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. Prometheus February 18, 2009 at 02:20 #

    Perhaps I’m being a bit obtuse, but why does it matter if Brian Deer was the “complaintant” to the GMC when it was Wakefield’s actions that led to his investigation?

    We’ve already heard more than enough testimony under oath – in the Omnibus Autism Proceedings – to know that Dr. Wakefield knew that there was no measles virus in his samples. That doesn’t seem to be causing as much stir as the question of whether or not Brian Deer made a complaint to the GMC.

    Heck, if Mr. Deer thought that Wakefield had violated medical ethics in the way he carried out his research, it was Mr. Deer’s obligation to report it, as a member of society. If good people stand by while evil is done, what will become of us all?

    If Mr. Deer’s complaints were unfounded, Dr. Wakefield will have an opportunity to present evidence in his defense. If Mr. Deer’s complaints were maliciously false – which nobody seems to be asserting – I assume there are procedures for dealing with that, as well.

    As for all the caterwauling about what the GMC and the VICP have done to “poor autistic children” and their parents – isn’t it in everybody’s best interest that the truth be known? If the best evidence shows that vaccines don’t cause autism, isn’t it better to know that? Of are we better off if we are allowed to believe a convenient or palatable (for some) lie?

    To me, all of the focus on Mr. Deer is nothing more than a vain attempt to direct the public’s attention away from Dr. Wakefield. If Mr. Deer obtained documents and information by illegal means, then he should pay the penalty. If not, he has done a valuable service to society by exposing Dr. Wakefield’s actions.

    Besides, when have we – as a society – ever turned our eyes from evidence of wrongdoing because of how it was obtained? Did we say, “Oh, the Pentagon Papers were obtained illegally, let us not consider their contents.”? No! If Wakefield did what he is accused of doing, he should answer for it!

    Additionally, all of the bleating about “due process” (which doesn’t apply to public debate) and “presumed innocence” (ditto, sad to say) is simply a ruse to try and make us feel “bad” about ourselves and – maybe – generate a little pity for poor, hounded Dr. Wakefield.

    Well, Dr. Wakefield may have the hounds on his tail, but it appears – even before Mr. Deer’s latest revelations – that he has deserved it. He has an opportunity to clear himself before the GMC and he should avail himself of that opportunity, if he can.

    Meanwhile, let’s not hear any more whinging about how “evil” and “mean-spirited” we are to be discussing the latest in a long, sad string of revelations of the ethical lapses of Dr. Andrew Wakefield.

    Prometheus

  2. alyric February 18, 2009 at 02:31 #

    Sullivan this is getting tiring. The fish and Stone keep bringing up the same old irrelevancies as if they were the least bit important compared to Wakers not being able to refute a thing. He tried through his libel case and he lost big time. Wonder what excuse our dynamic JABS duo will use to explain away that.

    Whatever they come up with, it’s getting boring. Good thing that Deer is such a good journalist who knows his craft. The loonies won’t get any change out of him on either side of the pond. Lord knows he’s had enough practice to recognise the breed and know how to handle them.

  3. JosephS February 18, 2009 at 03:24 #

    HCN – “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/”

    They, do not have a forum. Jabs is a forum for families who have been affected in some manner from vaccines and yes, members do get excluded for being renegade’s ( as in, dissent to the laws of the country) which, try to bully other members to see sense as they, see it. Jabsloonies is an example of fevered profanities over, out of context statements.

    brian – “Bias occurs in science when data are either wittingly or unwittingly concealed.”
    And this explains he did what, exactly?

    Alyric – “ It’s getting boring.” Yes, Suppositions, insults, and wait, more suppositions and insults. This helps who….? The glee club.

  4. John Stone February 18, 2009 at 08:46 #

    People are being naieve about evidence here.

    A High Court judge has said in a binding legal judgement that Brian Deer complained about Wakefield (at least three times). Deer, however, has said that they were not letters of complaint. The only reason for demanding that Deer produce the correspondence and publish it on his website (as he has published so much else) is to show that he cannot without discrediting himself. Deer presently stands discredited because he will not produce the correspondence.

