Respectful Insolence

He’s baa-aack.

You knew he couldn’t stay gone for long, I’m sure. He’s just like the zombie who rises again just as the hero turns his back, thinking the zombie dead, or the blond terrorist in Die Hard who appeared to have met his end hanging from a chain only to appear later in the movie, just when it looks as though it’s all over and Bruce Willis has triumphed, to try to take a shot at him. That’s right. I’m referring to the anti-vaccine quack whose trial lawyer-funded, incompetent, and probably fraudulent research launched a thousand autism quacks looking to “cure” autism “vaccine injury.”

Yep. Andy Wakefield’s back, a mere month and a half after his ignominious departure from Thoughtful House at the hands of its board of directors, led, ironically enough, by the heiress of the Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical fortune who helped found that den of quackery with Wakefield. Before that, the General Medical Council (the U.K.’s equivalent to a state medical board, only for the whole country) had found proved three dozen charges against Wakefield, including four counts of dishonesty and 12 counts involving the abuse of developmentally-challenged children; 11 counts of “high risk” research performed without ethical approval; 9 counts of carrying out research that was contrary to the children’s clinical interests; three counts of having children undergo lumbar punctures that were not clinically indicated; and three of Wakefield ordering medical tests without the necessary qualifications to do so and in breach of his non-clinical employment contract. In spite of all these damning findings, you didn’t think Wakefield would stay gone for very long, did you? It hasn’t yet become clear what new woo he’s ultimately going to end up doing, although I have no doubt it will be every bit as harmful as the anti-vaccine woo he’s engaged in since 1998. It has, however, become clear that Wakefield is really, really good at playing the martyr, as this statement by him posted on that den of anti-vaccine iniquity Age of Autism demonstrates. His first whine makes the fallacious argument that, just because no parent has complained about him, the General Medical Council of Britain must be “persecuting” him for another reason other than enforcing the law:

On Wednesday April 7th, General Medical Council (GMC) lawyers will demand that I and likely two other doctors involved in the MMR-autism case should be erased from the UK’s medical register, removing our license to practice medicine. Doctors’ regulators have found the three of us – Professor John Walker-Smith, Professor Simon Murch and me – guilty of undertaking research on children with autism without approval from an ethics committee.
We can prove, with extensive documentary evidence, that this conclusion is false.

Let me make it absolutely clear that, at its heart, the GMC hearing has been about the protection of MMR vaccination policy. The case has been driven by an agenda to crush dissent that in my opinion serves the government and the pharmaceutical industry — not the welfare of children. It’s important to note that there has never been a complaint against any of the doctors by any parent involved in this case — only universal parental support and gratitude.

…all of which is irrelevant. It doesn’t matter if the parents didn’t complain about him. It really doesn’t. Not one whit. As was copiously documented by the GMC, Wakefield’s conduct in carrying out the research upon which his infamous 1998 Lancet “study” was irresponsible and dishonest. Numerous instances of violations of research ethics and various other malfeasance were documented in excruciating detail. Given that human subjects research protections are supposed to apply universally and that children are considered a special class of vulnerable human subjects for whom special protections have been put in place. Wakefield didn’t get proper ethical approval for parts of his study; he subjected children to medically unnecessary invasive procedures like colonoscopy and lumbar puncture; and joked about children passing out when he drew their blood at a party after offering them £5 so that he could get blood samples from normal children. That’s while I’ll repeat it yet again in the vain hope that it will register in the feeble brains of apologists for Andrew Wakefield: It doesn’t matter whether the parents complained about Wakefield’s conduct or not. It doesn’t matter.

The other load of crap that Wakefield drops is his claim that the GMC hearing is about protecting the MMR program and “crushing dissent.” According to Wakefield, only he and his buddies care about the children. (Won’t you all think about the children?) Only he is standing up to the evil pharmaceutical industry to keep it from giving your child autism with toxic vaccines. At least, so goes the Brave Maverick Doctor myth that he very much wants you to believe. It’s all the government–
The Man–keeping you down! It’s all about pharmaceutical companies wanting to sell lots of vaccines, even if it makes thousands of kids autistic. At least, that’s what Andrew Wakefield apparently wants you to believe, and, not surprisingly, the merry band of anti-vaccine zealots over at AoA are more than happy to lap up every last bit of B.S. that Wakefield plops right on their heads, and Wakefield drops a load worthy of an elephant:

Our only “crime” in this matter has been to listen to the concerns of parents, act according to the demands of our professional training, and provide appropriate care to this neglected population of children. It is unthinkable that at the end of an unimpeachable career, Professor Walker-Smith would even consider unethical experimentation on children under his care.

No, nothing is “unthinkable,” particularly if one falls in with a bad crowd or under the baleful influence of a young (at the time) and enthusiastic investigator who looks as though he may be going somewhere, as Wakefield did back in the 1990s. Maybe he didn’t fully realize what he was getting into; maybe he didn’t realize the depths of Wakefield’s flouting of research ethics. Parts of the GMC ruling point out that he had shared responsibility and that he couldn’t be blamed for something that was outside of his knowledge but still found him responsible for lapses. Indeed, it wrote this about the Simon-Walker in the case of one child:

The Panel accepts that at the time of Child 2’s admission in September 1996, you could not have known about the conditions of ethical approval, which were set out in a letter dated 7 January 1997 to you from the Ethics Committee, acknowledged by you on 9 January 1997.

But, hey, when busted for your misdeeds after 12 years, cry martyr. I will admit that he says only one thing that appears truthful in the entire statement, namely that his colleagues suffered “collateral” damage. To me that sounds about right. They made the mistake of trusting Wakefield and working with him. Now they’re paying the price. One could argue whether or not they should have realized something was wrong and about when they should have realized it, but sooner or later they should have figured it out. Wakefield’s theme song should be Warren Zevon’s “Poor Poor Pitiful Me,” because he sure can lay on the self-pity and play the victim:

The loss of my own medical license is, unfortunately, the cost of doing business. Although I do not take this loss lightly, the suffering – so much of it unnecessary – that I have seen among those affected by this devastating disease makes the professional consequences for me a small price to pay by comparison.

As long as a question mark remains over vaccine safety; as long as a safety-first vaccine policy is subordinate to profit and self-interest; as long as the benefits of vaccines are threatened by those who have compromised public confidence by denial of vaccine damage, and as long as these children need help; I will continue my work.

That’s what I’m afraid of.

Not surprisingly, Wakefield is playing the Galileo gambit to its fullest, as he has done since the GMC proceedings started in 2007. At the time, he referred to the GMC proceedings as a “Stalinist” campaign to ruin his reputation and likened himself to Václav Havel, a playwright turned political activist in Czechoslovakia who spent several terms in prison for his political activities opposing the Soviet-style Communist government in the 1970s and 1980s and ultimately played a major role in the Velvet Revolution of 1989 that led to the bloodless overthrow of Communism. At the time I thought that all that praise from anti-vaccine loons had gone to his head. Still, it’s much easier to see dark conspiracies everywhere than to admit that you’ve done wrong, particularly if you’re Andrew Wakefield. So it’s no surprise that he’s trotting out the same old tired tropes about the government and big pharma keeping The Truth from The People, maaaan!

Of course, none of this is anything new. It’s the same conspiracy-laden bilge that he’s been pouring on the U.K. since 1998.

Unfortunately, it’s not all. A couple of days before, in “honor” of World Autism Day, a video by Alan Golding in which Andrew Wakefield was interviewed about his predicament was released, to be promoted by–surprise! surprise!–Age of Autism:

It’s 30 minutes of Andrew Wakefield whining about how persecuted he is, starting out with an attack on Brian Deer, the investigative journalist whose findings in a blockbuster report he filed in 2004 raised all sorts of questions aobut ethical violations by Wakefield in the course of his “research.” Fortunately, Brian Deer has seen the video and produced a version that I much prefer, which parses many of Wakefield’s more–shall we say?–colorful claims:

Brian Deer was also kind enough to elaborate in the comments of Kevin Leitch’s blog, particularly how Wakefield’s pursuit of the measles component of the MMR as a cause of “autistic enterocolitis” likely screwed parents who might have had legitimate claims to vaccine injury due to Immravax and Pluserix, both of which had higher rates than acceptable of meningitis:

I really hope this video is seen by people who know Wakefield. People like Richard Barr, and all those who were involved in the years of painful litigation in the UK, and those whose hopes were similarly raised and dashed in the US.

One of the most moving and pitiable moments in the UK litigation was when, after the measles theory collapsed and the claimaints’ lawyers told the Legal Services Commission that, as the evidence stood, they couldn’t make the case that MMR causes autism, many of the families were simply bewildered. Really bewildered more than angry.

And there was a strange moment when they started saying, “well, what about Urabe, can’t we sue over Immravax and Pluserix?”. And counsel for one of the drug companies stood up in court and said, essentially, “Well, you did.” The claimants lawyers had spent all their money on what Wakefield had told them: how it was all measles virus in the gut, opioid peptides and so forth, which was just made up in early 1997. “Too late, mate,” was pretty much the industry position. And then, of course, the US cases went down the same track… to disaster.

I think possibly all of the lead eight cases in the UK, or at least the large majority, were children who had received Pluserix or Immravax. But they had sued on the measles virus mechanism. That’s the one Wakefield held patents on, and which he was researching to see if it caused Crohn’s disease.

Andrew Wakefield’s laywer-driven, incompetent, and very likely fraudulent research has done enormous harm. First, aided and abetted by a credulous and sensationalist British press, Wakefield sparked a hysteria over the MMR vaccine that led vaccination rates to plummet throughout the U.K. far below what is necessary for herd immunity, with predictable results. Measles came roaring back to the point where it is now endemic again. Unfortunately, the hysteria crossed the pond, and, although it’s fortunately much less of a fear in the U.S. than it is in the U.K., there are pockets of low vaccine uptake, as documented yesterday in an excellent NPR story about how parents’ vaccine fears are leading to a resurgence of measles in North America.

Pointing out that a couple of generations ago, up to 4 million U.S. children got measles every year, hundreds died, and thousands were left with permanent brain damage, it emphasizes that those days are gone, thanks to vaccines. Particularly interesting are two events mentioned in the story. First, thanks to the influx of international visitors to Vancouver for the Winter Olympics, British Columbia is suffering an outbreak of an Asian strain of the measles, half in a large household of vaccine refuseniks. In San Diego, the measles outbreak in 2008 due to a child who traveled to Switzerland, where vaccination rates have also plummeted below herd immunity levels, caused far more problems than just the children who became ill:

Once they found out, health authorities kicked into gear, tracing everybody who came into contact with the first cases — and everybody who was in contact with them. That net captured people who got exposed (and, in some instances, infected) at supermarkets, circus performances, fairgrounds and a Hawaii-bound airplane.

It added up to 839 people. Of those, 73 were unvaccinated children — 25 whose parents chose not to get them vaccinated, and 48 children under 12 months who were too young to be vaccinated.

To limit the spread of the virus, San Diego County officials asked parents of those 73 children to keep them at home. Many of them were pretty unhappy about that.

“Imagine, you start off on a normal day,” Waters says, “and you’re getting ready to drop your child off at their child care place, and you’re greeted by a public health nurse who says your child has been exposed to measles, and we’d like you to go home and be there for the next three weeks while we monitor you for symptoms.”

Parents of exposed children who believed in vaccination were incredulous and angry, she says: “They said, ‘What do you mean, people don’t get vaccinated? Why is this happening?'”

One big reason is Andrew Wakefield. His anti-vaccine fear mongering spread throughout the U.K., jumped the Channel to Europe, and metastasized to the United States. Now that it’s hear, it’s spread by a bubble-brained comedienne and ex-model and her actor boyfriend, supported by an organization of anti-vaccine propagandists fronted by an investment banker. Thanks to them and the fear of vaccines spread by their words and actions, more and more pockets of low vaccine uptake rates are appearing, particularly in states like California and even more particularly in areas of high affluence where highly educated parents are prone to thinking that their high level of training and achievement in one area qualify them to evaluate vaccine safety.

With the help of Andrew Wakefield’s “studies,” helpfully “interpreted” by Generation Rescue.

Tomorrow, April 7, the GMC will decide whether to recommend that Andrew Wakefield be “struck off” the list of licensed physicians in the U.K. (I love British phrases like this one–so appropriate.) If, as expected, the GMC does recommend that Wakefield be stripped of his license to practice medicine in the U.K. and the panel later agrees, it will be the end of one long and particularly painful chapter of an even longer and painfully sordid story. Unfortunately, as one chapter ends, no doubt another will begin, and the story will go on. I don’t know for sure where Wakefield will finally end up, but you can be sure he’ll find some new place to practice his autism woo.

After my post yesterday, my money’s increasingly on Tijuana. In the meantime, enjoy Wakefield’s theme song:

Comments

  1. #1 Dangerous Bacon
    April 6, 2010

    I’m waiting for the first comparison of Andrew Wakefield to Rosa Parks. It doesn’t seem to have happened quite yet according to Google, but it can’t be far off. Meantime we can console ourselves with this invoking of another civil rights hero:

    “In closing, Dr. Wakefield, I conjure up the darkness of mind and spirit that may pervade your life now, as you face this immense trial in your professional and personal life. I implore you, on behalf of the children in every continent on the face of this earth who suffer from and will suffer from the acute pain and alienation of autism, not to give up. You have thousands of passionate supporters, and children out there now who seek your help to access a healthy life. Please don’t go away or give up.

    Frederick Douglass also said:

    “The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppose.”

    And remember, they laughed at Galileo.

  2. #2 Dr. Mary Johnson
    April 6, 2010

    Where is Bruce Willis when you really need him?

  3. #3 wfjag
    April 6, 2010

    Andy is sooooo analog. He needs to get with the digital age. Just ask Arthur Fristenberg and Dr. Erica Elliott. The problem isn’t Big Pharma, it’s Big WiFi. http://www.popehat.com/2010/03/29/a-mans-home-is-his-castle-so-long-as-its-analog/ You have nothing to lose but your tin foil hats.

  4. #4 Todd W.
    April 6, 2010

    Doctors’ regulators have found the three of us…guilty of undertaking research on children with autism without approval from an ethics committee. We can prove, with extensive documentary evidence, that this conclusion is false.

    I have no doubt that he can produce some evidence. The question, though, is whether it addresses the specific procedures for which there was no approval.

    Let me make it absolutely clear that, at its heart, the GMC hearing has been about the protection of MMR vaccination policy.

    But, why? I mean, Wakefield’s retracted Lancet study didn’t say anything about MMR causing autism, so why would the GMC care about the MMR? In fact, I recall them stating that they did not evaluate the science of the study, but rather only the ethical conduct. So, Mr. Wakefield, tell us again how the GMC hearing was about the protection of MMR policy?

    as long as a safety-first vaccine policy is subordinate to profit and self-interest

    And Mr. Wakefield has documentation supporting this claim that industry and government are placing profit and self-interest ahead of safety? (Psst. Mr. Wakefield. Here’s a hint: producing unsafe products is bad for business.)

    To quote B. Bunny, “What a maroon.”

  5. #5 wfjag
    April 6, 2010

    Andy is sooooo analog. He needs to get with the digital age. Just ask Arthur Fristenberg and Dr. Erica Elliott. The problem isn’t Big Pharma, it’s Big WiFi. http://www.chicagotribune.com/health/la-na-hometown-santa-fe28-2010mar28,0,7549400.story and http://www.popehat.com/2010/03/29/a-mans-home-is-his-castle-so-long-as-its-analog/ You have nothing to lose but your tin foil hats.

  6. #6 Josh
    April 6, 2010

    Quoting “Dangerous Bacon:”
    “And remember, they laughed at Galileo.”

    They also laughed at Bozo the Clown. What’s your point?

  7. #7 Bob Monkhouse
    April 6, 2010

    They laughed at me when I said I wanted to be a comedian. They’re not laughing now.

  8. #8 provaxmom
    April 6, 2010

    Hmmm, Wakefield rises from the dead, coincidentally right around Easter. It must be–Wakefield is actually Jesus. Think about it–the blind faith despite all the evidence to the contrary, the millions of spinoffs…..

  9. #9 Rene Najera
    April 6, 2010

    He’s coming to Baltimore to speak at the DAN! conference, to which Kim Stagliano once invited me to attend. (True story.) So a couple of friends and I are going, and we’ll be wearing tee shirts that read, “I got the flu vaccine and all I got was this lousy t-shirt, no autism, no dystonia.”

    We’re starting a pool at the office on how long before we get kicked out.

