Walker-Smith wins appeal

7 Mar

Prof. John Walker-Smith was one of Andrew Wakefield’s colleagues at the Royal Free and participated in the research there. Prof. Walker-Smith was struck off the medical register along with Andrew Wakefield by the General Medical Council. Prof. Walker-Smith appealed and the GMC’s decision has been quashed.

Here is the conclusion of the appeal decision:

For the reasons given above, both on general issues and the Lancet paper and in relation to individual children, the panel’s overall conclusion that Professor Walker-Smith was guilty of serious professional misconduct was flawed, in two respects: inadequate and superficial reasoning and, in a number of instances, a wrong conclusion. Miss Glynn submits that the materials which I have been invited to consider would support many of the panel’s critical findings; and that I can safely infer that, without saying so, it preferred the evidence of the GMC’s experts, principally Professor Booth, to that given by Professor Walker-Smith and Dr. Murch and by Dr. Miller and Dr. Thomas. Even if it were permissible to perform such an exercise, which I doubt, it would not permit me to rescue the panel’s findings. As I have explained, the medical records provide an equivocal answer to most of the questions which the panel had to decide. The panel had no alternative but to decide whether Professor Walker-Smith had told the truth to it and to his colleagues, contemporaneously. The GMC’s approach to the fundamental issues in the case led it to believe that that was not necessary – an error from which many of the subsequent weaknesses in the panel’s determination flowed. It had to decide what Professor Walker-Smith thought he was doing: if he believed he was undertaking research in the guise of clinical investigation and treatment, he deserved the finding that he had been guilty of serious professional misconduct and the sanction of erasure; if not, he did not, unless, perhaps, his actions fell outside the spectrum of that which would have been considered reasonable medical practice by an academic clinician. Its failure to address and decide that question is an error which goes to the root of its determination.

The panel’s determination cannot stand. I therefore quash it. Miss Glynn, on the basis of sensible instructions, does not invite me to remit it to a fresh Fitness to Practice panel for redetermination. The end result is that the finding of serious professional misconduct and the sanction of erasure are both quashed.

From The Telegraph’s MMR doctor wins battle against being struck off:

A doctor found guilty of serious professional misconduct over the MMR controversy has won his High Court appeal against being struck off.

And:

Chief executive Niall Dickson added: “Today’s ruling does not however reopen the debate about the MMR vaccine and autism.

“As Mr Justice Mitting observed in his judgement, ‘There is now no respectable body of opinion which supports (Dr Wakefield’s) hypothesis, that MMR vaccine and autism/enterocolitis are causally linked’.

118 Responses to “Walker-Smith wins appeal”

  1. Patricia March 8, 2012 at 14:12 #

    John Bundock

    AJW was advised to drop his case against Brian Deer by his lawyers. The reasons were manifold. He he’d had no time to prepare his case, being the prime reason. His professional insurance indemnity chose not to support him in such an endeavour after themselves hearing a decsion by a court Judge that it was not proper to wait any further until his case could be presented.

    As for hopeless prospect of winning an appeal against the GMC decision, well how would you know that? You are full of “probably’s” John. They don’t do for me, or anyone else I reckon.

    He no longer needed the accreditiation of Professional Practice as a clinician, so it was only his personal reputation that then needed to be addressed. I believe he has wisely bided his time to address it.

  2. Science Mom March 8, 2012 at 14:20 #

    I was hoping we could have an adult conversation on this blog but with so much aggression and attacks on anyone who has a different opinion or information reminds me of bullies in a school playground.

    You are being challenged, hardly an attack so please spare the drama. Furthermore, you issued a threat against another commenter which hardly puts you on the high ground here.

    My son’s were part of the Lancet study so I think I have more facts about this case than all of you put together.

    So what? That hardly puts you in a position of impartiality, in fact given your pre-conceived belief that MMR causes autism, your representation is highly biased.

  3. Patricia March 8, 2012 at 14:53 #

    Isabella
    Your posts shine with truthful and meaningful integrity and you speak with the authority of a mother of an autistic vaccine damaged child. It beats the hell out of all this analysing crap on here and in particular it irritates the pants of our Science Mum. Be grateful for such small mercies my dear and don’t bother with them.

  4. Chris March 8, 2012 at 16:29 #

    Wendy Stephen:

    A monovalent Urabe mumps vaccine Pariorix had a UK Product Licence as far back as 10th August 1983.

    Then provide some kind of evidence. Why should I believe your statement without documentation over multiple the cites I posted above?