  5. David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction) February 18, 2009 at 10:19 #

    “Deer presently stands discredited because he will not produce the correspondence.”

    Okay. By that logic, it should be accepted on ALL sides that the non-production of kids ‘cured of autism’ automatically invalidates ANY claim that any kid has been cured of autism.

  6. One Queer Fish February 18, 2009 at 10:27 #

    I for one do not doubt Mr Deer’s professionalism applied to his journalism with which he can only do. Simply it is a fact needing clarified so as to answer his critics and this debate on here can then move forward.
    If Mr Deer chooses not to publish his Judge Eady letters of complaint, it discredits his journalistic excellence, which up until now has been intact, and so far as the Spectator articles et-al are concerned a “no reply” shall be documented, fuelling further articles of the same and Mr Deer knows better than anyone else how these matters snowball, simple as that nothing else.

  7. One Queer Fish February 18, 2009 at 10:56 #

    busted flush on the cards

    http://childhealthsafety.wordpress.com/2009/01/13/secret-british-mmr-vaccine-files-forced-open-by-legal-action/

    As for the Legal Aid money, for months in 1996 the Royal Free Medical School prevaricated accepting it because “Clearly, this could lead to a case against the Government for damages.” wrote Dean Zuckerman privately to the British Medical Association Secretary on 11th October 1996.

    What no one knows and disclosed here publicly exclusively worldwide for the first time is that when The Sunday Times published its allegations against Wakefield in 2004 their journalist already had the documents showing Wakefield – a man accused of doing what he did for the money – was fed up with this and had arranged in May 1997 for all the legal aid monies to be sent back and that he had intended to raise the money himself for the injured children [see copy Freedom of Information memo below – added 17/Jan/09].

  8. John Stone February 18, 2009 at 11:18 #

    To state it even more clearly, Deer evidently recognised that it was a material issue whether he complained or not, because he denied it and even produced the Field Fisher Waterhouse letter. But what he has not done is produced the correspondence, so he is disputing what the High Court has ruled, which is very silly unless we can see the evidence.

  9. Joseph February 18, 2009 at 13:08 #

    He tried through his libel case and he lost big time. Wonder what excuse our dynamic JABS duo will use to explain away that.

    They do try to rationalize that. I believe they say Wakefield preferred to spend his time on the GMC hearings. That makes no sense, of course. Removing himself from that libel case was highly damaging to Wakefield’s reputation. It’s obvious Wakefield withdrew after Brian Deer produced certain documents.

  10. Kev February 18, 2009 at 13:13 #

    Good grief. Brian, says it. The GMC say it. One judge uses a bad form of words and you hang on that like a rock climber slipping down a rock face and hanging on by one fingernail.

    Get over it.

    Now, lets back to whats important – the _content_ of Brian’s journalism. The _content_ of the evidence produced against Wakefield.

  11. One Queer Fish February 18, 2009 at 14:53 #

    Kev simply it’s the content of his Judge Eady Letters that we wish Mr Deer to publish: Mr Deer’s kudos as a journo is disappearing fast. Quite simply, publish or be dammed

  12. John Stone February 18, 2009 at 14:59 #

    Clearly this is a question that the regulars here do not want asked. If the judge just used “a bad form of words” why doesn’t Brian Deer publish the letters to show how mistaken we are?

  13. Joseph February 18, 2009 at 15:07 #

    Why doesn’t David Kirby publish all his correspondence with Generation Rescue and anyone connected with the Hannah Poling case, to answer charges that vaccine litigants might have been leaking information to him, and that he is payed by autism organizations?

    Why doesn’t everyone publish all their correspondence with everybody else? That will clear things up.

  14. One Queer Fish February 18, 2009 at 15:25 #

    Joseph
    You presume there is a connection between Mr Deer and payments from whom exactly? This is drawing a parallel with your own assumptions of David Kirby above of cash and non publication and this is why Mr Deer wont publish his letters form Judge Eady because it would expose monies of payment.. I see it more as Paranoia.. myself I’m quite sure Mr Deer has nothing to hide and nothing to fear.. simply just publish the document and silence all..