  10. #10 Mojo
    April 6, 2010

    We can prove, with extensive documentary evidence, that this conclusion is false.

    Wouldn’t it have been rather a good idea to have done this in the GMC hearing?

  11. #11 Denice Walter
    April 6, 2010

    Wakefield may very well be “struck off” but needn’t worry: lack of a license to practice medicine is hardly an impediment to our dynamic woo-sters.Advising *against* seeking SBM-based treatment for serious illness while substituting the fantasy-based,recommending only ND’s,”instructing” about the “toxity” of pharmaceuticals,creating suspicion about the “pharma-medico-industrial complex”,”enlightening” the general public about the non-existence of HIV/AIDS,SMI,as well as other LD’s, and preaching the true gospel of food-as-medicine and supplement “deficiency” are common enough ersatz medicine for the non-licensed (Adams and Null),the licensed (Mercola), and those who have already lost their licenses(Dean and others quackwatch details)but continue nevertheless.

  12. #12 Pablo
    April 6, 2010

    We can prove, with extensive documentary evidence, that this conclusion is false.

    Wouldn’t it have been rather a good idea to have done this in the GMC hearing?

    I was kind of wondering the same thing. Is he seriously expecting us to believe that he never was asked to provide any of it at the GMC hearing?

  13. #13 Ahistoricality
    April 6, 2010

    We can prove, with extensive documentary evidence, that this conclusion is false.

    Forgive my ignorance of procedure in this case, but wouldn’t the rational approach have been to present the evidence before the ruling? What possible reason could Wakefield, et al., have for letting the medical board get to this point without presenting their side? More dramatic? Perry Mason, eat your heart out!

  14. #14 Terrie
    April 6, 2010

    @9 Rene, if you get through the door, I will be truely impressed.

  15. #15 Dangerous Bacon
    April 6, 2010

    “Quoting “Dangerous Bacon:”
    “And remember, they laughed at Galileo.”

    They also laughed at Bozo the Clown. What’s your point?”

    My whooshing skills remain intact. I thought it would have been obvious from the context, sorry.

  16. #16 Lucy
    April 6, 2010

    The Jenny McCarthy Body Count
    http://www.jennymccarthybodycount.com/Jenny_McCarthy_Body_Count/Home.html
    It ought to say “Wakefeild’s” Body Count

    More importantly, a good story from NPR:
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=125570056

  17. #17 Dale
    April 6, 2010

    I didn’t get the relevance of Urabe to Dr Roo’s argument, but disagree with BD’s suggestion there was no liability waiver:

    http://www.autismone.com/content/andrew-wakefield-md

    JCVI 07/06/1993 29:02min – 29:32min Seeeeee?

    No “What’s That Got to do with Anything” questions please Todd W.

  18. #18 v.rosenzweig
    April 6, 2010

    Dale–

    You don’t control the discussion here. (If Orac considers my questions inappropriate, he can tell me so, and I will desist, or he can delete this post.)

    Why on Earth do you think that the presence or absence of a liability waiver is sufficient to erase ethical problems? You can get people to promise not to sue you (possibly by handing them documents they don’t understand and misrepresenting them, or possibly by saying that you want to help their children, but need this signed for legal reasons). That waiver is not a carte blanche.

    Maybe you’ve never signed anything without reading and understanding it. Or maybe you’re like most people and just put your name next to the X, without reading, or without making sure the back of the sheet is blank, or asking what an odd-sounding clause means. Medical receptionists are regularly surprised when I do things like ask for their privacy policy, because I’ve been given a sign-in sheet that says I acknowledge receiving it.

    Human subjects review boards don’t just ask “Do you have a liability waiver?” They care about informed consent, and about possible risks and benefits to the subjects.

  19. #19 Scott Cunningham
    April 6, 2010

    Andrew Wakefield’s insistance that all is well, his research still stands and he’ll graw Science’s legs off is beginning to remind me of the Black Knight of Monty Python fame.

  20. #20 Awesome videos....
    April 6, 2010

    Dr. Wakefield really tells it like it is. :)

    Love him.

    It’s funny to compare how Dr. Wakefield calmly tells his story. I guess when you are telling the truth, there is a calmness associated with it. If you’ve ever heard/read Paul Offit or Brian Deer, you get the sense of two crackheads trying to score some more drugs.

  21. #21 Scott
    April 6, 2010

    @20:

    Care to provide some actual facts to refute the mountains of evidence that Wankerfield lies through his teeth on a regular basis? Or specific things you claim Offit/Deer are wrong about?

  22. #22 MI Dawn
    April 6, 2010

    Actually, liars tend to be very calm and cool, so people accept their lies. Only those who are telling the truth dare to be loud, passionate and debate hotly. The truth tellers aren’t afraid someone will actually pay attention and ask about what they REALLY said.

  23. #23 Todd W.
    April 6, 2010

    I do have to agree with Awesome videos (#20). To whit, Wakefield is a very slick presenter. He is very charismatic. It is very easy to see how people can be taken in by him. He’s suave. He has a deep, soothing voice. He has a sophisticated accent.

    However, that does not make him less wrong. A calm presentation does not equal a truthful presentation.

  24. #24 JonF
    April 6, 2010

    @20:

    Ah yes, the good ol’ “I am calm, therefore I am right, you are upset, you are wrong.” The combination of an ad hominem, a strawman, and a lack of providing actual evidence! Oh, and you referred to “truth” instead of “fact!” My gracious, you’ve hit for the cycle! Well done! And what in response? I’m predicting that standby tautology, “I know I’m right because I know I’m right” combined with maybe a hint of “I know you are but what am I.”

    I’d point out past examples of how appearing calm in a pre-recorded video absolutely does not establish one as anything less than ethically deplorable if the message and actions associated with it are also ethically deplorable, but then I might be falling into (an updated version) of Godwin’s Law, which is another favorite of the woo arsenal, so I won’t deprive you of that. Though “crackheads” was a good try.

  25. #25 Ah, no....
    April 6, 2010

    “Care to provide some actual facts to refute the mountains of evidence that Wankerfield lies through his teeth on a regular basis? Or specific things you claim Offit/Deer are wrong about”?

    Dr. Wakefield has listened to parents and has attempted to help figure out what is going wrong with children with autism who also have GI problems. That’s wonderful. Offit/Deer… not so much… I think that is why they always appear to look like crackheads…

  26. #26 Dangerous Bacon
    April 6, 2010

    “I guess when you are telling the truth, there is a calmness associated with it.”

    This sound like the people who think they can tell a person’s innocence or guilt in court by their demeanor. Evidence isn’t important – if the person looks you in the eye and smiles, they must be telling the truth.

    Or maybe Wakefield’s chugging down lots of valerian and kava to get him through these trying days.

  27. #27 Calli Arcale
    April 6, 2010

    Or, to put it another way with respect to why Wakefield’s video convinces some purely because of his demeanor….

    Romana: But he had such an open, honest face!
    Doctor: Romana, you can hardly be a decent crook with a dishonest face, can you?

    (“The Ribos Operation”, Doctor Who — very good story, about a couple of con artists going after a very wealthy former tyrant trying to regain his lost glory.)

  28. #28 Science Mom
    April 6, 2010

    I can’t see the stigmata on Wakers, anyone else? I am also having a great deal of difficulty trying to find incidences of any scientists that have been discredited as a result of questioning vaccine safety, even those that have successfully gotten certain vaccines and/or excipients pulled from the market.

    It must be so lonely up there on Waker’s pedestal of martyrdom.

  29. #29 Terrie
    April 6, 2010

    I just can’t wrap my head around the idea that autistic kids must have some sort of special, unique GI issues. Why can’t they just be autistic kids who also happen to have GI issues? Do they have special, unique paper cuts as well?

  30. #30 Scott
    April 6, 2010

    Dr. Wakefield has listened to parents and has attempted to help figure out what is going wrong with children with autism who also have GI problems. That’s wonderful. Offit/Deer… not so much… I think that is why they always appear to look like crackheads…

    More accurately, he listens and then makes up some complete garbage that doesn’t help any children. He makes no attempts whatsoever to actually help figure ANYTHING out. But he is a gifted fraud and con man to make it APPEAR that he’s helping.

  31. #31 MI Dawn
    April 6, 2010

    @Terrie…but, but, but you don’t understand!!! If St Andy says all autistic kids have gut issues, then all autistic kids have gut issues. Those kids who don’t have gut issues obviously don’t have Real Autism. And those kids whose parents use common sense (dietary testing to remove foods that may be allergens, medication) instead of OMG GOTTA get RID of the TOXINS have bad parents and probably aren’t Really Autistic either.
    /end AOA mentality. It hurts my brain.

  32. #32 Science Mom
    April 6, 2010

    Dr. Wakefield has listened to parents and has attempted to help figure out what is going wrong with children with autism who also have GI problems. That’s wonderful. Offit/Deer… not so much… I think that is why they always appear to look like crackheads…

    @20, No, Wakers steered the litigation and his own research in the direction that stood to make him the most money. “Autistic enterocolitis” doesn’t exist and most of his study subjects didn’t even have GI pathologies, not to mention some that didn’t even have autism. Oh yes, none of them had measles vaccine virus in their guts. So do tell, how has he helped anyone but himself?

    I don’t blame Dr. Offit and Mr. Deer for getting excited when you are standing there telling people the emperor has no clothes and you are met with the critters of AoA and GenRes. None of who have any qualifications, whatsoever, to defend his work, let alone reject others that don’t fit their confirmation bias.

  33. #33 Travis
    April 6, 2010

    People who fling around comments like crackhead rarely seem to know what they are comparing people to. I have been around plenty of crackheads and Offit and Brian Deer are no crackheads.

    I notice the morphing troll has still not actually addressed Wakefield’s lies and unethical behavior or specifically said anything that Deer or Offit is wrong about.

  34. #34 Todd W.
    April 6, 2010

    @Ah no (#25)

    Dr. Wakefield has listened to parents and has attempted to help figure out what is going wrong with children with autism who also have GI problems. That’s wonderful. Offit/Deer… not so much… I think that is why they always appear to look like crackheads…

    Let’s see. Have you listened to parents and attempted to figure out what is going wrong with children with autism who also have GI problems? If not, then you must also think that you appear to look like a crackhead.

    I’ve listened to parents and attempted to figure it out (now, I haven’t done any research, but I’ve thought about the idea, trying to figure it out…you weren’t too specific), but I can’t find any plausibility to the idea.

  35. #35 David D.G.
    April 6, 2010

    Before that, the General Medical Council (the U.K.’s equivalent to a state medical board, only for the whole country) had found proved three dozen charges against Wakefield, including four counts of dishonesty and 12 counts involving the abuse of developmentally-challenged children; 11 counts of “high risk” research performed without ethical approval; 9 counts of carrying out research that was contrary to the children’s clinical interests; three counts of having children undergo lumbar punctures that were not clinically indicated; and three of Wakefield ordering medical tests without the necessary qualifications to do so and in breach of his non-clinical employment contract.

    After a list like that, it seems practically anticlimactic to merely have Wakefield “struck off” the UK’s list of licensed physicians. Why isn’t he arrested and charged with multiple accounts of child endangerment/assault and then extradited to the UK to stand trial? That would seem to be the obvious response to medical misconduct of this magnitude.

    ~David D.G.

  36. #36 Terrie
    April 6, 2010

    As far as calm vs. frnatic in terms of tone, well, a guy who’s about to unknowingly walk off a cliff might be calm, but the people trying to warn him certainly won’t be.

  37. #37 Are you on drugs?
    April 6, 2010

    “Why isn’t he arrested and charged with multiple accounts of child endangerment/assault and then extradited to the UK to stand trial? That would seem to be the obvious response to medical misconduct of this magnitude”.

    LOL! Child endangerment/assault? Please. These kids were sick… he was a doctor who was actually trying to figure out why the kids had bowel disease. Get a grip, people! If you want to play that game… all pediatricians should be locked up for injecting babies with unnecessary vaccines…

  38. #38 Silly, silly, silly ...
    April 6, 2010

    “None of who have any qualifications, whatsoever, to defend his work, let alone reject others that don’t fit their confirmation bias”.

    Riiiigggghhhttttt… no qualifications other than having children regress after their vaccinations … then living with a child who suffers from GI pain… Other than that… no qualifications. I’ll trust the parents over Offit any day.

  39. #39 Travis
    April 6, 2010

    Oh here we go. So anything Wakefield did was help, but anything other doctors do is not. Morphing troll doesn’t even look to consider whether or not the things he was doing were justified in any way. Wakefield could have probably done anything and they would just say he was trying to help.

    And unnecessary vaccines… I would love to know what vaccines you think those are, and back up any claims with proper, peer-reviewed literature please (that means no Medical Hypotheses).

  40. #40 JohnV
    April 6, 2010

    “Riiiigggghhhttttt… no qualifications other than having children regress after their vaccinations … then living with a child who suffers from GI pain… ”

    I have a headache (from reading idiotic comments, no doubt). Therefor I am qualified to perform brain surgery.

  41. #41 Scott
    April 6, 2010

    Riiiigggghhhttttt… no qualifications other than having children regress after their vaccinations … then living with a child who suffers from GI pain… Other than that… no qualifications. I’ll trust the parents over Offit any day.

    Then, to put it bluntly, you are a fool. Being a parent does not miraculously endow one with the scientific knowledge to make any meaningful judgement on such matters. Indeed, it is IMPOSSIBLE for ANYONE to draw any meaningful conclusions from individual cases, as individual cases cannot rule out coincidence.

  42. #42 Dedj
    April 6, 2010

    “These kids were sick… he was a doctor who was actually trying to figure out why the kids had bowel disease.”

    But, it was established in front of the highest institutional authourity that several of the children weren’t sick and that his actions towards some of the ones that were sick were not clinically indicated.

    You can’t just do what you want to a sick kid and then justify it on the grounds that they were sick.

    Please go away and read up on medical ethics and codes of conduct. We have such things for a reason.

  43. #43 Sid Offit
    April 6, 2010

    Here’s one thing our Dr. Paul offit is wrong about.

    during the past century the lifespan of Americans increased by 30 years; almost all of that increase was due to one class of medical products: vaccines.

    And another

    A few years ago there was born the notion that vaccines might cause autism. And so the public health community responded. They responded by doing a series of studies to try to answer the question were you at greater risk of getting autism if you’ve gotten vaccines and if you hadn’t. The answer was clear, consistent and reproducible. No!

  44. #44 Todd W.
    April 6, 2010

    Here’s a link that people commenting on human research should take a look at to educate themselves about human research ethics.

    For what it’s worth, I’m a member of an institutional review board. Wakefield’s use of lumbar puncture and colonoscopy where it was not clinically indicated and where it was not in the best interests of the subject’s health would not be approved. Likewise, collection of blood samples at a birthday party (outside of a clinical setting), even if there had been proper informed consent procedures (which I don’t think there were), would likely not be approved.

  45. #45 Scott
    April 6, 2010

    @43:

    How about you provide some actual citations for the quotations and evidence showing they’re wrong?

  46. #46 Dedj
    April 6, 2010


    I didn’t get the relevance of Urabe to Dr Roo’s argument, but disagree with BD’s suggestion there was no liability waiver:

    http://www.autismone.com/content/andrew-wakefield-md

    JCVI 07/06/1993 29:02min – 29:32min Seeeeee?”

    Lucky for BD that it’s not his claim then, isn’t it?

    I’ve just watched BD’s video, and he makes it quite clear that he believes that the indemnity is not of the type and nature claimed by Wakefield and co.

    Although the AutismOne video causes trouble with my browser for some reason, I’m still able to see the ‘proof’. It’s not very specific, and – given that BD has had a siginificant protion of his claims validated in front of the highest relevant authourity to the highest applicable standard – I’m much more inclined to trust BD interpretation than AW’s, who was established (highes authourity yadda yadda) as a person willing to make mistatements and misrepresentations.

  47. #47 Sid Offit
    April 6, 2010

    Here’s a good one

    “If they were willing to look at all the studies that were done with vaccines, they would find that they are, I think without question, the safest, best-tested thing we put into our bodies,” says Offit. “I think they have a better safety record than vitamins, a better safety record that, than cough-and-cold preparations, a better safety record than antibiotics.”

    Funny, I can’t remember any vitamins being contaminated with a potentially carcinogenic simian virus. And I don’t remember vitamins ever causing polio. Or transmitting hepatitis B or containing high levels of mercury or causing seizures etc etc

  48. #48 Andrew Wakefield
    April 6, 2010

    …grh…brains!

