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Topic: Celebrities
August 8, 2013 | Posted By John Kaplan, PhD

What do Jenny McCarthy and Bill Maher have in common? No, this question is not a joke. It is a serious question, very serious. They are both television talk show hosts and celebrities. This is important. Talk show hosts have the capacity to deliver their message to millions of people. They have a built-in credibility just because their message is broadcast to the masses. Why would they put them on television to tell us stuff if they did not know stuff? Well, perhaps they do not know so much. Perhaps they are just expressing opinions. Perhaps their opinions are wrong, dead wrong. Perhaps in expressing their opinions they are influencing people to make decisions which are dangerous. Perhaps they are influencing people to put their children at risk of serious disease and even death. If they are doing this they are dangerous. Jenny McCarthy and Bill Maher are dangerous. Both have been using their celebrity status to discourage people from getting themselves and their children vaccinated against dangerous diseases.

Jenny McCarthy has been a vocal leader in the anti-vaccine movement created by the false and disproven link between vaccination and autism. This link was predicated on false data published by Dr. Andrew Wakefield

The Alden March Bioethics Institute offers a Master of Science in Bioethics, a Doctorate of Professional Studies in Bioethics, and Graduate Certificates in Clinical Ethics and Clinical Ethics Consultation. For more information on AMBI's online graduate programs, please visit our website.

BIOETHICS TODAY is the blog of the Alden March Bioethics Institute, presenting topical and timely commentary on issues, trends, and breaking news in the broad arena of bioethics. BIOETHICS TODAY presents interviews, opinion pieces, and ongoing articles on health care policy, end-of-life decision making, emerging issues in genetics and genomics, procreative liberty and reproductive health, ethics in clinical trials, medicine and the media, distributive justice and health care delivery in developing nations, and the intersection of environmental conservation and bioethics.