Tuesday, September 03, 2013

A Chronicle of Murder

From what I gathered without seeing it, it was like a documentary of a murder that you just knew was going to happen if you followed that horrible blog 'Age of Autism' like I used to. I used to follow it on Google Reader when I was working and researching for Autistics Aloud, but I stopped following 'AoA' and writing about the discredited 'vaccines cause autism' garbage because I believed that it would diminish and eventually become a non-issue if people like me stopped talking about it, and we could go on to more relevant issues. I was mistaken, it is still an issue because enough people still cling to it, and this pseudoscience may still be gaining wider acceptance among conspiracy theorists who allege a coverup with government and Big Pharma.

But most of all, it is an issue because a young man is dead. His name is Alex Spourdalakis, fourteen years old, and he was murdered by his mother and godmother. On the surface, it could appear to be a case of 'caregiver fatigue', not that it would be an excuse by any means. He was a non-verbal autistic boy, and it turned out that he was being treated with 'alternative medicine', or 'autism biomed' in an attempt to 'cure' him of autism. He was sick, and apparently getting sicker, but it was because of the side effects of the medical quackery that was trying to 'cure' him of autism.

They had all kinds of help with their 'alternative medicine' from people like CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson, who recently made a report (video available as of this writing) and herself has had a history of unethical reporting and advocating for bad science. In this case, the report gets too close to the subject matter (tries to make you feel sorry for the caregivers) and advertises a website on YouTube called "The Autism Media Channel" which is run by anti-autism advocate Polly Tommey and frequently features Andrew Wakefield and his junk science.

I could make a case about the deplorable state of journalism here in Canada and the U.S., but that would be more appropriate for another post. The bottom line here is that a boy is dead, and was killed by a lethal combination of bad medicine and ableism. His mother and godmother thought basically that he was better off dead than autistic. This was documented over a period of time, and we can only hope that it adds up to a conviction of first-degree murder and all that entails.