  49. #49 Todd W.
    April 6, 2010

    @Sid Offit

    I also don’t remember any vitamins going through years of safety and efficacy clinical trials before being marketed.

  50. #50 Sid Offit
    April 6, 2010

    And who can forget the creation of vitamin court an act designed to prevent the vitamin manufactures from being sued out of business

  51. #51 Dave
    April 6, 2010

    Sid@47 – Naw, youre right, theres just lead poisoning from vitamins, ones containing carcinogenic dioxin or others with neurotoxins. Nothing to worry about in vitamins at all.

  52. #52 tony bateson
    April 6, 2010

    Mr Orac is the vaccine story equivalent of Dr. No. Except in this case he is part of a totalitarian state headquartered in Texas that still has a Berlin Wall. Most of his comments reflect wholesale brainwashing such as that devised in Eastern Europe (it wouldn’t surprise me to find some of those old jackboots hunkered away in pharma companies).

    The problem is that having met hundreds of parents like myself who saw a change in their children immediately after vaccination and knowing that they in turn know hundreds more I have never met nor could meet, I am inclined to think that vaccines are incriminated despite this being poopooed by people like Orac over the years. Wakefield was the first serious doctor who encouraged me to believe through his suggestion that more research was needed that there was a case to answer for vaccines.

    As an active worker in the autism community I have met many hundreds of parents and spoken at conferences of parents and professionals mainly in the UK but also in the USA. Since 1998 I have asked parents in these conferences and face to face to tell me whether their child was fully vaccinated. I have also written hundreds of letters and had hundreds of replies and written many articles in the UK national and regional press but oddly enough so far there is not one validated instance of an unvaccinated autistic person despite there being between two million and three million unvaccinated people in the UK born since 1966.

    Where does that leave us Mr Orac? Don’t bother with the science it is math not science. Where are the unvaccinated autistic people?

    Tony Bateson, Oxford, UK.

  53. #53 Travis
    April 6, 2010

    Mr. Bateson, you might want to look at the anti-vaccine movement itself for some examples. I believe Kim Stagliano has an unvaccinated child with autism. Perhaps you should look harder.

  54. #54 Chris
    April 6, 2010

    Mr. Bateson has been told of this several times on each of his visits here. His mind is welded shut to information that goes against his preconceived notions.

  55. #55 Mu
    April 6, 2010

    But we all know that Kim Stagliano’s kid got autism because Kim herself was vaccinated, and the toxins leached out of her into the developing fetus. That’s also why we won’t see the dramatic drop in autism from the removal of Thimerosal for another generation (or two, just in case it doesn’t happen in 2020 either).

  56. #57 Calli Arcale
    April 6, 2010

    Are you on drugs? @ 37:

    LOL! Child endangerment/assault? Please. These kids were sick… he was a doctor who was actually trying to figure out why the kids had bowel disease.

    Except, of course, for the tiny problem that not all of the twelve children even had bowel symptoms, yet he still put them through the misery of a colonoscopy, all in a hopeless attempt to prove his preconceived notion of “autistic enterocolitis” caused by the MMR. And one of the kids wound up having to get his colon resectioned because of his bungling! 1 in 12 losing a portion of a major organ, without proper informed consent or even medically indicated need for the procedure…..

    If you don’t think that’s a problem, then you have a serious problem yourself.

  57. #58 Prometheus
    April 6, 2010

    Apparently, Mr. Bateson still can’t find an autistic child who hasn’t been vaccinated. In his endless search for vaccinated autistic children, he reminds me a bit of Diogenes, except that Mr. Bateson’s lamp isn’t lit.

    In the time since I last told him he was wrong, I’ve found three more – and I’m not even looking for them!

    Mr. Bateson will never find an unvaccinated child with autism because he has already concluded that they don’t exist. Therefore, any unvaccinated autistic child either received an undocumented vaccination or isn’t autistic. His argument is thus hermetically sealed against fact.

    Another interesting development is the “argument” that vaccines given to the mother can cause autism in the child. I’ve even heard a few people claim that vaccines given even before the pregnancy began can cause autism.

    What’s next? Can vaccines given to the father cause autism? Or will this be some sort of “seven generation” curse – vaccines given to the great-great-great-great-grandmother will cause autism in the child?

    As long as the goalposts on this claim keep moving so fast and so far, there is little point in trying to argue sense and reason with the “believers”.

    Prometheus

  58. #59 Dangerous Bacon
    April 6, 2010

    When you’ve been away from a discussion for awhile and the number of comments has suddenly jumped, it’s a good indication that there’ve been incursions by the clueless, trolls or Sid (sorry for the redundancy).

    Sid sneers at the idea that vaccines could be safer than vitamins. In reality, the toxic effects of vitamin overdosage and contamination of vitamin products have been documented repeatedly. Here’s one report that discusses the problem, including the case of a women’s multivitamin containing high levels of lead.

    “…tests showed that The Vitamin Shoppe women’s product contained 15.3 micrograms of lead per daily serving of two tablets.

    This amount of lead is more than 10 times the amount permitted without a warning in California, the only state that regulates lead in supplements, Cooperman said. On average, most American adults are exposed to about 3 micrograms of lead through food, wine and other sources, he said, and while 15.3 micrograms of lead per day may not be immediately toxic, the mineral is stored in the body and could build up to dangerous levels with time.

    “I would be concerned about a woman taking a multivitamin that contains 15.3 micrograms of lead per daily serving,” said Judy Simon, a dietitian at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. Among other effects, she said, lead can contribute to high blood pressure.”

    An Indian “natural vitamin” product additionally has been shown to contain high lead levels.

    It is also common for commercial vitamins to contain far less than the amount claimed.

    We can now expect Sid to start launching broadsides against all vitamins and demanding that major studies be done comparing children getting no vitamins to those who do, before permitting our children to take them.

    Or maybe not. Sid’s obsession is apparently confined to vaccines.

  59. #60 dedicated lurker
    April 6, 2010

    And of course the DSHA and Proximre Amendment both essentially make it impossible to regulate vitamins and supplements no matter how dangerous they may be.

  60. #61 Scott Cunningham
    April 6, 2010

    Tony Bateson @52

    The problem is that having met hundreds of parents like myself who saw a change in their children immediately after vaccination and knowing that they in turn know hundreds more I have never met nor could meet, I am inclined to think that vaccines are incriminated…

    Let me explain what’s wrong with this, Tony.

    Suppose Fred is in a car accident.

    He’s rushed to the hospital, where nurse Betty asks him some questions to try to keep him conscious while he’s wheeled through the halls of the emergency ward.

    Fred dies.

    Therefore, asking questions kills people.

    The sequence is all there. Nurse Betty asking him questions was the last thing that happened before Fred died. The questions must have killed him.

    The problem with autism is we can’t see the accident. Something went wrong. We don’t know what. The vaccine link was suggested, scientists followed up with more studies, and it wasn’t the cause. It makes good sense, then, for them to look for something else that happened before the vaccines.

  61. #62 B. Campaigne
    April 6, 2010

    Wow did all you pro vax people read the same pamphlet?

  62. #63 MC
    April 6, 2010

    I don’t know for sure where Wakefield will finally end up, but you can be sure he’ll find some new place to practice his autism woo.

    Funny how none of the existing clinics haven’t taken him on right away. Must be some sort of bidding war going on behind the scenes. That’s it.

  63. #64 T. Bruce McNeely
    April 6, 2010

    Wow did all you pro vax people read the same pamphlet?

    No, we just respond to the same old shit the antivax people keep shovelling at us. No need to change our answers, is there?

  64. #65 Science Mom
    April 6, 2010

    Riiiigggghhhttttt… no qualifications other than having children regress after their vaccinations … then living with a child who suffers from GI pain… Other than that… no qualifications. I’ll trust the parents over Offit any day.

    @38, I see a reoccurring theme amongst the cult of Wakefield, and that is you haven’t bothered to read anything about Wakers, that isn’t favourable. What I claimed is all explained, ad nauseum, in the decision transcripts, which can be found here: http://neurodiversity.com/weblog/article/199/ which conveniently has the cliff notes for those, such as you, that can’t be bothered reading the entire decision.

    Wakefield could have corroborated the parental reports with medical records, and perhaps he did, but that would have put a huge dent in his claim. Several children did not have any symptoms that warranted invasive procedures that were performed anyhow. Most of the children didn’t even regress following MMR, but rather were autistic prior to, years after MMR or not autistic at all. This was in their medical records that Wakers didn’t bother to report.

    Parents are notoriously biased in their recollections and accuracy of events, which is why a good investigator would cross-reference with an unbiased source such as medical records, video tapes, etc. Coming in here with hackneyed “Save the Wakefield” platitudes is boring and not sporting at all. Either address the issues that have been raised or muzzle it; you aren’t unique or interesting.

  65. #66 Matthew Cline
    April 6, 2010
    We can prove, with extensive documentary evidence, that this conclusion is false.

    Wouldn’t it have been rather a good idea to have done this in the GMC hearing?

    Yeah, my thoughts exactly.

  66. #67 Dedj
    April 6, 2010

    And, of course, the GMC found Wakefield and co. ‘guilty’ of more than just working without ethical approval. Could Wakefield therefore be charged with misrepresenting the GMC findings?

    As a regular reader of Fitness to Practice hearings reports, I am assured that lack of intent to breach ethics is not, in itself, sufficient evidence that the behaviour that was in breach of ethics was not deliberate. Lack of intent is not a defence. All practictioners are obligated to ensure that what they do is not in breach of ethics.

    Wakefields defence does not work as a: it was found that they HAD in fact breached ethics so the mock indignation is provably false, and b: intending the action that breached ethics is what counts, not what the ethical intent was.

  67. #68 T. Bruce McNeely
    April 6, 2010

    Off topic somewhat, but this may be of interest:
    http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20358595,00.html

    Not that we should take pleasure in other peoples’ misery, but, what the hey, I’ll indulge myself.

    Snicker.

  68. #69 Confederate Dimwit Degenerate
    April 6, 2010

    Didn’t you know that anti-vaccine people are the same people who are also global warming deniers, evolution deniers, socialism killers, etc.? Didn’t you know that we will never go away? We are just like stink on a democrat’s ass. We refuse to go away.

    Five bucks says someone on this post will be too lazy to spell out my post name and will abbreviate it instead. Happens every time. lazy people.

  69. #70 sheldon101
    April 6, 2010

    Pedantic — In the UK, you are erased from the register. I emailed the GMC and asked if there was a ceremony and did they televise it. They replied that they just changed the category in the database to erased. What a shame.

  70. #71 Smarter Than You
    April 6, 2010

    Hey since this is about Wakefield maybe I finally agree with all you tunnel visioned fools on something here…MMR doesn’t cause Autism…now let’s celebrate the one and only thing I will ever agree with you about. I definitely don’t agree however that Wakefield is a bad Doctor, in fact I think he is an incredible Doctor and he has done an incredible thing that 99.9% of all doctors wouldn’t do…by looking deep and really studying if vaccines could be causing harm/autism. That takes a lot of balls by putting it all on the line to question the government/pharma’s holy grail. It’s really too bad vaccines have gone from such a brilliant invention and life saver and somehow transitioned into the billion dollar money driven machine it is today and we have lost all focus about what they are all about to begin with. You fools on this blog seem to think it’s all about “our health”. How could you possibly be any stupider than you already are? It’s all about “herd immunity” right? Yeah, that might be the only thing that is on their minds besides the billions of dollars that makes them smile all the way to the bank every day. Wow, they did such a great job creating this swine flu “pandemic” now they have to throw out millions and millions of doses. Great success! That’s what happens when you get greedy. I’m sure the pregnant mothers who got a regular flu shot and a swine flu shot this year will thank you all for destroying their child’s lives before they were even born from the exposure to 50 mcg of mercury in utero. That is brilliant! I can’t wait to see the Autism rate shoot up over the next 3-5 years just from this alone. And you guys all think the mercury theory has gone away because the thimerosal has been removed right? You guys have got absolutely nothing figured out. Oh wait, what is there to figure out? I forgot that Autism is a gift and we need to celebrate all of us being neurologically diverse…you people are sick and disturbed! Now bring on the responses to me that say how vaccines save millions of lives, and mercury isn’t in the flu shots given to pregnant women. Yes vaccines are a brilliant invention and they do save lives, but at the same time there is a devastating flaw that we continue to use an extreme neurtoxin as a preservative that has never gone through clinical trials at rates far in excess of the federal guideline for a less toxic form of mercury. How stupid can our government be to still be using a mercury preservative that was invented in the 1920’s? Has technology not advanced and have we not yet reached the conclusion that mercury is a neurotoxin by 2010? It’s all about the money morons, it’s all about it being cheap and saving time and money. This is worse than a fatal flaw. What should have been the most amazing medical feat of all time has turned into one of the biggest medical disasters of all time and one of the biggest epidemics of all time. So which one do you want, Autism or Hep B? We can stop you from getting Hep B, but at the risk of giving you Autism because we want to maximize our profits and be lazy too. Oh but I forgot the dose makes the poison and water will kill you too…haha so lame! You all are so predictable I know I will hear the same boiler plate responses to that I almost have to laugh at you, that is if you weren’t at the same time putting peoples lives at risk in your daily interactions with innocent people. Let me hear the same old one that methyl is more toxic than ethyl…oh yeah you guys have it all figured out don’t ya? You will soon!!!!

  71. #72 Grant
    April 6, 2010

    Wouldn’t it have been rather a good idea to have done this in the GMC hearing?

    Yes… but inside the GMC hearing, any evidence he presented would get a close examination. Outside of it, and later, he can waves whatever he likes around to his fans without fear of it be checked…?

    Doesn’t ring true does it? If he had evidence that would stand up to scrutiny, he’d have presented it then.

    Bateson has been complaining over at our part of the world, too (linked on my name; disclosure: my blog is in the same collective).

    Science Mom: I love your final sentence. I’ve a mind to keep it to throw at those that “reply” without addressing the issue.

  72. #73 TemporarilyAnonymous
    April 6, 2010

    Mr. Bateson, I have Asperger’s syndrome. I am in my mid thirties, too old to have received many vaccines, including the MMR. I did get the DPT, smallpox, and polio shots. Care to venture an hypothesis on why I contracted Asperger’s? BTW, I was showing signs of being slightly odd before even my first birthday.

  73. #74 TemporarilyAnonymous
    April 6, 2010

    in fact I think he is an incredible Doctor and he has done an incredible thing that 99.9% of all doctors wouldn’t do…

    Okay, let me explain it in very simple words:

    Doctor Wakefield arranged to shove a probe up a little kid’s ass without a good reason. 12 times. There are two good reasons to shove a probe up a kid’s ass: 1. the kid is sick and needs this as part of his treatment, 2. the world really needs to know what he has in his guts to answer some important scientific question. None of the kids needed this for themselves. So #1 doesn’t apply. #2 is always a matter for debate, which is why there is this thing called institutional review. Except, Wakefield dodged that step.

    That means Wakefield is an incredible doctor. I.e. incredibly bad.

    Do you understand now? Sometimes I think Orac should step up his use of earthy language.

  74. #75 Passerby
    April 7, 2010

    I listened with interest today to Homeland Security report on continued vulnerability of the US to hacker terrorism. Our web population Achilles heel? The induhviduals who refuse to procure and use firewall defense security software. Their computers can be readily transformed into a zombie bot network that can infect and co-opt other unprotected computers, in a rolling epidemic wave that can be used to effectively overwhelm web traffic and shut down corporate and government hubs.

    It’s risky behavior that potentially endangers all of us who are active on the web.

    In the past, I’ve argued here that autism arises in neonates under under a variety of causal mechanisms, many or most of them epigenetic, arising in parents. Environmental stress factors are thought to be involved, and at least a portion of this environmental stress is suspected to be related to risky parental lifestyle choices, as well as pollutant exposure.

    It’s noteworthy that we have some evidence of ‘sloppy’ immune response controls in younger population cohorts. It makes me wonder if this is a growing epigenetic or polymorphic weakness in this population’s immune resistance armor against the return of devastating childhood infectious disease, with a vicious twist. The slacker innate response is accompanied by an unusually severe inflammatory response, particularly in the lungs, gut, epidermis and nervous systems.

    Whether this is a facet of inappropriate lifestyle, increasing environmental contaminant exposure, accumulating genetic factor expression, or chronic stress exacerbated by reliance on cognitive enhancers that is unrelieved by adequate sleep, nutrition, and exercise, is not known.

    We do know that some modern vaccines don’t appear to work as well as they once did. Perhaps this is due to a combination of slow genetic drift or by reduced immune system efficacy or slow decline in general population health over time.

