Tuesday, January 30, 2018

#1957: Jacquelyn McCandless

We will, after some consideration, skip Danielle & Andy Mayoras. Yes, their take on the Sarah Hershberger case, discussed here is misinformed and stupid – and reflects a rather common mindset that makes people think they can legitimately have their opinions count in fields where they have no expertise and said opinions nevertheless conflict with those of experts. Yet, we are willing to overlook lone-standing lapses of judgment and haven’t really found any other example of the Mayorases weighing in on woo.

Jacquelyn McCandless’s forays into nonsense are more thorough. McCandless is an anti-vaxxer. In particular, McCandless believes that heavy metals and vaccines, especially the MMR, are the trigger(s) of autism. They demonstrably aren’t. McCandless, however, does not only believe that they are, but that oral chelation will reverse autism, which it won’t. McCandless has nothing remotely resembling evidence that it will, but she – surely coincidentally – is, in fact, a practitioner of chelation therapy. Her beliefs about these issues have been published on the quack website Medical Voices.

McCandless is, in fact, an MD, though being a medical practitioner and having a professional degree is of course no guarantee that you understand how science and evidence work. She has also written a book, Children with Starving Brains: A Medical Treatment Guide for Autism Spectrum Disorder (contributors: Jack Zimmermann and Teresa Binstock) that we strongly recommend you to avoid. Apparently the book offers “a message of hope in the midst of a worldwide epidemic of autism, ADD and ADHD,” which the author suggests is triggered by “pesticides and heavy metals in vaccines”. There is no such epidemic. The rest of the book is basically one big, baseless toxins gambit aimed at the chemically illiterate.

Diagnosis: Pseudoscientist and conspiracy theorist. Yes, she is an MD, but anyone with a real medical condition would apparently do well to keep their distance. Dangerous.

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