Respectful Insolence

The SkepDoc reviews Callous Disregard

The week is coming to a close, and the Memorial Day holiday beckons for those of us in the U.S. I’ve spent most of this week blogging about the anti-vaccine movement, and I do need a rest. Next week, I promise to try to stay away from this issue as much as possible, not just to keep you from getting bored with it but, more importantly, to give myself the periodic rest from the concentrated idiocy to preserve my sanity. True, I can never guarantee that something won’t come up that will force me to break my self-imposed vacation from the craziness, but I think that a few days away from this topic will do me good.

In the meantime, I’d be very remiss if I didn’t point out that at least one skeptic has already read Andrew Wakefield’s new book, Callous Disregard: Autism and Vaccines: The Truth Behind a Tragedy. Dr. Harriet Hall, a.k.a The SkepDoc, has not only read Wakefield’s opus, but she’s panned it. One amusing tidbit:

Perhaps the most unfortunate chapter in the book is “Poisoning Young Minds,” a prime example of Godwin’s law. He describes how a math question in schools in Nazi Germany used Jews as an example, thereby sowing the seeds of anti-Semitic propaganda into young, fertile Aryan minds. He compares this to a question on a UK biology exam that used Wakefield’s study as an example, asking students whether it was reliable scientific evidence or might have been biased. This takes up a whole chapter!

Wow! A Hitler Zombie-worthy bit of nonsense from an Age of Autism screed turned into an entire chapter in Wakefield’s book. I’m sure glad Harriet read the book so that I don’t have to.

Comments

  1. #1 Brian Deer
    May 28, 2010

    I haven’t read this book, but I know the thrust of Wakefield’s arguments, and the specific claims he makes about his conduct.

    I honestly can’t stress this enough: what he says isn’t true. Whether it’s about his legal contract, the children’s litigant status, the amount of money he was paid, his patent, his rigged findings, “autistic enterocolitis”: his key stories are all made up.

    I’ve read one review – it may be this one – where the reviewer got caught in, “well perhaps he has a point, but that’s just technicality”, etc. Don’t even give him the credit of superficial plausibility. This is how Wakefield works. He’s been knocking ‘em dead with all this for years. He will tell some ludicrous whopper, and, unless you have very, very detailed knowledge, you won’t spot it.

    Maybe I could just do a couple.

    A year or so after I revealed that he’d been paid £435,643 (about three quarters of a million bucks), plus expenses, in secret payments from the legal aid fund, (following his prior claims that he didn’t receive any money personally), he claimed that the amount was reduced by £100,000 by the court. Thus, he says, he didn’t get what I said. He probably says this in his book. But here is a document which proves that the figure is AFTER deductions, and is in fact the award APPROVED by the court. Read the first sentence of this document:

    http://briandeer.com/wakefield/legal-aid.htm

    Then there is his claim that there were “two studies”. An utter lie. There was one “clinical and scientific study”, commissioned by the solicitor, part funded by the legal aid fund, and submitted, salami sliced into two papers, to the Lancet (only one of which was published). The following documents make absolutely clear that the clinical work was commissioned by the legal aid fund and submitted to the Lancet:

    http://briandeer.com/wakefield/wakefield-deal.htm

    I could go on, through all his false claims. Like the one where he says that none of the children were litigants when they were referred. What he does (and may have done in the book), is use the award of documents called “legal aid certificates” as a definition of a litigant. In fact, these were often awarded long after the attorney-client relationship began. At least five of the 11 eligible kids were clients of the lawyer before they were referred to the hospital. Wakefield even sat and listened to the one parent who gave evidence at his GMC case, who said that she approached the lawyer at the same time she approached him – long before her son was referred. Another doctor wrote into a little girl’s medical records that she was “funded by legal aid” before he referred her to Wakefield. And on and on it goes.

    It’s worth remembering that Wakefield was dealt with in a 217-day statutory inquiry, by an independent panel, including two lay members, and was protected by a legal team of about five. He called no witnesses whatsoever. The panel went into all his little stories, at agonising length, and eventually the chair simply pointed out that what he was saying couldn’t be reconciled with the documents in front of them.

    All in all, from what I’ve seen of the reviews, and the impact of his launch week, Wakefield is finished as a doctor, finished as a scientist, and will now be left dribbling into his sausage for the rest of his life. It’s notable that not one UK media organisation, or even columnist that I’m aware of, has spoken up for him.

    Four counts of dishonesty, and 12 involving the abuse of developmentally-challenged children. “Pitiable and sickening.” Maybe he could put that on the back of Callous Disregard.

  2. #2 Kausik Datta
    May 28, 2010

    I wish we could pointedly (not callously) disregard this entire book, but this is sure to be the rallying point of the anti-vax crazies in the coming days, and the book is going to be cited chapter and verse ad nauseam in the anti-vax screeds. Someone mentioned that it already has a high rating at Amazon.com books. I wonder if Harriet’s post could be tacked on to the book as a review at Amazon!

  3. #3 Chris
    May 28, 2010

    Brian Deer:

    I’ve read one review – it may be this one – where the reviewer got caught in, “well perhaps he has a point, but that’s just technicality”, etc. Don’t even give him the credit of superficial plausibility.

    That was definitely not Harriet Hall’s review of the book. Do click on and read it over, you will like it. One sentence from the last paragraph:

    In my opinion, the whole book is an embarrassing, tedious, puerile, and ultimately unsuccessful attempt at damage control.

  4. #4 _Arthur
    May 28, 2010

    Even if, for the sake of argument, there had been TWO research projects, one funded by the London Royal Free, and the other, the imaginary one, funded by Barr&Barr,
    Wakefield would still have been obligated to disclose that conflict of interest.

  5. #5 _Arthur
    May 28, 2010

    Even if, for the sake of argument, there had been TWO research projects, one funded by the London Royal Free, and the other, the imaginary one, funded by Barr&Barr,
    Wakefield would still have been obligated to disclose that conflict of interest.

  6. #6 bensmyson
    May 28, 2010

    Brian, “autistic enterocolitis” is made up? Really? Nothing to it at all? I must have missed all that, surely these kids were all sick right?

    There have been several reports of a link between autism and chronic gastrointestinal symptoms. Endoscopy trials have demonstrated a higher prevalence of nonspecific colitis, lymphoid hyperplasia and focally enhanced gastritis compared with controls. Postulated mechanisms include aberrant immune responses to some dietary proteins, abnormal intestinal permeability and unfavourable gut microflora.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19214283

    Ileal lymphoid hyperplasia may be more prevalent in children with regressive autism but is also seen in children with food allergies and severe constipation, the latter being an extremely common finding in autistic children. CONCLUSION: The histopathological diagnosis of autistic enterocolitis should be treated with caution until a proper study with appropriate methodology and controls is undertaken.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17257133

  7. #7 Chris
    May 28, 2010

    Two case reports is not “several.” The second link noted that the studies are inconsistent. The full paper is here, and is quite underwhelming.

    Never the less, even if it existed… that does not excuse Wakefield’s dodgy work, and payments.

  8. #8 Ian
    May 28, 2010

    @bensmyson

    Aww, how cuuuute! Obfuscation and misdirection. Here’s what you left off from the first abstract:

    Two autism spectrum disorder patients with chronic intestinal symptoms and abnormal endoscopic findings are described, followed by a review of this controversial topic.

    And from the second one:

    Our review of the published works, nearly all from a single centre, identifies major inconsistencies between studies, lack of appropriate controls and misinterpretation of normal findings as pathology.

    You guys don’t even try, do you? You realize that the majority of people here are at least scientifically literate, don’t you?

  9. #9 T. Bruce McNeely
    May 28, 2010

    @Bensmyson:

    Well, that was, uh, interesting. You’re trying to convince us of the existence of “autistic enterocolitis” by referring to a paper that essentially debunks the concept.
    Do you actually think that would convince us? Or did you actually think that the paper supported your claims?

    Good lord, you’re dumb.

  10. #10 Travis
    May 28, 2010

    To bring up papers like that with an obvious lack of understanding about what they actually say should give you pause, you might want to think about how well you really understand this topic.

  11. #11 Science Mom
    May 28, 2010

    Brian, “autistic enterocolitis” is made up? Really? Nothing to it at all? I must have missed all that, surely these kids were all sick right?

    I see that you have already had your ass properly handed to you Ben’s parents. I’ll add a little insult to injury. From your second abstract:

    We can only speculate why severe constipation was not acknowledged as a significant gut symptom in the original paper1 and was revealed only in correspondence.8 Having accepted, however, that this was a major problem in these children, subsequent studies from this group should have explicitly included developmentally normal children with severe constipation as the appropriate control group. The conclusions of the 1998 and 2000 papers from the Royal Free must therefore be regarded as unreliable because of the use of inappropriate controls. By the time this group did include a control group with ILNH and constipation and indeed reported the lack of significant difference in mucosal pathology between autistic children and controls,3 media and public opinion were already entrenched.

    Significant bias was introduced to the studies from the Royal Free by the interpretation of histological changes seen in normal lymphoid follicles as pathology, particularly as the investigators had an alternative reason for trying to biopsy lymphoid follicles, namely to try to detect measles virus.

    You have undoubtedly ignored the results of these 2 recent studies as well:

    http://adc.bmj.com/content/94/7/497.full
    http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/124/2/680

    You see Ben’s parents, autistic children do not appear to have any GI pathology above the incidence of that in the general population. Not to mention, there is nothing unique about their GI complaints, they do experience co-morbidities you know. ASD children do have an increase in GI complaints that are a result of diarrhoea and/or constipation, most likely resulting from neurobehaviours, rather than an organic aetiology.

    Lastly, don’t project your stupidity, scientific-illiteracy and limitations onto the rest of us.

  12. #12 Nescio
    May 28, 2010

    Brian Deer

    It’s notable that not one UK media organisation, or even columnist that I’m aware of, has spoken up for him.

    Melanie Phillips at The Spectator still refuses to admit defeat.
    “…risible kangaroo court…tragedy and a travesty… monstrous injustice… crucified… sinister travesty” etc etc.

  13. #13 bensmyson
    May 28, 2010

    “by referring to a paper that essentially debunks the concept. ”

    Essentially? So does it or doesn’t it? If you cant prove it then as I understand science, you cant prove it right?

    Deer’s comment was

    “I honestly can’t stress this enough: what he says isn’t true. Whether it’s about his legal contract, the children’s litigant status, the amount of money he was paid, his patent, his rigged findings, “autistic enterocolitis”: his key stories are all made up.

    If something is untrue then there must be proof right, otherwise how can you make such a claim?

  14. #14 Dedj
    May 28, 2010

    “Essentially? So does it or doesn’t it? If you cant prove it then as I understand science, you cant prove it right?”

    Basically, you used the paper as support, when the paper actually (even it the passage you quoted) more-or-less said “We looked at it, and don’t think there is anything to support it right now”.

    That you are striving for a yes/no answer is why you misread and misunderstood the paper.

    “If something is untrue then there must be proof right, otherwise how can you make such a claim?”

    Yes there is proof, and it was presented to the highest relevant institutional authourity. An authourity which repeatedly noted the absolute lack of any relevant and accurate defence, to the point where this lack attracted repeated comment.

  15. #15 Jarred C
    May 28, 2010

    bensmyson,

    Do you realize that you are criticizing Bruce about an inability to prove a negative? The study in reference is saying, in layman’s terms:

    “There is no current proof that this exists. All current ‘proof’ was done poorly with massive mistakes and errors, and nearly all from the same organization. If you come across a diagnosis of this, be very cautious, for it may not exist. We will report further when a proper study is done.”

    So you used a study which says that there’s no proof it exists in order to provide evidence that it exists.

  16. #16 Science Mom
    May 28, 2010

    If something is untrue then there must be proof right, otherwise how can you make such a claim?

    I have a post being held up but will provide you with your proof. And since Wakefield never found anything such as ‘autistic enterocolitis’ to begin with, not much to prove. Hint for the future: Don’t try to wave abstracts about like a weapon because a.) You can’t even parse those correctly and b.) chances are, there are many of us here that can get the full texts AND parse them correctly.

  17. #17 Ian
    May 28, 2010

    The telling phrase in that response was, of course, “as I understand science.” The problem is that you clearly don’t understand science. It is impossible to prove a negative. You can’t prove that something doesn’t exist. However, when you look for evidence, in multiple ways, in multiple places, and find none, you are free to conclude that a phenomenon or effect does not exist. The goal of science is to demonstrate that things do happen, not that they don’t.

    Deer’s comment speaks to the fact that the evidence refutes the claims made by Dr. Wakefield, who provided zero evidence to counter the evidence against him. This is really not a complex concept. How is it possible you don’t understand this?

  18. #18 T. Bruce McNeely
    May 28, 2010

    Essentially? So does it or doesn’t it?

    It does. “Essentially” in this context means “fundamentally” or “basically”. Example: you are essentially dumb.

    What do you think essentially means?

  19. #19 bensmyson
    May 28, 2010

    Deer accused Wakefield of making up autistic enterocolitis, He must have some proof that this is correct otherwise Deer is lying. You’d think if I were to say that Brian Deer raped a 12 year old boy years ago in Atlanta someone would jump all over me demanding a retraction. Is there proof he did? No. Is there proof he didnt? No. If a criminal investigator could not determine whether or not Deer actually raped the boy would all the accusations go away? If Deer refused to talk with authorities does that make him guilty?

    [ORAC NOTE: bensmyson: Your "hypothetical" example is a pathetically obvious attempt to smear Brian Deer with a the slime of pedophilia. As someone who has been the victim of this smear on more than one occasion, most notably by a bunch of Holocaust deniers, I don't take kindly to any commenter on my blog doing this. As a result, while I'm not going to ban you, I am going to put you into the "automatic moderation" queue for as long as I see fit. Your posts will eventually appear, as I usually check the moderation queue several times a day, but only after I've taken a look to make sure you're not making such smears again. It is a holiday weekend, though; so if I decide to go out and about, it may not be as often.]

    Do autistic children have bowel disease? One study says”Ileal lymphoid hyperplasia may be more prevalent in children with regressive autism but is also seen in children with food allergies and severe constipation, the latter being an extremely common finding in autistic children.” The other says, “Endoscopy trials have demonstrated a higher prevalence of nonspecific colitis, lymphoid hyperplasia and focally enhanced gastritis compared with controls.”

    Im just sayin….

  20. #20 Science Mom
    May 28, 2010

    Brian, “autistic enterocolitis” is made up? Really? Nothing to it at all? I must have missed all that, surely these kids were all sick right?

    I see that you have already had your ass properly handed to you Ben’s parents. I’ll add a little insult to injury. From your second abstract:

    We can only speculate why severe constipation was not acknowledged as a significant gut symptom in the original paper1 and was revealed only in correspondence.8 Having accepted, however, that this was a major problem in these children, subsequent studies from this group should have explicitly included developmentally normal children with severe constipation as the appropriate control group. The conclusions of the 1998 and 2000 papers from the Royal Free must therefore be regarded as unreliable because of the use of inappropriate controls. By the time this group did include a control group with ILNH and constipation and indeed reported the lack of significant difference in mucosal pathology between autistic children and controls,3 media and public opinion were already entrenched.

    Significant bias was introduced to the studies from the Royal Free by the interpretation of histological changes seen in normal lymphoid follicles as pathology, particularly as the investigators had an alternative reason for trying to biopsy lymphoid follicles, namely to try to detect measles virus.

    You have undoubtedly ignored the results of these 2 recent studies as well:

    http://adc.bmj.com/content/94/7/497.full
    http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/124/2/680

    You see Ben’s parents, autistic children do not appear to have any GI pathology above the incidence of that in the general population. Not to mention, there is nothing unique about their GI complaints, they do experience co-morbidities you know. ASD children do have an increase in GI complaints that are a result of diarrhoea and/or constipation, most likely resulting from neurobehaviours, rather than an organic aetiology.

    Lastly, don’t project your stupidity, scientific-illiteracy and limitations onto the rest of us.

  21. #21 Ian
    May 28, 2010

    If I accured him of being a child rapist, it’s not his lawyer’s job to prove that he isn’t. It’s my job to prove that he is. If I fail to do so, then he is presumed to be innocent. Also I’d have a slander suit on my hands. You’re ignorant of the legal system too? Man you’ve got the cards stacked against you.

    The first one means “what we found could easily have nothing at all to do with autism, just allergies.” That’s not supportive of your hypothesis of enterocolitis. If anything, it undermines it. The second also says that the trials are poorly controlled, mostly come from one centre, and that no real conclusions can be drawn from their findings. Read for comprehension before posting.

    You’re not ‘just saying’ anything. You’re attempting to make a point, and that’s commendable. However, you are failing to grasp even the basic elements of scientific inquiry, and waving studies around that defeat your own arguments. I can only imagine the frustration you must feel that nobody is listening to you. Imagine the frustration we feel when repeated attempts to talk sense to you fall on deaf ears. People have tried being nice, people have tried being patient, and eventually people have tried being dismissive. The only element in the equation that refuses to change is you.

