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)

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395 Responses to “Wakefield”

  1. John Stone February 15, 2009 at 20:01 #

    Mr Justice Eady, in a UK High Court judgement, previously uncontested, stated that Brian Deer was the complainant against Andrew Wakefield, and listed three separate letters of complaint written by Deer in 2004. As a journalist Brian Deer now needs to publish all his correspondence with the GMC and its lawyers in order to clarify his relationship with them.

    Mr Deer, publish the documents.

  2. Kelli Ann Davis February 15, 2009 at 20:14 #

    “The cranks and malicious liars need to beware. Medical confidentiality is not absolute. There is a balancing that needs to be performed. Confidentiality needs to be balanced against the public interest. If the overriding public interest requires that confidentiality be broken, it will be broken.”

    Really Brian?? So exactly *who* determined there was an “overriding public interest” in this situation which called for private medical records to be handed over to a journalist???

    Gosh, too bad your “rules” don’t apply to the VSD here in the States. But I guess that only works when it helps *support* vaccine uptake.

    Kelli Ann Davis
    D.C. Political Liaison for Generation Rescue

  3. alyric February 15, 2009 at 20:35 #

    Lord I’ve never read so many illiterate individuals yet.Why don’t they read, why can’t they reason? Brian isn’t the GMC complainant – never has been. If he got the facts wrong, even by a fraction, the lawyers would be yelling libel from the roof tops. Why aren’t they John Stone? John Stone should have a shot at that one but he won’t because there goes all his silly anti-vaxxer ravings – up in smoke against cold hard fact.

    Where did this Isabella Thomas come from and could she take her hysterical nonsense somewhere else please?

    One thing I’ve noticed with the anti-vax crowd is how they totally ignored their own experts in the omnibus. They had years to assemble the best they could with the best arguments they could and their own people totally ignore them because they weren’t good enough. Time to face the music John Stone and ask why they were not good enough.

  4. One Queer Fish February 15, 2009 at 20:52 #

    alyric

    I think if Mr Deer produced the evidence to back Judge Eady we would all leave you alone to self worship one another.
    “Libel” and “chain of custody” are two diffrent things.

    If Mr Deer has nothing to hide he would produce his letters as Mr Stone refers to from Judge Eady simple enough request,

    Audi et alteram partem

  5. Isabella Thomas February 15, 2009 at 21:07 #

    alyric,

    Where did this Isabella Thomas come from and could she take her hysterical nonsense somewhere else please?

    What hysterical nonsense are you talking about?

  6. Joseph February 15, 2009 at 21:10 #

    As much as I hate intellectual dishonesty, I’m no longer going to address those who can’t let go of something that has been proven to be a falsehood through various means. What’s the point, really?

    I do have a question for Brian Deer, in case he’s still reading.

    Is the GMC expected to rule on the matter of whether Wakefield committed scientific fraud, or would a completely separate set of hearings be necessary to consider this question. In other words, what’s the timeframe we might be looking at?

  7. alyric February 15, 2009 at 21:58 #

    With you there Joseph. Hysteria a la Thomas seems to be in the air. AoA seems to have determined that Brian Deer is responsible for the demise of the parents omnibus case. |Fortunately they seem to be relying on Mad Melanie so that’s not much of a recommendation for their rationality.

    Note that no one seems to want to tackle the really big hole in their arguments as to why the lawyers aren’t yelling libel. Maybe Brian’s latest round of information is accurate? How about that? Wskefield really is the complete fraud. Why are we not surprised?

  8. Socrates February 15, 2009 at 22:07 #

    Alyric,

    We are of one mind on this.

    A pointless ‘discussion’ that has little connexion to the outside world. It has lost it’s frame of reference in the unacknowledged BAP and/or stupidity of its protagonists.

    Quackspeak. Pseudorhetoric. Onanism. Narcissism.

    Our saviour walks among us an his name is Brian. Blessed are the Cheesemakers!

  9. HCN February 15, 2009 at 22:17 #

    Thomas, Stone and others are infamous in the UK for being completely clueless. If you show them a red rock, they will insist it is blue because Wakefield remarked that it was a blue rock.