  5. dingo March 8, 2012 at 16:29 #

    Chris,

    Don’t get exercised by Jake’s attempts to mislead. He clearly doesn’t understand that the consequences of Wakefield’s call for single vaccines put children at greater risk of several problems:

    1. Vulnerability to the diseases while they tried to obtain the vaccines from private doctors who had no stocks.
    2. Greater chance of allergic reactions and anaphylaxis from 2 or 3 monovalent vaccines rather than one trivalent MMR.
    3. Greater risk of post vacination fever and febrile convulsions with 2 or 3 2 or 3 monovalent vaccines rather than one trivalent MMR.
    4. Risk of mumps vaccine-related aseptic meningitis from monovalent Urabe strain mumps vaccine.

    Someone told me Jake is trying to get a degree in “Public health”. That must be a joke, right?

  6. lilady March 8, 2012 at 17:16 #

    “I disagree (as a layman, of course) that the lumbar punctures were clinically indicated..”

    As a registered nurse and as the parent of a developmentally disabled child who underwent many lumbar punctures that WERE clinically indicated…I agree with the findings of the GMC in the matter of Wakefield. Even without Brian Deer’s excellent reporting of Wakefield’s conflicts of interest, the GMC charged him with serious medical misconduct…based on the egregious harm he visited on the children who were his patients. As a parent (perhaps I am deluding myself), I’d like to think that the parents of these children were incredibly ignorant about what the clinical indications for a lumbar puncture and other invasive painful procedures are.

    I saw first hand when I worked in public health, investigating vaccine preventable disease outbreaks, the impact that Wakefield had on the uptake of MMR vaccine and other recommended childhood vaccines in the lives and deaths of the cases I investigated.

    Someone told me that the parent of one of Wakefield’s “patients” referred other parents of children with autism to Wakefield…is this so?

  7. Chris March 8, 2012 at 17:40 #

    Dingo, did you notice that I address him as “Young Master Crosby”? Even though he has graduated from a university he has not quite managed to learn how to do independent research and is still resorts to pulling stuff out of thin air. Plus he seemed to have missed the link to a document that I imbedded its first paragraph (which on my screen is bright red, perhaps he is colorblind?):
    http://www.mhra.gov.uk/home/groups/pl-p/documents/websiteresources/con2031106.pdf

    Okay, what part of the following did folks miss (emphasis added): “Medicines Control Agency (MCA) should object to importation of unlicensed mumps vaccine containing the Urabe strain of mumps virus.”? Ms. Stephen? Did you also miss that?

    Did you also miss reading the cite titled “MMR Vaccine – Worries are Not Justified” that said (emphasis):

    Currently, although in the UK there are four licences for measles vaccine and one for mumps vaccine, there are no longer any products produced which meet the specifications of these licences. Therefore, by definition, all single measles and mumps vaccines are unlicensed in the UK.

    In short, their importation was illegal. And exactly who suggested that children get single mumps vaccines? And with what evidence? I have asked multiple times for links to scientific studies that predate 1997 that showed there was an issue with a vaccine that had been used for almost thirty years. But all I get are responses that I am a meanie for actually asking for data.

    Also be aware of the dates of all of those cites, they predate 2004 by several years. Wakefield’s “study” was under question and being dismissed long before Mr. Deer came on to the scene. And as further notice to those who wish to blame Mr. Deer for what Wakefield brought upon himself, I suggest you read and check the date of this award winning article: MMR – Never Mind the Facts (which turned into an entire chapter of a book published in 2008).

    • Sullivan March 8, 2012 at 19:21 #

      for those who claim this appeal exonerates Mr. Wakefield, I suggest you look at the GMC findings. Specifically, look for those charges which were found to have been “serious professional misconduct”.

      The costing proposal set out costs in respect of the investigation of five children. It covered each child’s four-night stay in hospital with colonoscopy, MRI and evoked potential studies. Dr Wakefield admitted that the funding subsequently provided by the Legal Aid Board had not been needed for these items because these costs were borne by the National Health Service as the patients were being admitted as NHS patients.

      The Panel found that Dr Wakefield had a duty to disclose this information to the Legal Aid Board via Mr Barr. It was dishonest and misleading of him not to have done so. The Panel concluded that his intention to mislead the Legal Aid Board was sufficient on its own to amount to serious professional misconduct.

