Wakefield

10 Feb

The name alone conjures up strong images for many in the autism communities. If you think vaccines cause autism, he is a hero. For many others, he has brought shame to the greater autism community.

In addition, I know many who think that Andrew Wakefield’s time has come and gone and we should just ignore him now. To those, I apologize, but the recent information is just too important to ignore.

Kev would be able to show the annoyance that Dr. Wakefield’s research has caused many of us in the autism community. It would be a better read than this–a post written by someone who finds the entire affair sad. Too much harm has been caused by what even before today was already pretty obviously bad science. It’s just a sad story that has just gotten sadder.

For those who may not know, Dr. Andrew Wakefield was the lead author on the papers which attempted to link autism to the MMR vaccine. The story is so long and tortuous that it is difficult to know what to include and what to leave out. You know what, if you don’t already know the story–count yourself lucky and skip this post! How’s that for an introduction?

Brian Deer took a closer look than most (all?) journalists at Dr. Wakefield’s story. He exposed the fact that Dr. Wakefield’s patients were litigants claiming MMR caused autism. He also exposed the fact that Dr. Wakefield and some on his team were well paid for their efforts.

It is very likely that Mr. Deer’s investigation is what prompted the General Medical Council (GMC) to investigate Dr. Wakefield’s actions in this research. As part of that investigation, the GMC has collected medical histories of the subjects of Dr. Wakefield’s study. And, Brian Deer has had access to these data, and they don’t match what was presented by Dr. Wakefield’s team.

Before we look at what was said in the papers and what the medical histories actually indicated, let’s look at the introduction from the original Lancet paper:

We saw several children who, after a period of apparent normality, lost acquired skills, including communication. They all had gastrointestinal symptoms, including abdominal pain, diarrhoea, and bloating and, in some cases, food intolerance. We describe the clinical findings, and gastrointestinal features of these children.

Compare that to what’s here’s Brian Deer’s article, MMR doctor Andrew Wakefield fixed data on autism.

Ouch.

Here’s a more thorough article, again by Mr. Deer:

Hidden records show MMR truth
A Sunday Times investigation has found that altered data was behind the decade-long scare over vaccination

As a short sidetrack, Mr. Deer isn’t the only one suggesting that there were problems with the Wakefield studies.

Wakefield claimed (in a separate paper from the original Lancet article) that his team found evidence of persistent measles virus in gut biopsies from the autistic children he saw. In the Omnibus hearing, a member of Wakefield’s team told the story of how the data which clearly disagreed with Wakefield’s conclusions was ignored.

Or, to put it another way, Dr. Chadwick [note correction] told Dr. Wakefield that he (Bustin) had data which directly contradicted the results Wakefield was going to publish. This should have quashed the paper, and, yet, not mention is even made of it by Wakefield et al.

But, back to the Brian Deer report.

Let’s look at a few examples from Mr. Deer’s story. There were 12 children in the original study. Mr. Deer refers to them as child 1 through child 12. Mr. Deer looks at them individually..

Child 11 had a “positive” test for measles RNA by Wakefield’s team. The father had 3–yes 3!–other labs test the same biopsy samples. Result? No sign of measles.

Here’s a bit about child one from Mr. Deer’s story:

In the paper this claim would be adopted, with Wakefield and his team reporting that Child One’s parents said “behavioural symptoms” started “one week” after he received the MMR.

The boy’s medical records reveal a subtly different story, one familiar to mothers and fathers of autistic children. At the age of 9½ months, 10 weeks before his jab, his mother had become worried that he did not hear properly: the classic first symptom presented by sufferers of autism.

It’s very tempting to quote example after example, but I’ll just end up copying the entire story. I encourage you to read the story, there are numerous examples of how many of the 12 subjects of Wakefield’s study were not previously normal.

Rather than pick all the examples of discrepancies about development of Wakefield’s subjects, how about the second part of the question: did these kids all show GI problems? Again, there are numerous examples in Mr. Deer’s story. Here’s an excerpt.

The most striking change of opinion came in the case of Child Three, a six-year-old from Huyton, Merseyside. He was reported in the journal to be suffering from regressive autism and bowel disease: specifically “acute and chronic nonspecific colitis”. The boy’s hospital discharge summary, however, said there was nothing untoward in his biopsy.

