autistic child, explains why he believes the anti-MMR campaign is misguided in a way that will reassure parents considering vaccination and also relieve the anxieties of parents of autistic children. At the same time the book provides health care professionals and health studies students with an accessible overview of a contemporary health issue with significant policy implications.
Michael Fitzpatrick is a general practitioner working in Hackney, London.