Why isn't anyone listening to the parents of autistic children about vaccines?

After having invested a reasonable amount of time researching both sides of the vaccine/autism (particularly MMR) debate - I am stunned as to why the medical profession, general public and politicians are ignoring the tens of thousands of parents who claim that their child(ren) was perfectly healthy until they had... show more After having invested a reasonable amount of time researching both sides of the vaccine/autism (particularly MMR) debate - I am stunned as to why the medical profession, general public and politicians are ignoring the tens of thousands of parents who claim that their child(ren) was perfectly healthy until they had certain vaccinations. I know that autism usually presents at roughly the same age/stage that certain vaccinations are given and I know that Wakefield's study has been discredited (it never claimed absolutes anyway - it only posed the possibility that more extensive studies should be conducted) and other studies have failed to replicate the findings. However, I find it amazing that instead of society listening and trying to support parents (and the many of them!) who make this claim they completely shut them down and refuse to even entertain the notion that vaccinations can be harmful. For unrelated reasons I know that vaccinations can be harmful as we have allergies to certain vaccinations in our family. It's like society is not willing to question vaccines (ingredients and possible effects) or that it is off limits to criticism/scrutiny.
Update: 4 (or less) children per year die (or develop brain damage) in Australia as a result of contracting the wild virus of measles. If medical science does ever prove a link between MMR and autism (which I'm not actually saying there is - I am just concerned that people aren't listening to the huge volume of people... show more 4 (or less) children per year die (or develop brain damage) in Australia as a result of contracting the wild virus of measles. If medical science does ever prove a link between MMR and autism (which I'm not actually saying there is - I am just concerned that people aren't listening to the huge volume of people that do believe it) how many children could have been injured?

And on another note... how many times has medical science failed to prove something quickly. Mobile phone studies are only just emerging now what 10-12 years after we have exposure to them? I don't think medical science can claim it has a clean track record in terms of always conducting ethical research for ethical reasons (1970's bad blood?)
Update 2: You have misread my question I don't claim to think that there is a link - I am concerned that parents who think there is a link are not being heard. I am not misinformed in relation to the studies that have failed to replicate Wakefield's findings (as I say in my original post).
Update 3: I don't want to hear any particular answer!?!??! - what matters is what can assist parents of autistic children. I think there are a number of well established advocacy groups worldwide claiming that they are not being heard. I am also fairly sure that they would be fully aware of all the research and that has... show more I don't want to hear any particular answer!?!??! - what matters is what can assist parents of autistic children. I think there are a number of well established advocacy groups worldwide claiming that they are not being heard. I am also fairly sure that they would be fully aware of all the research and that has been conducted.
11 answers 11