Dr. Andrew Wakefield, turning disgrace into publicity.

24 May

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.

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22 Responses to “Dr. Andrew Wakefield, turning disgrace into publicity.”

  1. Sullivan May 24, 2010 at 08:06 #

    Dr. Wakefield was just on BBC 4 radio. I only caught the very end.

    He completely dodges the question of how much he was paid by the Legal Aid Board. He claims “he just doesn’t know”, or something to that effect.

    The amount finally paid is actually a nice red herring. What matters is that *at the time* of the *press conference* for the Lancet Paper, he was in the employ of and had the expectation of making a lot of money, both from the LAB and from his own business interests.

    He can play games with the rules for The Lancet all he wants, but at that press conference he had a duty to inform the public of his conflicts of interests. They were real and the public had a right to know.

    Dr. Wakefield closed with false-modesty, claiming that whatever his family has been through it is less than families of autistic children go through.

    Well, here’s the opinion of one parent of an autistic child: My life is a whole lot more difficult because of Dr. Andrew Wakefield.

  2. Mike Stanton May 24, 2010 at 08:10 #

    I have just heard Wakefield being interviewed in New York for the BBC. His defence.

    The children in the Lancet study were all clinically referred and subject to investigation prior to the involvement of the Legal Aid Board. They all had regressive autism and intestinal disease. The Lancet study was not commissioned by the Legal Aid Board. That was a different study. (When was this different study published?) Lots of legal aid money was never paid. He gave a lot of it back, £100,000. He has no idea how much money he received in the end. The government was responsible for the decline in vaccination when it withdrew single vaccines.

    Best of all was when he said it was no his job to think about the public health consequences of his statements. As a doctor he had a responsibility to individual patients rather than upholding public health policy.

    Wakefield had no responsibility for patient care at the time of the press conference. He was an academic researcher. If his duty was to individual patients why was he making public statements that he knew would impact on public health policy and do nothing for the patients allegedly in his care?

  3. Sullivan May 24, 2010 at 08:31 #

    Thanks Mike,

    The link is live for the interview–

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_8700000/8700062.stm

    Dr. Wakefield calls for a “scientific debate”.

    Where has he been in the past 12 years? The scientific debate has been had–where appropriate, in the scientific literature. Dr. Wakefield has had many years to make his scientific case. He has failed. Repeatedly.

    Dr. Wakefield pushes the blame for the drop of MMR uptake purely on the government. He claims that the actual vaccination rate did not drop until the single vaccine option was removed.

    At least the interviewer kept after Dr. Wakefield on his responsibility. Dr. Wakefield dodged left and right, but the interviewer repeatedly made it clear that he wasn’t buying Dr. Wakefield’s evasions.

    Dr. Wakefield claims that the evidence given by his lawyers shows that the charges by the GMC were not true. It isn’t as though the charges were that complex. Dr. Wakefield didn’t have ethical approval, for example, to perform spinal taps on many of the children in his team’s care. The approval came after the procedures were performed. Just one of many clear examples of misconduct.

  4. Sullivan May 24, 2010 at 08:44 #

    Dr. Wakefield once again places the focus on the difficulties of the parents of autistic children.

    What about the difficulties of the autistic children themselves?

    What about the difficulties of autistic adults?

    He appears to have his base of support in mind. I’d expect better. Not from Dr. Wakefield, but I expect better.

  5. Barbara Jacobs May 24, 2010 at 13:42 #

    Thank you, GMC. At last.

  6. John Schwan May 24, 2010 at 21:58 #

    Dr Andrew WAkefield [Autism] Grandaughter now four, she is hyper and still acting with what adults would say terrible two’s. At four months old she was given the vaccines all kids get, but in the next few days her forehead looked swollen. She received 4 shots all at once each visit to Dr. Office, and I have always felt each shot would test OK by itself, but when mixed with three others all at one time could have way to much ingredient for an infent brain. I don’t feel she is fully Autism.

  7. Ben October 9, 2010 at 02:32 #

    It is a complete mystery how so many humans out there are incapable of using their most miraculous organ, their brain. To think that man can come along and introduce DNA from a variety of other organisms, various types of heavy metals, solvents and whatever else into an infants body and not have complications is completely brainless!!! You all can take that “fixed and flawed” science and shove it. The observation of millions of parents is not only the “real” science that is most relevant to this epidemic, above all, it is the “TRUTH”.
    Whether you’re a brainwashed citizen, or a career person in the medical world w/out the integrity to stand up for what is right, you’re a disgrace for defending the pharmaceutical empire which will eventually sabotage the well being of the entire human human race.
    Andrew Wakefield and the many others who remain committed to the truth will forever shine in the eyes of justice, regardless of what comes of this lost world.

  8. Chris October 9, 2010 at 04:20 #

    Andrew Wakefield and the many others who remain committed to the truth will forever shine in the eyes of justice, regardless of what comes of this lost world.

    Uh, huh. So you will take a botched up series of twelve case studies over the almost forty years of testing and use of the MMR.