A Royal Free consultant pathologist questioned a draft text of the paper. “I was somewhat concerned with the use of the word ‘colitis’,” Susan Davies, a co-author, told the ongoing GMC inquiry into the ethics of how the children were treated, in September 2007.

“I was concerned that what we had seen in these children was relatively minor.”

Not only are there problems in the reported information and the records, one of the co-authors is indicating that the paper overplayed the data they had.

Sorry, but this all just makes me more sad. Sometimes bad science can be, well a little funny. Sometimes just annoying. This is just really sad.

“A Sunday Times investigation has found that altered data was behind the decade-long scare over vaccination”

What more can be said?

(note: I edited this shortly after publishing it. The substance was not changed)

395 Responses to “Wakefield”

  1. daedalus2u February 10, 2009 at 03:05 #

    It wasn’t Bustin, it was Chadwick who did the PCR tests for measles and found that there were no positive cases in any of the 12 samples.

    The PCR test he used was orders of magnitude more sensitive and orders of magnitude more specific than the immunological tests that Wakefield published the paper on.

    That is clear fraud to ignore a test that is orders of magnitude more sensitive and more specific and negative while reporting a positive result that is clearly bogus.

    Bustin looked at the bogus PCR results that another lab did. The results that Chadwick did were not bogus because he sequenced the result and found they were false positives. A false positive equals a negative result.

  2. Sullivan February 10, 2009 at 03:16 #

    daedalus2u:

    Thanks, I was definitely mixing up Bustin and Chadwick.

    Dr. Bustin is the world’s authority on PCR, and his observations of the methods that the O’Leary lab used made it abundantly clear that something was seriously wrong. Prometheus did a good writeup on that, I try to find a link.

    Dr. Chadwick, as I recall, was a post-doc at Royal Free and he did careful tests on the same samples supplied to the O’Leary laboratory and, as you point out, found no positives.

  3. daedalus2u February 10, 2009 at 04:52 #

    The fraud goes way back.

    In the Hazlehurst trail, Day 4, MacDonald (page 653) explained how when they took gut biopsies they took specimens from lymph nodes in the gut and called them tissue that was inflamed because there were a lot of lymphocytes in it. It was completely an artifact of how the sample was taken.

    On page 633 he talks (regarding measles causing Crohn’s) of Wakefield either being too enthusiastic about his immunological data (which Chadwick had never corroborated with PCR from 1994 to 2000) or “there was some degree of scientific fraud behind it also.”

  4. Another Voice February 10, 2009 at 07:37 #

    Has the GMC determined if Dr. Wakefield will remain a menber of the medical profession?

  5. Harold L Doherty February 10, 2009 at 09:28 #

    I am familiar with the efforts of the journalist Brian Deer but has a legal, administrative or professional tribunal found that Dr. Wakefield committed fraud?

    If so, can anyone provide an online link to the decision?

  6. John Fryer February 10, 2009 at 10:49 #

    The story is not long and tortuous but more thorough and researched FULLY.

    Dr Wakefield has the stance of not PRO VACCINE but PRO SAFE VACCINE.

    IT is clear to anyone that a SINGLE vaccine will be safer than subjecting an infant to several vaccines and to use the argument that old vaccines had hundreds of impurities and posed a bigger risk is just exposing the dangers of past vaccines to everyone.

    My granddaughter had the single vaccine safely, most people get the triple vaccine safely.

    But TOO MANY suffer after vaccines.And suffer worse from bead vaccines.

    And this is where the debate is at.

    Do we look honestly at all the adverse reactions or do we sacrifice many to clear up one more of 4 million illnesses we face in life.

    Gardasil killed two dozen people during its trials but was passed as SAFE.

    It will get rid of HPV but 1 000’s will die in the process.

    Simple sex precautions will get rid of it as well even more efficiently.

    You can’t make an omelette without breaking EGGS.

    Its too easy to say choose between illness and vaccines but why not look at the 4 million vaccine preventable illnesses picked up in hospitals in USA alone from UNHYGIENIC hospitals.

    Cholera vaccine not used much today.

    TB vaccine not used not used much today.

    Many vaccines work but many do not.

    Dr Wakefield reminds us that vaccines are as good as those that make them and often this is not good but BAD.

