Wakefield Admits Fabrication

17 Apr

Here:

The doctor whose study triggered a collapse in public confidence in the combined measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine told a disciplinary panel last week that he made up details of his son’s birthday party—at which he took blood samples from several children—when giving a speech in California.

……

Last week the GMC panel saw video footage of a speech Dr Wakefield gave in 1999 at a meeting of parents of autistic children called by the Mind Institute of the University of California, Davis, where he jokingly described children fainting and vomiting after giving blood.

“Two children fainted, one threw up over his mother,” he told his laughing audience in the clip. “People said to me, you can’t do that— children won’t come back to your birthday parties. I said we live in a market economy; next year they’ll want £10.”

But Dr Wakefield told the GMC panel that he had made up these details to amuse his listeners. “It was the end of a long and rather exacting talk for the parents, and it was an attempt to introduce a little bit of levity,” he said. “It was a quip, just a story. The way these stories are told, if the audience responds you tend to respond back.
So the story was told. But it had no bearing on the truth at all.”

“Clearly, if it has caused any distress then I am extremely sorry for that,” said Dr Wakefield. “That wasn’t my intention.” He added that he had been “naive” to think he could take the samples without the permission of an ethics committee.

So – the first confirmation from Wakefield himself what a lot of us suspected – Wakefield makes stuff up.

Why? What possible reason could he have for making up such a thing? Is it to make himself the centre of attention? To become the darling raconteur? God knows that some Americans think that Brits are all witty mini Oscar Wilde’s (I am living proof we’re not). Did he feel obliged to play up to that image?

Or is he lying now to escape censure for what he actually _did_ do?

Who can know? Its all getting a bit tacky.

17 Responses to “Wakefield Admits Fabrication”

  1. Matt April 17, 2008 at 15:19 #

    So, the main point: he did do unauthorized blood draws. Apparently he did pay them.

    This little bit boils down to: did he lie about how distressful it was to the children?

    But, man, he knows how to work a room! Just what a parent wants to hear, “I drew blood and the kids threw up”.

  2. Kev April 17, 2008 at 15:31 #

    _”But, man, he knows how to work a room! Just what a parent wants to hear, “I drew blood and the kids threw up”.”_

    You’re so right Matt – just reading it I had to check that my sides hadn’t split.

  3. Joseph April 17, 2008 at 15:33 #

    He either lied then or he’s lying now. One could also conclude that’s not the only thing he lied about.

    It’s easy to cite various examples that illustrate anti-vaxers are not famous for their honesty.

  4. bones April 17, 2008 at 17:52 #

    No offense, but wake me when he admits to never really finding any evidence linking mmr to autism. Until then, he’s just blowing smoke up parent’s arses, in order to save his own.

  5. Ms. Clark April 17, 2008 at 22:25 #

    It seems like it would be easy enough to check with the parents and kids who were there. Did one child throw up? Did he throw up on his mother after the blood draw? Did two children faint? At that speech to the MIND crowd he also said something also about how his son whose birthday party it was was angry at him for doing this. Was that made up, too?

  6. Matt April 18, 2008 at 01:00 #

    I keep coming back to this.

    What was he supposedly saying in his stand-up routine? I mean, it’s funny that kids threw up? He’s such a bad doctor that he can’t do a blood draw without causing such emotional pain in kids?

    I just can’t see the upside of the comments for him.

    The statements now are a diversion, in my opinion. So, he didn’t make kids throw up. He was still doing research in his backyard (or wherever the party was going on) without following the ethical standards of his profession, hospital or country.

  7. Regan April 18, 2008 at 01:37 #

    Yes, a bit of levity.
    Here’s the presentation first hand just in case you to want to have some “laffs”.

    I don’t understand. Is the admission that he made up the anecdote an excuse or a mea culpa?
    Does it have bearing on the charge of not being fully informed on the ethics of child subject research?