    What is known is this: we now have fast-mutating enveloped RNA viruses, respiratory and GI tract types, that are very difficult targets for vaccine intervention.

    Host population pressure, with attendant environmental disturbance and degradation, are surely primary driving facets behind the emergence of these pathogens.

    The very last thing you want is for a chunk of the younger cohorts to be exceptionally vulnerable to these infectious agents, because they could potentiate a spiral of virulence strengthening in these fast-mutating micro-organisms.

    Why? Because when these unvaccinated and highly susceptible children are infected with once-typical childhood infectious agents, mediocre immune systems are depressed for many weeks to months.

    When these ultra-susceptible infants and young children become infected with a fast-mutating lung and gut viruses round-robin in the late winter and spring, pathogens may respond to signals of previous infection and glutathione depletion in a fail-safe defense mode, triggering an uptick in mutation rate that selects for enhanced virulence factor expression. It can worsen the symptoms and increase risk for complications and mortality in these younger cohorts and also in susceptible young and middle aged adults with underlying conditions.

    Just as those who practice risky web community behavior pose potential danger to all of us in the event of a large-scale cyber attack, the parents who make risky community health decisions for their children could be endangering our general population health and welfare, in a slow rolling wave of strengthening virulence expression with repeated seasonal cycles of regional and national epidemics.

  75. #76 Chris
    April 7, 2010

    “Smarter Than You”… If you are so smart why don’t you understand that very simple concept known as the paragraph?

    Also, what kind of dressing do you want on your word salad?

  76. #77 Orange Lantern
    April 7, 2010

    Passerby, hold up-

    If I understand you, risk-taking parents cause their children stress that makes their immune system slack off (and also become visciously autoinflammatory), while slow genetic drift is making fast mutating RNA viruses under the conditions of host population pressure and environmental disturbances that, when introduced into kids’ sloppy immune systems will release their inner uber-virus and kill us all.

    Are the internet terrorist zombie bots to blame? If we present them with an offering of glutathione, will it appease them?

  77. #78 zed
    April 7, 2010

    Dimwit,

    No one would ever have to type out your name, that’s what Cut and Paste is for, and I’m very sure that many in the anti-vaccine camp would be very offended by your remarks in that post.

  78. #79 MadScientist
    April 7, 2010

    I only wish he were whining in a small room of his own with foam-padded walls and a restraining jacket.

  79. #80 MI Dawn
    April 7, 2010

    @ Confederate Dimwit Degenerate: Happy now? There is your full (at the morphed moment) name. Now, go back and play quietly with your toys. Adults are talking.

  80. #81 Dale
    April 7, 2010

    @18:

    “Dale–

    You don’t control the discussion here. (If Orac considers my questions inappropriate, he can tell me so, and I will desist, or he can delete this post.)”

    Where have I ever claimed to control the discussion?

    “Why on Earth do you think that the presence or absence of a liability waiver is sufficient to erase ethical problems?”

    Where on earth did I make such a suggestion?

    Is pointing out that Wakefield was right on *one* matter of fact tantamount to an endoresement of him? Or heresy according to the doctrine of Rosenveig?

  81. #82 DLC
    April 7, 2010

    Regarding Wakefield and emotional displays:
    Ted Bundy very calmly and charismatically denied in a court of law that he ever did anything to anyone.
    Yet,after being found guilty, he later confessed to killings in order to extend the deadline on his execution.
    My point — a calm, sonorous and charismatic figure can be all sorts of liar. As a matter of fact, extreme lack of affect can be a symptom of mental disease or defect.
    Not saying Wakefield has any such, just explaining that you can’t judge a book by it’s cover.

    Regarding “But Wakefield was just trying to help!”
    In a civil court, “I was just trying to help” is a defense for an untrained individual who attempts to render medical aid and fails. Dr. Wakefield is not an untrained person practicing medicine in an emergency situation, but a supposedly trained practitioner supposedly providing treatment. His treatment did not actually help any condition the children in this case were suffering.

    Finally: you know what really bugs the hell out of me?
    The fact that were these children “normal”, everyone and their brother would be calling for Wakefield’s head on a plate. Is the fact of being autistic really that horrible that Dr Frankenstienfield could practice whatever Voo-Doo he wanted on them and no one would even raise a complaint because “he was only trying to help” ?
    What next, Electro-convulsive Therapy?
    I should STFU, someone might think it a good idea.

  82. #83 Dale
    April 7, 2010

    p.s.

    “Human subjects review boards don’t just ask “Do you have a liability waiver?” They care about informed consent, and about possible risks and benefits to the subjects.”

    If you bothered to actually watch the video I referred to before ranting on, you’ll find I was talking about a waiver for *SKB*, not Wakefield.

  83. #84 Dale
    April 7, 2010

    I’ve just watched BD’s video, and he makes it quite clear that he believes that the indemnity is not of the type and nature claimed by Wakefield and co.

    Dedj@46: I’ve seen BD’s video too… I don’t see the basis for his claim. If you’ve not seen the autismone video, there’s a scan of a jCVI document that refers to SKB “continuing to sell” their vaccine “without liability”.

    What can this possibly mean other than that liability was waived?

  84. #85 christophe-thill.myopenid.com
    April 7, 2010

    Soon-to-be-ex-Dr Wakefield really is a despicable, self-serving little man.

  85. #86 Kristen
    April 7, 2010

    @71
    SMY

    You guys have got absolutely nothing figured out. Oh wait, what is there to figure out? I forgot that Autism is a gift and we need to celebrate all of us being neurologically diverse…you people are sick and disturbed!

    Awww, shucks. Thanks for the shout-out, next time could you please use my name when calling me sick and disturbed? I mean surely you know that just because this is my view, doesn’t mean it is the opinion of the collective here. Oh, maybe we are all the same person in your mind?

    Passerby

    the parents who make risky community health decisions for their children could be endangering our general population health and welfare

    If you are going to blame the mothers (and fathers?) for the autism “epidemic”, can you please add some citations? What are these “risky community health decisions”, inquiring minds want to know. If you can’t provide citations, then keep your asinine opinions to yourself, because if you don’t have evidence this is a truly hateful thing to say.

  86. #87 Dedj
    April 7, 2010

    “What can this possibly mean other than that liability was waived?”

    I’m not aware of anyone claiming it means anything else other than liability being waived.

    What is under discussion is the nature of the liability that was being waived.

    The source of the document is not being questioned. Wakefields interpretation is. That the document is from the JVIC is not sufficient evidence to suggest that Wakefields claims are therefore true.

    Wakefields version (4:44 – 4:50) = indemnity from prosecution for damage to children, on the basis of reciept of this (Urabe) vaccine.

    Deer’s version (4:51 – 5:10) = liability waiver refers to loss or damage by distributors.

    Given that Wakefield has been established as being willing to misrepresent and mistate things (highest relevant authourity yadda etc) to the point where his conduct is considered serious enough to possibly warrent being struck off – why on earth would you trust his interpretation of a single line in a report – especially when he is now using that interpretation as some tangential defence of his own career? As much as I find Deer arrogant and quite smarmy, his claims have thus far (whether directly or indirectly) been proven to be correct.

    If you can find a copy of the liability waiver that would be grand. But until then, please recognise that a proven dishonest person at risk of losing his career and status might – just might – be willing to misquote or misrepresent a official document for his own benefit.

    Please correctly re-inform yourself as to the actual nature of the discussion before continuing again.

  87. #88 Mu
    April 7, 2010

    Just one correction, Dr. Wakefield will stay Dr. Wakefield, losing your license doesn’t revoke your academic title.

  88. #89 Dale
    April 7, 2010

    Dedj:

    “What is under discussion is the nature of the liability that was being waived.

    The source of the document is not being questioned. Wakefields interpretation is. That the document is from the JVIC is not sufficient evidence to suggest that Wakefields claims are therefore true.

    Wakefields version (4:44 – 4:50) = indemnity from prosecution for damage to children, on the basis of reciept of this (Urabe) vaccine.

    Deer’s version (4:51 – 5:10) = liability waiver refers to loss or damage by distributors.”

    Dedj: What is Deer actually providing to back up his distinction? Because indemnity from prosecution would appear the more common sense interpretation. That’s the one that Dr Thores claimed to be the case.

    Also, while i’m sure the GMC has done great things, I don’t think they’ve got things right in every case, neither do I think every case brought before them has been honest and justified.

  89. #90 Science Mom
    April 7, 2010

    @68 T. Bruce McNeely, I think some Schadenfraude is in order with those two. Countdown to Jenny McScience to appear on ‘Dancing with the Stars’.

    @72 Grant, thank you and, by all means, please feel free to use it at your discretion. So I guess that means you will use it a lot. ;)

  90. #91 Todd W.
    April 7, 2010

    @Dale

    Unless we know exactly what the supposed liability waiver is, we cannot draw any conclusions as to whether Wakefield is correct or incorrect, nor can we state how it relates to his guilt or innocence. As others have pointed out, though, he does have a track record of, if not blatant lying, dishonesty and unethical conduct. His past behavior therefore casts doubt on his claims.

    In short: without further documentation to clarify the issue, what’s your point and how does it relate to the GMC findings against him?

  91. #92 Dale
    April 7, 2010

    Todd – The Deer rebuttal appears to have been accepted wholesale by most of the posters on this blog. All I wanted to do was clarify I thought this part of his video may be factually wrong. But you’re correct we don’t have further info regarding it.

    I’m not sure why Wakefield brought it up… Perhaps to hint that the GMC trial was a vendetta against him.

    He’s dishonest and unethical in most RI posters’ minds. I have yet to decide. One thing I’m personally certain of: I don’t believe his concern for children is insincere, as many have hinted here.

  92. #93 Todd W.
    April 7, 2010

    @Dale

    He’s dishonest and unethical in most RI posters’ minds. I have yet to decide.

    Do you believe that it is ethical to subject a person (child or otherwise) to an invasive procedure with significant risks when there is no clinical indication to do so and where it is not in the best interests of the subject? In other words, do you believe it is ethical to subject someone to a risky invasive procedure where the risks of the procedure outweigh the benefits derived?

  93. #94 Dale
    April 7, 2010

    p.s. Todd:

    Here’s some specialist input that makes me doubt Wakefield’s dishonesty has really been “proven”. Maybe he most damning slur against Wakefield is, as you know, that he took out vaccines to make money out of the scare.

    The following is quoted from the BMJ letters page, of Clifford Miller, Graduate Physicist and Patent Lawyer:

    “ST and C4 talk about four patents (2):-

    1) the patented inventions were to remedy MMR caused damage;
    2) the titles of these patents/applications (2) show the inventions depend upon MMR as a cause of Crohn’s disease, regressive behavioural disease, MMR virus mediated disease, inflammatory bowel disease or regressive behavioural disorder;
    3) they were dependent wholly or partly upon MMR caused problems;
    4) discrediting MMR reduced any market for them
    Wakefield could not make any money from a patented single measles vaccine by discrediting MMR:-
    5) there are inexpensive readily available unpatented single measles vaccines (like that being used in Madagascar now);
    6) in discrediting MMR Wakefield was handing the market to the existing vaccine manufacturers
    7) there was no Royal Free measles vaccine then and there is none now, so there was no point saying anything until there was…

    1) Sunday 14th November and Thursday 18th November

    2) PATENTS ST & C4 APPEAR TO REFER TO

    GB2300259 “Diagnosing Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis by detection of measles virus”

    GB2347742 “Pharmaceutical composition for regressive behavioural disease”

    GB2325856 “Pharmaceutical composition for treatment of MMR virus mediated disease comprising a transfer factor obtained from the dialysis of virus-specific lymphocytes”

    GB2341551 “Pharmaceutical composition containing transfer factor for treatment of inflammatory bowel disease and regressive behavioural disorder)”.

    Full arrgument here:
    http://www.bmj.com/cgi/eletters/329/7477/1293#87095

    You really need to read his argument in full to get a decent context of his argument (dated 27th November 2004). So here we have an authority on patent law
    questioning that whole line of the Dispatches argument.

    p.s. How do I hyper-link/embolden/italicise here?

  94. #95 Brian Deer
    April 7, 2010

    Thanks to the poster who drew my attention to the Autismone conference video. I’d never seen that complete before, and even I was shocked by the audacity of it. It reminded me of why, in libel litigation over my MMR TV programme, we said that Wakefield’s (abandoned) allegations against us didn’t go far enough. We said that he was “unremittingly evasive and dishonest in an effort to cover-up his wrongdoing”. We were gagging to go to trial to prove it. And it reminded me why I pressed the UK’s Press Complaints Commission to hear his allegations against me over my Sunday Times revelation that he rigged his research. Sadly, Wakefield has backed off from that too.

    I was truly disgusted, literally disgusted, by his boorish threats in that conference video against the ex-Scottish health department doctor Alistair Thores, a man I know nothing of except that (apparently out of public spiritedness, or possibly hatred for the English department of health) he once gave information to Wakefield in confidence. To be blackmailed by Wakefield over this – when Thores appears to have done nothing whatsoever wrong – is the biggest warning anyone could receive that Wakefield isn’t a man to be trusted. I can’t believe that anyone can offer a shred of support to what Wakefield said, and what he later did in breaching Thores’s confidence, as he’d threatened to do. Thores is now a guy, I reckon, in his mid-70s, who apparently tried to help the claimant children in an MMR lawsuit. I’d love to hear what people like Handley, Kirby, Olmsted and the like (especially the breathless Polly Tommey who introduced Wakefield at that conference) would say about such conduct. Just sickening.

    And the laughter and applause from the audience reminded me of the birthday party anecdote video I found and distributed about how Wakefield bought blood from children, and how they cried, fainted and vomited (laughter).

    With regard to his tortuous claims in the Autismone speech – all of which were considered by the GMC at considerable length and with all the documentation – none of it is true. Whether it’s the Horton stuff, or the bizarre claim that he had no conflict of interest (£150 an hour, into his own grubby pocket, unrevealed until I exposed it): none of it is true.

    The trouble is, you could spend your whole life dealing with this guy’s claims. I don’t plan to. Occasionally I will point out something that people can check for themselves. Thus, for those people who believe there was a government “indemnity” for vaccine manufacturers, I’m not going to post the document Wakefield and his people have been circulating. What I’ll do is point you to a clue. Urabe vaccines were withdrawn in the UK on 15 September 1992. The JCVI minute is from 1993: they were talking about events outside the UK, where it continued to be in use. Thus, it can’t be referring to liability for the vaccines in the UK, since they were not marketed in the UK. If you want to probe it further, I’m sure there will be online references to the fact that, far from having any indemnity, SmithKline Beecham WERE sued. I know. I went to court. I saw it happen. So did Wakefield.

    Google “sayers” and “smithkline”, and then, hopefully, you’ll get it again about this guy.

    It just beggars belief.

  95. #96 Dale
    April 7, 2010

    @Todd

    “Do you believe that it is ethical to subject a person (child or otherwise) to an invasive procedure with significant risks when there is no clinical indication to do so and where it is not in the best interests of the subject?”

    No and no…. Where I differ from you is your certainty it was not in the best interests of the child. The GMC say the procedures were not, the parents appear to think that they were. They claim noone listened to them before Wakefield – that their kids were left with horrible bowel problems untreated.

    Permit me to quote you a letter written a couple of days ago by Rosemary Kessick:

    “His [her son’s] development began to slow down, stop and then he stopped sleeping, understanding, the speech he had been developing disappeared he stopped playing with his toys and he regressed, a pattern which we were to see repeated. He started smashing his head against the wall, screaming, spreading faeces everywhere becoming completely hyperactive, totally uncontrollable. All this from a baby who to everyone, professionals, friends and family alike, had appeared quite normal.

    The local medical team who had, just weeks earlier, told us that there was nothing to worry about, assuring us that any developmental glitch was due to the impending birth of his baby sister now told us that we had a severely disabled child.

    Any responsible and loving parents would want to get to the bottom of the reasons behind their baby’s illness and identify appropriate medical care.

    I could write tomes on the failings of the medical profession throughout our quest to help our son and cite numerous instances of sheer negligence which were worthy of complaint. None of which concern the Professors Walker-Smith and Murch or Mr. Wakefield.

    As it stands, our son was seven years old before he was finally examined satisfactorily by a team of paediatric gastroenterologists in a series of consultations which would at last lead to appropriate treatment. Understand that for seven years he had been in severe pain with seriously dysregulated bowel movements.

    In his early years he had diarrhoea up twenty times a day with his urine blistering his own skin. Did you read this in the medical notes? The only respite he had had being during a trial of gut bacteria which had helped with the production of normal stools for the first time in his life.

