The decisions from the General Medical Council on what actions will be taken on Doctors Andrew Wakefield, John Walker-Smith and Dr. Simon Murch for improper actions already found proven in previous hearings. In advance material for his book, even Dr. Wakefield has been stating that he will be struck off the register: “In the pursuit of possible links between childhood vaccines, intestinal inflammation, and neurologic injury in children, Wakefield lost his job in London’s Royal Free Hospital, his country of birth, his career, and his medical license.”
This is one place where I would agree with Dr. Wakefield. The idea that he’s about to lose his license seems a safe enough bet to just admit it as already having happened.
Dr. Wakefield has decided to quite literally defend him self in the court of public opinion, rather than the hearing room. As Mike Stanton points out in Andrew Wakefield’s Farewell, Dr. Wakefield did not call any of the families involved in the his research in his defense. Instead he relies on the rallying cry, “no family has ever complained…”
Brian Deer, in his recent article Weeping wounds of the MMR scare addresses this rallying cry:
Even some of those involved in his research now tell me they have had enough of his antics. “Please let me know if Andrew W has his doctor’s licence revoked,” emailed the father of Child 11. “His misrepresentation of my son in his research paper is inexcusable. His motives for this, I may never know.”
Dr. Wakefield will not appear before the GMC to hear the verdict. Rather, he will be in New York to appear on TV, where Matt Lauer of the Today Show will interview him. This may be the high water mark in Dr. Wakefield’s publicity campaign, which has included direct-to-youtube interviews with Dr. Mercola (whose runs probably the most trafficked medical misinformation website, if I may state my opinion), another made-for-internet interview, and a future interview on internet radio (10pm to midnight). This in addition to his keynote talk at an anti-vaccine rally to be held this week.
He may also be up for the first knighthood ever given out by AutismOne, at least in the wishful thoughts of his supporters.
In other words, he is moving from side show of the autism research community to center ring in his own circus.