    Also, can you tell us where to get DNA and metal free food? Last I checked my plants need phosphorus, potassium and other minerals to grow properly in the soil full of feldspars (which includes both aluminum and silica).

  9. Kev October 9, 2010 at 08:46 #

    Ben – I really admired the passion you spelt out your opinion with. Unfortunately your opinion is stupid.

  10. Patrick McGean January 27, 2011 at 17:27 #

    Dr. Wakefield intention is to end the madness of vaccines which made your lives a living hell. What about your child, too bright, too loud, no cognition. The toxins which have crated autism are known and those who did it are known, but who speaks for your child?
    Organic sulfur a bitter crystal food could replace the sulfur taken from our diets in 1954, sulfur the only element that can not be stored and makes 146 compounds of things like mercury, aluminum, lead, etc. which end up in the toilet
    The only way we can get our kids back, is allow their biology to work. One 3 years “back.” Dozens of “old farts” back. Same disease Alzheimer’s and Autism, a lack of oxygen across the blood brain barrier.
    Those with either disorder seldom call us, give us your ear, it could possibly bring another “back.”
    Consider a Neal Young song, “The needle and the damage done.”
    The damage can be undone. Help us, your kids won’t call.

    Patrick McGean
    Director
    Cellular Matrix Study
    Body Human Project 1999
    801-290-2013

  11. Chris January 27, 2011 at 17:55 #

    Patrick McGean:

    Dr. Wakefield intention is to end the madness of vaccines which made your lives a living hell.

    You have made a claim that vaccines, specifically the MMR vaccine that was Wakefield’s focus, have made our lives a living hell. What follows is a bunch of other unsupported statements that have nothing to do with vaccines.

    Now, explain exactly what evidence you have that the MMR vaccine, which has never contained thimerosal since being introduced in the USA in 1971, causes more harm than measles, mumps and rubella. Be sure that the supporting documentation can be found in a medical school library. Otherwise we will assume you are just making it up.

  12. John Fryer Chemist February 5, 2011 at 19:22 #

    Andrew Wakefield may have produced a less than 100 per cent reliable paper in 1998 just like 95 per cent of others.

    But the 12 year Witch Hunt to denounce him is over the top.

    As a person following harm done by vaccines in the womb or at very early ages this research was awkward as it puts the formation of autism from vaccines given from 12 months and rather leaves the harm from earlier and mercury vaccines unmentioned.

    John Schwan for me shows more reliable knowledge as a grand-parent.

    4 vaccines at once when we havent even proper information showing safety for one vaccine at a time.

    The head swelling is exactly and an easily measured effect of vaccines that I have rarely if ever see from those that give vaccines except by trying to allow for natural growth from the vaccine which inflicts harm to the next.

    A very difficult thing to do with precision but so easy for the professionals except it will show harm from the current vaccines.

    Vaccines DO WORK as any fool realises. But what about the million SIDS and tens of millions neurologically affected?

    Cars are fine and so are planes but who wants supersonic planes with tin foil skins or cruise control that wont stop when you want too?

    Vaccines were extremely safe but today are passed when the makers admit huge percentages of adverse effects up to 0.8 SIDS deaths per 1 000 vaccines given.

  13. Chris February 5, 2011 at 20:17 #

    Fryer:

    But what about the million SIDS and tens of millions neurologically affected?

    Vaccines were extremely safe but today are passed when the makers admit huge percentages of adverse effects up to 0.8 SIDS deaths per 1 000 vaccines given.

    Back that up with real evidence, or we will assume you just made it up. Because the real evidence shows the opposite.

  14. AWOL February 5, 2011 at 20:50 #

    Chris..you having a larf arent you..Superb impartial link

    Pub med U.S. National Library of Medicine
    National Institutes of Health

  15. Catherina February 5, 2011 at 23:04 #

    Million SIDS? You would need over 250 years to rack those up in the United States (with a SIDS rate of <1 in 1000 and a birth rate of about 4 Million per year).

  16. Blackheart February 6, 2011 at 00:56 #

    I note for the record and in direct response to this statement by Sullivan

    “He completely dodges the question of how much he was paid by the Legal Aid Board. He claims “he just doesn’t know”, or something to that effect.”

    That this is a perfectly reasonable response. According to the BMJ articles he was eventually paid some £435,000.

    The payments listed on the Legal Services commission spreadsheet and accompanying letter produced as evidence.

    1. Are a gross figure not taking into account taxation of some 40% reducing the figure to £261,000

    2. The spreadsheet is not dated so the annual / fortnightly or even hourly rate is unable to be substantiated. One could logically assume that the period was at least several years as many as 9 Dividing it half way at 4.5 we then have a figure of some £58,000 per annum a quite reasonable sum.

    It is not only myself that has that opinion….

