Interesting Information: May 2015
The Dr. Andrew Wakefield Vaccine Saga
Dr. Andrew Wakefield was an early casualty in the vaccine wars.
He and his team published a research article that suggested that there MAY BE a connection between the MMR vaccine and autism. The result: all hell broke loose for Wakefield and his team. The paper was retracted–for unscientific and unfair political reasons; many on the team bailed out so their careers would not be ruined; and Wakefield and Walker-Smith were hauled before a UK regulatory board and thoroughly and unfairly demonized, smeared, and ruined.
It’s an old story when dollars are at stake and industry is powerful.
Walker-Smith’s insurance paid for his defense; Wakefield’s did not.
Their premise has since been confirmed–but Wakefield has not been reinstated. It is pretty hard to appeal when you’ve fled the country and have no money.
AND, Wakefield’s name is still invoked as a quack, a charleton, and so forth by those who did not get to the end of the story. Wakefield’s name has been invoked here in Maine by a local doctor in a local paper and attempts to set the record straight have been met with a refusal to print. So, the doctor can lie/or miss the actual history, and it does not matter. That’s how myth stays in place.
Here’s a quote:
In a stunning reversal, world renowned pediatric gastroenterologist Prof. John Walker-Smith won his appeal against the United Kingdom’s General Medical Council regulatory board that had ruled against both him and Andrew Wakefield for their roles in the 1998 Lancet MMR paper, which raised questions about a link to autism. The complete victory means that Walker-Smith has been returned to the status of a fully licensed physician in the UK, although he had already retired in 2001 — six years before the GMC trial even began.
Justice John Mitting ruled on the appeal by Walker-Smith, saying that the GMC “panel’s determination cannot stand. I therefore quash it.” He said that its conclusions were based on “inadequate and superficial reasoning and, in a number of instances, a wrong conclusion.” The verdict restores Walker-Smith’s name to the medical register and his reputation to the medical community. This conclusion is not surprising, as the GMC trial had no actual complainants, no harm came to the children who were studied, and parents supported Walker-Smith and Wakefield through the trial, reporting that their children had medically benefited from the treatment they received at the Royal Free Hospital.