    Like the AoA, they have their own forum which is also moderated with a cast iron clown glove. If you don’t agree with them, you are banned. One of those banned members has created a blog to react to some of their lunacy (apparently of them is a real doctor who posts rather bizarre sexual rants in response):
    http://jabsloonies.blogspot.com/

  10. One Queer Fish February 15, 2009 at 22:35 #

    Alyric,
    Quite simply, just because libel isn’t happening just now doesn’t mean it is never going to happen .To fund Legal representation at a GMC hearing requires serious money but, to take on a libel case as well would be beyond most peoples financial reaches. Its as simple as that not a positioning of weakness as you imply, and as simple as the the Eady complaint letters that Mr Deer is being asked for, but he obviously has his reasons for not supplying them? Maybe it will happen at a later date that’s if he wishes the “chain of custody” to be scrupulous in its chronological documentation, and also the papertrail pertaining to the GMC’t Dr Wakefield would walk free on appeal if found guilty if it was not scrupulously factual.

  11. Brian Deer February 15, 2009 at 23:55 #

    Joseph,

    No, there are no charges on issues of scientific fraud, apart from the issue of Wakefield being accused of lying to a panel of the MRC, when he told them that the Lancet children all came through “the standard route”, when in fact they were recruited by him through JABS and Dawbarns.

    The reason seems straightforward enough. The allegations were put to the doctors in late 2004, who declined to respond (a situation which would, in any other forum but the doctors’ regulator, be interpreted negatively). The GMC’s lawyers then pulled the RFH, local hospital and GP medical records of 11 of the 12 Lancet children. It’s clear that it’s only when they read the records that they will have spotted the extraordinary mismatches with the Lancet paper that I’ve reported on. By then it was kinda late (probably two years into their inquiries). To add another raft of charges would probably tack another year onto the outcome of the thing (because panel members are not full-time, like judges, and so can’t sit continuously). And the defendants’ lawyers are already complaining of lack of speedy process – even though it’s their lack of civil procedure rules-style cooperation which has done much to slow it down. I suspect that any more charges would simply be unmanageable.

    In a libel case, or indeed any civil case, the parties are ordered to exchange documents, and to narrow the areas of dispute, so as to save time and money. This isn’t true of the GMC, so there have been countless instances when the defendants’ produce what they say is supportive evidence years after they could have done. Their lawyers literally circulate paperwork, out of the blue, that the prosecution has never seen before, much less had time to digest. You wouldn’t see that in any court.

    So, short answer: no charges of scientific fraud. But that wouldn’t preclude Wakefield being charged again when the present thing is over.

    And certainly, I predict that the Lancet will be forced to withdraw the paper in its entirity, not least because all three defendants have now repudiated their claims of five years ago (in response to questions from me) in which they said they had ethical approval for the project. Now, despite formal statements, published in the Lancet, they now say that they did not have ethical approval, and didn’t need it because the project wasn’t research. Total reversal of their position.

    Truly a fascinating case, but you wouldn’t know it from what has been circulated on the cranksites. They have no interest at all in informing the public. I remember, for instance, some of us journos were talking about the core issues when some strange short woman in big boots from one of the cranksites came in and started shrieking abuse, obviously to disrupt. Strange business.

  12. Yellowriver February 16, 2009 at 00:44 #

    Brian Deer says

    And they wonder why their children have problems with their brains.

    Is this how you get your kicks

    you also quote

    (d)Malicious liars and cranks fabricated the suggestion that I was reporting my own allegations. There are a number of such individuals who appear to gain some kind of emotional satisfaction in spreading confusion among vulnerable people. The amount of frank lying in this whole affair is bottomless.

    Do you not understand that your (d) statement is untrue.

  13. One Queer Fish February 16, 2009 at 01:19 #

    Brian the only information on the GMC that i can see available for the public to read is from a Martin Walker @

    http://www.cryshame.co.uk/

    You could simply put yourself in the clear by simply publishing the letters of complaint you sent to Judge Eady as John Stone asks above ,why not?

  14. alyric February 16, 2009 at 03:12 #

    Queer fish

    Don’t you think that Brian is sick and tired of being asked to answer fabricated nonsense such as you and especially John Stone keep coughing up. Try reading what Brian writes.Oh sorry, I keep forgetting, you can’t because you wouldn’t have anything to say apart from more fabricated lunacy. You poor thing. These conspiracies do take some effort to keep up don’t they?

  15. John Stone February 16, 2009 at 08:24 #

    Just to be clear, I have not fabricated anything, and there is no alternative other than that Brian Deer – as a journalist – publishes his correspondence with the GMC and its lawyers in order to clarify his relationship with them.

  16. One Queer Fish February 16, 2009 at 09:42 #

    Alyric

    Sorry for taking an interest in this forum and putting Mr Deer to any unintentional trouble. When I came across the site I was intrigued by the postings and this is where the debate has arrived at, a stalemate between Mr Deer and the Judge Eady letters.
    Wouldn’t it be very interesting to take the debate forward but that rests with Mr Deer.