      With regard to nine of the eleven children (2,1, 3, 4, 6, 9, 5,12 and 8) considered by the Panel, it determined that Dr Wakefield caused research to be undertaken on them without Ethics Committee approval and thus without the ethical constraints that safeguard research. Ethical constraints are there for the protection both of research subjects and for the reassurance of the public and are crucial to public trust in research medicine. It was in the context of this research project that the Panel found that Dr Wakefield caused three of these young and vulnerable children, (nos. 3, 9 and 12) to undergo the invasive procedure of lumbar puncture when such investigation was for research purposes and was not clinically indicated. This action was contrary to his representation to the Ethics Committee that all the procedures were clinically indicated. In nine of the eleven children (2,1, 3, 4, 9, 5,12, 8 and 7) the Panel has found that Dr Wakefield acted contrary to the clinical interests of each child. The Panel is profoundly concerned that Dr Wakefield repeatedly breached fundamental principles of research medicine. It concluded that his actions in this area alone were sufficient to amount to serious professional misconduct.

      In regards to his connection with work with the Legal Aid Board (LAB) for funding and his work with the litigation, the GMC found that Mr. Wakefield should have revealed his involvement to the ethics committee at his hospital:

      However, given the importance of an Ethics Committee’s reliance on the probity of an applicant, the Panel determined that this was a failure by Dr Wakefield and his actions amounted to serious professional misconduct.

      In terms of his patent:

      Dr Wakefield was insistent that his involvement with the new patent had not given rise to any prior need to disclose. Despite the clear terms of the patent, he did not accept that the invention was envisaged as an alternative vaccine to MMR. He acknowledged that he had envisaged the use of transfer factor for at least a proportion of the population and that he had a financial and career interest in its success, but he said that it did not cross his mind to disclose it, and even with hindsight he insisted that there was a reasonable argument, as he put it, for non-disclosure. The Panel considered that his actions and his persistent lack of insight as to the gravity of his conduct amounted to serious professional misconduct.

      In regards to his work with the “transfer factor”, where child 10 was given this “therapy”.

      Dr Wakefield’s actions were contrary to the clinical interests of Child 10 and an abuse of his position of trust as a medical practitioner. The Panel considered these to be serious departures from the standards of a registered medical practitioner and concluded that these amounted individually and collectively to serious professional misconduct.

      With regards to the famous birthday party blood draw:

      Dr Wakefield defended the ethical basis for the taking of blood at a birthday party contrary to the experts who gave evidence to the Panel and who strongly condemned this action. The Panel determined that his conduct fell seriously short of the standards expected of a doctor and was a breach of the trust which the public is entitled to have in members of the medical profession. It concluded that this behaviour amounted to serious professional misconduct.

      There isn’t much overlap between those findings and those of Prof. Walker-Smith. Even if one throws out the charge of performing test not clinically indicated for research purposes (parts of which I believe would likely still stand. For example, calling for tests when he did not have clinical responsibilities), Mr. Wakefield still would have been found guilty of “serious professional misconduct”.

  8. Wendy Stephen March 8, 2012 at 19:21 #

    Chris

    Since you are clearly very interested in the Urabe mumps strain as I am, can I suggest you do as I did, and send a Freedom Of Information Act request to the MHRA for the “evidence” you seek recording the fact that Pariorix a monovalent vaccine containing the Urabe strain was licensed in the UK on the date I have provided. Additionally,I can tell you that the Product licence was PL 00002/0109 and it was granted to GSK. A carefully worded request based on the facts I have given you, should result in you obtaining the evidence you seek.

    • Sullivan March 8, 2012 at 19:23 #

      Wendy Stephen,

      “Therefore, by definition, all single measles and mumps vaccines are unlicensed in the UK. ” as they don’t meet the specifications of the license.

      Why obtain a FOIA for information which already is available.

  9. Chris March 8, 2012 at 19:28 #

    Ms. Stephen:

    A carefully worded request based on the facts I have given you, should result in you obtaining the evidence you seek.

    When you make a claim you need to provide the supporting documentation, especially when documentation opposite of your claim has been given.

  10. lilady March 8, 2012 at 19:29 #

    Sullivan stated “I find it amazing how parents are given credit for being able to use Google to give themselves an education in everything from gastroenterology to psychology to mitochondrial disease to toxicology—but only if they use that information to promote the vaccines-cause-autism concept. Perhaps I missed where Isabella Thomas received a medical degree, for example.”

    I find it amazing that “Google-educated” parents did not “research” the clinical indications for performing lumbar punctures:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lumbar_puncture

    Patricia dear, what reputable research institute would ever employ a physician whose license to practice was revoked because of multiple instances of “serious medical misconduct”?

