Attorney for Prof. Walker-Smith: alleged link between MMR and autism utterly disproved

14 Feb

Prof. John Walker-Smith was a colleague of Andrew Wakefield, a co-author on the no-retracted 1998 Lancet paper and shared the same fate as Mr. Wakefield after the General Medical Council Hearings: he was struck off the medical register. Prof. Walker-Smith has appealed (Mr. Wakefield did not). A few news stories have come up about this appeal. In Doctor struck off over MMR controversy appeals against ruling, the Guardian notes:

Prof John Walker-Smith tells high court he was denied a fair hearing before he was struck off by the General Medical Council

Many are looking to this appeal for vindication of Mr. Wakefield and his theories on MMR being linked to and causal in autism. Prof. Walker-Smith’s attorney appears to have made a rather clear statement to the contrary:

Miller said it had been important that the disciplinary panel “separate out research from the clinical medicine – but that was a task that appeared to be beyond them”.

The judge asked Miller whether the alleged link between MMR and the vaccine “has now been utterly disproved” in the opinion of “respectable medical opinion”.

Miller said that was “exactly” the position.

edit to add:

I took the statement “The judge asked Miller whether the alleged link between MMR and the vaccine “has now been utterly disproved” ” to be a mistaken report by the Guardian because, as written, it does not make sense. My own interpretation was that the actual question was whether the MMR and *autism* was the point. However, I should have made that assumption very clear in the above piece and I apologize for that. I have written the paper as well as some other people who might be able to clarify the statement.

127 Responses to “Attorney for Prof. Walker-Smith: alleged link between MMR and autism utterly disproved”

  1. Jack February 18, 2012 at 20:53 #

    The Guardian article now reads:

    ‘The judge asked Miller whether the alleged link between MMR and autism “has now been utterly disproved” in the opinion of “respectable medical opinion”.

    Miller said that was “exactly” the position.’

    • This article was amended on 18 February 2012. The original said the judge asked Miller whether the alleged link “between MMR and the vaccine” had been disproven. This has been corrected.’

    • Sullivan February 19, 2012 at 04:42 #

      Thanks Jack. Glad they read our letters. Probably not the correction expected by some.

  2. dt February 19, 2012 at 09:20 #

    Just to pick up the “Pharma profit” fallacy that people like Patricia trot out each time Wakefield and MMR are discussed. The implication is that Pharma are joined in major conspiracy to discredit Wakefield, because it would somehow be in their financial best interests to do so.

    The truth is quite different. MMR is a relatively cheap vaccine. Wakefield called for use of single measles, mumps and rubella vaccines. The cost of the individual monovalent vaccines exceeds the cost of the combined MMR.

    Now you think Pharma would have been delighted for that to become the official policy because they would stand to make more profit.

    Patricia needs to rethink her conspiracy theory again, since it is deficient in logic and plausibility.

  3. Patricia March 7, 2012 at 18:21 #

    Patricia doesn´t need to rethink her conspiracy theories. Today is a victory for the truth, for reason, for clarity and for Justice.
    And where I wonder does this leave the so called “award winning” journalist Brian Deer´s fraudulent and malicious theories? It was his and his alone, venomous and utterly unfounded interpretation of events, that drew the case deliberately to the attention of the GMC – who in turn were utterly inadequate to deal with his allegations and the subsequent case, in acknowledgment of which they have now established a new Medical Practice Tribunal.
    Shame on them. Shame on the Sunday Times. Shame on the British media which hands out self congratulatory and wholly undeserved Awards like candy. They reward and they propagate fallacious lies. And they have put this distinguished and much loved and respected Professor Walker Smith through hell for 10 long years. Unforgivable.

    A High Court Judge has today restored his dignity.

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