  22. #22 DLC
    May 28, 2010

    I’m so damn sick of hearing people blather about how this or that isn’t “safe”. Nothing is ever 100.000% safe !
    Not sleeping in bed, not vaccines and sure as hell not deep water oil drilling (as we’ve all seen to our sorrow).
    But we don’t stop living because something isn’t 100.000% safe. Also, there is no such thing as 100.000% certainty.
    We have amassed a preponderance of evidence that shows that vaccines work and that they do not cause autism. Not 100.000% certainty, but 99.97 %. It’s as sure as we can be of a thing that cannot actually be proven 100%.

  23. #23 Dedj
    May 28, 2010

    “Deer accused Wakefield of making up autistic enterocolitis, He must have some proof that this is correct otherwise Deer is lying.”

    Yes, as pointed out, the highest relevant institutional authourity took a look a found that what Wakefield was saying wasn’t compatible with the evidence, including – in some places – documents compiled or signed by Wakefield.

    “Do autistic children have bowel disease?”

    Yes, and no one is denying this.

    Some of us – shock horror! – have even worked with people with autism and bowel complaints! Imagine that!

    Neither of your sources resemble what you imply they do, with the first almost directly contradicting you. Of course, you cannot recognise this, otherwise you would not have posted them in support.

    Please get some sleep and come back when you’re not drunk and tired. If you’re not drunk and tired, please don’t come back – for the sake of your very reduced image.

  24. #24 bensmyson
    May 28, 2010

    “the highest relevant institutional authourity took a look a found that what Wakefield was saying wasn’t compatible with the evidence”

    Boy am I thick for trying this again, I thought the GMC looked at the ethics and not the actual study. Werent they upset that Wakefield gave some children a look up their colon and rewarded some kids at a birthday party for participating in a blood draw? I dont recall talk of whether or not the bowel disease that Wakefield’s paper was all about.

    If there is proof of Wakefield making it all up then I owe Deer an apology, if not then perhaps he owes Dr Wakefield one. Cold day in hell that though.

  25. #25 Dedj
    May 28, 2010

    “Boy am I thick for trying this again”

    Yes. I would agree that you are thick.

    “, I thought the GMC looked at the ethics and not the actual study.”

    Which it was. During the course of that, it was found that:

    some of the children were not as Wakefield described them
    some of the children were not recruited in the way the study implied
    some of the children had no clinical need for the tests that were carried out, as agreed by the defence experts.
    some of the children did not have GI symptoms on their refferal, or did not need further testing according to the childrens own medical records, including that written by members of the defence.

    In addition, testimony by his own lab staff has been given to indicate that Wakefield did not fairly admit all the lab evidence.

    “Werent they upset that Wakefield gave some children a look up their colon and rewarded some kids at a birthday party for participating in a blood draw?”

    Er, no. Wakefields treatment of the children composed only a sub-set of the charges, and the charges relating to the party were not just about payment.

    Wakefield could have had zero contact with any parent or child, and there would still have been enough charges left to have him struck off.

    “If there is proof of Wakefield making it all up then I owe Deer an apology, ”

    I belive Deer will likely be along to tell you exactly where you have gone wrong.

    In the meantime, you will read the easily and freely available GMC documents. I am not willing to spend more time than is needed to correct your abscence of effective knowledge of the situation.

  26. Wakefield gave some kids a look up their colon? Aww, how cute – surely that must be a lot of fun! Let’s see what Dave Barry has to say about the procedure – http://www.miamiherald.com/2009/02/11/427603/dave-barry-a-journey-into-my-colon.html Wow, that’s hilarious! This must have been so entertaining for those little kids!

    IIRC, autistic people have rather extra sensitive feelings where it comes to touch. At least Temple Grandin and some other autistic people I know are hypersensitive to uncomfortable touches. Performing invasive medical procedures that are not indicated on hypersensitive children – gee, how could anyone object to that?

  27. #27 Sid Offit
    May 28, 2010

    If you’re going to spend Memorial Day weekend with one book, I’d recommend Women Aren’t Supposed to Fly. Chock full of madcap antics, it’s an irreverent romp through the worlds of medicine and the military . Burning up the Amazon charts at number 1,324,811

  28. #28 Kristen
    May 28, 2010

    Cath,

    IIRC, autistic people have rather extra sensitive feelings where it comes to touch. At least Temple Grandin and some other autistic people I know are hypersensitive to uncomfortable touches. Performing invasive medical procedures that are not indicated on hypersensitive children – gee, how could anyone object to that?

    As a mother of an autistic child this is what disgusted me most about the whole issue. The condition is called Sensory Integration Dysfunction and is very common in ASD children. Gabriel can’t go out in the sun without a hat and glasses, he won’t touch sand, or gravel, or flour, or oatmeal or anything else that has a funny texture. He won’t eat anything that isn’t crunchy or chewy, and he constantly needs even pressure on his body (in one form or another). When his doctor looks in his ears or eyes it is an ordeal, and it takes him a few days to recover from a well-child visit.

    And children like my son were subjected to anesthesia, uncomfortable colonoscapies (after being forced to drink the stuff that causes intense cramps to clean them out, no doubt), lumbar punctures (with the ensuing headaches, not to mention potential complications) and other very invasive tests. All for no medical reason.

    This disgusts me and I can’t even think about Wakefield without getting sick to my stomach. That parents would willfully subject their precious (very sensitive) children to such torture is unconscionable. I have nothing but contempt for people who do such things to autistic children without cause.

    Rant over, please keep in mind that I am sometimes an irrationally passionate mother. I am not trying to sound angry.

  29. #29 Azkyroth
    May 28, 2010

    Rant over, please keep in mind that I am sometimes an irrationally passionate mother. I am not trying to sound angry.

    What’s “irrational” about being angry at people like Wakefield?

  30. #30 Travis
    May 29, 2010

    Kristen, the existence of sensitivity to food textures interests me. I have never heard anyone else bring up being texture sensitive to food other than my own complaints. I am very turned off by certain food textures, to the point where some textures make me feel like vomiting or gagging (tripe is an example, just the feeling of it makes me ill). And on the broader subject of sensitivity to touch, while I enjoy it, I find I am very, very sensitive to other people’s touch, it is really very intense for me. Sensitive to the point where people are surprised by how I react to it. A good friend of mine will have a field day if I mention this to her. She thinks I have Asperger syndrome.

  31. Kristen, thanks for the definition and further example. I am already horrified enough, and I have a very low level of personal involvement. This man basically tortured children like yours. Your anger is entirely warranted, if you ask me.

  32. #32 MadScientist
    May 29, 2010

    @Travis: Tripe? How can anyone not love tripe? Some of my favorite Spanish, Chinese, and various other Asian recipes use tripe. Dang, now I’m hungry for a little rumen and reticulum. Oddly enough the Spanish recipe is “Callos” which fits in with the headline …

    http://www.spain.info/saborea/recetas/callos_a_la_madrilena.html

  33. #33 Travis
    May 29, 2010

    MadScientist,
    I am not too squeamish when it comes to trying new foods. So I gave it a try, I really did. I even tried it a few times since my first experience and it just makes me so ill and wants to come out of my mouth immediately and rapidly. However, as I dislike inflicting that scene to friends at dim sum so I now simply avoid it.

  34. #34 Todd W.
    May 29, 2010

    Werent they upset that Wakefield gave some children a look up their colon and rewarded some kids at a birthday party for participating in a blood draw?

    Is callousness contagious? Why is it that Wakefield’s defenders seem not to care one jot about the children in his study? Now, perhaps the IRB rules are different in the U.K., but here’s a quick primer on ethics review of studies:

    1) Invasive medical procedures, particularly ones with significant risk (colonoscopies and LPs) should only be used when they are clinically indicated, provide benefit to the subject or answer a scientific question that is so incredibly, overwhelmingly important that the risk is justified (and even then, it’s iffy). In the Lancet study, this criterion was not met.
    2) Medical procedures should be conducted in an appropriate medical environment (aka, not a birthday party).
    3) Researchers should avoid coercion (forced participation) and undue influence (convincing someone to do something when they ordinarily would not) of the subjects. Telling a bunch of children (weren’t they like 5 years old?) that they will get 5 pounds if they let Wakefield draw some blood would, in my mind, fall under undue influence.
    4) Researchers are required to get written informed consent from all subjects participating in the study. This is not just getting them to sign some paper, but actually making sure that the subjects understand what is going to happen, what the risks are, what the possible benefits to them will be, and so on. In the case of children, not only is the researcher required to obtain the child’s assent, unless the child is emancipated, the researcher must also get the parents’ consent (both parents, unless otherwise approved by the ethics review board). This consent/assent process must be completed before any procedures related to the study are performed on the individuals.

    There is more, but those are the main points where Wakefield and company (though primarily Wakefield) failed in the ethics. The fact that Wakefield later went on to joke about the kids fainting, vomiting, etc. from the blood draw is just another scoop of disgusting on the pile.

    So, my question to anyone who defends Wakefield…Why? (To the regulars, that’s mostly a rhetorical question.)

  35. #35 bensmyson
    May 29, 2010

    Kristen- When I was reviewing the two studies I posted above I noticed that these scientists also did colonoscopies on children with autism and I would assume that the 12 or whatever children Wakefield examined all complained of symptoms of serious bowel disease, so certainly there must have been a medical reason for the invasive procedure, both by Wakefield and by those others mentioned above.

    Cath the Canberra Cook – Ive had the procedure done, it is not painful, it is mostly embarrassing, that said in my work with my son I have not allowed ANY invasive procedure that was not absolutely necessary. We do not experiment on Ben. But any trip to the doctors, blood draws, look down his throat and ears, laying him back on to examine his belly, none of that is pleasant to him, including a needle jab at birth.

  36. #36 bensmyson
    May 29, 2010

    4) Researchers are required to get written informed consent from all subjects participating in the study. This is not just getting them to sign some paper, but actually making sure that the subjects understand what is going to happen, what the risks are, what the possible benefits to them will be, and so on. In the case of children, not only is the researcher required to obtain the child’s assent, unless the child is emancipated, the researcher must also get the parents’ consent (both parents, unless otherwise approved by the ethics review board). This consent/assent process must be completed before any procedures related to the study are performed on the individuals.

    Ditto when it comes to administering vaccines.

    And I believe that the children were “rewarded” for the blood taken at the birthday party, there was no promise of any sort of payment. Doubt that makes much of a difference to you but to me no child rolled up his sleeve for money and certainly no parent allowed it because of a Thomas the Train toy engine’s worth of money.

  37. #37 T. Bruce McNeely
    May 29, 2010

    Do autistic children have bowel disease? One study says”Ileal lymphoid hyperplasia may be more prevalent in children with regressive autism but is also seen in children with food allergies and severe constipation, the latter being an extremely common finding in autistic children.” The other says, “Endoscopy trials have demonstrated a higher prevalence of nonspecific colitis, lymphoid hyperplasia and focally enhanced gastritis compared with controls.”

    Im just sayin….

    …nothing.

    The “pathologic findings” you quote are non-specific, and can be seen with a variety of causes, or even without intestinal diseases at all. No “disease” is demonstrated by them. You might as well move on.

    And I believe that the children were “rewarded” for the blood taken at the birthday party, there was no promise of any sort of payment. Doubt that makes much of a difference to you but to me no child rolled up his sleeve for money and certainly no parent allowed it because of a Thomas the Train toy engine’s worth of money.

    Oh, well then.

  38. #38 Todd W.
    May 29, 2010

    @bensmyson

    I’m just going from what I recall, and I wasn’t there, so I can’t say for certain whether the inducement of 5 pounds was before or after the blood draw. And, unless he gave the money out after all the blood draws were done, the other children would have found out that they could get some money if they gave blood. Keep in mind, though, I am not saying that payment is always unethical, but when considering those vulnerable to coercion or undue influence, the appropriateness of the payment (or reward…a rose by any other name, etc.) must be considered. Further, if Wakefield “rewarded” rather than “paid”, perhaps he should have mentioned that at the GMC hearings, rather than changing the terminology after he was struck off.

    Ditto when it comes to administering vaccines.

    While patients should be informed of medical procedures before they are conducted, Federal regulations do not touch the practice of medicine. Written informed consent is only required, by regulation, in the context of human subject research.

    In the doctor’s office, many things are assumed to be consented to because you are there (though state/institution regulations may require written consent for certain procedures). I agree that parents should be given information about the vaccines they or their child will be receiving. The doctor should make available to them the package inserts ahead of time so they can read them over, as well as take time to answer any questions they might have.

    I have a suggestion for you, before you comment on the ethics of Wakefield (or any other pediatric study): go read the regulations (45 CFR 46), read the Belmont Report and other documents available for free on the Office for Human Research Protections web site. Then come back and tell us how Wakefield upheld his ethical responsibilities as a researcher. I’m really very curious to hear how you might justify him. (Oh, and when you do come back, please let us know if it is mom or dad that is posting.)

  39. #39 bensmyson
    May 29, 2010

    “…can be seen with a variety of causes, or even without intestinal diseases at all. No “disease” is demonstrated by them. You might as well move on.”

    Before I move on answer this for me, How does this prove Wakefield “made up” his autistic enterocolitis?

  40. #40 Orac
    May 29, 2010

    @bensmyson

    Your “hypothetical” example above is a pathetically obvious attempt to smear Brian Deer with a the slime of pedophilia. As someone who has been the victim of this smear on more than one occasion, most notably by a bunch of Holocaust deniers, I don’t take kindly to any commenter on my blog doing this. As a result, while I’m not going to ban you, I am going to put you into the “automatic moderation” queue for as long as I see fit. Your posts will eventually appear, as I usually check the moderation queue several times a day, but only after I’ve taken a look to make sure you’re not making such smears again. It is a holiday weekend, though; so if I decide to go out and about, it may not be as often.

    For those of you who respond to bensmyson, I apologize for any inconvenience if your comments get caught up in moderation as “collateral damage.”

  41. #41 madder
    May 29, 2010

    The evidence that Wakefield make up “autistic enterocolitis” is that he changed the pathology results before publishing them. All, or nearly all, of the original pathology reports for the 12 kids in the original Lancet paper were normal. This didn’t suit Wakers, so he simply asserted that the independent pathologist was wrong in all cases. And on the topic of “collateral damage,” at least one of those 12 kids suffered numerous punctures to the colon, because Wakers can’t even do his own specialty (gastroenterology) correctly.

  42. #42 Kristen
    May 29, 2010

    Travis,

    I am very turned off by certain food textures, to the point where some textures make me feel like vomiting or gagging (tripe is an example, just the feeling of it makes me ill). And on the broader subject of sensitivity to touch, while I enjoy it, I find I am very, very sensitive to other people’s touch, it is really very intense for me.

    That is precisely the reaction Gabriel will get upon putting anything “squishy” or even soft in his mouth, he will vomit immediately (pasta has been the worst offender). He refuses to eat with utensils when trying something unfamiliar (he has to feel it first). He does love anything sweet and creamy, though. :)

    Ben’s parent,

    12 or whatever children Wakefield examined all complained of symptoms of serious bowel disease, so certainly there must have been a medical reason for the invasive procedure, both by Wakefield and by those others mentioned above.

    It is obvious that you have not read the GMC ruling. The following is from the official sanction.

    It was in the context of this research project that the Panel found that Dr Wakefield caused three of these young and vulnerable children, (nos. 3, 9 and 12) to undergo the invasive procedure of lumbar puncture when such investigation was for research purposes and was not clinically indicated. This action was contrary to his representation to the Ethics Committee that all the procedures were clinically indicated. In nine of the eleven children (2,1, 3, 4, 9, 5,12, 8 and 7) the Panel has found that Dr Wakefield acted contrary to the clinical interests of each child.(emphases my own)

    For one second won’t you just consider that maybe, just maybe all the authorities aren’t trying to ruin poor St. Andy. That the simplest explanation is that he is an unethical sleazeball that will submit children to dangerous, unnecessary tests to discredit the MMR in order to sell his monovalent vaccine

    That’s right, he invented a vaccine, which is a fact anit-vaxers ignore and gloss over.

    If you can’t even get that through your head then you really are hopeless and unreachable in my mind.

  43. #43 W. Kevin Vicklund
    May 29, 2010

    Here is why it is reasonable to conclude that autistic enterocolitis was something Wakefield made up. He claimed that 11 of the 12 children had non-specific colitis (forming the basis of his diagnosis). But the original pathology reports for 7 of those 11 colonoscopies returned results within the normal range. Also, one of the co-authors questioned the diagnoses. When nobody could reproduce his results, he should have come forward and admitted that his diagnosis was based on very marginal criteria. Instead, he defended his original paper.

    A Royal Free consultant pathologist questioned a draft text of the paper. “I was somewhat concerned with the use of the word ‘colitis’,” Susan Davies, a co-author, told the ongoing GMC inquiry into the ethics of how the children were treated, in September 2007.

    “I was concerned that what we had seen in these children was relatively minor.”

    However, after her challenge, it was explained, Wakefield’s team met for a “research review” of the biopsies. It was not an unusual move for a group of specialists to reconsider the evidence upon which their research was relying. It was nevertheless striking that their conclusion was that 11 of the children’s bowels were in fact diseased when their colleagues had found no abnormalities in at least seven of the cases.