    • Sullivan March 8, 2012 at 19:43 #

      “I find it amazing that “Google-educated” parents did not “research” the clinical indications for performing lumbar punctures:”

      To add to that:

      Dr. Berelowitz, co-author on the Lancet paper, had this to say:

      Q You were asked particularly about the lumbar punctures. You have made it clear to us that it was not your decision that they should be included, but Mr Miller particularly asked you about a Medline search that you had done as to whether lumbar punctures were done on children with autism and you said that you had, indeed, done that and you have turned up some results. You referred in particular to Gilberg, is that correct?
      A And I think I have shared those results with the GMC solicitors.

      Q Yes, you did indeed. Those were all research projects, were they not?
      A Yes. (Pause) I should not try to defend the lumbar puncture because I was not the person who tried to order it. What I am trying to defend is the logic that might lead a doctor, listening carefully to parental concerns, to conclude that a lumbar puncture is a worthwhile investigation. But it is not for me to say lumbar punctures were indicated. I am thinking more about the inherent logic and whether we use that sort of logic in ordinary practice.

      Yes, he could find a lot of papers discussing lumbar punctures. They were all research projects.

      They are not called for in general for autism

      We do not, in child psychiatry at the Royal Free, do lumbar punctures in our assessment of an ordinary child with autism without any other clinical hypothesis.

  11. century March 8, 2012 at 20:19 #

    “I find it amazing that “Google-educated” parents did not “research” the clinical indications for performing lumbar punctures:

    http://en.wikipedia…..”

    Ho hum!!

  12. century March 8, 2012 at 20:23 #

    And Lilady you said that you are/were a nurse!!

    Wikipedia – tut, tut.

  13. Chris March 8, 2012 at 20:30 #

    century, when you copy a URL, use the right mouse button and click on “copy link location” or “copy shortcut” from the drop down menu. Just using your mouse to select the text can create errors.

  14. Wendy Stephen March 8, 2012 at 20:31 #

    Sullivan

    “Therefore, by definition, all single measles and mumps vaccines are unlicensed in the UK. ” as they don’t meet the specifications of the license.”

    This quote from “MMR vaccine – worries are not justified” by DAC Elliman in the Archives of Disease in Childhood was from 2001 My purpose in suggesting to Chris he submit a FOIA to the MHRA stemmed from the fact he sought evidence in support my previous post where I said Pariorix a monovalent Urabe vaccine was licensed in the UK as far back as 1983 and I’m not sure how the status of monovalent vaccine licences in the UK in 2001 affects the licensing history of Pariorix in 1983.

    • Sullivan March 8, 2012 at 21:00 #

      Wendy Stephen,

      OK, but I am not sure what the value for this discussion is that mumps vaccines were licensed at one point in the UK. An argument has been put forth by Mr. Wakefield that the fault for low immunization rates in the UK lies with the government for banning the import of single vaccines. One problem with that argument, as Chris (female, by the way), points out is that at least some of the single vaccines which were being imported at that time were done so illegally.

      “It wasn’t until August 2002, ten years after the DOH stopped using Urabe containing MMR’s, that the CSM/MCA imposed an import ban on Urabe containing vaccines.”

      At that time (a) were the mumps vaccines which were imported licensed and (b) didn’t a fraction of them consist of Urabe strain mumps?

      Another way to look at part (b)–how many children were given Urabe strain mumps vaccine before Mr. Wakefield’s call for single vaccines and in the years immediately following? If that number increased substantially, and it appears likely this is the case, why was this allowed to happen? Wasn’t it appropriate for the government to ban imports of single vaccines if they were being imported illegally and were subjecting children to a higher risk of meningitis?

  15. Chris March 8, 2012 at 20:48 #

    So what? It had no relevance to the timeline after Wakefield’s press conference and the removal of two MMR vaccines from the UK in 1992.

  16. Chris March 8, 2012 at 21:07 #

    And the point is that Wakefield made a suggestion without any real evidence, which in the end endangered children in more ways than one.

  17. Autismum March 8, 2012 at 21:37 #

    “And Lilady you said that you are/were a nurse!!
    Wikipedia – tut, tut.”

    Irony bypass, Century?

  18. lilady March 8, 2012 at 22:07 #

    @ Century “And Lilady you said that you are/were a nurse!!”

    No Century, I stated that I am a fully licensed registered registered and I stated that I worked as public health nurse, before my recent retirement.

    Did you actually read (and comprehend) my comment about “Google educated” parents and understand why I provided the Wikipedia link to these parents, who have not had the benefit of education in medical sciences, access to medical texts and professional experience in medical epidemiology?

    “Wikipedia – tut, tut.”