  15. Dedj February 18, 2009 at 15:25 #

    I find this game of ‘Gotcha’ with Brian truly hilarious.

    On the one hand, he slated for talking about confidential information whilst respecting anonimymity.

    On the other hand, he has people demanding he publish confidential information for thier personal perusal.

    If Brian Deer is the original complainant – this will prove what exactly?

    Remember, Brian is under no obligation not to follow in the footsteps of many other complainants and keep on investigating.

    Not a single person has managed to quote a passage from a Act, white paper, or GMC/DoH command document thast forbids him from his behaviour.

    Until they do, the best we can hope for is for the fun to keep on coming!

  16. Dedj February 18, 2009 at 15:32 #

    Amazing, we’ve gone from ‘Brian Deer is the original complainant’ to ‘Brian Deer took cash to be the original complainant – and was stupid enough to mention it in his letters’.

    What next?

  17. Joseph February 18, 2009 at 15:48 #

    @One Queer Fish: What in the heck are you talking about? Seriously.

    This is my read on the current situation.

    The initial charge was that Brian Deer was the complainant who triggered the GMC investigation. Melanie Philips is apparently the one who came up with that claim. Then David Kirby repeated it. David Kirby, in fact, compared it to Brian Deer having sued Wakefield.

    Well, that clearly didn’t match the historical record, and then Brian Deer also produced a letter from the GMC that shows the above to be impossible.

    Now the spin from the JABS people is that Brian Deer could still be a de facto complainant. I’m not sure how this is interesting, relevant or improper, but that’s basically what they are hanging on to.

    The reasons they are asking for Brian Deer’s correspondence are two-fold:

    1) If Brian Deer does not produce all the GMC correspondence he has (a likelihood, if you note the letter he published is marked private and confidential) they can claim Brain Deer has something to hide.

    2) If Brian Deer produces all the GMC correspondence he has, they can quote mine it to show that Brian Deer is a de facto complainant. They can also quote mine it for other bits they can use to attack Brian Deer and the GMC.

    Am I right?

  18. alyric February 18, 2009 at 16:14 #

    Well now we know what sort of person the fish is and it’s not edifying. Would you look at this -history as she is rewritten:

    “What no one knows and disclosed here publicly exclusively worldwide for the first time is that when The Sunday Times published its allegations against Wakefield in 2004 their journalist already had the documents showing Wakefield – a man accused of doing what he did for the money – was fed up with this and had arranged in May 1997 for all the legal aid monies to be sent back and that he had intended to raise the money himself for the injured children”

    So the money went back did it? You’re either terrifically naive or dishonest and I think it’s the latter given the extent of the revisionism. The money – nearly one million dollars stayed in Wakers pockets and he built a very lovely very expensive house next door on the proceeds.

    This is revolting.

  19. One Queer Fish February 18, 2009 at 16:18 #

    Joseph
    no one is saying your right or wrong on all accounts above .This debate on here is a simple request to prove that Judge Eady is wrong in his selection of words (un heard of from a High Court Judge? show me some examples)

    Sadly at this moment in time Mr Deer is the one who started the whole “who dunnit! “by saying he wasn’t the complainant ..as night follows
    day publish the letter or be dammed simple as that…put your monies where your mouths are if not it’s a done deal ,a busted flush.

  20. alyric February 18, 2009 at 16:20 #

    John

    as Kev said – get over it. No matter what Eady said in his careless fashion apparently it changes nothing. The GMC says that he’s not the complainant and common sense says he can’t be either. That leaves Eady with egg on hi face by the way. He should have known that Deer could not be a complainant.

    You’re still left facing Wakers malfeasance, which you don’t like looking at, but tough – it’s not going anywhere and what Deer does or doesn’t do (minimal they said) isn’t going to save Wakers no matter what.

  21. alyric February 18, 2009 at 16:32 #

    Oh one very important point. The fish talks about the Royal Free wanting to reject the legal aid money. This is a serious and fabricated statement. They never knew about the money or the arrangements Wakers had with Barr. Those monies went to individuals. If the Free could have been implicated in any way, there would have been hell to pay. Hospitals don’t take legal aid money for ethical reasons too numerous to mention.