    From the outset Professor Walker-Smith was totally professional, an old school doctor, highly intelligent and experienced with a clarity of judgement unclouded by his compassion.

    At all times he was reasoned and cautious in his approach to our son’s treatment, which culminated in a thorough clinical investigation and treatment regime.

    As a result, our son has had a childhood unmarred by constant pain and regression. Indeed, had he not received the treatment he had at the time, it is our opinion as a family, that he may well not be with us today. Neurologically, however, he has never recovered and he remains desperately and profoundly disabled.

    Every clinical procedure on my son was carried out with care and respect. How can I be so sure? Because at all times I was allowed to remain by my son’s side.

    Professor Murch, then Dr. Murch, one of the clinical team was equally professional in his approach, affording me every confidence.

    Mr. Wakefield, the researcher whom I had first contacted had shown immediate concern for my son’s health and wellbeing. He suggested that William be referred to Professor Walker-Smith at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital and was also the epitome of professionalism.

    Until we arrived at Professor Walker-Smith’s door we had not experienced this level of professionalism. On occasion we had been dismissed by callous, disinterested, inept and uncaring medics to whom the investigation of such a troublesome youngster appeared to be too bothersome.

    At the same time however, and I hope you took note of the correspondence, doctors at Great Ormond Street, together with my local team were all very concerned about our son’s health and were united in wanting a full clinical investigation.

    So what precisely have any of the doctors done wrong? Our son was thoroughly clinically examined (many years too late I might reiterate), he was prescribed treatment which was immediately efficacious, he was monitored appropriately and with my full consent, attempts were made to discover the cause of his condition.

    I find it exceptionally curious that in all these past months, no-one has seemed remotely interested in hearing what really happened all those years ago nor even concerned about how our son has fared since. Forgive my naïvety but isn’t this what medicine and the upholding of medical standards is about?

    I can only hope that as an objective panel you will re-visit the case and the outrageous accusations with a cautious eye. There are many doctors who should have been in front of you for their misdemeanours; Professor Walker-Smith, Professor Murch and Mr. Wakefield are nonesuch.

    Should you wish me to come to the GMC to discuss any aspect of my son’s care with you, in camera, I will do so if it helps clarify matters.

    I have my own views as to why these three most excellent, innocent and caring doctors have been brought to trial in such a brutal way. When it was announced that they were to be called to the GMC, my feeling was that it would be over in a short time as it would immediately be recognised that there was no case to answer. I had always believed in truth and justice and that false accusations, Chinese whispers, playground bullies and death by media would all eventually be rooted out

    Perhaps then, you might appreciate why the announcement that you, the panel, found these three doctors guilty on all counts left me speechless.”

  96. #97 Dale
    April 7, 2010

    Hi Brian.

    ” We were gagging to go to trial to prove it. And it reminded me why I pressed the UK’s Press Complaints Commission to hear his allegations against me over my Sunday Times revelation that he rigged his research.”

    What is the basis of that allegation? That what he reported was different from what was in the medical notes you obtained? Maybe the earlier doctors hadn’t actually recorded the parents’ concerns?

    “With regard to his tortuous claims in the Autismone speech – all of which were considered by the GMC at considerable length and with all the documentation – none of it is true. Whether it’s the Horton stuff, or the bizarre claim that he had no conflict of interest (£150 an hour, into his own grubby pocket, unrevealed until I exposed it): none of it is true.”

    I wasn’t convinced by his conflict of interest argument, but I found the Horton stuff persuasive.

    ” Thus, for those people who believe there was a government “indemnity” for vaccine manufacturers, I’m not going to post the document Wakefield and his people have been circulating. What I’ll do is point you to a clue. Urabe vaccines were withdrawn in the UK on 15 September 1992. The JCVI minute is from 1993: they were talking about events outside the UK, where it continued to be in use. Thus, it can’t be referring to liability for the vaccines in the UK, since they were not marketed in the UK. If you want to probe it further, I’m sure there will be online references to the fact that, far from having any indemnity, SmithKline Beecham WERE sued. I know. I went to court. I saw it happen. So did Wakefield.”

    Thanks… will google.

  97. #98 Science Mom
    April 7, 2010

    Dale, you are using ‘but the parents didn’t complain’ defence. Parents do not dictate what is medically indicated as far as invasive, exploratory procedures are concerned. If Wakefield had consulted with the patients physicians, and he was honest and ethical, many of these children would have avoided colonoscopies and lumbar punctures.

    His actions are indefensible, except by those most deluded by the attention that they received by him and his accomplices. I do believe the best way to describe them is as sufferers of Stockholm Syndrome.

  98. #99 Todd W.
    April 7, 2010

    @Dale

    No and no…. Where I differ from you is your certainty it was not in the best interests of the child. The GMC say the procedures were not, the parents appear to think that they were.

    Perhaps you can tell me, then, what specific benefits were received by the subjects resulting directly from the invasive procedures (i.e., colonoscopy and lumbar puncture). Keep in mind that you must consider this for the subjects who were not autistic or whose autistic symptoms were evident before vaccination (not to mention lack of GI issues), in addition to those who had autistic symptoms that only became evidence after vaccination.

  99. #100 Journal Checker
    April 7, 2010

    An issue which has never been discussed to my knowledge – invasive procedures on children – if not medically indicated – speaking generally of course and not in this particular situation. Could there be another name for them? Could this be assault? Should there be a child protection concern?

    Your children go to a party, they are paid to have an invasive not-medically-indicated intervention, this is undertaken by clinical people and the parents (or the ones who were hosting the party anyway) let it happen?

  100. #101 Todd W.
    April 7, 2010

    @Journal Checker

    “Assault” is defined, in the U.S., generally as the threat of violence against another person, as in an attempt to strike or threatening where the person feels in imminent danger of harm.

    “Battery” is actually doing something physical to the person without their consent. It may or may not cause injury and may be simply offensive contact (e.g., conducting a medical procedure without consent).

    Parents are generally allowed to make medical decisions for their children. In the instance of a blood draw, that is a minimally invasive procedure that, while it carries some risk, is generally allowed in the course of research as long as there is proper informed consent, the procedure benefits the subject or advances medical knowledge in a significant way, and is approved by an institutional or ethics review board.

    For the issues involving Wakefield, et al., a claim of assault or battery would probably not hold, since the parents consented. That does not, however, absolve the researchers of ethical violations.

  101. #102 journal Checker
    April 7, 2010

    Was the party in the US or UK though? If in the UK – for a medic to attend a party, paying the children to allow them to perform these procedures, with or without the parents’ informed consent – could be a child protection concern (balance of probabilities evidence rules apply) even if not a criminal one (beyond all reasonable doubt). There is also an issue of conspiracy. Why weren’t the families invited to attend a clinic for intervention under controlled aseptic conditions?

    I’m new to the whole of this – it’s intriguing.

  102. #103 dALE
    April 7, 2010

    “Perhaps you can tell me, then, what specific benefits were received by the subjects resulting directly from the invasive procedures (i.e., colonoscopy and lumbar puncture). Keep in mind that you must consider this for the subjects who were not autistic or whose autistic symptoms were evident before vaccination (not to mention lack of GI issues), in addition to those who had autistic symptoms that only became evidence after vaccination.”

    Todd – I’m not passing myself of as knowing the details or being in a position to judge. All I’m saying is that two top pediatric gastroenterologists deemed the procedures necessary, and the parents found them useful. They appreciated being able to see inside their children’s guts.

  103. #104 Todd W.
    April 7, 2010

    @Dale

    I’m not passing myself of as knowing the details or being in a position to judge.

    And yet you feel that you are qualified to call the GMC’s decision into question…

    All I’m saying is that two top pediatric gastroenterologists deemed the procedures necessary, and the parents found them useful. They appreciated being able to see inside their children’s guts.

    So what you’re saying is that a physician’s view of what is necessary, not backed up by valid scientific or clinical reasons, and parents’ view that such procedures are useful is all that is necessary to determine whether or not the procedure is ethical?

    All I can say is, I am very glad that you are not on an ethics review board.

  104. #105 Calli Arcale
    April 7, 2010

    So . . . it satisfied their casual curiosity, so that justifies a procedure that carries a small but significant risk of severe injury? (Indeed, one of the children in Wakefield’s study had his gut perforated in a dozen places, which suggests a staggering degree of incompetence on the part of the gastroenterologist.) I don’t think “being able to see inside their children’s guts” is adequate to justify a procedure which ultimately puts a child into the ICU, on the verge of death.

    Read the GMC’s findings. One of the findings was that although Wakefield thought the procedures necessary, a good percentage of the children had no record of gastrointestinal symptoms prior to the procedure. It would be very hard indeed to justify colonoscopy of a child without an established history of gastrointestinal complaints.

    Heck, my pediatrician wasn’t even willing to contemplate endoscopy (which is less traumatic) to diagnose my daughter’s acid reflux; first step is history, second step is a trial of posture and diet modifications, third step is a barium swallow. Endoscopy only to be considered for a child if there’s concern of serious damage to the esophagus; otherwise, it’s just not going to tell you enough to justify it.

    And biopsies? Biopsies!!! If your child has no established history of GI complaints (just enough to justify the current visit), why on earth would you be ready to cut pieces out of him or her? It’s not necessary. GI complaints are really not all that unusual in children; most go away with time. So the very first thing you do is establish the history and then give it time to see if it goes away on its own, as most do.

    By your logic, Dale, it should be perfectly reasonable to perform exploratory surgery just to find out what the bottom of your liver looks like. Would you make that argument?

  105. #106 Todd W.
    April 7, 2010

    @Journal Checker

    Was the party in the US or UK though?

    I believe it was in the UK, as it was his son’s birthday party, IIRC. I was just attempting to clarify some legal questions, at least from a US perspective. I imagine that the UK has similar laws.

    As to the ethics of the blood draw at the party, I do not think that any quality IRB would approve it for several reasons:

    1) While a blood draw is a minimal risk, routine procedure, it does carry some risks. If a child has a bad complication, resources should be close to hand to deal with it. Such resources would not be expected to be available at a birthday party.
    2) Wakefield used undue influence. By that I mean paying the kids 5 pounds. That payment is likely to unduly influence the children to assent to the blood draw when they otherwise might not.
    3) Probable lack of informed consent. I do not know for certain whether proper informed consent procedures were followed, though from the video of Wakefield talking about it, it seems like it probably did not take place. He would have needed to provide a consent form to the parents explaining the research being undertaken, the procedures to be performed and the risks and benefits involved, a simplified consent form to the children, made certain that both parent and child understand the forms, given them an opportunity to ask questions and acquired their signatures without coercion or undue influence before any procedures were performed.

  106. #107 dale
    April 7, 2010

    “So what you’re saying is that a physician’s view of what is necessary, not backed up by valid scientific or clinical reasons, and parents’ view that such procedures are useful is all that is necessary to determine whether or not the procedure is ethical?

    All I can say is, I am very glad that you are not on an ethics review board.”

    No need to resort to ad hominem Todd… surely the whole point was they researching what they thought might be a *novel* scientific phenomenon, and therefore the bounds of research could not necessarily be determined by what had gone before?

  107. #108 Todd W.
    April 7, 2010

    @Calli Arcale

    Don’t forget lumbar punctures, which carry a risks ranging from migraine to paralysis, without any clinical indication.

  108. #109 Todd W.
    April 7, 2010

    @Dale

    No need to resort to ad hominem Todd

    No ad hominem in my post. I’m not saying that your argument is wrong because of some aspect of you personally.

    surely the whole point was they researching what they thought might be a *novel* scientific phenomenon, and therefore the bounds of research could not necessarily be determined by what had gone before?

    In human subject research, the safety of the subject is always first and foremost. Scientific curiosity alone is not justification for procedures which carry more than minimal risk.

    Please visit the Office for Human Research Protections‘ web site and read the materials there.

  109. #110 Journal Checker
    April 7, 2010

    OK – if I understand correctly, we are talking about a certain prominent medical researcher, presently the subject of certain GMC procedures. This would have been wherever this person was resident at the time – or was it perhaps at a party held at another location? Strictly a hypothetical question, but what would Social Services and the local police force say one wonders? Presumably the party year and month are recorded somewhere.

    It’s widely recommended that concerns about child protection be promptly reported when they arise. The incident may have been some time ago, but there is a possibility that the alleged perpetrators may act again, especially given the absence of any recusal.

  110. #111 Coryat
    April 7, 2010

    “I have my own views as to why these three most excellent, innocent and caring doctors have been brought to trial in such a brutal way.”

    Opinions are like arseholes. Everyone has one; yours is just shitty.

  111. #112 Todd W.
    April 7, 2010

    @Journal Checker

    Wakefield, if I’m not mistaken, resided in the UK at the time. The party would have been, at the latest, in 1998, the year the study was published in The Lancet. I’m not familiar with UK law, so I can’t say with certainty what legal action could have been taken, or whether any action could be taken today, due to the amount of time that has passed. Also, Wakefield now resides in Texas, US.

  112. #113 Prometheus
    April 7, 2010

    My favorite snippet from the Wakefield groupies:

    “…in fact I think he is an incredible Doctor and he has done an incredible thing that 99.9% of all doctors wouldn’t do…”

    Incredible – def: “too extraordinary and improbable to be believed”

    Works for me…

    As for the good doctor doing a “thing that 99.9% of all doctors wouldn’t do”, well, that’s not necessarily a good thing.

    I would hope that 99.9% of all doctors wouldn’t abuse their patients’ trust (or that of their parents) and perform invasive and medically unnecessary testing simply to advance their pet hypothesis.

    I would hope that 99.9% of all doctors wouldn’t ignore data – generated in their own laboratory – that conflicted with their pet hypothesis.

    I would hope that 99.9% of all doctors wouldn’t impugn the reputations of (and file spurious lawsuits against) people who were telling an embarrassing truth about them.

    Clearly, Dr. Wakefield – according to his “fans” – is in that 0.1% of doctors who feel that the ends justify the means, no matter what. Personally, I hope that he’s in more exclusive company than that, as even 0.1% of all doctors seems too high to me.

    Prometheus

  113. #114 Dedj
    April 7, 2010

    “Here’s some specialist input that makes me doubt Wakefield’s dishonesty has really been “proven”.”

    Well, Wakefield was proven dishonest on a lot more than just whether he held a vaccine component patent.

    As an aside, I find it curious that Clifford appears to neglect to mention the 1997 UK patent that is under contention. Brian Deer has had a copy of the patent on his website for quite some time now. Is there a counter-claim that this is a forged or otherwise incorrect document?

    Aside from that, his assertions are frankly bizarre. Wakefield couldn’t have benefited from the swapping out of a discredited component (the focus of the initial study, and the part the patent sought to replace) because it would have been discredited and people would have been seeking a replacement? So, he discredits the measles component of the MMR, thereby meaning a more cost effective replacement to single dose vaccines is needed. Wakefield ‘co-incidentally’ has one right here, yet, uhhh he supposedly couldn’t benefit from selling it?

    Regarding the parent testimony. I am yet again left utterly astounded by this. Is there any suggestion Wakefield acted inappropriately or that his manner was in some way off? No, so what relevance does it have whether the parents thought he was nice? What relevance does it have to the charges if they thought he was the first person to listen to (and agree with) them? Many if the charges have nothing to do with his behaviour towards clients as patients, but with his (mis)use of patients as research subjects, or with his misrepresentation of his role. Wakefield could have had no client contact at all, yet still be guilty of many of the charges.

    That parents keep asking “So what precisely have any of the doctors done wrong?” , despite having sat in on the hearings, makes me wonder just how badly misinformed and mislead the parents have become. Why should we trust the opinion of people who have been there since the begining, yet don’t appear to have the first clue?

    Again, the Wakefield defence just goes from bizarre to worse.

  114. #115 Journal Checker
    April 7, 2010

    According to public domain reports police action may be taken over much older events than this, and in any case significant information is only now emerging in what is comparable to a court of law (the GMC).

    Being resident in another country means there’s more than one state possibly to be concerned about what could be described (wholly theoretically of course) as ‘predatory’ behaviour involving children.

  115. #116 Scott
    April 7, 2010
    No need to resort to ad hominem Todd

    No ad hominem in my post. I’m not saying that your argument is wrong because of some aspect of you personally.

    As so often needs to be repeated:

    “You’re an idiot therefore your argument is wrong” is an ad hominem.

    “Your argument is wrong therefore you’re an idiot” is not.

    IOW, Dale was indeed incorrect in his accusation.