    Here’s a link to a Medscape article:

    http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/80773-overview

    If you have any questions, please feel free to pose them. And, if you have any citations to support the multiple, painful invasive procedures that Wakefield’s patients underwent, please provide them.

    tut, tut Century!

  19. lilady March 8, 2012 at 23:10 #

    Oops, brain fog. “…I stated that I am a fully licensed registered NURSE and I stated that I worked as public health nurse, before my recent retirement.”

    I’m “available” to answer any questions that “tut tut Century” might have about the two links I provided.

  20. century March 8, 2012 at 23:23 #

    “Oops, brain fog. “…I stated that I am a fully licensed registered NURSE and I stated that I worked as public health nurse, before my recent retirement.””

    How recent is recent, Matron?

  21. lilady March 8, 2012 at 23:38 #

    @ Tut tut century: I retired as a nurse/clinician and from my position as a public health nurse from the Division of Communicable Disease Control at a large County Health Department, seven years ago.

    And, what might your education be? What degrees do you possess, what professional licensing do you have, what work experience do you have in any medical/nursing/allied health care field?

    Still waiting for any citations (from anywhere) from you, to justify Wakefield’s ordering of painful, invasive tests on the children who were part of his study…

  22. Chris March 9, 2012 at 01:41 #

    century, at least lilady knows how to post a URL link. Did you find my advice helpful?

  23. John Bundock March 9, 2012 at 02:02 #

    Patricia,

    “AJW was advised to drop his case against Brian Deer by his lawyers. The reasons were manifold. He he’d had no time to prepare his case, being the prime reason. His professional insurance indemnity chose not to support him in such an endeavour after themselves hearing a decsion by a court Judge that it was not proper to wait any further until his case could be presented.
    As for hopeless prospect of winning an appeal against the GMCdecision, well how would you know that? You are full of probably’s” John.”

    I did not comment on the Deer matter. Wakefield sued Deer and alleged defamation. The courts try to ensure that such actions are genuine and not commenced merely to silence a critic. Wakefield had control of when the action commenced. Having commenced it, the court would not allow him to sit on his hands. Unfortunately, asking for more time to prepare the case is a common time-delaying tactic used by lawyers. The judge ordered Wakefield to prove what he’d alleged. Wakefield withdrew.

    Wakefield’s best opportunity to clear his name was to overturn the GMC decision. According to the Walker-Smith judgment, Wakefield appealed and then withdrew his appeal. That would have been discussed with his solicitor and probably with his barrister. He was probably advised that his appeal had little, or no chance of success.

    As a retired litigation lawyer, I have been used to dealing in probabilities. The above scenario is probably what happened.

  24. lilady March 9, 2012 at 05:00 #

    @ John Bundock: As Wakefield contemplates his second lawsuit against Brian Deer, funded by his “friends” in the anti-vax community…I wonder if he has been advised by his attorney about the new Texas law?:

    http://slappedintexas.com/primer/

  25. John Bundock March 9, 2012 at 05:44 #

    @ lilady: I’m not familiar with Texas law. Perhaps Wakefield is hoping Deer won’t defend the case because of the cost and inconvenience. St Andrew the Martyr may then be able to get a default judgment, unenforceable as Deer is out of the jurisdiction, and trumpet his victory as a vindication.

    If the case runs as a defended matter, It will be interesting to see what transpires. I don’t know if the change in Texas law covers any wrongs that occurred before it was enacted.

  26. John Bundock March 9, 2012 at 05:53 #

    @ lilady: I don’t know Texas law, or whether the change in the law there covers wrongs that took place before it was enacted. Wakefield may have hoped that Deer would not defend the action because of costs and inconvenience. St Andrew the Martyr may then be able to obtain a default judgment, unenforceable as Deer is out of the jurisdiction, and trumpet it as a vindication. If the case runs, it’s going to be an interesting one. Both parties can be expected to be good witnesses. It seems to me to be a high-risk strategy by Wakefield.

  27. Julian Frost March 9, 2012 at 06:38 #

    @John Bundock, it is a very high risk strategy for one final reason. The BMJ is a British Journal. The Judge is likely to dismiss the case as outside Texan jurisdiction.

  28. Chris March 9, 2012 at 07:34 #

    Mr. Bundock, this blog of legal stuff might interest you: Andrew Wakefield Sues BMJ and Brian Deer: Time To Test Out the New Texas Anti-SLAPP Statute.

    Personally, I am voting on that snowball and its chance of surviving a ferry ride on the River Styx to Hades.

