The Lancet is one of the medical community’s premier journals. As such, tetting a paper into such a journal is a big accomplishment for any medical researcher. When Dr. Andrew Wakefield chose to submit his 1998 study to The Lancet, it is likely he wanted to put it in as high a profile journal as possible. One can speculate how the Andrew Wakefield of 1998 would have viewed publishing his work in Medical Veritas, a newer journal which, well, is not generally highly regarded. Somehow, this observer thinks Dr. Wakefield would not have welcomed a suggestion to submit to Medical Veritas had it existed at the time.
Frequent readers to LeftBrainRightBrain, or most places autism is discussed for that matter, will know that Dr. Wakefield’s study has been retracted by the editors at The Lancet.
Frequent readers here may be also familiar with the magazine, Medical Veritas as it has been the home for a number of questionable autism/vaccine articles. If you aren’t familiar with Medical Veritas, let’s just say that Medical Veritas is not in the same league as the Lancet, to put it mildly.
Why bring these two very disparate journals into this blog post? Well, Medical Veritas has offered to republish Dr. Wakefield’s study:
So with zero confidence in The Lancet, Dr. Horton, those paying his salary, and those criticizing him for his actions, Medical Veritas editors are inviting Dr. Wakefield to re-publish his controversial paper in their next issue.
Wow. What a strange move, and on so many fronts. The most obvious being–what sort of standards does Medical Veritas show when it is willing to publish a paper that has been found to be so fatally flawed? It is really hard to consider that this offer was serious. The Royal Free Hospital, Dr. Wakefield’s employer, assigned the copyright to his paper to The Lancet. The study, even retracted, likely remains the property of The Lancet. Also, it isn’t Dr. Wakefield’s right to decide for his coauthors whether to submit to another journal.
The strangeness goes on and on. Let me just pick out one more oddity of this offer by “the editors” of Medical Veritas. Dr. Wakefield is one of the editors. Yes, one read is that Dr. Wakefield has basically invited himself to reprint “his” paper in Medical Veritas.
Just when you thought the story of the Wakefied/Lancet paper couldn’t get stranger.