  44. #44 Science Mom
    May 29, 2010

    BMS, Something else you need to understand is that Wakefield’s ‘autistic enterocolitis’ diagnosis was specific to finding measles vaccine virus in their gut biopsies. Also, a specific progression of events, i.e. MMR vaccine, gastrointestinal disease, regression into autism.

    None of these turned out to be the case and has not been subsequently found by any other investigators.

  45. #45 T. Bruce McNeely
    May 29, 2010

    bensmyson:

    Here is a quote from you:

    And I believe that the children were “rewarded” for the blood taken at the birthday party, there was no promise of any sort of payment. Doubt that makes much of a difference to you but to me no child rolled up his sleeve for money and certainly no parent allowed it because of a Thomas the Train toy engine’s worth of money.

    …and here is a quote from Wakefield:

    Again for those who’ve heard the story, you can put your hands over and you can take time out here, but this is again my son’s birthday party, 32 healthy controls. And you line them up – with parental informed consent, of course. They all get paid £5, which doesn’t translate into many dollars I’m afraid.

    “But, and, they put their arms out and they have the blood taken. All entirely voluntary. [laughter]. “And when we did this at that party, two children fainted, one threw up over his mother [laughter].

    “One child, who’s my son’s best friend, Ollie, he put his arm out, very bold, had the tourniquet put on, and then went very pale and sort of … wait till next year. He was nine at the time, and his four year old sister came up, stuck her arm out, had the blood taken, took her five pounds and went off.

    “And (NAME) burst into tears. Ruined his birthday party. But people said to me, Andrew, look, you know, you can’t do this, people, children won’t come back to you. [laughter]. I said you’re wrong, I said: ‘Listen, we live in a market economy. Next year they’ll want ten pounds!’”

    Why should we respond to you with anything other than laughter?

  46. #46 bensmyson
    May 29, 2010

    Orac-
    I used the perfectly horrid example of child rape because should Deer be publicly accused of such a thing in the press due to someone’s investigative reporting of some then 12 yr old boy’s relationship with Brian Deer while Deer was living in Atlanta, Deer would have a most difficult time disproving these accusations, particularly if a relationship (although non-sexual) did actually exist. No telling what $4,000 or $40,000 in cash might buy in memory from a desperately unemployed young man who perhaps has photographic evidence of or could be some other way proved that at one time he came into frequent contact with Deer. Im sure old neighbors, coworkers, people Deer never even met might come out of the woodwork to tell what “they know” to some Dateline or Inside Edition reporter. The accusations might even find their way to the local prosecutor’s desk who may or may not find any cause to arrest Deer on child sex charges but will more than likely state on camera that Deer is “under investigation” which of course would not add to Deer’s defense.

    False accusations and the fire storm brought on my the media’s reports can and do ruin people’s lives from time to time. My example was not to smear Deer but to illustrate the possibility of how easy it is to create a hell for someone based on half truths and a pathological agenda. Anyone is vulnerable.

  47. #47 bensmyson
    May 29, 2010

    W. Kevin Vicklund -

    Isnt that quote from an article by Brian Deer rather than some official document?

    The same article where Deer says, “Ingvar Bjarnason, of King’s College London, a gastroenterologist with extensive paediatric experience, told me that such “caecal cryptitis” may be a normal phenomenon. “I would not call this colitis in the way gastroenterologists or histopathologists usually use the term.”"

    Is there any mention what Dr. Bjarnason based his opinion on? Was it a stolen medical report? A forged document? What are any of these doctors looking at when they make the statements that they do and what else are they saying that was intentionally left out?

  48. #48 bensmyson
    May 29, 2010

    Science Mom- In Wakefield’s 2002 study, researchers found measles in 75 of 91 biopsies from autistic children with GI inflammation, and in only 5 of 70 samples from non-autistic children (Uhlmann, et al. Mol Pathol. 2002 Apr;55(2):84-90). The children with autism in the 2002 study developed gastrointestinal symptoms and autistic regression after the MMR vaccine., Only 5 of the 25 children in the Hornig study group developed these symptoms after the MMR vaccine—all of the others showed symptoms of autism before vaccination; so only those five are fair to compare to the 2002 study. (This is like testing whether cell phones cause cancer by comparing 20 people who had cancer before they ever touched a cell phone to five people who developed cancer after owning one.)

    Notably, biopsies in Wakefield’s study were taken from the ileum, since this is the only site in the lower intestine where he had found evidence of measles virus protein in earlier studies. In contrast, Hornig’s biopsies came from the cecum (part of the colon) or the ileum, and we are given no indication of how many of the uniquely relevant ileal biopsies were actually used. (The discrepancy arises because some doctors find it difficult to get into the ileum and– as in this case– are left with having to settle for colonic biopsies.)

    Both reflux symptoms and food allergy were other factors that emerged in the Hornig study group, but there was no mention of diarrhea or constipation, the two GI symptoms most common in the 2002 UK children. So the populations under consideration appear to be very different, a fact that the Hornig group apparently decided to ignore, or overlooked.

    Paradoxically, Hornig’s study affirmed results from the laboratory of Professor John O’Leary (he’s one of the collaborators on the new study, and senior author of the 2002 study) as correct, and identical to results obtained by the other laboratories used in this new study (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [the CDC] and Dr. Ian Lipkin of Columbia University), inadvertently validating the results obtained from lab work done in the earlier, Wakefield study.

  49. #49 sophia8
    May 29, 2010

    @benmyson: You may be interested to know what Wakefield was making his measles vaccine out of. His recipe consisted of goat colostrum, dead measles virii and cells derived from his own bone marrow.
    Read all about it here.

  50. #50 Chris
    May 29, 2010

    Kristen:

    That’s right, he invented a vaccine, which is a fact anit-vaxers ignore and gloss over.

    Well, as it turns out, that is not quite so accurate. The truth is that it is even worst form of quackery and completely wacky. It is being discussed here: Wakefield and the colostrum nostrum.

  51. #51 Matthew Cline
    May 29, 2010

    @Brian Deer:

    He called no witnesses whatsoever.

    <conspiracy-mode>His lawyers were bribed into representing him poorly.</conspiracy-mode>

    The panel went into all his little stories, at agonising length, and eventually the chair simply pointed out that what he was saying couldn’t be reconciled with the documents in front of them.

    <conspiracy-mode>The documents presented in court were all forgeries, and the original documentation was all destroyed.</conspiracy-mode>

  52. #52 Sauceress
    May 29, 2010

    His recipe consisted of goat colostrum

    jen will no doubt be along shortly with her “pig and monkey viruses

  53. #53 Science Mom
    May 29, 2010

    Science Mom- In Wakefield’s 2002 study, researchers found measles in 75 of 91 biopsies from autistic children with GI inflammation, and in only 5 of 70 samples from non-autistic children (Uhlmann, et al. Mol Pathol. 2002 Apr;55(2):84-90). The children with autism in the 2002 study developed gastrointestinal symptoms and autistic regression after the MMR vaccine.

    No they didn’t find measles vaccine virus and when you decide you are actually going to inform yourself of this, you can get back to me. ftp://autism.uscfc.uscourts.gov/autism/cedillo/transcripts/day08-cor.pdf

    Only 5 of the 25 children in the Hornig study group developed these symptoms after the MMR vaccine—all of the others showed symptoms of autism before vaccination; so only those five are fair to compare to the 2002 study. (This is like testing whether cell phones cause cancer by comparing 20 people who had cancer before they ever touched a cell phone to five people who developed cancer after owning one.)

    Whoever is helping you with this, you should dismiss them. Given what Wakers and Uhlmann claimed, 3-4 of those 5 children should have had measles vaccine virus found…they didn’t. Analogy fail as well.

    Notably, biopsies in Wakefield’s study were taken from the ileum, since this is the only site in the lower intestine where he had found evidence of measles virus protein in earlier studies. In contrast, Hornig’s biopsies came from the cecum (part of the colon) or the ileum, and we are given no indication of how many of the uniquely relevant ileal biopsies were actually used. (The discrepancy arises because some doctors find it difficult to get into the ileum and– as in this case– are left with having to settle for colonic biopsies.)

    Dumbass. If Wakefield’s findings were real, then measles vaccine virus RNA could be detected in PBMC’s, let alone other areas of the GI tract if there was replicating virus; it isn’t going to be found in just one area of the GI tract. And by golly, wouldn’t you just know that Wakers just happened to find just the right spot.

    But just as importantly, from Hornig et al. (2008):

    For analyses of MV RNA, four random samples were taken from superficial mucosae of ileum and cecum.

    Aliquots of RNA were prepared to ensure sufficient material for primary analysis at each of the three laboratory sites and for repeated analyses in the event results among sites were discordant. One 16 µg aliquot of RNA was created for each region (ileum, cecum, lesion) and sent to the three analytical laboratories for real-time RT-PCR detection of MV F and H gene sequences using two primer/probe sets each, as well as a control gene.

    Wakefield also never found measles vaccine virus in any of the 12 Lancet children either:
    ftp://autism.uscfc.uscourts.gov/autism/cedillo/transcripts/day10-cor.pdf
    http://briandeer.com/wakefield/nick-chadwick.htm

    Don’t you find it rather remarkable that Wakefield was removed from the Petitioners Steering Committee’s expert witness list? He was, after all, the ‘leading expert’ on ‘autistic enterocolitis’ caused by MMR.

    Both reflux symptoms and food allergy were other factors that emerged in the Hornig study group, but there was no mention of diarrhea or constipation, the two GI symptoms most common in the 2002 UK children. So the populations under consideration appear to be very different, a fact that the Hornig group apparently decided to ignore, or overlooked.

    Gee, imagine that, actual clinical indications for colonoscopies. Don’t you think that if these children’s GI symptoms warranted scoping, and the extraordinarily high percentage of children found with MV in their guts claimed by Wakefield, that something should have been found?

    Paradoxically, Hornig’s study affirmed results from the laboratory of Professor John O’Leary (he’s one of the collaborators on the new study, and senior author of the 2002 study) as correct, and identical to results obtained by the other laboratories used in this new study (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [the CDC] and Dr. Ian Lipkin of Columbia University), inadvertently validating the results obtained from lab work done in the earlier, Wakefield study.

    Oh that is pathetic. Holy shit is there nothing you people won’t try to spin? You don’t read anything for yourselves do you, you’re like hungry, little birdies waiting for your pabulum to be fed to you by your leaders.

    O’Leary’s lab that ran Wakefield’s samples was audited by Dr. Stephen Bustin and there was no way that O’Leary found what he said he found. Measles is an RNA virus and they left out a crucial reverse-transcription step for some of the samples, other samples didn’t even have any RNA in them and their methods and equipment were beyond sloppy. Interesting when he cleaned up his lab, used high-quality samples and better protocols, he couldn’t find a damn thing, corroborated by 2 other labs. These negative results are ‘proof’ that his previous results were positive?! Gah, you’re an idiot.

  54. #54 jenbphillips
    May 29, 2010

    Go, Science Mom, Go!

  55. #55 Sauceress
    May 29, 2010

    Was it a stolen medical report? A forged document?

    Wasn’t Brian Deer given access to all those files when Wakers filed to sue him?

  56. #56 Dedj
    May 29, 2010

    “Wasn’t Brian Deer given access to all those files when Wakers filed to sue him? ”

    As far as I know, yes. Anonymised versions I believe.

    It’s amazing that BMS thinks the tests ‘must’ have been clinically indicated when the issue is whether they were or not.

    You can’t say ‘they were performed, therefore they were clinically indicated’ if someone is challenging the claim that they were clinically indicated.

    It’s simply circular illogic.

  57. #57 bensmyson
    May 29, 2010

    science mom- It will take me some time to digest what you just linked up. If you havent noticed Im not that bright about all that science stuff but as you may soon find out after my review, I have been known to admit my error once or twice.

    Please help me with this, to believe what I just read Id have to believe what I didnt believe and in an instant everything I once believed will be gone, which is quite impossible for me at this time, so my question is, is there no known evidence in which an MMR has caused measles? But wait, Hornig found it in 5 of 25 right?

    For three years now I have been told that my son’s brain injury was caused by a viral infection, more than likely the measles and most likely from the MMRV he received since the problems began after the vaccine. If an MMR is not causing measles in some why would doctors say the opposite? Does Wakefield honestly have that kind of influence?

  58. #58 Sauceress
    May 30, 2010

    The truth is that it is even worst form of quackery and completely wacky. It is being discussed here:

    Wakefield and the colostrum nostrum.

    Very, very interesting read there.
    A ludicrously crank vaccine as well. No doubt there have been a few people carefully keeping “mum” on that front.
    are
    I think the only reason Waker’s worshiping sycophants are clinging on to him is because him and his quackery have come to define their lives…their view of themselves as anti-vax warriors has engulfed their whole persona and seemingly become pervasive throughout their daily routine.

    I can’t help but feel a little pity towards them really.

  59. #59 Sauceress
    May 30, 2010

    Ummm….anyone have a bit of elastic I could borrow?
    My words appear to be falling down.

  60. #60 Rogue Medic
    May 30, 2010

    I am likely to read similar, but better selling books, such as The Da Vinci Code, before I read this – and I have no plans to read The Da Vinci Code. In spite of its notorious problems with accuracy, The Da Vinci Code probably is much more accurate than The Wakefield Whitewash. I could be wrong. These novels could be in the same egregious misinformation category.

  61. #61 MikeMa
    May 30, 2010

    @Rogue Medic

    The Da Vinci Code probably is much more accurate than The Wakefield Whitewash. I could be wrong. These novels could be in the same egregious misinformation category.

    Except The DaVinci Code was written as entertainment, Wanker’s crap is a travesty foisting bad information on confused and scared parents.

  62. #62 Science Mom
    May 30, 2010

    science mom- It will take me some time to digest what you just linked up. If you havent noticed Im not that bright about all that science stuff but as you may soon find out after my review, I have been known to admit my error once or twice.

    The Cedillo case is from 3 years ago and why you wouldn’t have read every page of it, is beyond me, given the relevance to your claims. I know you’re not scientifically-literate, so why are you arguing about science?

    Please help me with this, to believe what I just read Id have to believe what I didnt believe and in an instant everything I once believed will be gone, which is quite impossible for me at this time, so my question is, is there no known evidence in which an MMR has caused measles? But wait, Hornig found it in 5 of 25 right?

    There are reports of measles vaccine-associated encephalopathies and persistent measles infections in immunocompromised children. There is a single, documented case of MMR causing MIBE in an immunocompromised child. Hornig et al. did not find measles virus in ’5 of 25′. Didn’t you even read the study? It’s free and online.

    It isn’t impossible for you to re-examine your beliefs and come to a very different conclusion; that is simply what you have decided. You have chosen to surround yourselves with a base of support that has set up a falsely dichotomous choice between blaming yourselves or blaming vaccines. No one likes to be wrong but unfortunately for you, the world you have constructed for yourselves will completely disintegrate upon the slightest of scrutiny.

    For three years now I have been told that my son’s brain injury was caused by a viral infection, more than likely the measles and most likely from the MMRV he received since the problems began after the vaccine. If an MMR is not causing measles in some why would doctors say the opposite? Does Wakefield honestly have that kind of influence?

    No, for three years now you have convinced yourselves that your son has a brain injury from MMR-V. Why would some doctors say that? What doctors, specifically, are you referring to? Wakefield’s influence extends only to those that need to believe him or have a financial incentive to believe him. He has no credibility, let alone influence, in the medical and scientific communities.

  63. #63 MikeMa
    May 30, 2010

    bms

    If an MMR is not causing measles in some why would doctors say the opposite?

    Sounds like you need to find better informed, more credible doctors.

  64. #64 Kristen
    May 30, 2010

    Sauceress,

    I just carefully read through the patent applications. I seems Wakefield has always been a quack. I thought he was just in ass-saving mode and that was why he attached himself to anti-vaxers, but no, he’s just a quack.

    Apparently Transfer Factor treats ASD, is an effective immunization against measles, treats Chrone’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis (safe to administer subcutaneously, intramuscularly, intravenously, orally and by suppository) but the patent also states:

    severe pain can be induced at the site of primary or metastatic lesions caused by tumor necrosis when used in cancer therapy

    So this implies that Transfer Factor kills cancer too!! All with “remarkably few side effects”.

    I find anytime the description of a ‘remedy’ sounds like an infomercial, it is quackery. Plus Transfer Factor meets all quack-cure requirements; Cures whatever ails ya, check. Safe to administer any way you like, check. No side-effects, check. Cures cancer, check.

  65. #65 Rogue Medic
    May 30, 2010

    @ 40 bensmyson,

    “…can be seen with a variety of causes, or even without intestinal diseases at all. No “disease” is demonstrated by them. You might as well move on.”

    Before I move on answer this for me, How does this prove Wakefield “made up” his autistic enterocolitis?

    He made up evidence.

    Almost all of the authors on the 1998 study pointed out that the information published did not match the results the researchers obtained.