  7. Socrates February 10, 2009 at 11:37 #

    “Wakefield is a money grabbing fraudster”

    So sue me….

  8. Regan February 10, 2009 at 12:04 #

    Is it correct that the conclusion of the GMC proceedings is projected for April 2009, and that full details will be released sometime after that conclusion?

  9. Aspie Bird February 10, 2009 at 12:20 #

    Thank you for this post, this makes the whole vaccin discussion for me easier to understand. Sometimes important issues seem to get lost when I translate the English text I read into my Dutch thinking mind.

    Very interesting, but indeed very sad.

    One should almost link this whole vaccin ‘surveys’ to the tests some NAZI’s did in WW II. How far will people go?
    Scaring!
    Thanks again for sharing this post,
    Take care

  10. Joseph February 10, 2009 at 13:16 #

    I am familiar with the efforts of the journalist Brian Deer but has a legal, administrative or professional tribunal found that Dr. Wakefield committed fraud?

    No, and if you hope really hard, Harold, maybe what Brian Deer found will turn out to be one huge misunderstanding.

  11. David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction) February 10, 2009 at 14:37 #

    “I am familiar with the efforts of the journalist Brian Deer but has a legal, administrative or professional tribunal found that Dr. Wakefield committed fraud?”

    As I understand it, he is being dealt with by the GMC in the UK. They may find it hard to brush this one under the carpet, so we may well be seeing him struck off the register at the end of the case.

    Grow up.

  12. Dedj February 10, 2009 at 15:28 #

    I’m not sure why a court would have to find him guilty of fraud before we can take Brian Deer’s accusations seriously, as accusations have to be made first before they can be decided upon in a court.

    In other news, scientific work can be overturned by discovering contrary data or discovering that the basis of the initial data was false.

  13. Socrates February 10, 2009 at 15:39 #

    Given Brian Deer’s track record and the cost of any libel action to the Sunday Times, it’s hardly likely to have been published without spending a week with the paper’s solicitors.

    I use to think he was just a crap scientist.

    Now I think he’s a crap human being.

  14. Navi February 10, 2009 at 17:04 #

    Very sad. But on GI problems? My son is seeing a GI doctor. My son has chronic diarrhea. As in frequently the school is required to send him home even though he’s not sick. As in he comes home and has 3-4 full liquidy diapers in the evening on a regular basis.

    So far all his test results come out negative for anything. So I imagine someone would call his problem minor. I wouldn’t gauge GI problems based on test results, just because of my personal experience.

    Otherwise, I have to agree that this is appalling.

  15. daedalus2u February 10, 2009 at 22:33 #

    Wakefield has not answered serious allegations of scientific fraud. He has had ample time to do so.

    No reputable scientist will take any of Wakefield’s work seriously or use it for the basis of any further work. Wakefield’s work is too unreliable to base anything on.

  16. alyric February 10, 2009 at 23:50 #

    Socrates

    Wakefield could never have been honourable since we found out he’d been paid around half a million by lawyers about to sue pharmaceutical companies. How do you ethically explain that away? The man has been consistently shown to be dishonourable, which is why it’s a bit of a shock to me when I see folks willing to walk around large stacks of solid data to make some secondary point, like Doherty come to think about it. He seems to like doing that.

  17. Sullivan February 11, 2009 at 20:51 #

    Mr Fryer,

    you comment is filled with the standard anti-vaccine themes. “Vaccines don’t really work”, “too many too soon” and other unsupported or unsupportable assertions.

    You spin off into tangents that have no bearing on the autism community–a clear sign of pushing your anti-vaccine agenda on our communities, rather than being a part of the community with valid concerns.

    I truly wish people like you would leave us alone. You have caused enough harm to us.

  18. Harold L Doherty February 12, 2009 at 00:03 #

    Joseph and David N Andrews M.Ed DISTINCTION, did not provide a link to a tribunal decision finding that Dr. Wakefield had committed fraud. Their usual childish responses can not obscure that fact.

    Rant on kiddies.

  19. Sullivan February 12, 2009 at 00:12 #

    Mr. Doherty,

    you do yourself no service by acting childish while chastising others for do so.

    Has Dr. Wakefield been through any official procedure to determine if he committed fraud?

    No.