    Fish when you try for the big lie, try something reasonable with a fair chance of working.

    I’m beginning to see this bottomless pit of lies that Deer’s been putting up with. It’s incredible.

  22. Ringside Seat February 18, 2009 at 16:38 #

    Perhaps Mr Deer’s reluctance to say anything about Mr Justice Eady’s wording is that the judge gave Mr Deer a spectacular victory over Mr Wakefield in the High Court, as one can see from Mr Deer’s website.

    http://briandeer.com/wakefield/eady-judgment.htm

    I would not be wholly shocked if Mr Deer positively looked forward to the prospect of seeing his lordship again!

    Also, it appears that, far from dropping his action because of the GMC hearing, Mr Wakefield had already obtained a stay in his claim against Times Newspapers until after the hearing, so there could be no possible conflict between the two.

    As for Mr Wakefield’s conflict of interest, I think that was evidenced beyond doubt with proof of his four hundred thousand pound secret income from the English legal case.

    http://briandeer.com/mmr/st-dec-2006.htm

    and his vaccine:

    http://briandeer.com/wakefield/vaccine-patent.htm

  23. One Queer Fish February 18, 2009 at 16:52 #

    Well half the lies on here arent true,are they? and the main one being it seems that a High Court Judge fudged his words ..its becoming the laughing stock on all over the world (www) ..obviously some posters on here dont like rasonable argument backed by evidence which is all we are asking Mr Deer for simple as that…sorry i cant write any more for laughing sorry..

  24. alyric February 18, 2009 at 17:15 #

    Keep laughing Fish it helps enormously with your lack of credibility.

    This JABS place can’t be a healthy moral influence, but then aren’t they cozied up with a real piece of slime called Martin Walker? He’s got some track record apparently as an exploiter predator type. No moral high ground there at any rate so what can we expect from the gullible like fish?

  25. Sullivan February 18, 2009 at 19:35 #

    Clearly this is a question that the regulars here do not want asked.

    Wrong. That’s why we have this blog post, and others like it. So we can discuss these things.

    Clearly you are avoiding the big issues (Wakefield’s misconduct).

  26. Sullivan February 18, 2009 at 19:43 #

    Well half the lies on here arent true,are they? and the main one being it seems that a High Court Judge fudged his words ..its becoming the laughing stock on all over the world (www) ..obviously some posters on here dont like rasonable argument backed by evidence which is all we are asking Mr Deer for simple as that…sorry i cant write any more for laughing sorry..

    Just because you and others are trying to attack Mr. Deer’s credibility and make him a laughing stock doesn’t make it so.

    So, how about the real story? How about Dr. Wakefield’s misconduct? How about the fact that if half of what Brian Deer presented is true, Wakefield’s papers are junk and should be retracted? Would you care to comment on that?

    Please, explain how Wakefield’s conclusions hold up if, say, kids were showing signs of autism pre MMR? How about if the regression came months, not days, after the MMR?

    It is amazing–the person you should be angry at is Wakefield. Ask him to defend specific actions. Instead you keep defending him. Amazing.

  27. John Stone February 18, 2009 at 20:30 #

    Sullivan

    I don’t think there is a shortage of people to attack Dr Wakefield, in fact there is howling mob of them, all deriving their opinions from one source – so, I think you can probably manage without me and, indeed, I am happy to leave you to it.

  28. David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction) February 18, 2009 at 22:51 #

    “you can probably manage without me and, indeed, I am happy to leave you to it.”

    Good.

    Now fuck off!

  29. alyric February 18, 2009 at 23:00 #

    Sullivan. these JABS folks are so blinkered, well maybe you can have some kind of dialogue with some of them but not the lot that showed up here, who seem to be fringe. Must be hard to control the membership when you’re an anti-vaxxer because you attract the rabid element.

    Actually, it’s rather stunning that Stone thinks he’s going to get a response from Deer given that JABS is such a fringe organisation of rabid antivaxxers. What credibility have they got anywhere?