  17. Jimbo February 16, 2009 at 11:51 #

    Queer fish, the topic of the debate is “Wakefield”, and not “Deer”.
    I find it very instructive how keen the antivax loons are to make an issue of irrelevancies to distract from any discussion on the failings of their hero, Saint Andrew. What next, a debate about Brian Deer’s colour of underwear?

  18. Sullivan February 16, 2009 at 16:55 #

    Just to be clear, I have not fabricated anything, and there is no alternative other than that Brian Deer – as a journalist – publishes his correspondence with the GMC and its lawyers in order to clarify his relationship with them.

    I don’t know or claim that you have fabricated anything. I do see you sidestepping the real topic–if the details that Mr Deer has published are true, is there any validity at all to Dr Wakefield’s papers?

    Given Hornig(2008) and many other papers, Wakefield’s work was already at best questionable. Lancet should a full retraction, not just a retraction of conclusions.

  19. John Stone February 16, 2009 at 18:40 #

    Sullivan

    I believe it was entirely reasonable to raise a single issue that arose out of this blog (my other thoughts on the matter are available alsewhere – including Hornig).

    I quote the editor of ChildHealthSafety in response to CS (possibly even yourself):

    “[ED: How do you know what he printed or says is true? The Judge stated his letters were letters of complaint. He denies that but does not publish the letters to prove they were not letters of complaint. Which account is going to be the more accurate – his or the Judge in a legal judgment binding on him in a case in which he was a party and which was just setting out the facts which were uncontested.]

    “As a journalist he is obliged to be independent objective and impartial, so the public can have some confidence in what he writes. If he wrote letters of complaint, that means he is not impartial, is directly involved, has a personal interest in the outcome of the case and therefore should not be reporting.”

    http://childhealthsafety.wordpress.com/2009/02/15/sunday-times-mmr-journalist-denials-challenged/

    Deer keeps on asking us to take an absurd amount on trust. Where are the letters, so we can see for ourselves?

  20. Isabella Thomas February 16, 2009 at 19:55 #

    You post anything like that again and I will ban you. Would it have killed you to simply post a link? – KL

  21. Kev February 16, 2009 at 20:01 #

    John – I guess those letters must be in the same place where the document saying Hannah Polings vaccines caused her autism are….except, oh wait, they’re not, *they* are actually available to be read!

  22. K February 16, 2009 at 20:04 #

    Isabella,

    Do you think what Deer wrote about Wakefield was true or not and how do you come to the conclusion you come to? Is it important to you if Deer printed the truth?

  23. Chris Ogilvie February 16, 2009 at 20:07 #

    alyric on February 16th, 2009 03:12:13

    Queer fish

    Don’t you think that Brian is sick and tired of being asked to answer fabricated nonsense such as you and especially John Stone keep coughing up. Try reading what Brian writes.Oh sorry, I keep forgetting, you can’t because you wouldn’t have anything to say apart from more fabricated lunacy. You poor thing. These conspiracies do take some effort to keep up don’t they?

    Well, alyric, you’d know the answer to that last question. What lyric are you anyway? Some simple punk one, I’d imagine.

    I rather think Brian Deer is, in fact, scared by the fact that he can’t answer simple questions or provide such proofs to answer basic questions. I’m surprised by how his supporters/backers aren’t a little worried by how many questions he’s simply ignored just in this forum alone!

    Your role in all this will be uncovered Brian. God help you, Sir.

  24. K February 16, 2009 at 20:13 #

    The fact is, none of these characters gives a damn about autistic people, either the gut perforator Wakefield and his cult followers or Brian Deer as evidence from his comments. Brian Deer, go F yourself. Kelli Ann go F yourself too. See Sullivan, they don’t give a rat’s A.s.s, none of them.

  25. Chris Ogilvie February 16, 2009 at 20:13 #

    KL – Hmm..not very fair of you not to leave the quote in place at least.

    Here’s the Spectator link which discusses Brian Deer’s journalistic mistakes, in case anyone’s interested.

  26. Kev February 16, 2009 at 20:15 #

    Chris, not only can you not quote correctly, you can’t formulate a point.

    _What_ simple questions do you feel Brian has to answer?

    His role in this _has_ been uncovered you jackass. Read, digest.

  27. Chris Ogilvie February 16, 2009 at 20:19 #

    KL – Hmm..not very fair of you not to leave the quote in place at least.

    Kev – You make yourself look like a food with personal attacks. Do please try to grow-up. This isn’t a playground. Oh, and my point was perfectly formulated – you just disagree with it.