    If I were to do a study, but I changed the results that I submitted for publication, would you defend me from accusations that I made up the data?

    If ,without good reason, I performed spinal taps and other painful procedures on autistic children, then I made up the results I submitted for publication, would you defend me?

    If I took a lot of money from lawyers to produce results, then I made up the results I submitted for publication, would you defend me?

    If I never disclosed that I took a small fortune from some lawyers, would you defend me?

    If I were trying to sell a competing vaccine, which would not stand a chance at success unless I produced a study showing problems with the current vaccine, then I made up the unprecedented problems in the results I submitted for publication, would you defend me?

    Why?

  66. #66 bensmyson
    May 30, 2010

    Kristen- Immunological dysfunctions have been associated with neuropsychiatric disorders, but the causative relationships are unclear. A new study recently released yesterday in Cell shows improvement (actually a cure) in mice given bone marrow to treat a form of OCD.

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/booster_shots/2010/05/mental-illness-immune-system-rodent.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+BoosterShots+%28Booster+Shots%29

    So much for some of the woo in the “Transfer Factor”

    Mom- I said Im trying, give me a break.

    “No, for three years now you have convinced yourselves that your son has a brain injury from MMR-V. Why would some doctors say that? What doctors, specifically, are you referring to?”

    My son’s brain injury is a real and well documented fact, how it came about when it did is something that even a board member of the AAP has said is most likely a vaccine injury. ProQuad, the MMRV, is the most obvious culprit due to the number of injuries left in its wake. However it could be the 2 other shots he got that day or the combination. I dont for a minute believe I will ever be able to prove anything, for all I know it is a gypsy’s curse. What I do know is he stopped speaking immediately, within 24 hours of his vaccines. I know that within days he became extremely sick, and came to be distant and combative. Fortunately everything has been well documented on video.

    “There are reports of measles vaccine-associated encephalopathies and persistent measles infections in immunocompromised children.”

    Links please?

    A couple of months prior to my son’s vaccines he was rushed to the emergency room with a high fever (we tested it at 107 at home, at the hospital it was 106.5 that within an hour was down to 105) he recovered completely but blood work just prior to his immunization for 8 diseases showed some abnormalities, over the next few months Ben stayed sick but the odd thing was that his white cell count was extremely low, in the 2- 3,000 range. We were told by Ben’s pediatrician that he was fine, just take some anti-biotics to see if it will help. The same doctor that diagnosed his rash and fever (over the phone), days after his vaccines, as roseola.

    Our next pediatrician said we needed to boost Ben’s immune system so we did the best we could and over six months, or year he improved greatly. Chronic high fevers that hit him every week or so are now extremely rare and may be (knock wood) totally gone.

    So… if “There are reports of measles vaccine-associated encephalopathies and persistent measles infections in immunocompromised children.” Id like to read them, not that I will be able to understand them of course but I can at least try.

    Thanks

  67. #67 Chance Gearheart, NREMT-P/EMD
    May 30, 2010

    @bensmyson

    Andrew Wakefield is an example of someone with charisma taking advantage of a situation where a disease is poorly understood, and adding in the fuel of a media frenzy to create a firestorm of publicity and controversy for his cause. When the facts are all examined, however, he’s nothing more than a con-man who had an MD behind his name.

  68. #68 bensmyson
    May 30, 2010

    Rogue – No I wouldnt defend you because you admit to your deception. My defense of Wakefield had to do with his denial, what seemed to be a stacked deck against him and how desperate I am to find help for my son.

    People are accused of all sorts of things, Orac knows what Im talking about, and just because you are accused does not make you guilty, and likewise just because no one can pin anything on you does not make you innocent. It is the public accusation, the scandal, the media frenzy that more times than not convicts the accused.

    But if Wakefield did exactly what you said then of course he would not have my support.

  69. #69 Kristen
    May 30, 2010

    Ben’s Parent (the dumber of the two) @66,

    What?! I don’t even know how you made those gigantic leaps of “logic”. That study doesn’t even say anything remotely similar to what you are concluding it says.

    The study is referring to mental illness, not developmental disorders and they had a specific genetic mutation they were looking at. Why don’t you attempt to understand what you are citing before you try to use it as evidence (and look at the abstract, not a blog article). If you don’t understand a term, look it up. Don’t just assume it isn’t important.

    I am not particularly science-literate either, so you don’t have an excuse. You aren’t even trying!

    Survey says: You’re (not even) an idiot.

  70. #70 nsib
    May 30, 2010

    bensmyson,

    Kristen- Immunological dysfunctions have been associated with neuropsychiatric disorders, but the causative relationships are unclear. A new study recently released yesterday in Cell shows improvement (actually a cure) in mice given bone marrow to treat a form of OCD.

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/booster_shots/2010/05/mental-illness-immune-system-rodent.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+BoosterShots+%28Booster+Shots%29

    So much for some of the woo in the “Transfer Factor”

    The study you referenced doesn’t defend Wakefield’s patent at all. The study used bone marrow transplants (not a minor procedure at all!), while Wakefield’s “transfer factor” is supposedly effective even when administered orally or in a suppository! So here, as always, you’ve failed in your defense of Wakefield and demonstrated your pig-ignorance of biology.

  71. #71 Prometheus
    May 30, 2010

    Oh! How fun! More BMS follies!

    “Deer accused Wakefield of making up autistic enterocolitis, He must have some proof that this is correct otherwise Deer is lying.”

    Perhaps it is a bit judgmental of us to assert that Andy Wakefield “made up” autistic enterocolitis, although there appears to be no disagreement that he coined (or “made up”) the term. In addition, the data from subsequent studies indicate that the “ileonodular hyperplasia” that Dr. Wakefield reported is not indicative of or restricted to autistic subjects. It is, in fact, a common finding in constipation. In that sense, Dr. Wakefield “made up” a new name for something that is a routine finding.

    In addition, there seems to be some concern that Dr. Wakefield’s finding of “colitis” was not supported by an independent pathologist who initially read the slides and was only “noted” by a pathologist on Dr. Wakefield’s research team. BMS may be scientific neophytes, but certainly they should be able to see the potential problem there. In retrospect, it seems that Dr. Wakefield’s research team might have “made up” the findings of colitis.

    Even if we give Dr. Wakefield the benefit of doubt that he didn’t “make up” autistic enterocolitis – in the sense of attempting to deliberately deceive – we then have to assume that he was simply mistaken and is perseverating in his error despite abundant evidence that he is wrong.

    As for Mr. Deer “lying”, he is merely repeating – in laymen’s terms – the conclusions of those studies trying (and failing) to repeat Dr. Wakefield’s findings.

    and later…

    “A new study recently released yesterday in Cell shows improvement (actually a cure) in mice given bone marrow to treat a form of OCD. … So much for some of the woo in the ‘Transfer Factor’”

    Ignoring for a moment that the study cited by BMS didn’t deal with (or even mention) transfer factor, how they made the counterintuitive leap from bone marrow transplants in mice with a HoxB8 mutation (which may or may not be a good model for human OCD – experts differ on this) to using transfer factor (which is a cell-free preparation) to treat is beyond me. It appears that the only part of the article they read was the sentence they put at the top of their comment.

    While there are some studies suggesting an immune component to some mental disorders, it is a far leap (although, sadly, one all too often made by uninformed parents and practitioners) to treating these disorders by “boosting” or suppressing the immune response. As I tell my students (even the graduate students), biological systems are rarely that simple.

    To the point, since most of the symptoms of viral infection are due to the host’s (patient’s) own immune system, “boosting” the immune system would be expected to result in more severe symptoms (e.g. higher fevers, cytokine “storm”, etc.). I hate to think what BMS’s pediatrician used to “boost” their son’s immune system. If he’s lucky, it was something benign and ineffective.

    Prometheus

  72. #72 bensmyson
    May 30, 2010

    Mice with OCD treated effectively with bone marrow seems as far fetched an idea as Wakefield’s idea of transfer factor, that’s all I was saying. Since no one knows for certain what causes autism Im sure eye of newt isnt out of the question to some researchers or should be.

    Actually Prometheus since I didnt have your phone number I wasnt able to call and get your brilliant insight as to how best to raise my son’s compromised immune system. I can assure you that no one injected snake oil up his bum or drilled holes into his brain and poured in Valtrax, we were offered some aggressive therapies and chose to be extremely conservative in our approach, to some great success I might add. Of course those of you with experience with children of your own seizing, throwing high fevers, regressing, failing to thrive may have done differently than a couple of desperate parents like us who traveled with child in tow from one university hospital or clinic to the next seeking “expert” opinions. Many of you Im sure know what the right thing to do is because you’ve been there, we were new to this, we wanted our son to be well so desperately we gave him supplements and sunlight and fish oil, we threw away more than a couple of prescriptions that were written to “try it” and “see how it does.” But then again with your first hand experience and education Prometheus Im sure you would have done differently. Be specific why dont you and clue me in where we went wrong in boosting Ben’s immune system, what exactly should we have done? Id hate to think that we made things worse for him when all we had to do was what… what should we have done? Seriously, tell me.

  73. #73 Science Mom
    May 30, 2010

    “No, for three years now you have convinced yourselves that your son has a brain injury from MMR-V. Why would some doctors say that? What doctors, specifically, are you referring to?”

    My son’s brain injury is a real and well documented fact, how it came about when it did is something that even a board member of the AAP has said is most likely a vaccine injury. ProQuad, the MMRV, is the most obvious culprit due to the number of injuries left in its wake. However it could be the 2 other shots he got that day or the combination. I dont for a minute believe I will ever be able to prove anything, for all I know it is a gypsy’s curse. What I do know is he stopped speaking immediately, within 24 hours of his vaccines. I know that within days he became extremely sick, and came to be distant and combative. Fortunately everything has been well documented on video.

    Since when is video diagnostic for encephalitis? There are numerous clinical diagnostic tests and clinical presentations that are diagnostic for encephalitis. None of which you have had done. As for this:

    “…how it came about when it did is something that even a board member of the AAP has said is most likely a vaccine injury.”

    This is what you continue to do, which is inflate the importance of those that are caring for your son. There is no ‘AAP board member’ and in the very off chance there is, I would be happy to challenge that assertion. Again, I remind you that there is nothing in his medical record that you have provided that anything at all happened after his April, 2007 vaccines. In fact, you gave him a DTaP in October, 2007 and still nothing. You just can’t keep your stories straight and when challenged, keep changing them or ignore it.

    A couple of months prior to my son’s vaccines he was rushed to the emergency room with a high fever (we tested it at 107 at home, at the hospital it was 106.5 that within an hour was down to 105) he recovered completely but blood work just prior to his immunization for 8 diseases showed some abnormalities, over the next few months Ben stayed sick but the odd thing was that his white cell count was extremely low, in the 2- 3,000 range. We were told by Ben’s pediatrician that he was fine, just take some anti-biotics to see if it will help. The same doctor that diagnosed his rash and fever (over the phone), days after his vaccines, as roseola.

    Good grief, you two are textbook delusional. From your blog:

    “Science is that Ben was sick in January 2007 with a serious week long bout with a fever. The fever was recorded at home by ear at 107, prior to that it was 105 and over most of the day. We reported the 105 earlier to the doctor’s call in service at UNC Hospitals.
    Science shows that on January 2, 2007 Ben had some abnormal scores on his blood work. Primarily very low white blood cells (3,000), his GRAN was at 0.8 and low red blood cells (4,500). His RDW was high at 14.6 and his PLT was low at 131. Ben was very sick. Later broke out with Roseloa.”

    January precedes April. Don’t believe me? Look at a calendar.

    Our next pediatrician said we needed to boost Ben’s immune system so we did the best we could and over six months, or year he improved greatly. Chronic high fevers that hit him every week or so are now extremely rare and may be (knock wood) totally gone.

    Would that be your DAN! doctor that ran a bunch of bullshit tests on Ben as well?

    So… if “There are reports of measles vaccine-associated encephalopathies and persistent measles infections in immunocompromised children.” Id like to read them, not that I will be able to understand them of course but I can at least try.

    All these years and you haven’t bothered to look for a single citation for what interests you? For what you claimed happened to your son? Not bothered to ask your doctors for citations? And now I’m supposed to do your work for you? Tell you what, give it a go yourself, Google Scholar, PubMed, Web of Science, whatever you like. If you can’t find them, then I will help you out.

    I really don’t know what game you two are playing but all I can say is that you are both completely and utterly dishonest. Which is a shame that neither one of you can keep the other in check. Your vacillation between the ‘please help me I’m so dumb’ and ‘you all lie and HERE is proof I’m right’ routines is revolting. I should probably be embarrassed for going after such low-hanging fruitcakes.

  74. #74 bensmyson
    May 30, 2010

    Mom- “Since when is video diagnostic for encephalitis?”

    Not sure that it is unless it is from a CAT scan and an MRI. Also if someone were to examine a child for a brain injury would observation be part of that diagnostic criteria? Would those observations and comments possibly be recorded by some doctor to study and compare on future exams? You really are much more obnoxious than you give me credit for.

    ” Again, I remind you that there is nothing in his medical record that you have provided that anything at all happened after his April, 2007 vaccines. In fact, you gave him a DTaP in October, 2007 and still nothing. “

    And if there is nothing else I wish to provide regarding Ben’s medical record why is that so unusual? To prove to you what? As if….

    Yes and in October he was given a DTaP, and why is that odd, the doctor said he needed it. Millions of parents every year do this with out question, why should I have been any different? Dont tell me there might be some health risk associated with vaccines, but if so, I hear it is so extremely rare and that the risks outweigh the harm.

    FYI – http://www.aap.org/visit/bod.htm

    “Tell you what, give it a go yourself, Google Scholar, PubMed, Web of Science, whatever you like. If you can’t find them, then I will help you out.”

    I just thought since you knew there is evidence that the MMR can cause an outbreak of a measles infection then perhaps you’d provide evidence to that by giving me a link. If you dont have it fine. Does a HepB vaccine cause HepB? Flu cause the flu? Anything else I dont know?

    “I should probably be embarrassed for going after such low-hanging fruitcakes.”

    I wouldnt say you should be embarrassed, ashamed would me more fitting, you really should be ashamed.

  75. #75 dt
    May 30, 2010

    @bensparents:

    It must be barn door obvious to everyone observing this particular interchangethat you have specifically ignored the points sciencemom and the others have made, and refused to answer every question. All you can do is grasp at staws blowing in the wind.

    When will you address the substance of the points made against Wakefield?
    Why do you so vociferously support this reprehensible man?

  76. #76 Matthew Cline
    May 30, 2010

    Holy crap, Wakefield’s patent claims his “vaccine” can be used as a cancer treatment as well?!?!

  77. #77 bensmyson
    May 30, 2010

    dt

    What points? Wakefield? I know very little about him, I thought by now that would be barn door obvious. As I said a couple of times earlier, I know more about Brian Deer than I do Dr. Wakefield. But I am learning.

    “Why do you so vociferously support this reprehensible man?”

    If I knew what “vociferously” was I might be able to answer that question. Show me some courtesy and dumb it down a bit. Oh sorry, impressing the audience I suppose, my bad.

  78. #78 Science Mom
    May 30, 2010

    Mom- “Since when is video diagnostic for encephalitis?”

    Not sure that it is unless it is from a CAT scan and an MRI. Also if someone were to examine a child for a brain injury would observation be part of that diagnostic criteria? Would those observations and comments possibly be recorded by some doctor to study and compare on future exams? You really are much more obnoxious than you give me credit for.

    Yup, just as I thought, not a single diagnostic for encephalitis. Unless your physician (and I think I use that term loosely in this case) has scanning vision and a preternatural ability to detect pathogens without assays, an ‘observation’ is not diagnostic. Just more hand-waving on your part to avoid the actual answer.

    ” Again, I remind you that there is nothing in his medical record that you have provided that anything at all happened after his April, 2007 vaccines. In fact, you gave him a DTaP in October, 2007 and still nothing. ”

    And if there is nothing else I wish to provide regarding Ben’s medical record why is that so unusual? To prove to you what? As if….

    We’ve been through this before. You have his medical history posted, have brought him in for a non-specific viral rash and split lip months after his vaccinations that you claim gave him encephalitis…but not a single mention of that concern or visit or anything. Yea, that’s unusual, if not at all likely.

    Yes and in October he was given a DTaP, and why is that odd, the doctor said he needed it. Millions of parents every year do this with out question, why should I have been any different? Dont tell me there might be some health risk associated with vaccines, but if so, I hear it is so extremely rare and that the risks outweigh the harm.

    Why is that odd? Well let’s see, you claim your son had encephalitis from vaccines, a rather profound contraindication for future vaccines and you and your physician go ahead and vaccinate him again. Your stories have more inconsistencies than I can count.

    FYI – http://www.aap.org/visit/bod.htm

    Oh, oh that is bloody rich. Are you implying that the entire BoD of the AAP have concurred that your son is ‘vaccine injured’. Oh this would be getting better and better if you weren’t so pathological.

    “Tell you what, give it a go yourself, Google Scholar, PubMed, Web of Science, whatever you like. If you can’t find them, then I will help you out.”