    “There was nothing ‘extraordinary’ about the hourly rate paid to the expert, even in 1998.”

    http://www.bmj.com/content/342/bmj.c5347.full/reply#bmj_el_247450

    3.) Taken another way – Dividing the apparent ‘hourly rate’ £150 divided into £435,000 = 2900 man hours . Whatever the time span apparently “Crime does pay …. but you have to work very hard at it”

    2900 hours equates to the general public working 82 weeks straight without weekends , public holidays , Christmas or Easter, no lunch breaks …

    Red Herring …. quite so.

  17. Blackheart February 6, 2011 at 01:13 #

    In direct response to this quote..

    “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…”

    The father of Child 11 quote also appears in the BMJ articles.

    1.) The quote is unsubstantiated by any other evidentiary material. I believe the term is “heresay’

    http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Heresay

    Perhaps a direct written statement or letter of support would bolster your argument.

    2.) The father may be well unaware of / or have been presented with an opposing argument / explanation of what information he was presented.

    3.) I note the lack of response from the primary caregiver the mother. Is she of the same opinion as her husband ?

    4.) I note of the possible 24 parents involved this is 1 parent. That gives a possible ratio of 24 to 1. I don’t think any objective person would find that a particularly robust argument.

    5.) I note and I’m sure that this has been covered elsewhere the sworn testimony of at least one parent at the GMC. The various letters of support , the video presentation of a letter of support , the protests outside the GMC , the blog sites run by parents ….

    The arguments presented in this topic cannot be construed as convincing. As a parent of an ASD child fully vaccinated on time and schedule not only do I deserve clear transparency and objectivity on this matter but so does the wider public.

  18. John Fryer Chemist February 6, 2011 at 11:48 #

    Catherina

    Racking up SIDS

    12 000 max SIDS per year in USA

    2 000 max SIDS per year in UK

    Two countries only out of hundreds as thanks to Bill Gates the whole world gets vaccines today.

    SIDS recorded since before 1970 so do the maths as for me we have passed the 1 million already but it doesnt seem high on the priorities to talk of this genocide.

    Rather the likes of parents getting the blame instead.

    Harry Clark fit and well and 8 weeks old.

    Vaccinated with several vaccines and dead inside 6 hours. Mom gets life in prison later released with no apology from anyone.

    And of course to answer Chris and his unbiased scientific research. It says SIDS infants are immunised LESS often. Wow thats right for Harry. He only ever had 2 vaccines compared to most peoples 36 or so.

    And in court the great expert on vaccines did come up with the gem that the vaccine actually made Harry less likely to die.

    It is amazing what you can do with “facts”.

    I would just settle for a real and proven explanation for SIDS.

    Until then I will take the “biased” view that a brain destroying, nerve destroying unnecessary modern addition to vaccines may actually work as well.

  19. John Fryer Chemist February 6, 2011 at 11:53 #

    That money Andrew got and we didnt know about.

    Yes. I agree it is disgusting to me as well as many others here.

    You cannot pay such huge sums without taint being associated to the results.

    I believe in a fixed amount of money for everyone and if some get far too much there is a moral and financial injustice quite different from any research failings.

    It is so sad that 14 million pounds went to doctors, researchers and lawyers with zilch, nothing, zero for those with autism children.

  20. John O'Neal August 30, 2011 at 04:42 #

    This whole article is a smear campaign against one of the bravest doctors I have known about. He is right about the potential damage done by caccines. My nephew developed a neurological disorder immediately after he was vaccinated. I have had clients, teenagers, who took the H1N1 vaccine and have not been well since. Get a grip folks! This doctor challenged Big Pharma and the compliant medical establishment. Are they helping us when doctros are the third leading cause of death?! Big Pharma is doing research about how many vaccines can a child have before it kills him or her. They actually know the number. I think ignorance is the highest form of suffering. Get wise folks…especially if you have kids.

  21. Julian Frost August 30, 2011 at 08:33 #

    @ John O’Neal:

    He is right about the potential damage done by caccines.

    Which raises the question about why he had to cook his data in his now-retracted “Case Study”.

    My nephew developed a neurological disorder immediately after he was vaccinated

    I’ve seen this claim before. It frequently turns out that the disorder turned out to occur not so “immediately”.

    have had clients, teenagers, who took the H1N1 vaccine and have not been well since.

    Evidence needed for your insinuation that the vaccine was responsible.

    Are they helping us when doctros are the third leading cause of death?!

    Evidence that the patients who died while under a doctor’s care died because of the doctor’s actions, not in spite of them.

    Big Pharma is doing research about how many vaccines can a child have before it kills him or her. They actually know the number.

    Citation needed, particularly since such research would violate the Helsinki Accord.

    I think ignorance is the highest form of suffering. Get wise folks…especially if you have kids.

    Irony Meter just exploded.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Tweets that mention Autism Blog - Dr. Andrew Wakefield, turning disgrace into publicity. « Left Brain/Right Brain -- Topsy.com - May 24, 2010

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kev and gimpy, Anthony Cox. Anthony Cox said: RT @kevleitch: Dr. Andrew Wakefield, turning disgrace into publicity.: The decisions from the General Medical Counci… http://bit.ly/ceMWjU [...]

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