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Claims that measles is ‘marvellous’ rubbished

A book claiming that contracting measles can be a “good thing” for children has been strongly condemned by AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton.The book, Melanie’s Marvellous Measles, written by Brisbane-based anti-vaccination campaigner Stephanie Messenger, is aimed at “educating children on the benefits of having measles, and how you can heal from them [sic] naturally and successfully”.

14 Jan 2013

A book claiming that contracting measles can be a “good thing” for children has been strongly condemned by AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton.

The book, Melanie’s Marvellous Measles, written by Brisbane-based anti-vaccination campaigner Stephanie Messenger, is aimed at “educating children on the benefits of having measles, and how you can heal from them naturally and successfully”.

According to Ms Messenger, who claims one of her children died as a result of a vaccination, the book takes “children on a journey to learn about the ineffectiveness of vaccinations and to know that they don’t have to be scared of childhood illnesses like measles and chicken pox”.

The front cover of the book, self-published through Trafford, depicts a happy girl in a garden with a rash on her stomach.

Dr Hambleton told news.com the publishers of the book “should be ashamed of themselves”.

“Last time I saw a kid with measles with a rash, they were carried into the surgery and the child looked like a rag doll. The mother was terrified,” he said.

Dr Hambleton said measles could lead to potentially fatal complications such as encephalitis, and could not be cured – as the book suggests – by carrot juice and melon.

“Any publication that suggests getting the illness is safer than getting the vaccination is patently wrong and misleading, and the publishers should be ashamed on themselves for the picture they’ve allowed to be put on the front cover,” he said.

The medical and scientific communities have recently intensified their efforts to provide accurate information about the benefits and risks of immunisation in the face of a rash of misleading and alarmist claims about the dangers of vaccination.

In November the AMA endorsed publication of the booklet The Science of Immunisation: Questions and Answers, which was produced by the Australian Academy of Science to dispel myths and misinformation about the dangers of vaccination.

In a recent article at The Punch (to view, click here), world-renowned Australian research biologist Sir Gustav Nossal condemned the arguments of anti-vaccination activists as “fatally flawed”, and last month the New South Wales Office of Fair Trading gave the anti-vaccination lobby group the Australian Vaccination Network two months to change its name, judging it to be “misleading and a detriment to the community”.

Copies of The Science of Immunisation: Questions and Answers booklet can be obtained by contacting the AMA, either by email at:

media@ama.com.au

or by writing to:

AMA Public Affairs
AMA House
42 Macquarie Street
Barton, ACT
2600 

AR


Published: 14 Jan 2013