  8. Ms. Clark April 18, 2008 at 02:42 #

    The other thing is the paying the kids for participating by giving their blood, which is just not done in the UK. So did he pay them 5 pounds each or not?

    Why not do what other doctors would have done, obviously this is not standard operating procedure for gathering blood samples from children for studies.

    Just a few days before he spoke at the MIND he had given the same presentation (that’s how it was billed at the time in the Lenny letter) at a autism/biomed conference in Florida. I wonder if he made the same jokes there?

  9. Fiona Sacchetti April 18, 2008 at 16:19 #

    If this is all we can come up with to reproach Dr Wakefield with then I guess it has to be milked for all its worth by his opposers.

    The phrase ‘clutching at straws’ come to mind.

    Saying as how it is so hard to come up with anything against his actual science and hypothesis I guess this sort of nonsense will have to make do for those who wish to criticise Dr Wakefield at all costs.

    Do you lot have any idea how ridiculous and petty this comes across considering the seriousness of the real issues at stake?

  10. Fiona Sacchetti April 18, 2008 at 16:27 #

    Have just noticed the topic title and am laughing out loud.

    Should it read as follows;

    “Wakefield admits fabrication; he told a joke not entirely based on truth. Let’s dismiss his cutting edge research ‘cos he obviously can’t be trusted”

    I’ve got an idea for another one;

    “Wakefield admits to accepting money from lawyers. OK so it was to buy a round at the pub but hey whoever let the truth get in the way of a good witchunt”.

  11. Joseph April 18, 2008 at 17:09 #

    Saying as how it is so hard to come up with anything against his actual science and hypothesis I guess this sort of nonsense will have to make do for those who wish to criticise Dr Wakefield at all costs.

    Except his research has been shown to be seriously flawed. The specifics of why it was flawed are known in detail. Come on. He didn’t even have a control group. Is that what you call “cutting-edge” research?

    The ethics charges are completely separate to the flawed science, but they are both important.

  12. HCN April 18, 2008 at 17:16 #

    Fiona said “Saying as how it is so hard to come up with anything against his actual science and hypothesis I guess this sort of nonsense will have to make do for those who wish to criticise Dr Wakefield at all costs.”

    What cutting edge research did Wakefield do?

    We know that he really did not find measles virus in the kids guts, because of contamination. He was told this, and still continued on with the bad data.

    We also know that one of those children now has lifelong health issues because his intestines were perforated a dozen times during the scopes.

    From https://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/?p=714 .. “Plain English – Wakefield scoped kids. Sent samples to Unigenetics. They should’ve told Wakers the samples were rubbish. They didn’t. They analysed rubbish samples which were contaminated. What they found wasn’t measles virus.”

    and

    “Towards the end of last year, an autistic child who was scoped following a recommendation by Simon Murch, a colleague of Andrew Wakefield’s, was awarded £500,000 damages after his bowel was perforated in 12 places.”

  13. bones April 18, 2008 at 19:08 #

    Yeah, HCN, I was about to ask the very same question.

    Indeed, Fionna, to what cutting edge research do you refer?

  14. Fiona Sacchetti April 18, 2008 at 20:17 #

    Joseph said;
    “Except his research has been shown to be seriously flawed. The specifics of why it was flawed are known in detail. Come on. He didn’t even have a control group. Is that what you call “cutting-edge” research?”

    Sorry Joseph but I’m not too clear on which of the thirty or so research papers Dr Wakefield has published you are refering to. Some of them include control groups, some do not, it depends on the purpose of the study.

    As for ethics, well from the only available commentary of the GMC hearing that I can find, it looks like the prosecution will have trouble making any of their (numerous) charges stick. Sadly however I doubt that the GMC will commit political suicide and clear Dr Wakefield’s and his collegues’ names entirely. No doubt they will find some technicality that will allow the UK press to declare Dr Wakefield as ‘guilty as charged’. I can imagine the gleefull (if a little inaccurate) headlines already.

    Yes I do call Dr Wakefield’s important work cutting edge for that is what it is for the people it helps. Don’t you think medecine should be about helping ill people?