    Here’s the Spectator link which discusses Brian Deer’s journalistic mistakes, in case anyone’s interested.

  28. K February 16, 2009 at 20:20 #

    While autistic people give their support to Deer all over the internet, including me, he insults us and our children. I’d like an apology from him.

  29. Chris Ogilvie February 16, 2009 at 20:20 #

    KL – Hmm..not very fair of you not to leave the quote in place at least.

    Kev – You make yourself look like a food with personal attacks. Do please try to grow-up. This isn’t a playground. Oh, and my point was perfectly formulated – you just disagree with it.

    Here’s the Spectator link which discusses Brian Deer’s journalistic mistakes, in case anyone’s interested.

  30. Kev February 16, 2009 at 20:21 #

    Does he K? Where?

  31. Chris Ogilvie February 16, 2009 at 20:23 #

    Kev – You make yourself look like a food with personal attacks. Do please try to grow-up. This isn’t a playground. Oh, and my point was perfectly formulated – you just disagree with it.

    Here’s the Spectator link which discusses Brian Deer’s journalistic mistakes, in case anyone’s interested.

  32. Chris February 16, 2009 at 20:25 #

    KL – Hmm..not very fair of you not to leave the quote in place at least.

    Kev – You make yourself look like a food with personal attacks. Do please try to grow-up. This isn’t a playground. Oh, and my point was perfectly formulated – you just disagree with it.

    Here’s the Spectator link which discusses Brian Deer’s journalistic mistakes, in case anyone’s interested.

  33. Chris February 16, 2009 at 20:25 #

    KL – Hmm..not very fair of you not to leave the quote in place at least.

    Kev – You make yourself look like a fool with personal attacks. Do please try to grow-up. This isn’t a playground. Oh, and my point was perfectly formulated – you just disagree with it.

    Here’s the Spectator link which discusses Brian Deer’s journalistic mistakes, in case anyone’s interested.

  34. K February 16, 2009 at 20:28 #

    “And they wonder why their children have problems with their brains” – Brian Deer

  35. Chris Ogilvie February 16, 2009 at 20:31 #

    Kev – You make yourself look like a fool with personal attacks. Do please try to grow-up. This isn’t a playground. Oh, and my point was perfectly formulated – you just disagree with it.

    Here’s the Spectator link which discusses Brian Deer’s journalistic…ahem…approaches, in case anyone’s interested.

  36. apgaylard February 16, 2009 at 20:31 #

    John Stone wrote:

    “As a journalist he is obliged to be independent objective and impartial, so the public can have some confidence in what he writes. If he wrote letters of complaint, that means he is not impartial, is directly involved, has a personal interest in the outcome of the case and therefore should not be reporting.”

    Impartial and objective does not mean avoiding coming to conclusions. It means being led by the facts. If the facts Deer has unearthed expose Wakefield – then this is what he must report to be impartial and objective. It would be extremely partial to do anything else.

    There is no obligation on journalists to stop reporting on a story that they have unearthed – unless it is sub judice; which these events are not.

    Woodward and Bernstein’s All the President’s Men was published before Charles Colson was sentenced, United States v. Nixon was decided and Congress started to impeach Nixon. They broke the story and published articles throughout the Watergate crisis. They got Pulitzer prizes.

    It’s not very edifying to invent a bogus standard and judge Deer against it.

    In the end Deer’s work will stand or fall on the truth of his allegations and the evidence that he has collected. It will not matter one jot whether he was an informant, complainant campaigner or plain old whistle-blower in the GMC hearing.

    Let’s hope that these new allegations are investigated and the evidence placed in the public domain. Then we’ll see.

  37. Yellowriver February 16, 2009 at 20:42 #

    But what Deer does not reveal is that on February 25, 2004, three days after his article attacking Wakefield had been published in the Sunday Times, he had written to the GMC in these terms:
    Following an extensive inquiry for the Sunday Times into the origins of the public panic over MMR, I write to ask your permission to lay before you an outline of evidence that you may consider worthy of evaluation with respect of the possibility of serious professional misconduct on the part of the above named registered medical practitioners. [Andrew Wakefield, John Walker Smith and Simon Murch.]

  38. Chris Ogilvie February 16, 2009 at 20:44 #

    Dear Kev – You make yourself look like a fool with personal attacks. Do please try to grow-up. This isn’t a playground. Oh, and my point was perfectly formulated – you just disagree with it. There’s a difference.

    Here’s the Spectator link which discusses Brian Deer’s involvement in the GMC hearings, which was deleted earlier.

