From The Jenny McCarthy Body Count:
“In June 2007 Jenny McCarthy began promoting anti-vaccination rhetoric. Because of her celebrity status she has appeared on several television shows and has published multiple books advising parents not to vaccinate their children. This has led to an increase in the number of vaccine preventable illnesses as well as an increase in the number of vaccine preventable deaths. Jenny McCarthy has a body count attached to her name. This website will publish the total number of vaccine preventable illnesses and vaccine preventable deaths that have happened in the United States since June 2007 when she began publicly speaking out against vaccines.
“Is Jenny McCarthy directly responsible for every vaccine preventable illness and every vaccine preventable death listed here? No. However, as the unofficial spokesperson for the United States anti-vaccination movement she may be indirectly responsible for at least some of these illnesses and deaths and even one vaccine preventable illness or vaccine preventable death is too many.”
You can visit the Jenny McCarthy Body Count, which stands at 888 preventable deaths as of May 31, 2012, here.
Your Ethics Quiz is simple: Is the website fair?
My answer: sure.
McCarthy is an engaging, attractive, well-meaning woman and semi-talented comic actress who has misused her celebrity, as many celebrities do and have, to exert more influence over the public and media than her experience, education, intelligence, wisdom and expertise justify. Are the various television programs, media outlets and hysteria-peddlers also accountable for giving someone with McCarthy’s thin credentials and outsize influence a platform to frighten and mislead the many members of the public who are even more ignorant than she is? Absolutely. Does that reduce McCarthy’s culpability for spreading misinformation that leads to potentially deadly neglect of the health needs of children? Not one bit.
Using the Jenny McCarthy Body Count to call attention to the foolishness of anti- vaccine hysteria is a clever idea, and if it keeps even one parent from being misled by the medical nonsense pushed McCarthy and her allies. it is performing a public service.
Facts: Jenny McCarthy Body Count
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