  30. Sullivan February 18, 2009 at 23:24 #

    Mr. Stone,

    There is a BIG shortage of people who can actually defend D. Wakefield’s actions. A lot of people, you included, who have decided to attack Mr. Deer instead of facing the very difficult question: what is left of the MMR causation theory in light of the information Mr. Deer has provided?

    There is no shortage of people believing in the MMR causation theory, all getting their information from one, very unreliable source (Dr. Wakefield).

    Either you accept that Mr. Deer’s story is true, or you should be lodging a complaint with the GMC for Mr. Deer’s inaccurate representation.

    My guess is that Mr. Deer would come through such a complaint clean. My guess is that you know that too.

  31. One Queer Fish February 19, 2009 at 00:29 #

    Mr Sullivan

    The simple solution for Mr Deer is to publish his letters as mentioned by Judge Eady. Everyone knows on here that this furore is snowballing on here, and elsewhere around the www its rampant and out of control .If Mr Deer is still non-compliant and refuses to publish the Judge Eady letters the Dr Wakefield camp see it as another victory and rightly so. When there is zero evidence available to back up what Mr Deer’s pen say’s so be it , the debate on this matter is closed and victory to Dr Wakefield on this matter…it’s a busted flush. I ask you is it not quite simply, dogmatism to argue differently, and a bum deal to go seeking further dogma from the GMC on the validity of Mr Deers work when Mr Deer can cut to the chase and end the furore now..

  32. Tsu Dho Nimh February 19, 2009 at 00:29 #

    Isabella Thomas said:

    Are you saying that the children in the Lancet Study do not have any type of bowel disease and that Dr. Andrew Wakefield made this all up along with Simon Murch and Walker-Smith?

    The pathologists who examined the bowel biopsies did not find abnormalities. By the time the results were published, someone – presumably Wakefield – wrote that there were abnormalities.

    Draw your own conclusions.

  33. Dedj February 19, 2009 at 00:54 #

    “and elsewhere around the www its rampant and out of control”

    Really? The top results are, in no particular order:

    Brian Deer’s own website from 2 years ago.
    Melanie Phillips.
    A copy of Eady’s judgement.
    Melanie Phillips.
    A BMJ article from 3 years ago.
    and Melanie Phillips.
    Then it’s Paul Dacre all the way down.

    Hardly ‘running rampant’ is it? In fact, no one appears particuly bothered except those who wish to claim some form of victory from him.

    Somehow showing that Deer is the original complainant will somehow show something. It’s already been established well beyond reason that complainants are not obligated to stop independant investigations (and ironically, it was independant investigation that brought the parents to Dr Wakefield in the first place), and it already been shown without exception that Deer’s detractors can quote neither paragraph nor title of any Act or process that would preclude Mr Deer from doing so.

    In essence, this attempt at playing ‘Gotcha’ would be pointless and wastfull , even if it were true.

    Sad goings on indeed.

  34. K February 19, 2009 at 00:56 #

    To some:

    It’s quite obvious that Mr. Wakefield’s (I use Mr. because he is about to be stripped from using Dr.) defenders don’t really care whether Mr. Wakefield committed fraud and they are having a fine time stoking you guys. The fact is, the defender’s of Mr. Wakefield are much more interested in defending him than they are in protecting their children. They have much more emotional capital invested in Mr. Wakefield.

    I think there are several reasons for this. Primarily, I think it is caused by the way that mainstream medicine has treated their children (e.g. like animals). From the time of diagnosis and through the years, autistic children and then adults are treated as if they are animals by mainstream science. Mr. Wakefield, though also guilty of treating autistic children as if they are animals, is a smooth and seemingly caring person willing to listen to the grief of these parents. He is respite for them. He is a martyr figure for them. Someone that is saying “something” happened to these children and they feel he is being persecuted. Its a classic case. For the same reasons, the Geiers are able to do their Frankensteinian chemical castrations. Its why Matthew Israel is protected. Until mainstream science offers answers or comfort to grieving parents, this will continue.