    I just thought since you knew there is evidence that the MMR can cause an outbreak of a measles infection then perhaps you’d provide evidence to that by giving me a link. If you dont have it fine. Does a HepB vaccine cause HepB? Flu cause the flu? Anything else I dont know?

    Now where or when did I ever say that? Reading comprehension is a basic skill that you should have grasped by now. There has not been a documented case of measles vaccine virus transmission, let alone an outbreak. Where on Earth do you get these ideas?

    Anything else you don’t know? Well, a lot, it would appear.

  79. #79 Matthew Cline
    May 31, 2010

    There has not been a documented case of measles vaccine virus transmission, let alone an outbreak.

    Really? The attenuated measles strain is that non-infectious?

  80. #80 dt
    May 31, 2010

    Vaccine strain measles appears not to transmit.
    It has been used as a candidate for oncolytic virus generation to be used in cancer therapy.
    It has never been documented to revert to wild-type pathogenic phenotype either, which is why is is used for this research.

    Measles vaccine use is not restricted to preventing measles, there is a large body of work on it in other fields like oncology.

  81. #81 bensmyson
    May 31, 2010

    dt-
    Dont the cells replicate ?

    Mom-
    “Are you implying that the entire BoD of the AAP have concurred that your son is ‘vaccine injured’. “

    You seriously crack me up!

    As it was when Ben received his vaccinations in April, his DTaP in October was given because the doctor thought it was best to do so. Again what do we know, what do any of the parents of vaccine injured children know? It is what it is.

    “There has not been a documented case of measles vaccine virus transmission”

    So no wonder Wakefield’s paper was put in the Lancet, this was groundbreaking news, finding measles in the gut of children who were vaccinated against it. This must have been earthshaking to the immunologists all over the world. I mean not one single case of any transmission by any vaccine of any disease it is meant to prevent and suddenly Wakefield comes up with his paper, must have stunned Merck and Glaxo and all those scientists who have so much at stake having given out hundreds of millions of vaccines at that point. Just curious, if the research was fake, the lab tech’s findings changed, the paper hits the streets, the MMR world shaken, why is it that the lab tech didnt come forward earlier to expose the fraud? Why wasnt this done immediately? Seems to me, with all the press about this someone would have come forward immediately. Oh well I guess it wasnt important enough at the time. It’s just a vaccine that millions of children get every year, who cares if it is being said that it causes measles that could cause developmental delays and chronic GI problems.

    Yeah who cares…..

  82. #82 Rogue Medic
    May 31, 2010

    @ 68 bensmyson

    Rogue – No I wouldnt defend you because you admit to your deception. My defense of Wakefield had to do with his denial, what seemed to be a stacked deck against him and how desperate I am to find help for my son.

    what seemed to be a stacked deck against him

    The evidence is against him. Trying to fight against reality is having the deck stacked against him.

    Trying to fight against reality is not a sign of nobility, but an inability to admit his biases.

    and how desperate I am to find help for my son.

    Any parent would be expected to be desperate in this situation.

    Considering that desperation, the last person I would trust with the health of my child would be someone with a history of unethical treatment of similar children.

    A little over a year ago, Dr. Scott S. Reuben was found to have engaged in fraudulent research. The research affected a lot of people taking medicine for fibromyalgia, but the fibromyalgia community did not claim that Dr. Reuben was being persecuted.

    People are accused of all sorts of things, Orac knows what Im talking about, and just because you are accused does not make you guilty, and likewise just because no one can pin anything on you does not make you innocent. It is the public accusation, the scandal, the media frenzy that more times than not convicts the accused.

    The media frenzy is the work of Ex-Dr. Wakefield. He went to the press and created a scare.

    This scare was not even supported by what Ex-Dr. Wakefield’s retracted paper claimed. This scare was due to claims that went well beyond what was written in that discredited paper.

    But if Wakefield did exactly what you said then of course he would not have my support.

    I do not see any reason to believe that Ex-Dr. Wakefield behaved ethically at any time. Ethics is important in medicine and science. There is need for improvement, but Ex-Dr. Wakefield is a part of the problem, not a part of the solution.

    Ethics becomes even more important when the research subjects are vulnerable children. I do not see any evidence of any compassion or empathy on the part of Ex-Dr. Wakefield in dealing with autistic children.

    I do not see any reason to suspect any conspiracy. Large scale studies have been carried out in several different countries with different sources of funding. In spite of this diversity, all of this research has come to the same conclusion. That conclusion does not support any of the claims made by Ex-Dr. Wakefield.

    If this were such a huge a conspiracy, across different companies, across different universities, even across different countries with different styles of government (including socialist governments) the claims of conspiracy would be laughable.

    People do not keep secrets well. Conspiracies require that people be silenced. If they are causing countless deaths, and they are capable of manipulating all of these companies, universities, and governments, why wouldn’t they just kill Wakefield? Surely that would be easier than the conspiracy he claims.

    All of these companies, universities, and countries are able to be controlled, but Ex-Dr. Wakefield cannot be silenced? That is a sign of incompetence. Which is it? An extremely well organized perfectly run conspiracy, or one that is so incompetent that they cannot even shut up one doctor?

    Much more likely that any conspiracy is orchestrated by Ex-Dr. Wakefield and the other anti-vaccinationists. The simple and reasonable solution or the unbelievably complex and unreasonable solution?

    Conspiracy theories work wonderfully – in the movies. Has Ex-Dr. Wakefield even had a good car chase? A shootout? A big explosion, especially the explosion of some well known building already scheduled for demolition?

    Conspiracy theories require a willing suspension of disbelief. So does belief in Ex-Dr. Wakefield. Look at the history of cover-ups. The Pentagon Papers, Enron/WorldCom/Tyco/Adelphia, Bernie Madoff, My Lai, Chappaquidick, et cetera. Does Ex-Dr. Wakefield resemble those doing trying to cover-up misdeeds, or does Ex-Dr. Wakefield resemble the people who exposed these cover-ups?

    I do not see any similarity between Ex-Dr. Wakefield and those who pointed out the cover-ups. These were exposed by evidence. These were not exposed by someone claiming, without any evidence, they are trying to silence me!

    Once all of the evidence was out there, the facts were clear. Where is Ex-Dr. Wakefield’s evidence of some sort of cover-up?

    There is constant reference to Galileo, but we live in a very different world from the one Galileo lived in. The much more current cover-ups are the types of conspiracies we should expect to see.

    Is Ex-Dr. Wakefield under house arrest by order of the Pope? No.

    In each of the cases I mentioned, the cover-up started to fall apart once the information about the cover-up was published. In the case of Ex-Dr. Wakefield, the opposite has happened. The more people investigate, the worse Ex-Dr. Wakefield looks.

    Does MMR cause autism? A bunch of large studies, in a bunch of countries, with a bunch of different funding sources, all show that there is no reason to believe that MMR causes autism.

    Too many, too soon? The paper from last week shows that there is no reason to believe that combining vaccines and/or giving more vaccines do anything to cause autism.

    Autistic enterocolitis? There is still no research to support this theory. Any increase in GI illness/symptoms is probably just due to autistic communication problems. Nobody denies that autism causes problems with communication. If the earliest sign that there is a GI problem comes from an expression of abdominal pain, then a delay in communicating about abdominal pain is not surprising among autistic children.

    If I have abdominal pain, I can communicate clearly about what is bothering me. If I have autism, the pain may be expressed by acting out, or keeping to myself even more, or something else. What kind of behavior means, My belly hurts? A longer period of time before the abdominal pain is recognized as abdominal pain means more time for the underlying condition to get worse, rather than time to get better with treatment.

    This is a connection, but this has nothing to do with causing autism. This is an unfortunate complication of something that does not seem to occur any less frequently among non-autistic children.

    The solution is to treat the children and identify the cause of autism. The solution is not to defend the discredited originator of a discredited hypothesis.

    The children with autism deserve to have the attention and money directed toward better treatment and prevention, not directed toward protecting someone who has continually interfered with progress on treatment and prevention.

  83. #83 Science Mom
    May 31, 2010

    dt-
    Dont the cells replicate ?

    Attenuated viral replication is limited. Attenuation doesn’t allow the virus to infect the number and cell types that wild-type does.

    Mom-
    “Are you implying that the entire BoD of the AAP have concurred that your son is ‘vaccine injured’. ”

    You seriously crack me up!

    With nervous laughter, no doubt. Not only do you invoke an appeal to authority, but a very dishonest one at that. Not a single person on that BoD has stated that your son is ‘vaccine damaged’, otherwise, you would have named a name. As someone stated earlier, ‘it is barn door obvious’ to all reading this that you are incapable of answering any questions and are incapable of any honesty.

    As it was when Ben received his vaccinations in April, his DTaP in October was given because the doctor thought it was best to do so. Again what do we know, what do any of the parents of vaccine injured children know? It is what it is.

    You are still dodging. When was Ben’s examination and test results for this alleged encephalitis? There is nothing in his record that you posted that is consistent with your claims. Nothing.

    So no wonder Wakefield’s paper was put in the Lancet, this was groundbreaking news, finding measles in the gut of children who were vaccinated against it. This must have been earthshaking to the immunologists all over the world. I mean not one single case of any transmission by any vaccine of any disease it is meant to prevent and suddenly Wakefield comes up with his paper, must have stunned Merck and Glaxo and all those scientists who have so much at stake having given out hundreds of millions of vaccines at that point. Just curious, if the research was fake, the lab tech’s findings changed, the paper hits the streets, the MMR world shaken, why is it that the lab tech didnt come forward earlier to expose the fraud? Why wasnt this done immediately? Seems to me, with all the press about this someone would have come forward immediately. Oh well I guess it wasnt important enough at the time. It’s just a vaccine that millions of children get every year, who cares if it is being said that it causes measles that could cause developmental delays and chronic GI problems.

    Yeah who cares…..

    Lands, you’re dipshits. Not only didn’t Wakers himself report transmission of measles vaccine virus but his findings of measles vaccine virus in the gut biopsies of children were completely falsified. Did you read nothing I gave you? His, then, grad student Nicholas Chadwick DID approach Wakers with the false lab findings. Wakers didn’t care; it was not the result he intended to report, regardless of the actuality.

    I don’t fault Dr. Chadwick for not pursuing it; he was, after all, ‘just’ a grad student with a ‘very important person’ as his dissertation advisor. He reported it in his dissertation, which Wakers had to approve, kept his head down and graduated. I don’t know how many could say that they would do anything differently, under the circumstances at the time. He testified, under oath, to the OAP what I told you, if you care to read it. Why wouldn’t Wakers go under oath? You see, he can say anything he wants in an interview; the penalties for lying to a federal judge are a bit more severe.

    Bottom line; Wakers didn’t find any measles virus in the guts of the Lancet children or any other, for that matter.

  84. #84 bensmyson
    May 31, 2010

    Mom-

    “I don’t fault Dr. Chadwick (phd in philosophy) ) for not pursuing it; he was, after all, ‘just’ a grad student with a ‘very important person’ as his dissertation advisor.”

    So as I understand it the sins of omission are excusable? OK because the young grad student wants something from someone and in getting what that person wants basically allows this gigantic “fraud” take place without a word of criticism or the tiniest suspicion regarding motive? Interesting. Wouldn’t you say this miserable lab tech has blood on its hands?

    Regarding the specifics of my son’s diagnosis or treating physician I could care less whether or not you or anyone else believes me, I have the evidence, I have presented that evidence where I needed to and that’s all that matters.

    “Attenuated viral replication is limited. Attenuation doesn’t allow the virus to infect the number and cell types that wild-type does.”

    Just curious, is it possible for the MMR to cause the measles virus to appear and replicate in the body of the person receiving the jab? And if the answer is yes, which I believe you said it is, then is it possible for the virus to alter, effect, change, damage, harm in any way the brain, nerves, speech, hearing, gut, immune system, cells, DNA, urine, teeth, anything inside the body of the person receiving the vaccine? Yes or no is all I want, no need to get into what a stupid question it is or how stupid I am, Ill give you all of that, just answer it yes or no please.

  85. #85 Kristen
    June 1, 2010

    Bens(inane)parent says,

    If I knew what “vociferously” was I might be able to answer that question. Show me some courtesy and dumb it down a bit. Oh sorry, impressing the audience I suppose, my bad.

    No, you could be reasonably expected to know your own language, or at least know how to look up a word. You have the whole internet at your fingertips for the love of all things holy!

    Just curious, is it possible for the MMR to cause the measles virus to appear and replicate in the body of the person receiving the jab? And if the answer is yes, which I believe you said it is,

    No, they said it isn’t. You might want to work on your reading comprehension. I understand the challenges of caring for a special needs child and the need for answers, but you are the biggest moron I have ever encountered. You have no critical thinking skills at all.

    Like I said, I am just a mother, I don’t have a special title or education. You can educate yourself if you have a brain and a little humility, there is no excuse for your level of stupidity. You make parents look bad.

  86. #86 bensmyson
    June 1, 2010

    Kristen-

    I dont know why you have to get so mean, I hope Ive been pleasant and havent said or done anything insulting to you personally. Life is too short to get your lady drawers twisted up in a knot this early in the morning.

    You said, “I understand the challenges of caring for a special needs child” Sorry to hear that. Your child been diagnosed with autism?

  87. #87 Ian
    June 1, 2010

    @bensmyson

    You’re clearly not here to get information. You’ve resisted any and all attempts to view the evidence, or admit the flaws in the “studies” you cite as support for your position.

    You’re clearly not here to gain allies. You mock, insult, purposefully distort the truth and then curl up into a ball and whine “why are you so meeeeean?” when confronted for your attitude.

    You’re clearly not here to share a story. There appear to be commenters who know Ben’s history better than you do (or at least they don’t lie about it and change around the chronology to fit whatever point they’re trying to make).

    WHY ARE YOU HERE?

  88. #88 Kristen
    June 1, 2010

    I have mentioned many, many times here before that the reason I am interested in this subject is because I have a son with autism. My husband also has Asperger’s syndrome.

    The anti-vax crowd seems to think they are the only ones who have to work hard to raise autistic children.

    I hope Ive been pleasant and havent said or done anything insulting to you personally.

    Yes, referring to autistic children as brain damaged and implying that autism is a psychiatric condition.

    You are so closed minded, it is infuriating. I don’t think you are looking for information, at least not honestly. You are trying to prove those nasty skeptics wrong because you perceive them as not caring. I think that if you are not seeking information with a mind open to the possibility you might be wrong, then you are wasting our time by being here.

  89. #89 Calli Arcale
    June 1, 2010

    bensmyson @ 84:

    So as I understand it the sins of omission are excusable? OK because the young grad student wants something from someone and in getting what that person wants basically allows this gigantic “fraud” take place without a word of criticism or the tiniest suspicion regarding motive? Interesting. Wouldn’t you say this miserable lab tech has blood on its hands?

    Yes, yes he does. But the problem with being a grad student is that you are at the mercy of the principle researcher in many respects. You do not want to anger them, lest you find yourself unable to receive the degree for which you have worked so hard. And you are young and uncertain, and you know you’re supposed to be learning from this person; how can he be wrong and you be right? So it becomes very easy to do the wrong thing, and very hard to do the right thing.

    Wakefield is not the only case of fraud to go unchallenged because those with the best opportunity to witness the fraud were underlings who did not feel they had the right to report it. Some people mature early. Most don’t. And some, like Wakefield, learn another lesson entirely: that fraud only matters if you get *caught*.

    You’ve said so yourself, earlier in this thread. You said that you wouldn’t defend Rogue Medic if he’d done what Wakefield did, and you said you wouldn’t because he admitted it. In other words, you are willing to defend Wakefield because he hasn’t owned up. That makes you the perfect mark, because you put more importance on his word than on facts.

    “Drink this. It will make you feel better.”
    “How do I know you’re telling the truth?”
    “Because, sir, I maintain that I am. And I am a man of my word.”
    “A perfect example of recursion.”
    — Doctor Who, “Castrovalva”

    In this thread, you have presented many perfect examples of recursion, which in computer science means a procedure which depends upon itself. Also known as circular logic. This may be partly because you are (or profess to be) two people — mutually recursive, perhaps? — and thus get confused about what has been said. This is why it is unwise to share usernames, though it may also be convenient if one wishes to avoid accountability.

  90. #90 Science Mom
    June 1, 2010

    “I don’t fault Dr. Chadwick (phd in philosophy) for not pursuing it; he was, after all, ‘just’ a grad student with a ‘very important person’ as his dissertation advisor.”

    So as I understand it the sins of omission are excusable? OK because the young grad student wants something from someone and in getting what that person wants basically allows this gigantic “fraud” take place without a word of criticism or the tiniest suspicion regarding motive? Interesting. Wouldn’t you say this miserable lab tech has blood on its hands?

    Don’t change my quotes without proper indication thereof. Emphasis mine (the part you added). Duh! PhD stands for ‘Doctor of Philosophy’ and they are awarded to those in the sciences as well as other disciplines you ass. Miserable lab tech? You stupid bint, how dare you denigrate an innocent person while defending a sleazy, lying, megalomanical, unethical, callous, wannabe autism quack.