    If the information Mr. Deer has presented are true, is it possible that instead of committing fraud, Dr. Wakefield just made a vast number of mistakes and oversights, all of which support his theory and would potentially benefit him financially given his vaccine patent applications?

    Yes.

    Are Dr. Wakefield’s claims correct?

    Almost certainly no.

    Should Dr. Wakefield or his coauthors or the publishers retract the papers they published? If any fraction of the claims made in Mr. Deer’s report are true, yes.

    Has Dr. Wakefield harmed the autism community?

    Yes.

    Are you, Mr. Doherty, sitting on the fence on this issue? Yes. Decide if you want to support MMR as a causative agent in autism or not. Don’t just sit back and ask leading questions in what is, to this reader, a very childish manner.

  20. Joseph February 12, 2009 at 00:51 #

    Really, is Doherty actually a lawyer? In his blog he was actually arguing that Deer’s reporting is a violation of due process.

    It boggles the mind, doesn’t it? It’s like reasoning is compartamentalized away as soon as vaccines are mentioned.

    According to his reasoning, all major wrongdoing discoveries by journalists are to be considered invalid until the accused is convicted. That would include Watergate and so forth.

  21. alyric February 12, 2009 at 03:19 #

    Joseph

    I don’t think Doherty’s spending much time doing any serious thinking. I guess his attraction for the Hub is a means to keep up some readers for his blog. Most of the time he’s pretty troll like, which is why his ramblings don’t always make sense. You know sometimes it’s best to be tolerant and ignore him. He’s supposed to be an advocate after all even though he’s really weird at it.

  22. Dedj February 12, 2009 at 03:21 #

    Not only that, but all criminal cases could not be brought if you could only make the accusation once the person was convicted of the charges.

    A situation that could only be seen as reasonable by a very black and white thinker.

  23. Harold L Doherty February 12, 2009 at 09:39 #

    Thank you Sullivan. Your remarks about childish commentary are circular. By your circular logic my comment was childish because I pointed out that Joseph’s and David Andrews, M. Ed DISTINCTION’s comments were childish. Nonsense.

    I have seen these two posters comments on many occasions and they invariably resort to the same childish personal attacks and digressions from the topic being discussed. Joseph makes the same troll accusation against any one who challenges his fervent neuroodiversity ideological positions.

    The issue I discussed was not the issue of whether MMR’s cause or contribute to the onset of autism. The issue was whether Dr. Wakefield fraudulently “fixed” the autism data as journalist Brian Deer has alleged. That is a serious accusation, one which brings with it a presumption of innocence until proven otherwise.

    Given the gravity of the accusation Dr. Wakefield is entitled to due process. If at the end of that process, including any relevant appeals or judicial reviews of the GMC decision he is found to have committed fraud, then so be it. Until then Mr. Deer’s allegations are just his opinions. And yours, or mine, are just opinions with no weight.

    As I understand it Brian Deer initiated the complaint against Dr. Wakefield before the GMC. Yet he is an author of an article in the Sunday Times in which he presumes the outcome of that same complaint. That fact was not pointed out in the article in question and has raised serious questions about the journalism standards followed by the Sunday Times.

    This site is operated by Kevin Leitch. If he wishes to restrict comments here to those who support the neurodiversity ideology of the Autism Hub he has every right to do so. Since he has allowed me to comment here I assume that he wishes to entertain views from posters from outside the cozy confines of the Autism Hub and I will continue to comment from time to time unless blocked or told that my dissenting opinions are not wanted her at LB/RB.

    I hope such dissenting views do not cause you, Joseph and Mr. Andrews, M. Ed. DISTINCTION, too much stress.

    Have a good day.

  24. David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction) February 12, 2009 at 11:20 #

    Doherty,

    For a lawyer, you’re looking incredibly stupid. If you tried that sort of trick in court, you could look at being held in contempt.

    I’m not claiming that Wakefield is in trial for fraud, although I would say that he should be. I stated that:

    “As I understand it, he is being dealt with by the GMC in the UK. They may find it hard to brush this one under the carpet, so we may well be seeing him struck off the register at the end of the case.”

    That’s not a childish remark, but your behaviour certainly is childish. I’d expect a lawyer to be able to read. Evidently you – as a lawyer – must be able to read; so I can only conclude that you choose not to read things properly.

    You said: “Given the gravity of the accusation Dr. Wakefield is entitled to due process.”