    HCN said;

    “We know that he really did not find measles virus in the kids guts, because of contamination.”

    Do we? Can you link to the published study which proves this claim? If you cannot then I’m afraid I can’t take what you are saying very seriously. Did you read that on a blog somewhere?

    HCN also said;
    “We also know that one of those children now has lifelong health issues because his intestines were perforated a dozen times during the scopes.”

    HCN you seem to be saying that Dr Wakefield was responsible for the care of this patient and that he performed the scopes and that the examination was done soley for research purposes. Is the child you are refering to poor Jack Piper? If so then you are totally incorrect as Dr Wakefield had nothing to do with this child’s care. Did you read about this in a blog or a tabloid newspaper perhaps?

    Quote from the following link;
    “Dr. Wakefield’s response to The Mail on Sunday

    I was saddened by the story of Jack Piper in today’s Mail on Sunday, a national UK newspaper. Although I personally never had any dealings with Jack, nor any responsibility for or role in his care, I am aware of the fact that he suffered both a perforation during colonoscopy and a difficult post-operative recovery. Jack’s care was negligent and this fact was admitted by the Royal Free Hospital. Extraordinarily, the consultant paediatric gastroenterologist responsible for performing the colonoscopy (not Dr. Simon Murch) left the procedure in the hands of an inexperienced junior doctor while he went off to perform a similar procedure in a private hospital. Strangely, this fact finds no mention in the article. While perforation is a rare but recognised complication of colonoscopy, in this instance its occurrence was inexcusable, negligent, and the basis for Jack’s settlement.

    Sadly and inaccurately, Jack’s story portrays him as a victim of ‘MMR experimentation’ and a picture of me accompanies the story. I am informed that Jack was assessed by Dr. Murch at his parent’s request, on the basis of his unexplained bowel symptoms. Dr. Murch clearly considered a colonoscopy to be clinically indicated. I had no role in any of these decisions, but have no reason to doubt Dr. Murch’s expert judgment.

    The case was settled on the basis of clinical negligence. The issues of experimentation and lack of informed consent were not tested in court, nor should they have been since they have no merit. But what a perfect opportunity to weave another lie into the gossamer of this tragic tale.

    Andrew Wakefield ”

    http://www.thoughtfulhouse.com/pr/123106_newsres.htm

    Are you deliberately trying to spread misinformation or were you simply not aware of the facts?

  15. Joseph April 18, 2008 at 21:01 #

    Sorry Joseph but I’m not too clear on which of the thirty or so research papers Dr Wakefield has published you are refering to. Some of them include control groups, some do not, it depends on the purpose of the study.

    Clearly, I’m referring to the Lancet paper. It’s not clear what the significance of the other research is.

    Yes I do call Dr Wakefield’s important work cutting edge for that is what it is for the people it helps. Don’t you think medecine should be about helping ill people?

    Is there any published trial that demonstrates Dr. Wakefield’s work has helped anyone? Citation please.

  16. Kev April 18, 2008 at 23:44 #

    _”If this is all we can come up with to reproach Dr Wakefield with then I guess it has to be milked for all its worth by his opposers.”_

    I very much doubt that will be all.

    _”Do we? Can you link to the published study which proves this claim? If you cannot then I’m afraid I can’t take what you are saying very seriously. Did you read that on a blog somewhere?”_

    The evidence which proves this claim was offered in the Autism Omnibus trial of Michelle Cedillo last year. You can read about it on this blog which contains links to the testimony itself offered by proper PCR scientists. The search function is top left if you’re having difficulty locating it.

    You then go on a long bewildering rant to HCN chastising her for something she clearly never said. Go away, lie down, come back when you’re less twitchy and make more sense.

  17. Kev April 21, 2008 at 14:46 #

    Sorry Fiona. You had your opportunity to be polite and respectful to everyone here and abused it. You’re not welcome. Go play with the other kids who like to squabble and scream at each other.

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