  29. tut tut century March 9, 2012 at 08:34 #

    “And, what might your education be? What degrees do you possess, what professional licensing do you have, what work experience do you have in any medical/nursing/allied health care field?”

    Do you want to play Qualifications Top Trumps?

    “Still waiting for any citations (from anywhere) from you, to justify Wakefield’s ordering of painful, invasive tests on the children who were part of his study…”

    OP was commenting on W-S not Wakefield, nursey!

  30. tut tut century March 9, 2012 at 08:40 #

    “century, at least lilady knows how to post a URL link. Did you find my advice helpful?”

    Yeah, great. I’ll follow your advice when I want to copy or paste a complete link 😉

    But when I want to break the link to show just the silly part (eg Wiki) then i’ll do it my way

  31. lilady March 9, 2012 at 08:57 #

    I forgot about the PopeHat blogger and his excellent analysis of the new Texas law, as it applies to the Wakefield-vs-BMJ, Godlee, Deer case.

    I suspect that if the case goes forward in State court or if it is removed to Federal court, that every major media outlet will submit amici curiae briefs…in support of the defendants. No matter which court hears the case, Wakefield will have to give sworn testimony during the “discovery” phase…which will be very damaging for him.

    How about the witnesses who will be subpoenaed to testify? Does anyone think that Walker-Smith wants to testify, in an American court of law?

    I am hoping that Andy does not discontinue another lawsuit against Deer…I want him to (finally) “have his day in court”.

  32. lilady March 9, 2012 at 10:01 #

    @ Tut Tut Century: Have you anything of value to add to this discussion? All I have seen is your nattering snide comments directed at Sullivan and other posters.

    We must assume that you have no scientific proof and/or citations about the ordering by Wakefield of invasive painful procedures that were inflicted on these defenseless disabled children..or

    You are so ethically challenged and devoid of empathy for these kids, that you think it is fine for Wakefield to use these innocents as lab test animals. Pathetic.

  33. tut tut century March 9, 2012 at 12:08 #

    “We must assume that you have no scientific proof and/or citations about the ordering by Wakefield of invasive painful procedures that were inflicted on these defenseless disabled children..or

    You are so ethically challenged and devoid of empathy for these kids, that you think it is fine for Wakefield to use these innocents as lab test animals. Pathetic.”

    FFS, get off your moral high horse, ex-nursey!!

    FYI one of my kids had LP as part of his/her investigations (s/he is autistic with bowel problems) – so yeah, WTF do I know

  34. John Bundock March 9, 2012 at 12:47 #

    @ Julian Frost, Chris and lilady

    Thanks for your interesting observations on Wakefield’s Texas defamation case.

  35. Wendy Stephen March 9, 2012 at 12:58 #

    Sullivan

    “Wasn’t it appropriate for the government to ban imports of single vaccines if they were being imported illegally and were subjecting children to a higher risk of meningitis?”

    Absolutely. As the mother of a young woman who lives daily with a lasting neurological disability following receipt of the Urabe containing Pluserix vaccine in 1991, I’m entirely in agreement with you but I’m not aware of any evidence that single urabe mumps vaccine was being imported illegally into the UK. Do you have any evidence of that? Given my personal situation, I more than most people have good reason to support a ban on importing Urabe mumps strain into the UK, and personally feel that the CSM/MCA ban in 2002 ten years after the DOH stopped using urabe containing MMR’s because of an increased risk of aseptic meningitis, was ten years too late. The ban preventing import of Urabe vaccine into the UK in 2002 included heightened concerns as to the risk of aseptic meningitis, which had been known about since 1992, but there was no suggestion that the ban was as a result of illegal importation of the vaccine. Clearly after the 2002 ban, it would have been illegal to import Urabe but I’m not aware of any evidence that illegal importation took place prior to that.

    In my opinion there was no excuse at any time in the history of the marketing of the Urabe containing vaccines in the UK for any child to be exposed to an increased risk of aseptic meningitis when there were other vaccines containing the alternative Jeryl Lynn mumps strain readily available and I was fully supportive of the import ban.

  36. dingo March 9, 2012 at 14:44 #

    @Wendy,
    You say your child suffered lasting neurological disability following Pluserix MMR.

    Might I respectfully suggest that if this is the case, then the damage caused was from the measles component of the vaccine causing a rare but well described encephalitis, rather than the Urabe mumps strain component, which can rarely cause an a septic meningitis (but which is self limiting and never associated with lasting neurological damage)?