    Absolutely. I’m not disagreeing with that. The GMC are dealing with Wakefield just now, as I understand it. They will decide on a number of issues, not only whether he is fit to practise medicine. I believe that his conduct during his research is going to come under scrutiny. He is getting due process. Stop complaining.

    Like I said earlier, grow up.

    And, as for your behaviour of capitalising my ‘Distinction’ grade, are you really that fucking jealous that I did so obviously better in my studies that you seem to have done? Very childish, Harold. You really are being very childish.

  25. David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction) February 12, 2009 at 12:13 #

    Doherty: “I hope such dissenting views do not cause you, Joseph and Mr. Andrews, M. Ed. DISTINCTION, too much stress.”

    We’re not the ones who have issues with dissenting views. Can’t say the same about you, though.

  26. David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction) February 12, 2009 at 12:25 #

    Dedj: “Not only that, but all criminal cases could not be brought if you could only make the accusation once the person was convicted of the charges.”

    Actually, why hasn’t that thought cropped up in the mind of our resident troll-lawyer?!

    Would the whole criminal justice system not become unworkable if Doherty’s thing of “you can’t accuse someone if they’re not convicted” were how the CJS actually run?!

    For a lawyer to not know that… shameful, no?

  27. Harold L Doherty February 12, 2009 at 12:32 #

    I did not say you could not make the accusation.

    To David N. Andrews M.Ed. DISTINCTION – But until a conviction is entered it is just that an accusation and nothing more. Accusations are made everyday on this forum and elsewhere.

    Until a conviction is entered we will not know if Dr. Wakefield fraudulently fixed data as you seem to want desperately to believe.

    Just out of curiosity, what will you do if Dr. Wakefield is NOT convicted?

  28. Joseph February 12, 2009 at 12:47 #

    Joseph makes the same troll accusation against any one who challenges his fervent neuroodiversity ideological positions.

    No, Harold. It’s been shown that you’re clearly a concern troll, and you know that.

  29. Dedj February 12, 2009 at 12:48 #

    “Actually, why hasn’t that thought cropped up in the mind of our resident troll-lawyer?!”

    Because he wants to dismiss Brian Deers ‘opinion’ on this basis, without, of course, it affecting say, Dr Healy’s ‘opinion’, which has never been proven in court either.

    Brian Deer can and has published accusations of fraud, we cannot dismiss these accusations of grounds of ‘lack of due process’ because a: there is no process that Brian Deer has responsibility to adhere to, and b: accusations must be made before whatever process involved can act upon them.

    It’s ridiculous to expect ‘due process’ to have already acted upon these accusations given how long it took to take Wakefield to task on things he has publically admitted to.

    He also slyly equates Brian Deers recent publication with ‘reporting on the outcome of a complaint’ , yet the outcome of the compliant is seperate from these accusations of false data.

    Wakefields fitness to practice hearing is based on his (lack of) research ethics and the accusations of medical negligence – different to the accusation of false data.

    Brian Deer ‘should have’ taken these accusations to the GMC, but there is nothing to say he ‘has to’. It sucks, but Kirby et al. get away with it frequently, and even get supported with it.

    We can’t say that Wakefield is guilty of fraud, only that we think he is.

    “We’re not the ones who have issues with dissenting views. Can’t say the same about you, though”

    I’m not sure there’s evidence of Harold deleting posts, because there doesn’t appear to be evidence that his blog is popular enough to get them in the first place.

    Again, I have to point out that very few people outside of the ND or anti-ND movement appear to have heard of Harold, yet I have been refered to the work of David Andrews in two different contexts by three different organisations, representing services across GB, NI and Eire, as well as beyond.

  30. Dedj February 12, 2009 at 12:52 #

    “I did not say you could not make the accusation.”

    No , but you heavily implied a dismissal of Brian Deer on the basis of a lack of a court judgement.

    Like it or not, some accusations carry more weight than others. It’s why some get to court and others don’t.

    In the clinical world, accusations can reach several levels. Only the more serious ones get to fitnes to practice hearings.

  31. Harold L Doherty February 12, 2009 at 13:07 #

    Dedj I implied nothing about the outcome of the accusations against Dr. Wakefield. I have no vested interest in that outcome and I have never argued that MMR’s cause vaccines, although I would want to look at that argument again if more evidence is presented.