  116. #117 Journal Checker
    April 7, 2010

    “Unfortunately, it’s not all. A couple of days before, in “honor” of World Autism Day, a video by Alan Golding in which Andrew Wakefield was interviewed about his predicament was released, to be promoted by–surprise! surprise!–Age of Autism:”

    What do contributors know about Alan Golding and his production company – other than what can be found from Google searches. Who’s funding him? Where’s he physically based? Why did he join this bandwagon?

    There’s one thing that’s clear – he’s not a reporter, not a documentary maker as is more widely understood by the term, doesn’t ask challenging questions, doesn’t look for the counter evidence and put to the interviewee. Wakefield must have seen him coming, smiling.

    I notice that AoE have posted a second entry to try and bolster viewing and the Goldfinger site is attracting zilch attention if the comments are anything to go by.

    Just posting these videos is absolutely useless, who wants to be bored silly in real time – the better move is always to post the transcripts which one can whiz through – but of course this stops the adverts being ignored.

  117. #118 Scott
    April 7, 2010

    surely the whole point was they researching what they thought might be a *novel* scientific phenomenon, and therefore the bounds of research could not necessarily be determined by what had gone before?

    There is absolutely no relationship whatsoever between whether the made-up phenomenon would be “novel” and the ethical requirements. Indeed, your argument here is tantamount to dismissing ALL ethical requirements for ALL research, as the whole point of research is to learn something new.

  118. #119 Antaeus Feldspar
    April 7, 2010

    As an aside, I find it curious that Clifford appears to neglect to mention the 1997 UK patent that is under contention.

    Dedj, I find it even more curious that after Dale already received a direct link to that patent for her edification, and the passages from that application where Wakefield specifically calls his invention “a new vaccine” which is “probably safer to administer to children and others by way of vaccination/immunisation” were specifically called to her attention, that she should entirely neglect to mention that 1997 UK patent. Dale, would you like to explain for us why you utterly neglected to mention this evidence which was presented to your attention?

    As for Clifford Miller, yes, one wonders why he too neglected to mention that patent. Personally, my vote is on either “utterly dishonest” or “utterly stupid.” Why? Because of these claims he makes:

    1) the patented inventions were to remedy MMR caused damage;
    2) the titles of these patents/applications (2) show the inventions depend upon MMR as a cause of Crohn’s disease, regressive behavioural disease, MMR virus mediated disease, inflammatory bowel disease or regressive behavioural disorder;
    3) they were dependent wholly or partly upon MMR caused problems;
    4) discrediting MMR reduced any market for them

    Now that there is an argument so assheaded that only a lawyer could possibly come up with it. Even if we were to grant for the sake of argument Clifford Miller’s false implied premise that Wakefield had no inventions related to MMR, other than those which “were dependent wholly or partly upon [purportedly] MMR caused problems,” how on Earth would anyone with a brain of greater size than a chickpea conclude that making people believe that MMR did cause these problems would reduce the market for the inventions that supposedly treat those problems?!

    I mean, seriously! Does Clifford Miller practice on the planet Htrae in the firm MILLER & BIZARRO, PC or something? I would love to see if he applies that argument all across the board! “Oh my! It turns out that this popular ‘nutritional supplement’ causes halitosis! We’d better dump all the stock we have in mouthwash and breath mint manufacturers; if word gets out that Product A causes bad breath, it will reduce the market for bad breath treatments!” How did Clifford Miller even write the sentences that he did without his own stomach trying to leap up into his skull and smother the tiny lima bean he calls a brain?? Discrediting MMR wouldn’t reduce the market for Wakefield’s inventions; it would be just about the only thing that could create a market for them! How can anyone still be taking these clowns seriously?!

  119. #120 Seamus Ruah
    April 7, 2010

    Posted by: Smarter Than You | April 6, 2010 11:10 PM

    Oh dear, that smell has returned.

  120. #121 Antaeus Feldspar
    April 7, 2010

    “You’re an idiot therefore your argument is wrong” is an ad hominem.

    “Your argument is wrong therefore you’re an idiot” is not.

    In many ways, the ad hominem fallacy is simply the negative image of the “appeal to authority” fallacy — which, not coincidentally, so many antivaxxers have been pulling out to defend Wakefield, including in this very thread.

    Clifford Miller is a “Graduate Physicist and Patent Lawyer” so we’re supposed to believe his argument holds water even though it contains an error in logic (“convincing people that MMR causes problems will reduce the market for inventions that claim to treat those problems”) that a sixth-grader could easily demolish for a homework assignment.

    “Two top pediatric gastroenterologists” render their opinion and supposedly this proves that the General Medical Council is wrong if they differ. (Does anyone else wonder if the “two top pediatric gastroenteroloists” being referred are in fact the very ones who are the subject of the fitness-to-practice hearing? If so, this shows an amazingly idiosyncratic view of such hearings, suggesting that the verdict reached can never be conclusive if the subject of the hearing does not agree with it. “Well, the entire medical community has condemned Dr. Hoodwink’s decision to chop up his patients for stew meat, but Dr. Hoodwink still insists it was clinically indicated, so I guess we’ll never know!”)

  121. #122 Prometheus
    April 7, 2010

    Priceless Wakefield quotes:

    “Doctors’ regulators have found the three of us – Professor John Walker-Smith, Professor Simon Murch and me – guilty of undertaking research on children with autism without approval from an ethics committee. We can prove, with extensive documentary evidence, that this conclusion is false.”

    As many others have already noted, the time to provide this “extensive documentary evidence” was during the GMC hearing, not afterwards.

    Was this “extensive documentary evidence” so explosive that bringing it to the GMC would have resulted in the collapse of the British government or the end of Western Civilisation? Did it involve Area 51? Was it about the reptilian takeover of world government?

    Why, exactly, did Dr. Wakefield think that he couldn’t bring this “extensive documentary evidence” to the GMC hearing?

    My guess is that this “extensive documentary evidence” either doesn’t exist (outside of Dr. Wakefield’s vivid imagination) or won’t stand up to any scrutiny. Why else would he not use it when it could actually do him some good? It is nothing but a fig leaf over his wounded pride.

    I expect, sometime in the near future, to see Dr. Wakefield holding up a sheaf of papers at a press conference claiming, “I hold in my hand the evidence that will exonerate me and my colleagues!” I also expect that we will never see what is on those papers.

    “It is unthinkable that at the end of an unimpeachable career, Professor Walker-Smith would even consider unethical experimentation on children under his care.”

    Better at the end than at the beginning, I suppose. I expect that Professor Walker-Smith’s major lapse in judgement occurred when he made the lamentable decision to trust young Andy Wakefield, a decision which has now come back to bite him on the bum. To quote the character “Otter” in Animal House:

    “Face it, you fucked up. You trusted us.”

    I expect that Dr. Wakefield will produce his “extensive documentary evidence” shortly after they start selling snow tires in Hell, although we will no doubt be hearing about it for some time.

    I wonder what Drs. Walker-Smith and Murch think about their young collaborator now. I’m betting they wish he would shut up and let them bear their humiliation in peace.

    Prometheus

  122. #123 Science Mom
    April 7, 2010

    Why, exactly, did Dr. Wakefield think that he couldn’t bring this “extensive documentary evidence” to the GMC hearing?

    Has anyone noticed that he hasn’t received a single inquiry from his supporters as to what that exonerating evidence is?

  123. #124 Journal Checker
    April 7, 2010

    @ Science Mom

    His supporters do not need to ask, if he says he has it and it exonerates him, that’s good enough for all of them. They wouldn’t know what to make of it anyway since only people with scientific questioning ability will see through it.

    This has all the appearance of a cult, religious maybe, unquestioning certainly. Very few medical professionals have sided with this trinity.

  124. #125 trrll
    April 7, 2010

    The most convincing person you’ll ever meet is a con artist. They are pros, who may have told the same story thousands of times, honing the presentation. A normal, honest person simply cannot compete.

    I expect that Wakefield started out sincere, a young physician in love with his own hypothesis, without proper training to do this kind of work, and without the scientific background to appreciate just how implausible his notion was. I imagine him being corrupted a little bit at a time. Taking money from lawyers? When you’re doing the right thing, trying to help autistic children, why not make a bit of money on the side? Surely you deserve it! Playing fast and loose with human subjects regulations? Every delay means more families suffer! The excitement of national headlines…and then the sinking feeling when other investigators could not repeat the findings. How could he admit that he’d been wrong, with measles on the rebound, all because of those damned headlines? Think of the liability! Think of the disgrace! His career would be ruined! I can only imagine how miserable it must be to spend your career defending a claim that you now know to be wrong. Oh, well–at least he has the money to console him.

  125. #126 Grant
    April 7, 2010

    @88 (Mu):

    Just one correction, Dr. Wakefield will stay Dr. Wakefield, losing your license doesn’t revoke your academic title.

    Are you sure. Doctors, don’t hold a doctorate. I would have thought it was that they are registered as doctors that entitles them to call themselves ‘Doctor’ and that once struck off the register they can no longer use the title.

  126. #127 Journal Checker
    April 7, 2010

    Oh and don’t forget there’s a book on the way, in May, they say. Maybe that’s where the evidence will appear, unchallenged. Who might publish?

  127. #128 Journal Checker
    April 7, 2010

    @ Grant

    I believe you’re right – but try stopping the ex-registered doctors using their assumed Dr title. And some doctors do hold a post-graduate research doctorate of course.

  128. #129 Grant
    April 7, 2010

    @88 (Mu):

    Just one correction, Dr. Wakefield will stay Dr. Wakefield, losing your license doesn’t revoke your academic title.

    Are you sure? Specialists aside, doctors don’t hold a doctorate. I would have thought it was that they are registered as doctors that entitles them to call themselves ‘Doctor’ and that once struck off the register they can no longer use the title.

    (Nit-picky edits applied…)

  129. #130 MI Dawn
    April 7, 2010

    I can’t speak for everywhere, but here in the USA (Orac, please correct me if I am wrong), basically, once you graduate from medical school you are entitled to the title Doctor, whether or not you ever obtain a license to practice (which is a totally separate thing). I don’t know about England, and Andy Wakefield’s degree. But here there is no restriction to someone who graduated with an MD degree from using the title. He/she cannot PRACTICE without a license, but they can certainly call themselves “Doctor”.

  130. #131 Dedj
    April 7, 2010

    “As for Clifford Miller, yes, one wonders why he too neglected to mention that patent. Personally, my vote is on either “utterly dishonest” or “utterly stupid.” Why? Because of these claims he makes:”

    Even more curiously, the patent makes it clear that Wakefield was close enough to be seeking a viable medium for the transfer factor, yet Miller makes it sound as if Wakefield was years away from that stage of production.

    It is odd to claim that the person developing a alternative that also works as a curative could not stand to benefit from constructing the need for an alternative and curative.

  131. #132 Dedj
    April 7, 2010

    “Has anyone noticed that he hasn’t received a single inquiry from his supporters as to what that exonerating evidence is?”

    Also, some of his supporters (some of the parents) imply that the charges are false because their children definetly had GI issues.

    This is a curious defence. Unless their child is one of the ones that the GMC alledge did not have GI issues, then it’s an irrelevant testimony.

    I am still left confounded by the parental defence of Wakefield, these are people that have spent hours upon hours sitting in the hearings, yet appear to have no proficient grasp of what the charges actually were.

    Constant babble about the quality of care, yet none about the actual charges.

  132. #133 trrll
    April 7, 2010

    Are you sure? Specialists aside, doctors don’t hold a doctorate. I would have thought it was that they are registered as doctors that entitles them to call themselves ‘Doctor’ and that once struck off the register they can no longer use the title.

    At east in the US, a medical degree is a doctorate in medicine. This is not the case in all countries. A person who has received a doctorate, whether in literature, medicine, or physics, is entitled to use the title “doctor,” although medical doctors are more likely than others to insist on the title.

  133. #134 Pablo
    April 7, 2010

    The most convincing person you’ll ever meet is a con artist. They are pros, who may have told the same story thousands of times, honing the presentation. A normal, honest person simply cannot compete.

    In fact, one of the defining features of a con-artist is that they are able to lie in a manner that people think they are telling the truth (unless people are total idiots – I think, for example, of the Canadian group that convinced people in the US to send them cash – in the form of hundred dollar bills. Oh, by the way, they said, don’t send it directly. Tuck it in the pages of magazines so that it won’t be detected by the customs agents. And there were folks who sent them thousands of dollars this way).

    If Wakefield appears honest, all you can say is that he is either telling the truth or he is a con-artist. That’s all you can say, and you can’t distinguish between those options.

  134. #135 Grant
    April 8, 2010

    It would seem that in the USA and few other countries the first degree, i.e. the undergraduate degree, in medicine is titled a “doctorate”. It feels odd to me that an undergraduate degree entitles someone to what I’ve always taken to be a post-graduate academic qualification or a registered professional title, as the case may be. But whatever :-)

  135. #136 MI Dawn
    April 8, 2010

    @Grant: in the USA, at most universities, the MD degree IS a post-graduate degree…most medical schools require an undergraduate degree before admission. There are a few medical schools that combine the undergraduate and graduate degree into 1 program but they are rare and require about the same length of time. Here in the states, usually undergrad is 4 years, then medical school an additional 4 years after that.

  136. #137 Visitor
    April 8, 2010

    @Pablo:

    Which means that either Wakefield is the hapless victim of the most sustained campaign of malicious libel in history – which should make him very happy as he can retire or donate is millions to research – or he’s a confidence trickster.

    I wonder what Dr Thores would say?

  137. #138 Recordkeeper
    April 8, 2010

    The trouble with Rosemary Kessick’s account is that her child’s diarhhea was a problem since birth, and his neurodevelopmental disorder started 3-5 months after his MMR.

    She only got onto the MMR idea years later, when she hooked up with JABS.

    I dare say Brian Deer will get round to her in due course.

  138. #139 Journal Checker
    April 8, 2010

    @Recordkeeper

    The diarrhoea since birth isn’t clear to me from a quick read of the AoA letter – where does the version you mention appear? GMC hearing? Brian Deer website?

  139. #140 Dedj
    April 8, 2010

    “No need to resort to ad hominem Todd… surely the whole point was they researching what they thought might be a *novel* scientific phenomenon, and therefore the bounds of research could not necessarily be determined by what had gone before?”

    But it wasn’t all that novel.

    Checking to see if the risk of having comorbid X in sub-population Y is elevated by risk factor Z is not a radically new direction of research.

    It has been done for people with Downs syndrome, people with diabetes, epilepsy, dyslexia, dyspraxia, all sorts of other congenital disorders, all sorts of traumatic disorders and, well basically any condition that is highly indicated as a risk factor for developing any other condition, or is highyl assocated with having a comorbid.

    Unless you’re working in a field whereby the patients have a rare condition and a very short life expectancy or the research window is so small (and we know – thanks to the testimony of parents like Rosemary above – that none of these were true in this case) then you have no excuse not to wait until EC approval is in place.

  140. #141 Dale
    April 8, 2010

    “You’re an idiot therefore your argument is wrong” is an ad hominem.
    “Your argument is wrong therefore you’re an idiot” is not.”

    No – saying “wouldn’t want you on my ethics review board” is indeed ad hominem. It’s implying I wouldn’t make a good ethics reviewer. Young Toddy hurt my feeeeeeeelings.

    “Aside from that, his assertions are frankly bizarre. Wakefield couldn’t have benefited from the swapping out of a discredited component (the focus of the initial study, and the part the patent sought to replace) because it would have been discredited and people would have been seeking a replacement? So, he discredits the measles component of the MMR, thereby meaning a more cost effective replacement to single dose vaccines is needed. Wakefield ‘co-incidentally’ has one right here, yet, uhhh he supposedly couldn’t benefit from selling it?”

    You missed out the other stuff – the distinction between being named owner and actually owning the rights to the vaccine.

    “Regarding the parent testimony. I am yet again left utterly astounded by this. Is there any suggestion Wakefield acted inappropriately or that his manner was in some way off? No, so what relevance does it have whether the parents thought he was nice?”

    It’s not whether he was “nice” to the parents – it’s Kessick’s assertion that he was the first doctor to actually offer her help in seven years. I’m wondering why that holds no currency here?

    “Unless you’re working in a field whereby the patients have a rare condition and a very short life expectancy or the research window is so small (and we know – thanks to the testimony of parents like Rosemary above – that none of these were true in this case) then you have no excuse not to wait until EC approval is in place.”

    I’m not denying he should have waited if no ethical cover was in place. He claimed blanket ethical approval – seems unlikely to me, but in my view in Horton’s testimony you have false witness which was accepted. I’m offering that purely as an occasion where false testimony was, in my view, accepted as fact.