  37. dingo March 9, 2012 at 14:46 #

    PS that should read “aseptic meningitis”

  38. lilady March 9, 2012 at 18:57 #

    “FYI one of my kids had LP as part of his/her investigations (s/he is autistic with bowel problems) – so yeah, WTF do I know”

    Obviously you knew nothing, then, about the clinical indications for performing a lumbar puncture on a child with “bowel problems” and…

    Obviously you know nothing, now, about the clinical indications for performing a lumbar puncture…in spite of the articles I linked to.

    Still defending Wakefield, in spite of your child undergoing a not-clinically-indicated invasive painful procedure and, in spite of the findings of the GMC against Wakefield? Pathetic.

  39. tut tut century March 9, 2012 at 20:58 #

    Nursey wrote

    “Obviously ….” {cut out drivel}

    Don’t you just love the ‘armchair physicians’

    xx

  40. Science Mom March 9, 2012 at 21:14 #

    century, would you please crawl back into your hole you infantile twit? You have contributed less than nothing in terms of the topic.

  41. tut tut century March 9, 2012 at 21:23 #

    “century, would you please crawl back into your hole you infantile twit? You have contributed less than nothing in terms of the topic.”

    Oh boo hoo!

    You’re all so self righteous that it’s nauseating.

    I’d rather be an ‘infantile twit’ than so far up my own a*** that I need a torch

    (Note to Kevin – ban me again)

  42. Science Mom March 10, 2012 at 00:31 #

    You’re all so self righteous that it’s nauseating.

    I’d rather be an ‘infantile twit’ than so far up my own a*** that I need a torch

    (Note to Kevin – ban me again)

    Don’t post here then. Simple. Besides, you seem more AoA speed.

  43. cia parker March 10, 2012 at 02:14 #

    The parents of all the children of the Lancet Twelve felt nothing but gratitude for Drs. Wakefield, Walker-Smith, Murch, and their colleagues. They recognized that they were doing everything possible to help their children, and believed to a one that their children were indeed helped by this treatment. None of them had anything bad to say about any of them. This whole mess arose from the efforts of Big Pharma to bring these intelligent, ethical men into disrepute, so as to keep their dangerous vaccines on the market with a large clientele for as long as possible, to keep raking in money before the long famine hits them. Sir John Mitting clearly said that there was no connection between the lawsuit and the Lancet article, the children’s treatment was medically necessary, the GMC used faulty logic and reached wrong conclusions, and mandated that a legal counsel be included in future disciplinary proceedings to prevent such a shockingly criminal abuse of power from ever happening again. He took an extra couple of weeks after deferring judgment to do further research on this “deeply troubling” case because no one just coming in on this mess from the outside world could possibly believe that this is really happening. But he quickly got his bearings, and delivered the judgment that is indeed going to spell victory for Dr. Wakefield. Even Brian Deer said a couple of months ago that he no longer believed any fraud had been involved, when he found that he was going to be left high and dry in the endgame. Dr. Wakefield said that the autism and bowel disease starting so soon after the MMR certainly indicated a need for further investigation. Tens of thousands of parents have seen their children regress into bowel disease and autism after the MMR because this investigation has been delayed by fourteen years. Do you guys feel no remorse for these families from whom you have hid the truth for so long?

    • Sullivan March 11, 2012 at 19:14 #

      cia parker,

      Tens of thousands of parents have seen their children regress into bowel disease starting so soon after the MMR certainly indicated a need for further investigation. Tens of thousands of parents have seen their children regress into bowel disease and autism after the MMR because this investigation has been delayed by fourteen years. Do you guys feel no remorse for these families from whom you have hid the truth for so long?

      Multiple studies were performed. The evidence is against your claim that MMR increases autism risk–by any route. Andrew Wakefield was offered the opportunity to stay at the Royal Free and do the research to substantiate his claims. He declined the offer. If you think his claims could have been substantiated–even in the light of the mountain of evidence against him–perhaps you should take your complaint to him. In his time at Thoughtful House, where he was in charge, what work did he perform to support his earlier claims? Again if you feel that more research could have been done, I would point you to Andrew Wakefield and this (second) lost opportunity.

      Sir John Mitting clearly said that there was no connection between the lawsuit and the Lancet article, the children’s treatment was medically necessary, the GMC used faulty logic and reached wrong conclusions, and mandated that a legal counsel be included in future disciplinary proceedings to prevent such a shockingly criminal abuse of power from ever happening again.

      Can you point me to his decision on Mr. Wakefield? Obviously a rhetorical question as there isn’t one. Can you list the charges found proved against Mr. Wakefield and speculate (which is the most you can do) as to which might not have stood in light of this decision?