    What I have said, expressly, about this process is that the accusations brought against Dr. Wakefield by Brian Deer are serious and due process requires that the accusations be determined by a responsible tribunal not by trial in the media.

    I also find it disconcerting that Brian Deer laid the initial complaint against Dr. Wakefield before the GMC and NOW he is waging a media campaign which assumes the outcome of the very tribunal to which he complained.

    Joseph – well, you just can’t help being Joseph. I expect nothing more than personal attacks and name calling from you.

    Have a good day people.

  32. David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction) February 12, 2009 at 13:17 #

    “To David N. Andrews M.Ed. DISTINCTION ”

    Again, you see… this man is jealous of my achievement. Did he not achieve honours in his bachelor degree? That why he has to play up on the fact that I got a Distinction in my postgraduate work?

    Maybe he didn’t get the honours class he wanted, eh?

    Such a small-minded man if that’s who he is!

    “Until a conviction is entered we will not know if Dr. Wakefield fraudulently fixed data as you seem to want desperately to believe.”

    Except that a number of things are coming to light, such as the real hospital records of the children in the Wakefield study. It’s kinda edging that way, don’t you think, Doherty?

    “Just out of curiosity, what will you do if Dr. Wakefield is NOT convicted?”

    Well… we’ll do exactly what you are incapable of doing: probably accept the decision of people who have heard more of the facts than we have. What will you do if a criminal trial for fraud were to conclude that he did in fact commit fraud? Argue that the jury were wrong?

    What class of honours did you get, Doherty? Or did you not do them?

  33. Dedj February 12, 2009 at 13:20 #

    “I implied nothing about the outcome of the accusations against Dr. Wakefield.”

    Never said you did.

    “…and due process requires that the accusations be determined by a responsible tribunal…”

    Again, there is no process that Brain Deer has a responsibility to adhere to. He ‘should’ take the accusation to the GMC is not the same as ‘has to’.

    “I also find it disconcerting that Brian Deer laid the initial complaint against Dr. Wakefield….”

    Well , he has evidence from the GMC – available through his website I believe – that indicates he is not the original complianant. I would not be surprised if the GMC does not wish to publicise the identity of the original complainant, which is not unusual in FTP proceedings.

    “….before the GMC and NOW he is waging a media campaign which assumes the outcome of the very tribunal to which he complained”

    He’s not ‘assuming’ anything’. At no point has Brain Deer said ‘Dr wakefield has been convicted of scientific fraud’. In any case, I would expect the original complainant to carry on publicising their complaints. It sucks that he can make his concerns very public, but he is under no professional or legal obligation not to. If he were, we’d have to strike the opinions of Kirby, Olmstead, Healy et al. and the original parents off.

  34. Dedj February 12, 2009 at 13:28 #

    We could still argue that his data is false anyway.

    No conviction is needed to say ‘his reporting does not match the records he was reporting on’

    The literature is full of to-and-fro between authours and thier critics, arguing over whether convienience sampling or reliance of interviews did/did not skew the data.

  35. David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction) February 12, 2009 at 13:44 #

    “No conviction is needed to say ‘his reporting does not match the records he was reporting on’”

    True, actually.

    Very true.

  36. Joseph February 12, 2009 at 14:03 #

    I also find it disconcerting that Brian Deer laid the initial complaint against Dr. Wakefield before the GMC and NOW he is waging a media campaign which assumes the outcome of the very tribunal to which he complained.

    Interesting. So whether Wakefield committed fraud is in doubt. We shouldn’t make much of Deer’s report because there’s been no conviction.

    But we do know one thing for sure. Brian Deer laid the initial complaint against Wakefield. And this is disconcerting.

    Wakefield’s likely scientific fraud – not disconcerting. Not at all.

    OK Harold. Be consistent. Present evidence that Brian Deer laid the initial complaint against Wakefield.

  37. Brian Deer February 12, 2009 at 20:38 #

    I did not lay the initial complaint against Wakefield. This allegation is a fabrication, albeit rather a small one in the MMR issue.

    The GMC asked me for my journalistic evidence arising from published stories. It was my public duty to supply my findings to this statutory regulator.