    “I expect that Dr. Wakefield will produce his “extensive documentary evidence” shortly after they start selling snow tires in Hell, although we will no doubt be hearing about it for some time.”

    What? There’s more??

    “Dedj, I find it even more curious that after Dale already received a direct link to that patent for her edification, and the passages from that application where Wakefield specifically calls his invention “a new vaccine” which is “probably safer to administer to children and others by way of vaccination/immunisation” were specifically called to her attention, that she should entirely neglect to mention that 1997 UK patent.”

    I find it even more curious you don’t realise I’m new to this stuff and didn’t realise there were FIVE patents. I assumed a list of four would be exhaustive. Please quit calling me “her”. Talking MMR is mind-bending enough without an involuntary sex change.

  141. #142 Todd W.
    April 8, 2010

    @Dale

    No – saying “wouldn’t want you on my ethics review board” is indeed ad hominem. It’s implying I wouldn’t make a good ethics reviewer. Young Toddy hurt my feeeeeeeelings.

    First, quote me correctly. What I said was:

    I am very glad that you are not on an ethics review board.

    Second, that is not an ad hominem. An ad hominem is when someone says that your argument is wrong because of something about you, rather than because of something about the argument. As was pointed out, saying something like “You’re an idiot, therefore your argument is wrong” would be an ad hominem.

    My comment was not addressing the validity of any argument you were making, but rather an expression of opinion. Your comments reflect a poor understanding of human research ethics. Because of this, I am glad that you are not on an ethics board. You may or may not be qualified to be on one, but I’m not addressing your fitness to be on an ethics board. So, no ad hominem.

    If your feelings were hurt by my comment, then I don’t know what to tell you other than suggest that you bone up on human research ethics and show that you understand them. That, or grow thicker skin.

  142. #143 Dedj
    April 8, 2010

    “No – saying “wouldn’t want you on my ethics review board” is indeed ad hominem.”

    No, saying “wouldn’t want you on my ethics review board, because you’re a member of the NRA, therefore you must be an immoral idiot” is an ad hominem. It is an attempt to dismiss an arguement on the basis of a quality that has no bearing on the actual arguement.

    Saying “You don’t have the knowledge and understanding to be an effective member of an ethics review board, therefore I wouldn’t want you on my ethics review board” is not an ad hominem. It is a deduction of lack of essential skills and knowledge on the basis of lack of display of those essential skills and knowledge.

    Ad hominem : your arguement is poor, because of this irrelevent personal quality.

    Not ad hominem : your arguement is poor, therefore I would not want you in a posistion where the quality of your arguementation would have a tangible negative impact.

  143. #144 Chris
    April 8, 2010

    Dale, it really doesn’t even matter what the GMC said about Wakefield. The Lancet paper that was withdrawn did not actually show that the MMR vaccine had anything to do with autism.

    Plus, and this is very important, the results have never been replicated. Mady Hornig’s study attempted, but they did not get the same results. It is discussed here.

    Clinging to Wakefield is akin to beating a dead horse, or better yet a dead zebra.

    I agree you either need to grow thicker skin or get off the internet.

  144. #145 Dedj
    April 8, 2010

    “I find it even more curious you don’t realise I’m new to this stuff and didn’t realise there were FIVE patents. I assumed a list of four would be exhaustive.”

    I find it curious that you’re trying to claim this despite:

    having been directed to the patent before
    having had the patent explained to you before
    having a copy of the patent easily available to you from BD’s website

    As an aside, it does seem that Clifford mentions the 2003 version of the patent, which makes his assertions even more bizarre, given how openly the patent mentions the intention for the composition to be used as a vaccine component.

    Unless there’s a totally different A Wakefield who just happend to lodge a very similar patent in the same time period, there really is no reason to claim he did not intend a rival vaccine component.

  145. #146 dale
    April 8, 2010

    “If your feelings were hurt by my comment, then I don’t know what to tell you other than suggest that you bone up on human research ethics and show that you understand them. That, or grow thicker skin.”

    If you can’t tell I was joking I suggest you grow a sense of humor.

    “I find it curious that you’re trying to claim this despite:

    having been directed to the patent before
    having had the patent explained to you before
    having a copy of the patent easily available to you from BD’s website”

    So – what do you make of Wakefield’s claim that *that* patent was not intended to protect to the level of population and worked in a completely different way? Please understand I’m not being deliberately obtuse, I’m just trying to understand all the back and forth.

    “Dale, it really doesn’t even matter what the GMC said about Wakefield. The Lancet paper that was withdrawn did not actually show that the MMR vaccine had anything to do with autism.”

    It didn’t claim to, did it? I know it raised the question… Do believe other doctors have made observations of the same pattern of gut inflammation and bowel problems… Whether the findings have been replicated is obviously a matter of contention.

  146. #147 Dedj
    April 8, 2010

    “You missed out the other stuff – the distinction between being named owner and actually owning the rights to the vaccine.”

    No I didn’t. Wakefield is named as applicant and inventor, making Clifford’s claims factually wrong. Unless the Royal Free has a very unusual IP rights policy, it’s unlikely Wakefield would not have recieved proceeds (or career benefits) from the sale of the rights, even assuming it is true that he did not/would not have owned them outright. Very similar of what happened to with Dr Offit.

    “It’s not whether he was “nice” to the parents – it’s Kessick’s assertion that he was the first doctor to actually offer her help in seven years. I’m wondering why that holds no currency here?”

    Because it’s not what the charges were about, even if it were actually to turn out to be true. This is about Wakefields ethical and professional behaviour, not whether service provision for people with autism and GI issues is sufficient. I’d have to say it probably isn’t, and that I’ve merely been lucky to work in places where it was.

    On a personal note, I’ve never met a person with autism and GI issues in the UK who has not/is not receiving treatment for thier GI issues. Not even when I had a clinical placement in an autism service, or when I worked for an autism charity. I can think of maybe one person in my extended network who might fit that description, and she certainly wouldn’t fit Wakefields definition of autistic.

    I highly doubt I’m the only person here to have had clients that assert that they have recieved the worst of care, only for thier records to indicate that they have actually recieved the standard, if not above and beyond the usual.

    That his supporters claim he was ‘the first’ doesn’t appear to be supported by the case files of the children, and is irrelevant to the charges.

    “He claimed blanket ethical approval – seems unlikely to me”

    It was established as false. The blanket approval reffered to something else entirely. And the ethical approval post-dated the start of his recruitment and research, thus it’s irrelevant whether it was blanket or not.

    “but in my view in Horton’s testimony you have false witness which was accepted. I’m offering that purely as an occasion where false testimony was, in my view, accepted as fact.”

    I’m not sure what is supposed to be false about Hortons testimony. He calim to have not been informed sufficiently for it to have been clear what Wakefields full role was. To counter this, Wakefield supporters have quoted a single, rather wishy-washy line from a single document (hmm , starting to see a pattern here?) to doesn’t even say what they claim it does.

    If I recall correctly, the letter from Dawbarns to Horton did not make it clear what Wakefields association with them was, and I don’t believe it even mentions his role in litigation, which was the issue. At best, it mentions ‘working with’ Wakefield. It’s not unusual for researchers to ‘work with’ legal firms using LAB money, but this was full on involvement in promoting each others interests.

  147. #148 Dedj
    April 8, 2010

    “So – what do you make of Wakefield’s claim that *that* patent was not intended to protect to the level of population and worked in a completely different way?”

    It’s not supported by any phrasing or claims apparent in the patent. There is nothing in the patent that states it was intended for a sub-population.

    It’s also irrelevent. If it was intended to be used on a sub-population, then it was intended to be used, which is what that particular claim of BD claims rest on.

    There is no evidence in the patent that it was intended as anything other than a replacement component and, secondarily, a treatment.

  148. #149 Dale
    April 8, 2010

    “Unless the Royal Free has a very unusual IP rights policy, it’s unlikely Wakefield would not have recieved proceeds (or career benefits) from the sale of the rights, even assuming it is true that he did not/would not have owned them outright.”

    Ok.

    “I highly doubt I’m the only person here to have had clients that assert that they have recieved the worst of care, only for thier records to indicate that they have actually recieved the standard, if not above and beyond the usual.

    That his supporters claim he was ‘the first’ doesn’t appear to be supported by the case files of the children, and is irrelevant to the charges.”

    What is the standard? How come these parents were told they just didn’t have GI issues?

    “I’m not sure what is supposed to be false about Hortons testimony. He calim to have not been informed sufficiently for it to have been clear what Wakefields full role was.”

    No – it was also that he was not aware of any relationship between Wakefield and Dawbarns solicitors. *Any*.

    Now, please humor me because I’m not a scientist here. Here’s something one E. Yazbak wrote to the BMJ:

    “I have always been and remain pro-judicious vaccination.

    I have read all the epidemiological studies denying an MMR-autism connection and found substantial errors in every one of them.

    I believe that a vaccine-autism connection exists and I am scientifically- not emotionally- convinced that MMR vaccination can trigger an autistic regression in certain children.

    To date, I have not seen a single unbiased reliable clinical study to convince me otherwise.

    To prove me wrong, Dr. Berger or any one else only need to show me:

    ONE normal child who has evidence of both MMR antibody and Myelin Basic Protein auto-antibodies in his serum or his CSF

    Or

    ONE child who regressed after MMR vaccination and who does not have one of the following: The gut findings described by Wakefield, a suggestive pattern of urinary polypeptides, elevated serum measles virus antibody, MMR antibody or Myelin Basic Protein auto-antibodies”.

    Do you think he has a point?

    p.s. How do you hyperlink?

  149. #150 Science Mom
    April 8, 2010

    Dale @ 149, Yazbak is another anti-vax conspiracy theorist who makes the surface-claim of ‘I’m not anti-vax’. He is intentionally deceptive as there are numerous publications that answer his questions.
    Here
    is just one that found anti MBP in normal sera. MBP antibodies, by themselves don’t mean anything, but in the presence of other biochemical markers and clinical symptomology, are diagnostic.

    There are also these clinical studies that replicated Wakefield’s methods, but with better techniques and couldn’t find the presence of measles vaccine virus:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18769550
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18252754
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16555271
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez/11318548
    http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/118/4/1664

    To hyperlink use HTML code
    Visit Our Site

  150. #151 Dedj
    April 8, 2010

    “Do you think he has a point?”

    No. There is a very well suported concern that several of the children in the study did not have the lab results claimed. Supported by: the PhD student who worked in the lab, the lab manager, and a very highly regarded international expert who audited the lab.

    Thus, there may be several examples already in existance, in a place he has already looked.

    It’s rather odd that he should request ‘one normal child’, given that Myelin Basic Protein auto-antibodies are associated with a whole host of conditions. It’s like asking to see the toes of people with double leg amputations as proof of diabetic perhiperal neuropathy.

    It’s also a curious irrelevance to the charges against Wakefield.

    “What is the standard? How come these parents were told they just didn’t have GI issues?”

    I’m not fully up to speed with the relevant protocols, NICE guidance or NSF’s in that area. My last clinical placement was older persons stroke/dementia rehab.

    We do not know why the parents were told the children did not have GI issues. It could be because some of them didn’t, or not of the type being claimed by Wakefield et al.

    “No – it was also that he was not aware of any relationship between Wakefield and Dawbarns solicitors. *Any*.”

    I’m not aware of anywhere he has denied this, rather than the more specific “denied any foreknowledge of the conflict of interest, saying that the correspondence did not make clear Dr Wakefield’s role in litigation”. Given your, ummm, ‘inexperience’, I will have to request a direct and unadulterated reference to this claim. All sources thus far – even J()hn St()ne(!!) (Smoke and Mirrors article, Owen Dyer correspondance) – indicates that your claim about Dr Horton are false.

    Anywho, time to go out. I’ll check the GMC hearing and the pro-Wakefield complaint later.

  151. #152 Dedj
    April 8, 2010

    Not sure about hyperlinking so it appears as a word, but linking a website is as simple as cutting and pasting the webpage address.

    http://www.example.com

    The spam filters will only allow two per post.

  152. #153 Dale
    April 8, 2010

    “I’m not aware of anywhere he has denied this, rather than the more specific “denied any foreknowledge of the conflict of interest, saying that the correspondence did not make clear Dr Wakefield’s role in litigation”. Given your, ummm, ‘inexperience’, I will have to request a direct and unadulterated reference to this claim. All sources thus far – even J()hn St()ne(!!) (Smoke and Mirrors article, Owen Dyer correspondance) – indicates that your claim about Dr Horton are false.”

    Interesting talking to you Dedj (I mean that – I’m not being funny). The video I provided that apparently doesn’t open in your browser provides Wakefield quoting Horton’s Day 17 evidence. As you will likely not accept this I will wait for the transcripts to come out and then we will see.

    Not that you care.

  153. #154 bss
    April 8, 2010

    With each passing day, the people who defend a reckless, untested vaccine program look more arrogant and more stupid.

    From Canada’s TNM Newsservice:

    FOUR STUDIES LINK FLU VACCINE with SPREAD OF H1N1
    The four new studies conducted by Canadian researchers conclude that the traditional seasonal flu vaccine seems to have boosted the risk of infection with pandemic H1N1 swine flu by almost double.

    In one study, the researchers revealed to use ongoing sentinel monitoring system in order to assess the frequency of prior vaccination with the seasonal flu vaccine in people suffering from H1N1 swine flu in 2009 compared to people without swine flu.

    The study discovered that seasonal flu vaccination was linked with a 68 percent boosted risk of falling in prey to swine flu.

    “I do think that they did the best they could with the data they had”, said Dr. Mark Loeb, an infectious diseases expert at McMaster University in Hamilton who was not part of the study and who seems to be sceptical about the study’s conclusion.

    The studies, published April 6 in the online journal PLoS Medicine, attributed to the combined of over 40 researchers including many of Canada’s top influenza experts. The data is reported to be fetched from four studies that draw cases from British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec.

    However, the studies failed to show the presence of a true cause-and-effect link between seasonal flu vaccination and subsequent swine flu illness, or it is due to presence of a common factor among the people in the study.

  154. #155 Science Mom
    April 8, 2010

    Sorry Dale, that embedded link was rubbish. Just use this site for HTML code: http://www.web-source.net/html_codes_chart.htm

  155. #156 Science Mom
    April 8, 2010

    With each passing day, the people who defend a reckless, untested vaccine program look more arrogant and more stupid.

    @bss do you even realise that you are using a study by authors that have Pharma associations? So much for the claims that researchers are bought and paid for. Additionally, it would behove you to actually read the study rather than a press release.

    http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pmed.1000258

  156. #157 Chris
    April 8, 2010

    bss, are you now telling us that Wakefield is now evaluating influenza vaccines?

    Or do you often post off topic?

    Dale, you are still beating a dead zebra. There is no evidence that the MMR causes autism or gastrointestinal problems.

  157. #158 Dedj
    April 8, 2010

    “The video I provided that apparently doesn’t open in your browser provides Wakefield quoting Horton’s Day 17 evidence.”

    I didn’t say it doesn’t open in my browser, in fact, I indicated the opposite.

    Please provide the timestamp and a source that isn’t Wakefield. A direct quote from a transcript of the hearing would be grand.

    The best I can find is the newsletter that mentions that Wakefield was researching the condition, and a letter to Horton that merely suggest that they were ‘working with’ Wakefield, the newsletter can be read as implying Wakefield was researching the condition independantly, which we now know he was not. Niether makes it clear what his full role was , even Wakefields own May 2 1998 letter wrongly suggests he was merely involved in evaluation. I believe this was already covered in the GMC hearing as one of the charges.

    It would be very generous to Wakefield to claim that these documents clearly and sufficiently laid out his full involvement.

    And I hardly doubt any reasonable person would blame me for wanting confirmation of the claims of a proven dishonest person, who is now facing serious charges relating to his misconduct and lack of professionalism.

    This, yet again, is irrelevent to the vast majority of the proven charges.

  158. #159 Dedj
    April 8, 2010

    Also it is Wakefield – not anyone else – who was responsible for disclosing any potential conflicts of interest.

  159. #160 Antaeus Feldspar
    April 8, 2010
    Dedj, I find it even more curious that after Dale already received a direct link to that patent for her edification, and the passages from that application where Wakefield specifically calls his invention “a new vaccine” which is “probably safer to administer to children and others by way of vaccination/immunisation” were specifically called to her attention, that she should entirely neglect to mention that 1997 UK patent.