    Brian Deer doesn’t care ultimately about autistics, but rather rooting out corruption and dishonesty. That’s a worthy cause. He’s done good work here, albeit he joins the legions of others that perpetuate the autistic as damaged and pitiful. He should be taken to task for his insults against autistic children by those defending him because they are concerned with the proper welfare of autistic people, but not to the point of condemning his inner bigotry.

    It seems to me that both sides are angry about the current state of autism. One side is concerned with not having their grief recognized and for mainstream science’s response to their children, and the other side is angry that these other parents are defending quackery.

    Ultimately, the internal answer will not be found in these debates. It will be found during a dark and lonely moment for each, alone, perhaps crying on a future denied, where they come to the conclusion that the past is the past , that battles of this nature are personally destructive to themselves and their souls and recognize the future will be measured by how hard we work to make life better for our children in the best way that we can and on a local level.

  35. One Queer Fish February 19, 2009 at 01:39 #

    Kev
    “Ultimately, the internal answer will not be found in these debates.”

    There is always the argument against papers such as the Times :and other news papers are losing their clout year by year. They are losing advertising monies, too.

    The better parts of the web are gaining better reputations and monies .What you have to ask yourself is Natural selection or Intelligent design ?

    Cut to the chase Mr Deer ..why not publish now and make Kevs site go of the scale?

  36. K February 19, 2009 at 01:47 #

    queer fish I’m not Kev.

  37. alyric February 19, 2009 at 03:10 #

    Fish

    you and Stone are JABS and therefore not credible. JABS is after all one of the rabid anti-vaxxer sites. Do they have credibility anywhere? Consequently you can hang around here thinking you’re going to get a response but that’s a form of self delusion about your importance in the scheme of things. Why should anyone take notice of you?

  38. passionlessDrone February 19, 2009 at 03:11 #

    Hi Sullivan –

    “There is no shortage of people believing in the MMR causation theory, all getting their information from one, very unreliable source (Dr. Wakefield).”

    It is my experience that you are incorrect. I only know about twenty parents of children with autism, and two of them both had children that were talking, one in full sentences, until the day they got the MMR. They didn’t have a clue who Wakefield was until their child stopped talking, that day, and went on to developed autistic tendencies. Of these parents, two are lawyers, one is an engineer, and the other a graduate student; they are not stupid people, they did not imagine their children were speaking before the doctors appointment.

    For whatever reason, folks want to focus, focus, focus on Wakefield; which I feel unfortunate for a vareity of reasons, but whatever the result of the trial and ad naseum blogging on how horrible a person he is, it will do absolutely nothing to change what people have experienced.

    – pD

  39. Sullivan February 19, 2009 at 05:21 #

    pD,

    it’s odd that the petitioners couldn’t find any cases amongst 5,000 as strong as the ones you find in your experience.

    While I can understand your mistake, you misinterpreted what I stated. But, I see where I wrote it poorly, so I won’t belabor it.

    Also, stating that people may misremember events is not the same thing as stating that they are “stupid people”. We all forget important things. I know of one person who is reasonably intelligent, yet he was totally wrong on the “autism is just a misdiagnosis for mercury poisoning” thing.

  40. Sullivan February 19, 2009 at 05:23 #

    pD,

    as long as you are here, would you like to take on the big question? If Mr. Deer’s information is correct, isn’t Wakefield’s work reduced to rubbish?

  41. One Queer Fish February 19, 2009 at 09:17 #

    Mr Deer’s journo reporting loses kudos daily and will not be taken seriously by anyone outside this self worshiping forum. Mr Deer needs to disclose all his paper work relating to the Wakefield autism/mmr affair Brent Taylor,Nuki John Reid, and last but not least Judge Eady etc. Mr Deer’s work will sadly always have that dark cloud hanging over it until he does ..

  42. Joseph February 19, 2009 at 13:58 #

    It is my experience that you are incorrect. I only know about twenty parents of children with autism, and two of them both had children that were talking, one in full sentences, until the day they got the MMR.