  39. Chris February 16, 2009 at 21:17 #

    K, that comment was meant as an insult to Stone, Thomas, the Queer Fish, century, Davis, Doherty and others who are being struck by a clue-by-four and still not getting a clue. Those people do not claim to be autistic.

  40. Kev February 16, 2009 at 21:17 #

    Really Brian?? So exactly who determined there was an “overriding public interest” in this situation which called for private medical records to be handed over to a journalist???

    Damn good question Kelli Ann – maybe one we could direct to David Kirby regarding the Hannah Poling concession documents hmmm?

    K – autism _is_ partly a problem with the brain. All the positive aspects shouldn’t rule out the negative. Both exist.

  41. Chris February 16, 2009 at 21:21 #

    Oh, by the way, K, my son does have a problem with his brain: a seizure disorder and actual damage around Broca’s area. It was not caused by vaccines, but it has caused some other issues. So saying something is wrong with his brain is not an insult, but a statement of fact. Though, considering his developmental delays, and learning disabilities he is much brighter, compassionate, and has more a clue than Stone, Thomas, the Queer Fish, century, Davis, Doherty and others.

  42. Autismnostrum February 16, 2009 at 21:25 #

    I’m not surprised at the reactions here. Getting caught up in semantics and trying to trip up Brian Deer about what exactly defines a “complainant” doesn’t make his report false.

    And even if it were, Wakefield’s research has been discredited by the scientific community. It’s invalid. The research is bad. He had clear, undisclosed conflicts of interest. There’s ample evidence he at least ignored facts, even if he didn’t outright falsify his claims. Tearing Deer down doesn’t raise Wakefield up, no matter what you try.

  43. K February 16, 2009 at 21:32 #

    “Oh, by the way, K, my son does have a problem with his brain: a seizure disorder and actual damage around Broca’s area. It was not caused by vaccines, but it has caused some other issues. ”

    Well, that has nothing to do with autism strictly. But, I needless to say won’t be defending Deer any longer.

    Kev, you wrote: ” autism is partly a problem with the brain. All the positive aspects shouldn’t rule out the negative. Both exist.”

    Do positive and negative aspects only apply to autistics or do they apply to everyone? If they apply to everyone, then who was Deer referring to exclusively?

  44. Kev February 16, 2009 at 21:41 #

    They refer to everyone who has mental health issues (like me) or mentally centred disabilities (like my daughter). I would imagine Brian was referring to the people commenting here who seem incapable of processing fairly simple sentences.

  45. Chris February 16, 2009 at 21:53 #

    K said “Well, that has nothing to do with autism strictly. But, I needless to say won’t be defending Deer any longer”

    I don’t think he needs to be defended, just that mis-truths be addressed as the lies they are. The ones who are spreading the lies need to confronted. This is not “defending” Mr. Deer as much as objecting to lies.

    This also pertains to Wakefield, and it seems that the testimony given in the American Autism Omnibus proceedings clearly shows that he used bad data, even after he was told it was bad data. (see the bits of transcript I posted up thread)

  46. K February 16, 2009 at 22:21 #

    Mr Deer was using my disability to insult others and for me that crosses the line. He has no proof that my brain isn’t exactly what is best for my functioning and should find more informed ways if he wishes to insult people..

  47. One Queer Fish February 16, 2009 at 22:28 #

    A wman scorned and all that …just found this guys any comments from Mr Deer???
    Mr Deer does not reveal that on February 25, 2004, three days after his article attacking Wakefield had been published in the Sunday Times, he had written to the GMC in these terms:

    Following an extensive inquiry for the Sunday Times into the origins of the public panic over MMR, I write to ask your permission to lay before you an outline of evidence that you may consider worthy of evaluation with respect of the possibility of serious professional misconduct on the part of the above named registered medical practitioners. [Andrew Wakefield, John Walker Smith and Simon Murch.]

    http://www.spectator.co.uk/melaniephillips/3362116/a-deer-in-the-headlights.thtml

  48. Joseph February 16, 2009 at 22:40 #

    K is correct that neurological disability should not be used as an insult, although there’s no way for Brian Deer to have known that, unless he frequents blogs that discuss the philosophy of disability and disability rights. Everybody does it. But now he knows.

    That’s true of any disability. Blind and deaf people will say you shouldn’t use “deaf” and “blind” as insults either.

  49. Chris February 16, 2009 at 23:07 #

    Chris said “That’s true of any disability. Blind and deaf people will say you shouldn’t use “deaf” and “blind” as insults either.”

    Sports enthusiasts are very guilty of that each time they yell at a referee!

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