    As for the rest, typical of you to try and foist this off on some lowly grad student that did step up and say something and who did testify in the OAP. Where was your precious Wakers all that time? If you are going to assign blame for this whole debacle and ‘blood on their hands’, then look no further than Wakefield and the rest of your lot that won’t let it go.

    Regarding the specifics of my son’s diagnosis or treating physician I could care less whether or not you or anyone else believes me, I have the evidence, I have presented that evidence where I needed to and that’s all that matters.

    Bollocks! You have been wailing away about how MMR-V has given your son encephalitis, have his medical history and quackoriffic DAN! ‘test’ results posted on the internet and suddenly this alleged encephalitis diagnosis is supah dupah secret? Don’t mention it again then unless you provide proof of it.

    “Attenuated viral replication is limited. Attenuation doesn’t allow the virus to infect the number and cell types that wild-type does.”

    Just curious, is it possible for the MMR to cause the measles virus to appear and replicate in the body of the person receiving the jab? And if the answer is yes, which I believe you said it is, then is it possible for the virus to alter, effect, change, damage, harm in any way the brain, nerves, speech, hearing, gut, immune system, cells, DNA, urine, teeth, anything inside the body of the person receiving the vaccine? Yes or no is all I want, no need to get into what a stupid question it is or how stupid I am, Ill give you all of that, just answer it yes or no please.

    In the interest of the fact that you are too stupid and dishonest to receive an answer that you won’t torture for your own warped purposes, you can simply read this: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10589903

  91. #91 bensmyson
    June 1, 2010

    Kristen-

    Im so sorry you have such a distorted bias when it comes to me. I seriously doubt that I have lead anyone to believe that I think that, one, I am a charter member of the “anti-vax” crowd or two, that you do not work hard to raise your son or care for your husband.

    You did just now state something that confuses me a bit, you said, “Yes, referring to autistic children as brain damaged and implying that autism is a psychiatric condition.”

    If it is not either one of these things what is it? I am under the impression that DSM-IV made the diagnosis. I personally do not believe autism is a psychiatric disorder any more than a spinal injury is. It is possible that some aspects of autism can be psychological, for instance I see a great deal of relationship between Asperger’s and schizophrenia, particularly in those diagnosed as an adult.

    But that’s my science, my own personal observations and experience. I know my son is brain injured, whether or not his autism is a coincidence or a characteristic to that or not is yet to be proven.

    Another thing you said sort of exposes a good deal of your pathologic distain for me, you state things you have no idea to be true, you cant know, you cant know because you dont know me. You may know some people who remind you of them but I can assure you that I am not them. Reread what you said,

    “You are so closed minded, it is infuriating. I don’t think you are looking for information, at least not honestly. You are trying to prove those nasty skeptics wrong because you perceive them as not caring. I think that if you are not seeking information with a mind open to the possibility you might be wrong, then you are wasting our time by being here.”

    I would suggest not wasting any more of your time by responding to me, although I am here to seek information and pose legitimate questions, I doubt you will ever believe it as is so evident in your past posts. I wish you much peace.

  92. #92 bensmyson
    June 1, 2010

    Callie-

    You’ve said so yourself, earlier in this thread. You said that you wouldn’t defend Rogue Medic if he’d done what Wakefield did, and you said you wouldn’t because he admitted it. In other words, you are willing to defend Wakefield because he hasn’t owned up. That makes you the perfect mark, because you put more importance on his word than on facts.

    “Drink this. It will make you feel better.”
    “How do I know you’re telling the truth?”
    “Because, sir, I maintain that I am. And I am a man of my word.”
    “A perfect example of recursion.”
    – Doctor Who, “Castrovalva”

    First of all my point of defending Wakefield is because I have not seen enough evidence to convict him, Rouge on the other hand has admitted his guilt. Accusations are, in themselves, not evidence to guilt when something so important is at stake. ala my earlier analogy to child molestation. The GMC is not a court of law, and there are several aspects of that hearing and all that surround it that smack of dishonesty. But Im learning, nothing is final or set in my mind at this point.

    And the bit from Doctor Who could be said for the conversation we had with the pediatrician just prior to Ben’s vaccinations. “Trust me”

  93. #93 bensmyson
    June 1, 2010

    Mom-

    Chadwick has a phd and not an MD, big distinction for me. And how was it that Chadwick came to open up and reveal his long kept secret? After all the headlines, all the children not being vaccinated, contracting potentially deadly diseases, passing them on to the innocent, causing fevers and rashes and lost wages, what was it that finally brought Chadwick to the confessional? His sense of right and wrong? A religious/spiritual conversion? I mean isnt that a legitimate question?

    My other question was also a legitimate question and I do appreciate your help in answering that, compassionate of you to save me the torture.

    Encephalitis… I believe the dates on my blog were a year and a half ago, a lot of time has transpired since then, medical records received since then sometimes have doctors notes and diagnosis codes that expand on what one hears and remembers as you hold a screaming child in a 8×12 exam room that youve been sitting in for at least an hour. Sometimes the terms brain inflamation and encephology do not always translate to the specifics. And by the way, as I understand it encephalitis usually presents itself with a fever and flu like symptoms.

    You have to believe me (not about the encephalitis, I could care less about that) when I tell you about Ben’s initial pediatricians (plural, same practice), at first Ben’s fevers and discomfort were guessed to be an ear infection, I swear to you, without so much as a peek into his ears the doctor handed us a prescription for antibiotics. This is where we were coming from, we were clueless and it seems so were the attending physicians.

    I may not be the smartest kid on the block, but Im not the dumbest either. We eventually found the right help.

  94. #94 Science Mom
    June 1, 2010

    Mom-Chadwick has a phd and not an MD, big distinction for me. And how was it that Chadwick came to open up and reveal his long kept secret? After all the headlines, all the children not being vaccinated, contracting potentially deadly diseases, passing them on to the innocent, causing fevers and rashes and lost wages, what was it that finally brought Chadwick to the confessional? His sense of right and wrong? A religious/spiritual conversion? I mean isnt that a legitimate question?

    First let me state that your reference to me as ‘Mom’ is not lost on me. In the interest of people trying to follow along with this then if you can’t give us the courtesy of using my username, go play your petty games with your sandbox mates.

    Next, Dr. Chadwick is a biochemist, which makes him far more qualified as an expert in molecular testing than Wakefield, a gut surgeon. You are beyond the pale for trying to lay this at Dr. Chadwick’s feet. There is obviously no depth you won’t plumb to feed your delusions. So no, it’s not a legitimate question you stupid, contemptible cows.

    Encephalitis… I believe the dates on my blog were a year and a half ago, a lot of time has transpired since then, medical records received since then sometimes have doctors notes and diagnosis codes that expand on what one hears and remembers as you hold a screaming child in a 8×12 exam room that youve been sitting in for at least an hour. Sometimes the terms brain inflamation and encephology do not always translate to the specifics. And by the way, as I understand it encephalitis usually presents itself with a fever and flu like symptoms.

    You have to believe me (not about the encephalitis, I could care less about that) when I tell you about Ben’s initial pediatricians (plural, same practice), at first Ben’s fevers and discomfort were guessed to be an ear infection, I swear to you, without so much as a peek into his ears the doctor handed us a prescription for antibiotics. This is where we were coming from, we were clueless and it seems so were the attending physicians.

    Just more hand-waving. I really don’t have any problems exposing you for the liars that you are, if for nothing else than hold you out as an example of the cognitive dissonance and memory re-framing that is so rife amongst you and your peers. Again, put up or shut up.

    I may not be the smartest kid on the block, but Im not the dumbest either. We eventually found the right help.

    Oh you’re the bottom of the barrel when it comes to dumb, but even worse, the extent of your dishonesty is truly depraved.

  95. #95 Kristen
    June 1, 2010

    Science Mom,

    If it is not either one of these things what is it?

    He is the definition: “Autism is a disorder of neural development characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, and by restricted and repetitive behavior.”

    You do know there are differences between psychiatric disorders and neural-developmental disorders, don’t you?

    I would suggest not wasting any more of your time by responding to me,

    What great advice, thanks.

    although I am here to seek information and pose legitimate questions,

    Although I would love to call BS on this statement, I shall let Science Mom do it for me:

    Oh you’re the bottom of the barrel when it comes to dumb, but even worse, the extent of your dishonesty is truly depraved.

    Thank you Science Mom. You said it so much better then I could have. :)

  96. #96 T. Bruce McNeely
    June 1, 2010

    First of all my point of defending Wakefield is because I have not seen enough evidence to convict him

    No doubt you believe that OJ is still looking for the “real killers”.

  97. #97 bensmyson
    June 1, 2010

    Mom-

    Im pretty sure Id commit to a hefty wager that you have some serious emotional issues that must have pretty much ruined a good deal of your life. You have made it onto my prayer list.

    All the best.

    Chadwick said the following about not coming forward immediately: “Not many people thought Dr. Wakefield would be taken seriously,” Chadwick said. “We thought most people would see the Lancet paper for what it was—a very preliminary collection of only 12 case reports. How wrong we were.” Yet the next day in 1998 headlines all over the world warned parents about the MMR. In the US on July 7, 1999, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the U.S. Public Health Service issued a warning about the preservative in many vaccines. Called thimerosal, it contains 49.6 percent ethylmercury by weight and had been used in vaccines since the 1930s. In 2000 a congressional hearing was held to look into the safety of vaccines. Pathologist John O’Leary testified that he was “here to say that Wakefield’s hypothesis is correct.” Now there were two explosive theories about the dangers of childhood vaccines: Wakefield’s, that the MMR caused gut inflammation and the release of autism-causing proteins into the blood and brain, and the thimerosal theory, that the mercury in childhood vaccines damages the immune system and, possibly, the brain.

    Still no word from Chadwick as the flames spread.

    In 2002, pathologist John O’Leary of Coombe Women’s Hospital in Dublin reported that he had found RNA from the measles virus in 7 percent of normal children—but in 82 percent of those with autism, suggesting that some children are unable to clear the vaccinated virus from their systems, resulting in autism.

    Again in 2002, a Utah State University biologist reported finding high levels of antibodies against the measles virus in the blood and spinal fluid of autistic children; the MMR, he postulated, had triggered a hyperimmune response that attacked the children’s brains.

    In 2003, gastroenterologist Arthur Krigsman, then at New York University School of Medicine, reported finding what Wakefield had: that the guts of 40 autistic children were severely inflamed, lending support to the idea that leaks allowed pernicious compounds to make a beeline for the brain.

    In 2004 Brian Deer pulls up Chadwick. Six years after the Lancet published the Wakefield paper.

    Still no other interviews by Chadwick, no hears a public word from him until 2007 when Chadwick testifies against Michelle Cedillo, a severely autistic 12-year-old, whose parents put forward the theory that her immune system was weakened by thimerosal in vaccines she received as an infant and that measles virus in her MMR vaccine at 16 months delivered a crushing blow to her system. As I read the transcript of that testimony the Cedillo attorneys never introduced Wakefield’s paper as evidence yet Chadwick was called in.

    In all of this controversy, the thousands of articles and news reports, best I can tell no one in the media has interviewed Chadwick other than Deer.

    Deer some how got Chadwick to talk when Chadwick himself had many opportunities to do so and didn’t, six years worth of opportunities, silence. But he said he was scared of Wakefield’s influence yet even long after he got his PHD and got out from under Wakefield he is still silent.

    I find it absolutely odd that the same people ready to lynch Wakefield give Chadwick a pass, why? The world was spinning off axis and he said nothing for 6 years. He’s not that hard to find, so why hasn’t anyone interviewed him, why hasnt anyone followed him, sticking a microphone and camera in his face? After all he was the one that had the proof Wakefield was lying right? He was the one that could have stopped all this at the gate and yet he said nothing until 6 years later. Am I the only one finding this extremely odd? Arent you folks the ones who claim this paper of Wakefield’s actually killed children? So what about Chadwick, is he really not a part of this, that is if you believe him.

  98. #98 bensmyson
    June 1, 2010

    Kristen-

    Your Wiki link information came from American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 4th, text revision (DSM-IV-TR) ed. 2000. ISBN 0890420254. Diagnostic criteria for 299.00 Autistic Disorder right?

    I know the difference, I just wonder if you do. Aren’t neural-developmental disorders injuries?

    Bruce-

    Actually OJ had a real trial and was was not found guilty of murder in criminal court, he also had a trial in civil court and lost. OJ killed Nicole Simpson and Mr. Goldman. Wakefield’s hearing was anything but a trial and only one side was presented. I should convict a man, ride him out of town on a rail, ruin him because Brian Deer wrote some news articles about him? September 7, 2002, Judith Miller and fellow New York Times reporter Michael R. Gordon reported the interception of metal tubes bound for Iraq. Her front-page story quoted unnamed “American officials” and “American intelligence experts” who said the tubes were intended to be used to enrich nuclear material, and cited unnamed “Bush administration officials” who claimed that in recent months, Iraq “stepped up its quest for nuclear weapons and has embarked on a worldwide hunt for materials to make an atomic bomb”.

    Miller added that “Mr. Hussein’s dogged insistence on pursuing his nuclear ambitions, along with what defectors described in interviews as Iraq’s push to improve and expand Baghdad’s chemical and biological arsenals, have brought Iraq and the United States to the brink of war.”

    Shortly after Miller’s article was published, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell and Donald Rumsfeld all appeared on television and pointed to Miller’s story as a contributory motive for going to war. Miller would later claim, based only on second-hand statements from the military unit she was embedded with, that WMDs had been found in Iraq.

    BTW, Miller was the only major U.S. media reporter, and the New York Times the only major U.S. media organization, to be victimized by a fake anthrax letter in the fall of 2001.

  99. #99 Rogue Medic
    June 1, 2010

    @ 92 bensmyson,

    First of all my point of defending Wakefield is because I have not seen enough evidence to convict him,

    You have seen more than enough evidence for any reasonable person to realize that Ex-Dr. Andrew Wakefield is a fraud.

    Rouge on the other hand has admitted his guilt.

    I have not done anything wrong.

    I have not even been accused of doing anything wrong.

    I have only asked this question.

    What if I had done what Ex-Dr. Andrew Wakefield did?

    What guilt?

    What misdeed?

    My original comment is #65. Feel free to go read it and look for any signs that I did anything other than ask that question. I just broke it down to an itemization of only some of Ex-Dr. Andrew Wakefield’s misbehaviors.

    You also did not respond to what I wrote in comment #82.

    Accusations are, in themselves, not evidence to guilt when something so important is at stake. ala my earlier analogy to child molestation.

    That was just a way to try to distract people from the real bad guy (Ex-Dr. Andrew Wakefield) by creating an imaginary one to accuse.

    You just made up an accusation of child molestation that have no substance. The only person who has been legitimately accused of abusing children in this discussion is Ex-Dr. Andrew Wakefield.

    The GMC is not a court of law,

    Then, only after Ex-Dr. Andrew Wakefield is convicted of a crime in a court of law, you will finally accept that Ex-Dr. Andrew Wakefield has been telling lies all along? Of course, then he will be Convicted Criminal Andrew Wakefield.

    As with other cases of cognitive dissonance, I expect that would only lead to even more vigorous defense of Convicted Criminal Andrew Wakefield.

    and there are several aspects of that hearing and all that surround it that smack of dishonesty.

    Ex-Dr. Andrew Wakefield challenged the GMC to investigate him.

    Eventually, there was enough evidence of misbehavior presented, that there was agreement that the GMC did need to investigate Ex-Dr. Andrew Wakefield.

    Since Ex-Dr. Andrew Wakefield called for an investigation, he should have been prepared for that investigation.

    The investigation took years, so if anyone had evidence to defend Ex-Dr. Andrew Wakefield, there was plenty of time for someone to present that defense.

    When offered the opportunity to defend himself, Ex-Dr. Andrew Wakefield declined to provide evidence.

    Afterward, Ex-Dr. Andrew Wakefield writes a book that is described by Dr. Harriet Hall in these words:

    In my opinion, the whole book is an embarrassing, tedious, puerile, and ultimately unsuccessful attempt at damage control. Wakefield has been thoroughly discredited in the scientific arena and he is reduced to seeking a second opinion from the public. Perhaps he thinks that the truth can be determined by a popularity contest. Perhaps he thinks the future will look back at him as a persecuted genius like Galileo or Semmelweis. Jenny McCarthy thinks so; I don’t.

    Galileo was placed under house arrest.

    Ex-Dr. Andrew Wakefield is free to wander the world to sell his snake oil. His conspiracy theories, medical theories, and philosophy all remain baseless.

    Semmelweis was faced with a bunch of germ theory denialists arguing against protecting women from disease.

    Ex-Dr. Andrew Wakefield leads a bunch of germ theory denialists arguing against protecting children from disease.

    But Im learning, nothing is final or set in my mind at this point.

    Apparently, there is an exception to that. You behave as if you would defend Ex-Dr. Andrew Wakefield no matter how much evidence there is against him.

    Apparently, the only thing that is final and set in your mind is that you will defend Ex-Dr. Andrew Wakefield.

