support for a White House Conference on Autism
I am a pediatrician with 22 years of clinical
experience. For more than a decade I directed pediatric education in a
residency training program.
In 1996 I became concerned about a trend towards
increasing incidences of allergic, autoimmune, and
chronic illness in children.
At the same time, the incidence of attention and
learning problems as well as autistic spectrum disorders
seemed to be skyrocketing.
It seemed clear that something had changed to
cause this abrupt change in pattern of illness.
I initiated a collaborative effort among agencies
in my community to examine this problem.
We established a coalition with the Lynchburg
City Schools to undertake medical assessments of
children with these problems whose needs were not being
For 16 months I worked without a salary and was
on call for two years except during rare trips.
Currently I am doing the most challenging work of
my career for a salary that is one third of my former
colleagues. I felt compelled to make personal and
professional sacrifices for this crisis in children’s
health. In the last two years I have read over 50 books
and attending over 150 hours of lectures to try to
understand this phenomenon.
It is abundantly clear that we must examine these
children objectively and with our best science.
It is clear that we must examine the potential
causative effects of our vaccination programs, which
have saved thousands from acute illness but may have
damaged a genetically susceptible population with
chronic illness. We
must acknowledge the Law of Unintended Consequences.
The vaccine experts who added new vaccines into
the routine schedule in the late 80’s and early 90’s
have acknowledged that they did not add up the
cumulative doses of mercury to which our children were
exposed. The CDC ’s own data shows an increased risk of 2.48 for
autism in children who received full immunizations by
six months compared to a less vaccinated population.
Mercury is a known neurotoxin, and has profound
effects on the gastrointestinal and immune system.
My patients have objective and verifiable
evidence of immune dysregulation, intestinal dysfunction
and biochemical abnormalities which are consistent with
mercury toxicity. We
cannot assume that these profound abnormalities are not
related to thimerosol just because it is too painful to
think that we may have harmed a generation of children.
MMR vaccine and other live viral vaccines have
always carried warnings about administration to immune
compromised individuals. If, as the clinical evidence now suggests, a subset of
children had immune and gut dysfunction at the time they
were given live viral vaccines, they would have been
vulnerable to chronic infection from the MMR vaccine.
It is crucial not to be misled by population
based epidemiological studies, which may not have the
statistical power to detect associations between
vaccines and the susceptible population I describe.
For the sake of these children and their
families, please proceed with a White House Conference
on Autism as recommended by Congressman Burton.
It is vital that physicians with patient care
experience be allowed to describe their clinical
suggest that you invite the following physicians and
scientists: Sidney Baker, Ken Boch, Jeff Bradstreet, Tim
Buie, Stephanie Cave, Jane El-Dahr, Jerry Kartzinel,
Arthur Krigsman, Mary Megson, Jon Pangborn, Paul
Shattock, and Andy Wakefield. Remember, “no child left behind.”
Elizabeth Mumper, MD
Professor of Clinical Pediatrics
of Virginia School of Medicine
Elizabeth Mumper, M.D., FAAP
President and CEO
Advocates for Children
Dr. Mumper is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics
and Family Medicine at the University of Virginia Health
Sciences Center. She graduated magna cum laude from
Bridgewater College, where her mother worked, and her
father taught history. She attended the Medical College
of Virginia, did residency training at the University of
Massachusetts and University of Virginia, and was
invited to serve as Chief Resident of Pediatrics at UVA.
She spent five years in practice at Hopkins Pediatrics.
She spent over a decade as Director of Pediatric
Education at the Lynchburg Family Practice Residency
Program. Dr. Mumper has been honored to receive many
awards over the years, including being named a Miracle
Maker in Central Virginia in 1996 by the Children’s
Miracle Network and Woman of the Year in Health and
Sciences in 1998 by the YWCA. She was privileged to
accept a national award for corporate public service at
the National Press Club in Washington on behalf of the
Bike Helmet Safety Campaign she co-chaired for many
years. Recently she has been working on book chapters
about allergy, immunology, behavioral problems, and
developmental pediatrics to be published in a textbook
for medical students and distributed nationally. She
struggles to balance her roles as pediatrician, medical
educator, clinical researcher, and writer with her joys
and responsibilities a wife, daughter, and mother of two