    The GMC’s investigation followed a call by Dr Wakefield, stating that he would “insist” on such an inquiry.

    The facts are at my site:

    http://briandeer.com/mmr/lancet-summary.htm

  38. Sullivan February 12, 2009 at 22:25 #

    Mr. Deer,

    thank you very much for taking the time to comment here.

    I will check your site, but it is unfortunately not loading right now for me.

    The idea that you called the complaint is an obvious smokescreen. Dr. Wakefield and his supporters are studiously avoiding the real questions raised by your stories. At best, they suggest that you shouldn’t have the details you relate, but they don’t have answers for how those details severely damage the story put forth by Dr. Wakefield.

  39. Isabella Thomas February 13, 2009 at 12:26 #

    Now published on ChildHealthSafety blog:-
    Sunday Times Journalist Instigated GMC Case Against Dr Andrew Wakefield
    ChildHealthSafety can now reveal exclusively worldwide further evidence proving conclusively The Sunday Times freelance journalist Brian Deer is not only the main complainant but the instigator of and actively planned from the outset to bring about the marathon UK General Medical Council proceedings against eminent gastroenterologists Drs Andrew Wakefield, Simon Murch and Professor Walker-Smith relating to research into autism, bowel disease and the safety of the MMR vaccine. Brain Deer is also responsible for the now shown to be false “”MMR Data Fixing” allegations against Dr Andrew Wakefield [“Sunday Times Journalist Made Up Wakefield MMR Data Fixing Allegation “]
    Shattering the denials of The Sunday Times freelance journalist Brian Deer and those of the GMC to his not being the main complainant and instigator of the GMC proceedings is the formal published English High Court judgement of Justice Eady: Wakefield v Channel Four Television Corp & Ors [2006] EWHC 3289 (QB) (21 December 2006)
    The Judgement was given in open Court proceedings in which The Sunday Times freelancer concerned, a Mr Brian Deer was a party and is named as a defendant. The judgement states simply, with clarity and the specific dates on which journalist Brian Deer instigated and then pursued his complaints with the GMC against Dr Wakefield:-
    2. The background to the litigation is the long standing controversy surrounding the MMR vaccine. The Claimant is a gastroenterologist. The first Defendant (’Channel 4?) is a broadcasting corporation, which broadcast on 18 November 2004 a programme which forms the subject-matter of these proceedings, and which was produced by the second Defendant and presented by the third Defendant (’Mr Deer’). …….
    3. Well before the programme was broadcast Mr Deer had made a complaint to the GMC about the Claimant. His communications were made on 25 February, 12 March and 1 July 2004 …. it seems likely that a hearing will take place commencing in July 2007 and lasting for many weeks. “

  40. Brian Deer February 13, 2009 at 13:32 #

    Ms Thomas, of course, is one of the individuals who KNOWS FOR A CERTAIN FACT that data on children was changed and misreported in the Lancet.

    However, on the point she raises: David Eady was wrong. I have never denied sending materials – at their request – to the GMC. Many people have done this. However, I am not the complainant in the case, which was brought on the GMC’s own initiative.

    It was also brought at Dr Wakefield’s explicit request, as reported in many places, but not least:

    “It has been proposed that my role in this matter be investigated by the General Medical Council. I not only welcome this, I insist on it” – Andrew Wakefield, February 2004.

    http://briandeer.com/mmr/wakefield-sly.htm

    This statement of Wakefield’s also illustrates that my latest report, revealing mismatches of which Ms Thomas is aware but says nothing, is quite different to the very serious conflict of interest issues I exposed five years ago.

  41. century February 13, 2009 at 14:35 #

    Brian Deer said

    “David Eady was wrong”

    So, who are we to believe:

    A. High Court Judge

    or

    B. Freelance journo with a grudge

  42. Brian Deer February 13, 2009 at 15:01 #

    Century,

    I’m afraid you will have to believe a formal letter of the GMC’s, explicitly stating my role, hich I will post when I return to the UK next week.

    I shall post a link at this site. So, if you need a reality check on the cranks and malicious liars behind this thing, stay tuned. You might learn something…

  43. century February 13, 2009 at 15:09 #

    Brian

    Why didn’t you [and I presume you didn’t because you have had ample time to show the evidnece that you did] correct Judge Eady when he made this “mistake”?