    You are encouraging harm to children everywhere.

    You are especially encouraging harm to autistic children.

    Where Ex-Dr. Andrew Wakefield spreads his germ theory denialism, children will be harmed. The autistic children will suffer the most from the actions of Ex-Dr. Andrew Wakefield.

  100. #100 bensmyson
    June 1, 2010

    Rouge, dude, chill, the man is still a doctor.

  101. #101 Kristen
    June 1, 2010

    I know the difference, I just wonder if you do. Aren’t neural-developmental disorders injuries?

    Down’s syndrome, fragile-x syndrome, Rett Syndrome and Williams Syndrome; all genetic neuro-developmental disorders.

    A neuro-developmental disorder is an impairment in the development of the brain or nervous system. Per my example above this can be caused by genetic factors, can be a congenital defect, can be caused by a metabolic disorder (type 1 diabetes, for example) and myriad other causes (including vaccine-preventable diseases).

    Not injury to the brain, failure (for some reason) of the brain to develop normally.

  102. #102 Calli Arcale
    June 1, 2010

    bensmyson — Kristen is correct; neurodevelopmental disorders are not considered brain injuries. It is a failure of the brain to develop according to what is deemed normal, not an injury to an already-developed brain.

    Non-neurological example: I went to school with a boy who was born without feet or most of his lower legs. He grew up wearing prosthetics. Would you describe that as a leg injury? Of course not; the legs simply failed to develop properly in utero.

    This is not entirely analogous; for one thing, limb development is vastly simpler than neural organization. But hopefully it is illustrative of the difference between an injury and a developmental disorder.

    Now, developmentally delayed children *can* have brain injuries as well. I know of a couple of cases. It can be extremely difficult (or even impossible) to tease out which aspects are due to their neurodevelopmental disorder and which are due to the injury. Often, the neurodevelopmental disorder will complicate recovery from the brain injury, and so it can result in a more profound presentation than would otherwise have happened — but it’s really all guesswork, because every child is unique, and you often cannot tell which bit is because of what. And in many cases, they are because of several things; neural development is all heavily interrelated.

    Regarding my Dr Who quote, I think you missed the point. You did pick up on the fact that it was a physician talking to the Doctor, asking him to trust him unquestioningly, but applied that only to doctors promoting vaccines. You missed my point that this is precisely how Andrew Wakefield operates, and apparently how you think he should operate. You trust him because he hasn’t confessed to any wrongdoing, and you seem to have little interest in testing his claims. You take his word for them. Thus, Wakefield is rewarded for his dishonesty, while the honest are pilloried.

    Wakefield asks you to trust him. He maintains that he is telling the truth, and that he is a man of his word. And you take him at that word, despite all the evidence presented that should at the very least raise red flags.

    Why are you not the least bit curious? Your default assumption is that Wakefield is innocent. That’s all well and good in a court of law, but you aren’t even interested in putting him on trial. It would be like the police dragging in a suspect and the prosecutors declining to press charges because the suspect doesn’t admit guilt and they do not feel particularly inclined to investigate. It would be a fine world for con artists and gangsters, but not a very pleasant one for the rest of us.

    I have another Doctor Who bit for you:

    “You mean he was lying?”
    “Of course. Didn’t you know?”
    “But he had such an open, honest face!”
    “Romana, you can hardly be a decent crook with a dishonest face, can you?”

    You, of all people, should know better than to trust people’s appearances. You rightly understand that doctors need not be taken at their word — yet you seem strangely incurious when it comes to Wakefield, and downright hostile to the evidence presented to you. Why is that, do you suppose? Do you have an allergy to evidence which opposes your preconceived notions?

  103. #103 Science Mom
    June 2, 2010

    Im pretty sure Id commit to a hefty wager that you have some serious emotional issues that must have pretty much ruined a good deal of your life. You have made it onto my prayer list.

    Project much?

    In 2002, pathologist John O’Leary of Coombe Women’s Hospital in Dublin reported that he had found RNA from the measles virus in 7 percent of normal children—but in 82 percent of those with autism, suggesting that some children are unable to clear the vaccinated virus from their systems, resulting in autism.

    Again in 2002, a Utah State University biologist reported finding high levels of antibodies against the measles virus in the blood and spinal fluid of autistic children; the MMR, he postulated, had triggered a hyperimmune response that attacked the children’s brains.

    Wrong again: http://justthevax.blogspot.com/2009/04/mmr-vaccine-roseola-and-autism.html

    In 2003, gastroenterologist Arthur Krigsman, then at New York University School of Medicine, reported finding what Wakefield had: that the guts of 40 autistic children were severely inflamed, lending support to the idea that leaks allowed pernicious compounds to make a beeline for the brain.

    And wrong again, shock. Hand-waving bullshit and Krigsman is an associate of Wakers.

    I find it absolutely odd that the same people ready to lynch Wakefield give Chadwick a pass, why? The world was spinning off axis and he said nothing for 6 years. He’s not that hard to find, so why hasn’t anyone interviewed him, why hasnt anyone followed him, sticking a microphone and camera in his face? After all he was the one that had the proof Wakefield was lying right? He was the one that could have stopped all this at the gate and yet he said nothing until 6 years later. Am I the only one finding this extremely odd? Arent you folks the ones who claim this paper of Wakefield’s actually killed children? So what about Chadwick, is he really not a part of this, that is if you believe him.

    Only you two (and your playgroup, of course) could find a way to castigate an innocent person in this. Your ‘argument’ consists of blaming others for allowing Wakers to be dishonest. Some, like Richard Horton and the media are guilty, to some degree of that, but Dr. Chadwick? You’re truly vacuous idiots. Yes, you’re the only ones that find this odd, but no surprise there.

  104. #104 bensmyson
    June 2, 2010

    calli – ” neurodevelopmental disorders are not considered brain injuries”

    That’s not the way I understand it, As I understand it most neurodevelopmental disorders are caused by injury. Even those “genetic” causes may have some epigenetic causation due to environmental stresses and physiological influences on prior generations.

    Regarding Wakefield

    “Why are you not the least bit curious?

    I am extremely curious. At this point in my life, I am suspicious of most everything.

  105. #105 JohnV
    June 2, 2010

    I know I’m taking the wrong point away from this comment thread but the fact that every time I see “input” from bensmyson it makes me more and more amused/terrified.

    Now we see that at least one of the people/personalities posting under that name sees “PhD in biochemistry” and mentally converts that to “PhD in philosophy”. Are you for real? Like honestly how can you be that stupid? Do you in your wildest alcohol-haze delusions think that “lab techs” have their PhD in philosophy? I realize that you’re not really well balanced, given your posting of murder and torture fantasies in the past, and at times it feels like we’re beating a pinata here full of dumb candy, but how screwed up do you have to be to not get what a PhD is?

  106. #106 Calli Arcale
    June 2, 2010

    In 2003, gastroenterologist Arthur Krigsman, then at New York University School of Medicine, reported finding what Wakefield had: that the guts of 40 autistic children were severely inflamed, lending support to the idea that leaks allowed pernicious compounds to make a beeline for the brain.

    One thing that seriously puzzles me about this is that an inflamed gut is not typically leaky. Quite the opposite; a common complication of GI problems is malnutrition, due to the gut failing to absorb vital nutrients no matter how much the patient eats. (This is particularly true of real gluten intolerance.) In extreme cases, the gut can indeed leak — in the literal sense. It can rupture, causing peritonitis. But this is considerably more severe than what Wakefield and others have suggested, and would not go unnoticed (mainly because it’s a surgical emergency, the sort of thing that gets you bumped to the head of the queue at the ER).

  107. #107 Sauceress
    June 2, 2010

    the man is still a doctor.

    Ummm….NO he’s not. He has no medical qualifications.
    He’s as much a doctor as I am.

    A Dokta perhaps?

  108. #108 Dedj
    June 2, 2010

    “Wakefield’s hearing was anything but a trial and only one side was presented.”

    It should be noted that ‘only one side’ was presented for a very simple reason: Wakefield failed to present anything.

    This failure was so pronounced, it obtained repeated comment for both the GMC and outside observers.

    You would know this is you were competantly informed.

    “I should convict a man, ride him out of town on a rail, ruin him because Brian Deer wrote some news articles about him?”

    No, it’s not up to you to convict him, because the highest relevant institutional authourity has convicted him using the highest standards of proof. You simply do not have the power or relevance.

    Unless you have some earth shattering evidence that the GMC got it totally wrong (and not the second study clap-trap which a: doesn’t address Wakefield recruiting and treating the children outside the remit of the study) then the fact that you ‘don’t accept’ is utterly irrelevant.

    You are not in a position of authourity in this matter. The GMC are.

    Are you really so arrogant as to believe yourselves superior to the GMC, just because you say so? Judging by your continued ego-centric posting, I’d say you would even disagree with Wakefield himself if he were to turn around and admit it tommorrow.

  109. #109 JohnV
    June 2, 2010

    Sauceress they didn’t take his academic credentials.

  110. #110 Sauceress
    June 2, 2010

    JohnV
    Yeah unfortunately you’re right.

  111. #111 Pablo
    June 2, 2010
    “Wakefield’s hearing was anything but a trial and only one side was presented.”

    It should be noted that ‘only one side’ was presented for a very simple reason: Wakefield failed to present anything.

    This failure was so pronounced, it obtained repeated comment for both the GMC and outside observers.

    You would know this is you were competantly informed.

    Competently informed? Please. ANY amount of informed would be sufficient.

    Actually, at this point, given the extent of the discussion that has going on, someone here would have to be willfully, actively denying the information that has been provided.

    This is just like that moron that pops up every month or so claiming there are no autistic adults in Britain. Tons of posts result that completely demolish it, he goes away, only to come back a month later to claim, again, that there are no autistic adults in Britain.

    If bensmyson is not sufficiently familiar with the GMC ruling by now to know that Wakefield was offered a chance to provide evidence on his own behalf and to cross-examine witnesses and refused, then it is obvious that she has no interest in discussing it honestly, and in good faith (I know in another thread that someone claimed diatom = augustine, but I think it is augustine = bensmyson). Pretty much a troll at this point.

  112. #112 dt
    June 2, 2010

    @Bensparent/s:

    You are a dumb troll.

    That says it in words of one syllable.
    Can your extremely limited comprehension of the English language cope with that, or shall I simplify it further?

  113. #113 Kristen
    June 2, 2010

    That’s not the way I understand it, As I understand it most neurodevelopmental disorders are caused by injury. Even those “genetic” causes may have some epigenetic causation due to environmental stresses and physiological influences on prior generations.

    I don’t think you know what the word “understand” means. Making crap up, pretending that said crap is reality, and hoping no one notices it is crap ≠ understanding. Please inform us of how chromosomal abnormalities are caused by environmental stresses. After, of course, you accept the Nobel Prize for making such an amazing discovery.

    at times it feels like we’re beating a pinata here full of dumb candy,

    JohnV,
    I am truly astonished at the sheer lack of intellectual capacity displayed here. I have probably over the last few months read just about all of the comments from the two of them (bensmyson). But I swear they are getting dumber at an ever increasing rate. They are completely immune to reason and logic and their intellect is adversely effected by rational explanations. The more science they have explained to them, the dumber they get.

  114. #114 bensmyson
    June 2, 2010

    dt- “You are a dumb troll.”

    Does “dt” stand for dumb troll? Sorry my comprehension is a bit off kilter.

  115. #115 bensmyson
    June 2, 2010

    JohnV- “Now we see that at least one of the people/personalities posting under that name sees “PhD in biochemistry” and mentally converts that to “PhD in philosophy”.”

    I didnt see anything that said “PhD in biochemistry” I was merely repeating what Brian Deer had on his webpage, I am that stupid. My grandfather had his phd and no one ever called him doctor.

    “From: Molecular Strategies for the Detection of Measles Virus in Inflammatory Bowel Disease, a thesis submitted for the degree of doctor of philosophy, by Nicholas Charles Chadwick, Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of London

  116. #116 W. Kevin Vicklund
    June 2, 2010

    re: Dr. Chadwick

    As a graduate student, Chadwick actually stood up to Wakefield and refused to let him use his name or results in the 1998 Lancet ex-paper. Which is why the Lancet ex-paper does not have any data regarding PCR or the presence of measles virus – Wakefield couldn’t use the data without Chadwick’s consent.

    Chadwick’s doctoral thesis (published February 1998) had the following conclusion:

    The results do not support previous data implicating persistent measles virus infection with the aetiology of IBD or autistic enteropathy

    12 of the 22 patients with negative results for presence of measles RNA were the 12 patients in the Lancet ex-paper.

    Wakefield wasn’t able to publish PCR results until 2000, using results from another lab (the proverbial second opinion). Chadwick refused to let his name or results be used in that paper, as well, and expressed reservations that the other lab was contaminated.

    Chadwick also made a statement detailing the probable contamination in a lawsuit, prompting Wakefield to submit a report to the court dated July 2003 that expressly withdrew reliance on the 2000 paper.

    Perhaps he could have raised a bigger stink. But he certainly didn’t go into hiding.

  117. #117 bensmyson
    June 2, 2010

    Dedj-

    Based on what self limiting knowledge I have of the GMC and of Wakefield’s case I understand that nothing about the legitimacy of the paper was heard. What was heard was that Wakefield took money from an attorney representing a group of kids that were suing because of a vaccine injury, that Wakefield had some sort of vaccine/not a vaccine, gut treating patent, I understood it to be about how blood came to be collected from a control, I understood it to be about how Wakefield ordered invasive tests to be performed on sick kids, I heard something about how most of the fellow authors of this paper withdrew their names because they didnt agree with the impression that the paper was about linking the MMR to autism. And based on all that I am not impressed with all the hoopla going on about all of this when there is so much else out there no one seems to give a damn about. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/19/AR2010051902599.html

  118. #118 Prometheus
    June 2, 2010

    Sorry to be so late in responding, but I took advantage of the lovely long weekend and didn’t turn on the computer until today.

    BMS retort in reference to “boosting” their son’s immune system:

    “…we were new to this, we wanted our son to be well so desperately we gave him supplements and sunlight and fish oil, we threw away more than a couple of prescriptions that were written to “try it” and “see how it does.” But then again with your first hand experience and education Prometheus Im sure you would have done differently. Be specific why dont you and clue me in where we went wrong in boosting Ben’s immune system, what exactly should we have done?”

    Well, since they asked…..

    As I read their response, they gave their son Ben “supplements” (a vague description), “fish oil” (was that vitamin A or omega-3 fatty acids?) and “sunlight” in an attempt to “boost” his immune system. Let’s take them one by one:

    [1] Supplements – this is too vague a term to be of use. However, if by “supplements” they mean vitamins and micronutrients (e.g. zinc or selenium), then none of them would be of any use to “boost” the immune system unless there already existed a significant deficiency. Not the sort of “deficiency” that the “alternative” practitioners talk about, but a true nutritional deficiency of the type typically only seen in famine-wracked regions of the globe or in end-stage drug and alcohol addicts.

    [2] Fish oil – whether for vitamin A or omega-3 fatty acids, the impact of fish oil on the immune system is likely to be subtle (and not necessarily in the direction of “boosting”) unless the patient had a pre-existing severe deficiency. Again, this would have to be a genuine deficiency as opposed to an “alternative medicine” deficiency.

    [3] Sunlight – here, at last, we have something that truly can affect the immune system. Ultraviolet radiation – even at sub-sunburn levels – causes a predictable and repeatable decrease in immune function. For the average person in search of a suntan, the effect is minimal, but cumulative doses can lead to clinically significant immune dysfunction, especially in the type of cellular immunity needed to eliminate early melanoma.

    I imagine that BMS are feeling pretty “beat-up” from the constant hammering of scientific data against their received wisdom about autism, its cause and cures. I feel for them, having been in their position at one time.

    What they’re feeling – and what a lot of Andy Wakefield supporters are feeling – is cognitive dissonance. It’s what happens when things you’ve taken on faith are shown to be wrong, but you’re not ready to give them up.

    The solution is to either ignore the facts or reject the faith. So far, BMS seem to have chosen to ignore the facts; this is – sadly – a common reaction. My only hope is that other people in a similar situation will read these posts (and these comments) and decide to reject the false faith of Andy Wakefield and move into the light of reality. Maybe – someday – BMS will be able to do that as well.

    Best wishes,

    Prometheus

  119. #119 bensmyson
    June 2, 2010

    Prometheus-

    Thank you for being both informative and civil. I am trying.

    I am a it vague because so much of the “biomed” stuff is seen as a hoax by people who are a lot smarter than I am. One doctor told me that all I was doing was making expensive pee, which is correct but dont most drugs pass through the body through the urine? So anyway I am getting my ass handed to me and kicked about enough not wanting to add another target on my back. But without saying too much we have seen success, its been by and large an extremely long process (to us) and we have had some trials and errors but we have seen improvements, realizing though that given enough time a glacier will move a mountain.

    Anyway my butt is sore enough. I just wanted to say thanks for being civil.