    @pD: I pose the same question to you that I did elsewhere. If what you tell us is so common, why couldn’t the PSC come up with slam dunk test cases? They had a lot of time to do so and thousands of claimants to choose from.

    It appears that once you look at video evidence and clinical records, the recollections of the parents turn out to not be very reliable.

  43. alyric February 19, 2009 at 14:51 #

    pd

    They picked Michelle Cedillo as a test case. Not a good choice. The video evidence showed clear signs of autism before the shots and her gastro problems started years after the shots. Was that the best they could do?

  44. Brian Deer February 19, 2009 at 18:00 #

    By the way, here is the paragraph from the General Medical Council’s investigator’s handbook, showing that launching investigations on the basis of media reports not only happens, but happens sufficiently frequently for there it to be set out in writing.

    Enjoy:

    Press Cuttings

    “On a daily basis, the GMC receives copies of articles that have appeared in the Press. These are received in hard copy format by an IM. The IM will consider whether any of the articles could form the basis of a new Enquiry which we need to progress through the Fitness to Practise procedures. If it is decided that we should create a new Enquiry on the basis of a press cutting, the press cutting will need to be sent to the Scanning Team for ad hoc scanning to the appropriate Investigation mailbox in Siebel.”

  45. One Queer Fish February 19, 2009 at 20:03 #

    Mr Deer you know thats a diffrent scenario as Mel puts it in the Spectator

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

    Since when has a reputable paper published a story by a reporter who is actually part of that story himself — without saying so – and who uses information arising from the disciplinary hearing which he himself has instigated and which is investigating allegations he himself made in the first place?”

  46. apgaylard February 19, 2009 at 20:30 #

    Since when has a reputable paper published a story by a reporter who is actually part of that story himself — without saying so – and who uses information arising from the disciplinary hearing which he himself has instigated and which is investigating allegations he himself made in the first place?”

    The Washington Post during the Watergate crisis.

    Of course, none of this changes the fact that Wakefield has been debunked – not just by Deer – but by a whole raft of scientific studies.

  47. One Queer Fish February 19, 2009 at 22:37 #

    Once again i would like to simply keep an open mind on this

    http://www.autism.com/families/videos.htm

  48. Matrk February 19, 2009 at 23:45 #

    Brian thanks for digging that out really interesting,,,but not really applicable in a case where the journalist is the complainant.
    BTW Have you found the full corespondense between your self and the GMC or perhaps the Judge Eady letters? I assumed thats what you have been doing the last couple of days.

  49. Matrk February 20, 2009 at 00:09 #

    Brian
    unfortunately Sebiel was only implemented at the GMC in 2006 so if you were told earlier that this was the process someone is not telling the truth..
    http://www.egovmonitor.com/node/4148
    so the best thing for you to do to clear this whole messy thing up is publish the Judge Ealy letters.

  50. Dedj February 20, 2009 at 00:36 #

    Publishing the Judge Eady letters won’t help a bean.

    If they’re complaining (moaning) letters people will claim this *proves* he is the original complainant – yet no one has been able to quote Code or Act that prohibits him from investigating futher – and will claim he’s too heavily involved – yet informants are not prohibited from contuining to collect evidence.

    If they’re *official* complaint letters, then he will have been the original complainant, unlikely and irrelevant as the investigation was brought under Reid, by the GMC, with the consent of Wakefield. The whole idea of this ‘Gotcha’ is to prove that Deer is involved and reporting it without declaration – something confirmed as false by the GMC.

    If they match with Deer’s statements, you won’t hear a peep of apology from anyone. They’ll just move on to something else.

    No one has yet said what they would actually do with the information, or even how it harms Deer’s case. We’ve just had repeatative demands.

    No one here would dare lift a finger in complaint if Deer was a parent trying to get a errant Dr off the book through campaigning, but somehow Deer ‘hiding’ behind a nationally broadcast documentary and a publically accessible and self-named website is seen as conflict of interest, even though he’s been confirmed by the only relevant authourity as not having the status that’s supposedly his source of conflict.

    No wonder he dismisses his detractors as cranks, it’s hard enough just trying to guess at what the hell point they think they’re trying to make.

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