      Justice Mitting clearly stated that Mr. Wakefield’s hypothesis has failed. As did John Walker-Smith through his attorney.

      Brian Deer made no such statement as you claim. He and the BMJ have filed their anti-SLAPP suit in Texas. They make their position very clear–their statements were correct.

      There is little point going on with the remaining incorrect statements in your comment.

  44. Lawrence March 11, 2012 at 19:27 #

    Good point Sullivan – Wakefield has had 14 years to follow-up on his studies & publish proof, why hasn’t he? It isn’t like he’s been lacking in supporters or organizations that will host him – its almost like he no longer cares……I wonder why?

  45. Thomas March 11, 2012 at 19:32 #

    “Sir John Mitting clearly said that there was no connection between the lawsuit and the Lancet article, the children’s treatment was medically necessary, the GMC used faulty logic and reached wrong conclusions, and mandated that a legal counsel be included in future disciplinary proceedings to prevent such a shockingly criminal abuse of power from ever happening again”

    Sir John Mitting also said “There is now no respectable body of opinion which supports (Dr Wakefield’s) hypothesis, that MMR vaccine and autism/enterocolitis are causally linked,” yet you seem to have missed that part of his decision.

    We’ve wasted too much time on false claims about vaccines causing autism; I would hope that the people who have relentlessly pushed those claims to feel remorse for the harm they have caused, but based on their previous behaviour, they will instead continue to boast of their open-mindedness and inevitable victories on websites that zealously censor all opposing views.

  46. Chris March 11, 2012 at 19:40 #

    Sullivan:

    Andrew Wakefield was offered the opportunity to stay at the Royal Free and do the research to substantiate his claims. He declined the offer.

    They were done by Dr. Brent Taylor. I listed two of those studies and the pdf of a letter by him in a comment I made on March 8th, 2012 at 03:56:36. I have also mentioned them to Ms. Parker elsewhere.

    No one has yet to comment on those studies, and that they predate any involvement by Mr. Deer. Essentially, even if there was no fraud, Dr. Wakefield was still quite wrong and others had already shown he was wrong.

    Ms. Stephen:

    As the mother of a young woman who lives daily with a lasting neurological disability following receipt of the Urabe containing Pluserix vaccine in 1991, I’m entirely in agreement with you but I’m not aware of any evidence that single urabe mumps vaccine was being imported illegally into the UK.

    I posted on March 8th, 2012 at 01:20:15 a 2002 letter from the Medicines Control Agency that stated “that the Medicines Control Agency (MCA) should object to importation of unlicensed mumps
    vaccine containing the Urabe strain of mumps virus. On the basis of that advice, the MCA has today contacted importers notifying them that the vaccine should not be imported.” Much of the news muckraking occurred in 2004, which is after that (and about the time the UK had a mumps outbreak).

    If your child was one of those injured by the Urabe portion of the now discontinued MMR vaccine, then you should be doubly angry at Richard Barr and Andrew Wakefield. They wasted almost three million pounds of Legal Aid funds on going on about the measles component of several types of MMR vaccines, instead of the victims of the Urabe mumps strain in the two MMR vaccines that were removed in 1992.

    (by the way, we live daily with the lasting effects of seizures due to a now vaccine preventable disease, so I can understand your anger)

  47. Wendy Stephen March 11, 2012 at 22:24 #

    Chris

    You’re probably aware of an article on this site by Sullivan on 21st September 2011″ Law firm faces Legal Action over Handling of MMR vaccine Case” with a link to a story on the Huffington Post of three families who are pursuing legal action in respect of the handling of the litigation in the UK by the lawyers. It’s no secret that my daughter and I are one of the families referred to.

  48. Chris March 11, 2012 at 23:05 #

    Thank you, Ms. Stephen. I did remember there was something about, but I had forgotten the details. I shall go look it up to refresh my memory.

    Okay, now I remember. Sorry if it was in the back of my mind (our son has had several medical issues since early September, and we are now waiting on when he gets some surgery). Good luck with your suit.

    I also remember that Mike Stanton had an article on his old, and now gone blog, on how families of children harmed by vaccines had been unfairly treated by the UK legal system. I vaguely remember that he said there should be something like the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.

  49. Autismum March 12, 2012 at 03:12 #

    Chris, there certainly needs to be something put in place in light of the proposed changes to the UK’s legal aid system:
    http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/currentissues/legalaid.page

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  1. ‘Rogue’ Vaccine Doc Wakefield’s Partner Reinstated | Machholz's Blog - March 9, 2012

    […] Walker-Smith wins appeal (leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk) […]

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