  44. Joseph February 13, 2009 at 15:16 #

    The historical record about how the GMC hearings started out is clearly with Brian.

    Of course, Brian Deer was instrumental in exposing what Wakefield did, and I understand a lot of the evidence the GMC has looked at is Brian’s work product. It’s not clear that the GMC investigation would’ve happened at all if not for Brian’s efforts, which led to The Lancet publishing about Wakefield’s undisclosed conflict of interest, which in turn led to John Reid calling for an investigation.

    But that’s not the same thing. It’s difficult to imagine the logic behind the suggestions that Brian Deer should no longer investigate Wakefield, that he has a conflict of interest that needed to be declared, or was hiding his involvement in the Wakefield matter.

  45. Brian Deer February 13, 2009 at 17:42 #

    Thanks Joseph,

    You have it about right there. I’m proud of my work investigating Wakefield. Unlike Kirby, I am not a campaigner, have never advocated any pharmaceutical product, and have never made statements on whether or not any vaccine may or may not cause any medical condition. If there are any editorial changes in any of my published work to that effect, I don’t know of them. I’m a reporter, and have simply sought out the facts on Wakefield’s research.

    That said, I’m also very proud that, like the GMC, the US government sought my help in mounting its case in Cedillo, copiously borrowing pages of evidence from my website and displaying some in court. I was surprised by this. I assumed that they would have sophisticated contacts with other governments and with industry, and could pretty much get what they wanted. However, on a number of occasions I would come home, find an email from the department of justice asking me for a document, and see that the next day it was being run in court. Bit of a seat of the pants job by the DoJ (brought about by the plaintiffs changing their case at the last minute). Indeed, I recall supplying a key document on the O’Leary lab business, which the DoJ didn’t seem to know about just weeks before the hearing. Hence the late surfacing of Bustin and Chadwick. It was me wot done that, and I’m glad.

    I don’t say these things to boast, only perhaps to wonder why – if there are all kinds of grand conspiracies behind the defence of vaccine safety – governments and regulators are so untogether that a mere journalist can get ahead of them in the game.

    I think, for example, the British department of health should simply seize the medical records of the Lancet children, analyse them and pass the matter to the director of public prosecutions. All this GMC stuff, allowing doctors to investigate themselves, is a huge waste of dosh, although I say so myself. I gave them my materials, as was my public duty, but IMO the GMC’s lawyers should have said “this is not for us”, and brought in the DoH and the police.

  46. apgaylard February 13, 2009 at 17:57 #

    Brian Deer is to be applauded for the good he has already done for the public by his previous expose of Wakefield.

    Wakefield should be considered innocent until proven guilty on this latest charge – of course. However, allegations brought by a serious investigative journalist like Deer – who already has an impressive track record on this topic – should be taken very seriously.

    Let’s hope that they are swiftly investigated by the relevant authorities.

  47. Sharon February 13, 2009 at 18:10 #

    Brian Deer wrote, “Indeed, I recall supplying a key document on the O’Leary lab business, which the DoJ didn’t seem to know about just weeks before the hearing. Hence the late surfacing of Bustin and Chadwick. It was me wot done that, and I’m glad.”

    As am I Brian. Well done for all your hard work on this issue. While so much of the UK media lost it’s head, you just did the work to get to the truth. Your latest Wakefield stories plus the vaccine trial decision, make a massive hole in an already failed notion.

  48. Kev February 13, 2009 at 19:34 #

    Comments such as that from Century clearly show how little they understand key concepts in reporting or litigation. This extends itself to JABS, John Stone et al.

    Brian, some parents of autistic kids will never forget the work and effort you put in this case and we’ll always be grateful to you for doing it. Without your work, victories for science such as that which happened yesterday might’ve kept autism science in the anti-vax medieval state some would’ve preferred it to remain in.

  49. Brian Deer though the looking glass February 13, 2009 at 20:09 #

    Alf Percival – shhhh now. Go away, grow up.

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  1. Brian Deer Discusses Andrew Wakefield in the Sunday Times: Many Updates « Holford Watch: Patrick Holford, nutritionism and bad science - February 10, 2009

    […] of Left Brain/Right Brain finds this all profoundly time-wasting, irritating and sad: Wakefield. The name alone conjures up strong images for many in the autism communities. If you think vaccines […]

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