    I find it even more curious you don’t realise I’m new to this stuff and didn’t realise there were FIVE patents. I assumed a list of four would be exhaustive.

    Dale, you are responding to an argument that no one made and ignoring the one that was made. (This is called a straw man argument, just in case you are as “new to” logical argument as to everything else you feel entitled to opine about – and your stubborn insistence on a false interpretation of ad hominem certainly lends credence to that hypothesis.)

    No one said “Dale, you should have realized that Andrew Wakefield had a patent on an invention he described as a vaccination for measles because you’re not new to this stuff.

    What we said was that you should have realized that Andrew Wakefield had a patent on an invention he described as a vaccination for measles because we told you that, personally!

    You know, I might get interested in some issue that relates to the royal family of Ruritania. I might have no prior knowledge of the Ruritanian royals, before getting interested in that issue. But if someone has already told me about the eldest son of the family – and given me the link where I can verify the existence of that eldest son! – I already know that a list of four daughters in the family could not be “exhaustive”.

    And if I tried to make some argument which depended on the royal family having only daughters in it, and then claimed when it was revealed that I had already been personally informed of the existence of the eldest son, “I find it curious that you wouldn’t realize I’m new to this and didn’t realize there were FIVE children in the royal family,” then I think people would be pretty justified in dismissing me as nothing more than a dishonest loudmouth troll. (Hey, you know what hurts my “feeeeeeeelings”? When someone insults my intelligence.)

  160. #161 bss
    April 8, 2010

    Another Headline for the VACCINE PUSHERS: from the media in India 4/8/10

    INDIA SUSPENDS GARDISIL VACCINE AFTER THE DEATHS of 4 GIRLS

  161. #163 Orange Lantern
    April 8, 2010

    A headline for BSS: from the India Times 4/8/10

    4 DEATHS NOT DUE TO FLAWED CERVICAL CANCER VACCINE TRIAL

    http://toi.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Four-deaths-not-due-to-flawed-cervical-cancer-vaccine-trial/articleshow/5776065.cms

    “Director general of Indian Council of Medical Research Dr V M Katoch told TOI on Thursday that he was certain that the four deaths were not due to the vaccine. “It has been confirmed that while two deaths were due to poisoning, one died of drowning and another due to pyrexia of unknown origin,” Katoch said.”

  162. #164 Dedj
    April 8, 2010

    Yes, bss, strange that you neglected to mention the deaths were during a trial. Or any of the follow up discussion.

    Very strange indeed. Almost as if such information would have damaged whatever statement you were cack-handidly trying to make, so you deliberately refrained from making that clear.

    That can’t be it though can it? Dishonesty and hiding information is something only ‘those vaccine pushers’ do, isn’t it?

  163. #165 Chris
    April 8, 2010

    Wait, now bss is asserting Wakefield is involved in HPV vaccine research? Or is he or she still trying to be off topic?

  164. #166 dedicated lurker
    April 8, 2010

    Drowning is clearly caused by vaccination. No one would drown if no one was vaccinated */sarcasm*

  165. #167 Neil Craig
    April 9, 2010

    If only Wakefield had gone for pushing the global warming lie or claiming passive smoking or nuclear leaks or salt were deadly, for all of which there is, if anything, less evidence than for what he said, he wouldn’t have annoyed the state & would have been given vast amounts of money by those in charge like prof Jones’ £13.6 million.

  166. #168 Dale
    April 9, 2010

    @Antaeus:

    “Dale, you are responding to an argument that no one made and ignoring the one that was made. (This is called a straw man argument, just in case you are as “new to” logical argument as to everything else you feel entitled to opine about – and your stubborn insistence on a false interpretation of ad hominem certainly lends credence to that hypothesis.)

    No one said “Dale, you should have realized that Andrew Wakefield had a patent on an invention he described as a vaccination for measles because you’re not new to this stuff.”

    What we said was that you should have realized that Andrew Wakefield had a patent on an invention he described as a vaccination for measles because we told you that, personally!

    You know, I might get interested in some issue that relates to the royal family of Ruritania. I might have no prior knowledge of the Ruritanian royals, before getting interested in that issue. But if someone has already told me about the eldest son of the family – and given me the link where I can verify the existence of that eldest son! – I already know that a list of four daughters in the family could not be “exhaustive”.

    And if I tried to make some argument which depended on the royal family having only daughters in it, and then claimed when it was revealed that I had already been personally informed of the existence of the eldest son, “I find it curious that you wouldn’t realize I’m new to this and didn’t realize there were FIVE children in the royal family,” then I think people would be pretty justified in dismissing me as nothing more than a dishonest loudmouth troll. (Hey, you know what hurts my “feeeeeeeelings”? When someone insults my intelligence.)”

    Wooo… Jesus. Anty, could you drop all the windbaggery and just get to the frigging point?

  167. #169 Dale
    April 9, 2010

    “A direct quote from a transcript of the hearing would be grand.”

    Will do Dedj, when the transcripts become available.

  168. #170 Chris
    April 9, 2010

    Neil Craig:

    have been given vast amounts of money by those in charge like prof Jones’

    Except Wakefield was given vast amounts of money. It was over 400000 pounds of public legal aid money. Also the fees at the Thoughtful House are very high, so his salary must have been substantial (though he was asked to leave).

    Do try to get the facts right as you keep beating that dead zebra.

  169. #171 Science Mom
    April 9, 2010

    Wooo… Jesus. Anty, could you drop all the windbaggery and just get to the frigging point?

    The same may be asked of you. You have presented questions or claims, been presented information to the contrary and not bothered to respond. Rather odd if you are embarking upon the learning process as you claim. I actually think that AF’s analogies are quite good, too bad you can’t relate to them.

  170. #172 Dale
    April 9, 2010

    “The same may be asked of you. You have presented questions or claims, been presented information to the contrary and not bothered to respond.”

    Yes I have. I was talking to Dedj. What the hell are you talking about?

    “The trouble with Rosemary Kessick’s account is that her child’s diarhhea was a problem since birth, and his neurodevelopmental disorder started 3-5 months after his MMR.”

    Are you sure? She tells a different story:

    “I’m sure you will have read that he was developing beautifully, passed all his milestones showing no cause for concern during his early months. A much loved second son following a text book pregnancy and birth.”

  171. #173 Science Mom
    April 9, 2010

    Yes I have. I was talking to Dedj. What the hell are you talking about?

    Oh, how about your Yazbak claims and all of the references that I threw your way for starters?

    “The trouble with Rosemary Kessick’s account is that her child’s diarhhea was a problem since birth, and his neurodevelopmental disorder started 3-5 months after his MMR.”

    Are you sure? She tells a different story:

    “I’m sure you will have read that he was developing beautifully, passed all his milestones showing no cause for concern during his early months. A much loved second son following a text book pregnancy and birth.”

    Of course she tells a different story, just as so many others that have fallen for Waker’s ‘Autistic Enterocolitis’ nonsense. They re-write history to fit with the scenario they desire. Have you read the first 3 test cases of the OAP for the MMR claim of causation? Very illuminating.

    Waker’s claim falls apart however due to the fact that there is no distinct pathology such as ‘Autistic Enterocolitis’ because he based it upon the erroneous claim that it is caused by measles vaccine virus replicating in the gut and then magically causing autism. Except that he never found measles vaccine virus in the gut biopsies of those or any other children and most of them didn’t have any GI pathology to begin with.

  172. #174 a-non
    April 9, 2010

    Dale,

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/health/article5683643.ece

    I can’t speak for Kessick’s particular case, but the medical records clearly show that quite a few of the children in the Wakefield study had problems long before they got the MMR jab, which is entirely inconsistent with the doctor’s assertion.

  173. #175 Journal Checker
    April 9, 2010

    What’s the source for this version: “The trouble with Rosemary Kessick’s account is that her child’s diarhhea was a problem since birth, and his neurodevelopmental disorder started 3-5 months after his MMR.”?

  174. #176 dt
    April 9, 2010

    Remember that one of the “Wakefield 12″ was a boy who supposedly became “autistic” after getting measles. He had previously been vaccinated but it didn’t provide protection, and he later got measles and developed post measles encephalitis {child 10}.

    He was included in the study to support the “measles virus causes autistic enterocolitis” garbage.

    Now why does no-one mention him and how “dangerous” measles can be? I’ll tell you why not – because his case clearly demonstrates measles can be complicated by neurological damage, and as we all know, antivaxers like to pretend it is completely harmless. One case of measles encephalitis, out of what were only a few dozen cases of measles in the UK?
    That’s extremely worrying. Imagine if everyone got measles – how many cases would we be seeing? (Answers on the back of a postcard please, addressed to Andrew Wakefield)

  175. #177 dt
    April 9, 2010

    Also, has anyone noticed that in NONE of the kids in Wakefield’s paper did the GI symptoms precede the neurological symptoms?

    Pretty odd, don’t you think for a theory that says gut damage precedes neurological change?

  176. #178 Dedj
    April 9, 2010

    Where has the alternative account of Rosemary Kessick come from?

    Also, is she the same Rosemary Kessick from AiA?

    If so, why is she repeatedly presented as a voice of the parents, when her background indicates multiple sources for bias?

  177. #179 Journal Checker
    April 9, 2010

    “Also, is she the same Rosemary Kessick from AiA?”

    There’s a Kessick and a Keswick.

    Was either in any Wakefield study?

  178. #180 Science Mom
    April 9, 2010

    @179 I think that Keswick is a typo. The person in question is Rosemary Kessick. But I too, would like to know that source for that conflicting account.

  179. #181 Dedj
    April 9, 2010

    It does seem to be a typo.

    Keswick would likely be pronounced Kessick, or Kessick could have been mistakenly assumed to be spelt with the w.

  180. #182 Journal Checker
    April 10, 2010

    Apology if duplicating what has already been printed here.

    According to AoA entry by its managing editor April 7th 2010 (not necessarily reliable of course): “Dr. Wakefield shared this letter with us, with permission from Rosemary Kessick. Mrs. Kessick was the first parent of a child with autism and GI symptoms to contact Dr. Wakefield, and one of the “Lancet 12.”

    There’s a BBC News entry here from 1998, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/69118.stm saying this: Rosemary Keswick believes her son William had a bad reaction.

    She said: “He was absolutely normal but after he had his MMR, within days, he started to show some very strange reactions.

    “He had swollen lymph glands, he had a strange look and colour and he started headbanging which he never did before.”

    Brian Deer lists a William here:

    http://web.archive.org/web/20041129090953/http://briandeer.com/wakefield/lancet-kids.htm

    There’s obviously more digging to be done when time permits. There’s a layout somewhere with the discrepancies between the claims and actual medical records.

    Kessick and Keswick spellings are interchangeable in the various public domain reports – worth remembering if doing a Google search.

  181. #183 Dale
    April 10, 2010

    2What’s the source for this version: “The trouble with Rosemary Kessick’s account is that her child’s diarhhea was a problem since birth, and his neurodevelopmental disorder started 3-5 months after his MMR.”?”

    You would need to ask poster 138.

  182. #184 Journal Checker
    April 10, 2010

    From an interview with Wakefield being circulated by Dr Mercola, transcript at http://mercola.fileburst.com/PDF/ExpertInterviewTranscripts/InterviewAndrewWakefield.pdf

    DW: Yes, I‟ve just been offered a new position which allows me to integrate the research efforts of a variety of autism organizations around the world and to focus on those issues that the Interagency Coordinating Committee (IACC) with all its money and all its power seems to loathe to do and that is to look directly at environmental causes included within that of course is vaccines. So, the IACC seems to be moving around that issue but the elephant in the room is clearly the vaccine. I don‟t want to look at it now. My concern is to rue it in or rue it out. If they‟re fine they‟re fine, if they‟re not, they‟re not. We need to know. The public need to know. The medical profession needs to know. So that we can make informed choices and give informed consent.

    Although there’s no firm indication of date of interview, the transcript was typed up by GIZELLE at 16.52 (no time zone given) on April 8th 2010.

  183. #185 Dale
    April 10, 2010

    The Mercola interview also asks about the origin of the GMC case:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbSt1gp9xC8

  184. #186 Science Mom
    April 10, 2010

    I believe Kessick’s son was child one? Here is Brian Deer’s account of the discrepancies between the medical records and Wakefield’s account in the Lancet paper: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/health/article5683643.ece

    The Mercola interview also asks about the origin of the GMC case:

    And your point being Dale?

  185. #187 Chris
    April 10, 2010

    Science Mom:

    And your point being Dale?

    To continue to beat on a dead zebra.

  186. #188 Journal Checker
    April 10, 2010

    There’s a video recording here: http://www.med.umich.edu/mott/research/chearevents.html
    (go down to – 3rd Annual Susan B. Meister Lecture in Child Health Policy
    View the presentation)

    where BD presents a chart showing how the children’s medical files disagree with what’s in the Lancet paper.

    I don’t have any way at the moment of extracting the screen display – I’m sure I’ve seen the page somewhere else but just for now, if you want to see it you may have to run the video 14 minutes in. Child 1 is apparently the Kessick boy, and it is claimed was not normal before MMR. I’ve read somewhere and I need to find it, that the problem was to do with hearing loss, said to be typical early sign of autism. Not my field so I cannot confirm. I have to say that compared with some of the misleading claims about illnesses in the Lancet 12 before MMR it’s relatively small beer – but this is what was said.

  187. #189 Journalchecker
    April 10, 2010

    But then there has always been something a little disturbing about Rosemary Kessick.

    What she must make of Brian Deer’s video on Wakefield’s latest claims one can only speculate over. Wakefield says that it was the government being sued because SmithKline Beecham had an “indemnity”. Now, although Mrs Rosemary CT Kessick has been writing haughty letters to drug companies peddling the same false claim – as if butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth – she was the leading test case claimant in the UK class action lawsuit. And guess who she filed suit against? SmithKline Beecham.Her claim was issued on 25.08.99 and served on 3.11.99.

    This is what her buddy Wakefield says. A straightforward, no-nonsense pack of lies. And she knows it.

    http://briandeer.com/solved/tall-story.htm

  188. #190 Journal Checker
    April 10, 2010

    I’d just like to point out that I am Journal Checker – someone using journalchecker as i/d is not me.

  189. #191 Journal Checker
    April 10, 2010

    Here’s a Kessick mention in the Indie in 1996.

    William is one of 10 children taking part in a pilot study at the Royal Free Hospital in London, which is investigating possible links between the measles vaccine with the bowel disorder Crohn’s Disease, and with autism. The study is being organised by Norfolk solicitors Dawbarns, one of two firms awarded a contract by the Legal Aid Board in 1994 to co-ordinate claims resulting from the MMR vaccine.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/law-a-shot-in-the-dark-1354543.html?cmp=ilc-n

  190. #192 Journal Checker
    April 10, 2010

    http://briandeer.com/solved/tall-story.htm

    So the so-called ‘scandal’ that the elsewhere-styled ‘kangaroo court’ GMC hearing was intended to cover up was already public knowledge. This is what the Andrew Wakefield book is going to tell us, is it?

  191. #193 Notborn Yesterday
    April 17, 2010

    Dale, do you think you’re going to find unbiased truth in here? You appear to be the only one with that goal!

  192. #194 Wildman
    April 24, 2010

    “Believe it or Not: 80% of Your Immune System is Actually in Your GI Tract”
    http://probiotics.mercola.com/probiotics.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gut-associated_lymphoid_tissue
    http://www.scienceonline.org/cgi/content/abstract/307/5717/1920

    And if the MMR vaccine causes immune dis-regulation and damage to the gut, and it can and does; then you end up with this.

    Example. (Nevaeh Gelineau section). Now that the end vascular territories are impaired, this is like a series of areas wherein the blood vessel pipes are “crimped,”, partially blocked..or obliterated. At this point, any immune hyper stimulating triggers Nevaeh is intolerant of (e.g. Casein, Gluten, etc..) will lead to an immune response. It is the immune response that has these partially “closed vessels/pipes” cannot handle. This aggravates ischemia – and symptomatology.

    http://www.tolerancelost.com

    http://www.lowellsfacts.com

  193. #195 KWombles
    April 24, 2010

    @Wildman,

    Fascinating, really. Now, here’s what I’m wondering. If the GI tract has roughly the same amount of lymphocytes that the spleen does, how is it that 80% of the immune system can be in the GI tract, exactly?

    http://www.vivo.colostate.edu/hbooks/pathphys/digestion/basics/gi_immune.html

    Mercola pushing this number and his probiotics (buy my product) is nothing new: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/07/05/probiotics-found-to-help-your-gut-s-immune-system.aspx

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