  120. #120 Kristen
    June 3, 2010

    Bens parent,

    I don’t mean to be so mean to you, I am frustrated because I don’t feel like you are listening. You say you want help and are just asking questions, but you waste our time looking for answers because you are unwilling to change your mind. One minute you sound like you might be reasoning through things and say it will just take time to process what you are learning. The next you are arguing again about the definition of terms you don’t understand, and citing studies that contradict your point.

    I am so glad you haven’t used any dangerous treatments on your son. It does sound like you are trying to do the best for him, just like we are trying for our son (albeit with different methods). But you are still very frustrating.

    The people at AoA don’t know more then the scientific community. And no one has said the the CDC doesn’t do stupid things. Vaccines, though are very important to public health. While not 100% safe, they save hundreds of thousands of lives every year (world wide). The CDC doing crappy things doesn’t negate that.

    I am going to try not to argue with you anymore. I don’t think you are really here to learn but rather trying to justify your beliefs.

  121. #121 bensmyson
    June 3, 2010

    I am not here to argue (kinda) I do appreciate all those offering their time to present sides I have not yet fully examined, but just because I dont see things the same way may mean either Im not smart enough to understand, or that Im too pig headed to let go of the education I already have, or that like religion, you can have various, well meaning interpretations based on the same text and history. For instance you said, “Vaccines, though are very important to public health. While not 100% safe, they save hundreds of thousands of lives every year (world wide). “ And I agree with that but it’s like saying that nuclear weapons are a valuable peaceful tool that save lives and look at all the various camps along those beliefs.

  122. #122 Rogue Medic
    June 3, 2010

    @ 100 bensmyson,

    Rouge, dude, chill, the man is still a doctor.

    He still has his degree from school, but that does not permit him to work as a doctor. He was stripped of his medical license in order to protect the public.

    If anyone catches Ex-Dr. Andrew Wakefield practicing medicine, call the police, because Ex-Dr. Andrew Wakefield is practicing medicine without a license.

    Unless the medical school finds that he obtained that fraudulently and decides to retract that degree. Considering that this is somebody with a history of fraud, I wouldn’t rule that out.

    On the other hand, I don’t think that the school wants anyone to know where he graduated from. He isn’t exactly something to brag about.

    I believe that the GMC stated that this would not take effect for 30 days, so he would have the opportunity to appeal, when they announced that they were stripping him of the ability to do anything with his degree other than use the title when bragging, I’m a doctor.

    All Ex-Dr. Andrew Wakefield seems to care about is the title anyway.

    The Pet Shoppe

    A customer enters a pet shop.

    Customer: Hello, I wish to register a complaint.

    (The owner does not respond.)

    Customer: Hello, Miss?

    Owner: What do you mean “miss”?

    Customer: I’m sorry, I have a cold. I wish to make a complaint!

    Owner: Sorry. We’re closing for lunch.

    Customer: Never mind that, my lad. I wish to complain about this medical license what I purchased not half an hour ago from this very boutique.

    Owner: Oh yes, the, uh, the doctor of medicine. What’s wrong with it?

    Customer: I’ll tell you what’s wrong with it. It’s dead, that’s what’s wrong with it!

    Owner: No, no, it’s resting. Look.

    Customer: Look, my lad, I know a dead medical license when I see one, and I’m looking at one right now.

    Owner: No, no, it’s not dead. It’s resting!

    Customer: Resting?

    Owner: Remarkable degree, the medical license. Beautiful plumage, isn’t it?

    Customer: The plumage don’t enter into it. It’s stone dead.

    Owner: No, no, no, no, no! It’s resting!

    Customer: All right then, if it’s resting, I’ll wake it up! (shouting at the cage) Hello, Polly! I’ve got a nice cuttle fish for you, when you wake up, Polly Medical License!

    (owner hits the cage)

    Owner: There, it moved!

    Customer: No, he didn’t, that was you pushing the cage!

    Owner: I did not!!

    Customer: Yes, you did! Hello Polly! Polly!!! Polly Medical License! Wake up! Polly!!!

    (Takes parrot out of the cage and thumps its head on the counter. Throws it up
    in the air and watches it plummet to the floor.)

    Customer: Now that’s what I call a dead medical license.

    Owner: No, no. It’s stunned!

    Customer: Look, my lad, I’ve had just about enough of this. That medical license is definitely deceased, and when I bought it not half an hour ago, you assured me that its lack of movement was due to it being tired and shagged out after an uneventful rally in Chicago.

    Owner: It’s probably pining for the fjords.

    Customer: PINING for the FJORDS? What kind of talk is that? Look, why did it fall flat on it’s back the moment I got it home?

    Owner: The medical license prefers keeping on it’s back! It’s a beautiful degree. Lovely plumage!

    Customer: Look, I took the liberty of examining that medical license, and I discovered the only reason that it had been sitting on its perch in the first place, was that it had been nailed there with needles for Ex-Dr. Wakefield’s measles-only vaccine.

    (pause)

    Owner: Well, of course it was nailed there! Otherwise, it would have muscled up to those bars, and VOOM!

    Customer: Look, matie, this medical license wouldn’t “voom” if I put four thousand volts through it! It’s bleeding demised!

    Owner: It’s not! It’s pining!

    Customer: It’s not pining! It’s passed on! This license to practice medicine is no more! It has ceased to be! It’s expired and gone to meet its maker! This is a late medical license! It’s a stiff! Bereft of life, it rests in peace! If you hadn’t nailed it to the perch it would be pushing up the daisies! It’s run down the curtain and joined the choir invisibile!!
    THIS IS AN EX-DOCTOR!!

    Owner: Well, I’d better replace it, then.

    Customer: If you want to get anything done in this country, you’ve got to complain ’til you’re blue in the mouth.

    (looks behind the counter)

    Owner: Sorry guv, we’re right out of medical licenses.

    Customer: I see. I see, I get the picture.

    Owner: I’ve got a slug quack.

    (pause)

    Customer: Does it work?

    Owner: Not really. No.

    If anyone catches Ex-Dr. Andrew Wakefield practicing medicine, call the police, because Ex-Dr. Andrew Wakefield is practicing medicine without a license.

    Ex-Dr. Andrew Wakefield decided to leave us with a comic novel. If only the effects of his actions were not more tragic than a Shakespeare tragedy.

    And so descends the curtain, slowly, on the fraudulent career of Ex-Dr. Andrew Wakefield.

  123. #123 Science Mom
    June 3, 2010

    I didnt see anything that said “PhD in biochemistry” I was merely repeating what Brian Deer had on his webpage, I am that stupid. My grandfather had his phd and no one ever called him doctor.

    “From: Molecular Strategies for the Detection of Measles Virus in Inflammatory Bowel Disease, a thesis submitted for the degree of doctor of philosophy, by Nicholas Charles Chadwick, Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of London

    “I haz teh dumb” is not a defence for what you are doing. You make rigid proclamations, they get refuted, then you retreat to “ooo poor me, I’m just stupid”. Not buying what you are selling BMS. A modicum of effort on your part would have elicited responses that could easily answer that question. You aren’t fooling anyone here but yourselves. If your bum is sore, that is also of your own machinations.

  124. #124 Dedj
    June 3, 2010

    “Dedj-

    Based on what self limiting knowledge I have of the GMC and of Wakefield’s case I understand that nothing about the legitimacy of the paper was heard.”

    I, and others, have already pointed out that there are several charges which have a direct implication for the legitimacy of the paper, despite that not even being the purpose of the hearing.

    The recruitment of the children was not as described.
    The nature of the client base was not as described.
    Some of the clients were not reffered with any GI symptoms described by their GP’s on the refferal letters.
    Some of the children were reffered for no other reason than explicit request of the parents.
    The nature of the testing was not as described.
    Massive multiple conflicts of interest were not declared, for the rather weak excuse of ‘there was no explicit question on the submission form’
    The nature of the permission for the study was misdescribed.

    Others have independantly confirmed that the results of the tests were not as described.

    So, basically, the hearing didn’t intentionally address the paper, yet found enough to severely question it anyway.

    “What was heard was that Wakefield took money from an attorney representing a group of kids that were suing because of a vaccine injury,”

    Not in itself unethical, but Wakefields coverage and misrepresentation of it certainly was.

    “that Wakefield had some sort of vaccine/not a vaccine, gut treating patent”

    It is expressly and primarily described as a vaccine component throughout the patent. There is no question it was intended as a vaccine.

    “I understood it to be about how blood came to be collected from a control,”

    And how Wakefield dismissed the concerns straight after, and even turned it into some kind of joke.

    “I understood it to be about how Wakefield ordered invasive tests to be performed on sick kids,”

    That he wasn’t clinically authourised to request, that his own defence expert agrees were not clinically indicated, and which were sometimes expressly requested for research purposes on the clinical reasoning form.

    “I heard something about how most of the fellow authors of this paper withdrew their names because they didnt agree with the impression that the paper was about linking the MMR to autism.”

    Well, press conferences are supposed to be about presenting and interpreting the paper for non-clinical/academic persons in order to help them understand it. Wakefield heavily implied that there was a reason to suspect MMR in autism, when there wasn’t.

    “And based on all that I am not impressed with all the hoopla going on about all of this when there is so much else out there no one seems to give a damn about. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/19/AR2010051902599.html

    You cannot render an arguement illegitimate because you feel there is a greater concern elsewhere. Good for you for being concerned (as you should be), but it is utterly irrelevant to the defence of Wakefield.

  125. #125 Dedj
    June 3, 2010

    “I was merely repeating what Brian Deer had on his webpage, I am that stupid.”

    No you weren’t. Nothing told you Chadwicks PhD was in philosophy. You intentionally changed Science Mom’s wording without indictating you had done so, and your alledged ‘whoopsie’ just happens to read like it would do if you were attempting to play down Chadwicks qualifications.

    There is no way could you have a grandpa with a PhD, and have read Deers description and not have come to the reasonable conclusion that Chadwick therefore has a PhD in biochemistry.

    You claim you weren’t being dishonest and underhanded. Unfortunetly for you (which ever one of the two of you did it) your behaviour exactly matches that of a person being dishonest.

  126. #126 Kristen
    June 3, 2010

    Ben’s Parent,

    And I agree with that but it’s like saying that nuclear weapons are a valuable peaceful tool that save lives and look at all the various camps along those beliefs.

    No, no it’s not. Vaccination a means of preventing disease, not a weapon.

    Before this point I thought you were just being stupid, but this has to be the most asinine (look it up) thing you have said. You are purposely trying to rile people up. This statement shows your true motives; convince others that vaccines are a poison conjured up by the CDC with the secret intention of harming children.

    You are hopeless and I regret extending an olive branch to you.

  127. #127 Julian Frost
    June 3, 2010

    Just read a review in the Epoch Times by one James Ottar Grundvig. The nitwit swallowed Wakefield’s lies hook, line, and sinker. I’ve already used their feedback form to complain, but I would really appreciate a dogpile from anyone who’s up to it.

  128. #128 Calli Arcale
    June 3, 2010

    Wakefield is as much a doctor as my brother is. (My brother has a PhD in physics. Since he works for a medical research facility, sometimes people draw a mistaken impression about his title, but he seldom refers to himself as “Doctor”; instead, if absolutely necessary, he puts “PhD” after his name.)

    bensmyson @ 104:

    calli – ” neurodevelopmental disorders are not considered brain injuries”

    That’s not the way I understand it, As I understand it most neurodevelopmental disorders are caused by injury. Even those “genetic” causes may have some epigenetic causation due to environmental stresses and physiological influences on prior generations.

    If you’re going to consider genetics an injury, then you might as well call every single thing that ever happens to a person an “injury”, but that would dilute the term into meaninglessness. No, neurodevelopmental disorders are not considered to be brain injuries. They can be comorbid with brain injuries, or complicated by brain injuries, or complicate the recovery from brain injuries, but that is not the same thing.

    The distinction is actually important.

    Regarding Wakefield

    “Why are you not the least bit curious?

    I am extremely curious. At this point in my life, I am suspicious of most everything.

    You could have fooled me. You seem to have no real desire to question those who validate your beliefs. You want others to prove to you that Wakefield is a fraud, and you want them to go beyond all the evidence they’ve already presented. You are not curious enough to actually look at any of it. That does not seem like someone who is really “extremely curious”.

  129. #129 Zetetic
    June 3, 2010

    @ the bensmyson(s):
    Perhaps part of the problem with communicating with you is that you are more than one person using the same handle.

    We’ve already indicated previously that you should adopt 2 different handles (i.e. bensmyson-1/bensmyson-2, or better yet bensmyson-Mom/bensmyson-Dad) but you have still chosen not to do so. If this causes problem with having a clear discussion then it is your fault not ours, but it is easily remedied by a small and harmless change in your behavior. It does bring up the question though as to why you haven’t already done so. Why not?

    one of the bensmyson’s said:

    And I agree with that but it’s like saying that nuclear weapons are a valuable peaceful tool that save lives and look at all the various camps along those beliefs.

    Wow! I know that we’ve already gone over this before with both of you, but that so incorrect it’s not even wrong. Is that really the best analogy you could come up with. Bull, you’re just using a loaded analogy that exposes your own biases.

    How about this analogy instead?….
    “Vaccines are like a routine out-patient surgery, but for a contagious and potentially dangerous condition.”

    Any surgical procedures has risks both major and minor. Fortunately, for a valid surgical procedure the risks outweigh the benefits. Granted the analogy isn’t perfect, but let’s just go with it for now.

    If the risks of the hypothetical surgery are far less that the risk of the contagious condition that it treats, would you still oppose the procedure? Even if it means more deaths/harm than with the procedure being practiced? Please explain the logic of such a position.

  130. #130 bensmyson
    June 3, 2010

    I have to disagree about Neurodevelopmental Disorders Calli, Perhaps I am misunderstanding though. As I understand it, Neurodevelopmental Disorders are on the most part, the result of injuries. The misunderstanding may be in my interpretation of the term “acquired” as in a neurodevelopmental disorder may have been acquired from a bout with the measles, to me the measles is not an injury but the measles caused an injury which caused a neurodevelopmental disorder.

    http://www.aadmd.org/sites/default/files/Neurodevelopmental_Disorders1.pdf

  131. #131 bensmyson
    June 3, 2010

    So there is or isn’t a gut problem with kids with autism?

    “Diagnosis of autism has always been difficult and often the condition remains unrecognised until too late for treatment to have a maximum effect.

    But now researchers at Imperial College London have discovered a potential way of spotting the disorder in children as young as six months old.

    They have found that children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) also suffer from disorders in their gut and that this can be detected with a simple urine test.

    That would mean that intensive behavioural and social treatment could begin before the disease has caused any permanent psychological damage.

    Professor Jeremy Nicholson, the author of the study, said: “Children with autism have very unusual gut microbes which we can test for before the full blown symptoms of the disease come through.

    “If that is the case then it might become a preventable disease.”"

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/7801077/Autism-test-could-make-the-condition-preventable.html

  132. #132 Zetetic
    June 3, 2010

    Yea! My post at @ #129 finally showed after being moderated. Aside from using the names of ben’s parent(s), I wonder what could have put into moderation?

  133. #133 Science Mom
    June 3, 2010

    So there is or isn’t a gut problem with kids with autism?

    I guarantee, you are going to end up on the wrong end of this yet again, if you wave a newspaper article about in triumph. This study doesn’t prove that.

  134. #134 Sauceress
    June 4, 2010

    He still has his degree from school, but that does not permit him to work as a doctor. He was stripped of his medical license in order to protect the public.

    I’ve been consistently forgetting to ask here: Is the award of a medical degree contingent on swearing the/a Hippocratic Oath, either during medical school or perhaps at the award ceremony? I guess what I’m asking is – would Andrew Wakefield have sworn such an oath and when? Very quick look around suggests the timing of swearing an oath, if in fact one is even sworn, varies between institutions.

  135. #135 MI Dawn
    June 4, 2010

    Well, on Pubmed all I can find is the extract of the epub Urinary Metabolic Phenotyping Differentiates Children with Autism from Their Unaffected Siblings and Age-Matched Controls but it appears to me that all the researchers say is this:

    “These biochemical changes are consistent with some of the known abnormalities of gut microbiota found in autistic individuals and the associated gastrointestinal dysfunction and may be of value in monitoring the success of therapeutic interventions.”

    In otherwords, for those autistic individuals who have gut issues, this may be of value in monitoring treatment. Nothing I can see (although it may be discussed in the full article) where it says anything about detection as early at 6 months, or that all autistic individuals have gut issues.

    I would be interested in Orac’s take on this research, or his friend or someone else on SBM.

  136. #136 Science Mom
    June 4, 2010

    @ MI Dawn, I skimmed the full text last night and they don’t even describe their cohorts. So no medical histories. Also, these children are 3-9 years old so not at all comparable to urinary excretion of a 6-month old. That would require a large study to establish. Many of their analyses weren’t statistically significant, while finding significance in others. This is preliminary work and no way to make those statements present in the press release. I also wonder how BMS feels about a funding conflict of interest; I would wager none, since it comes from a curbie organisation.

  137. #137 bensmyson
    June 4, 2010

    Zetec – “Vaccines are like a routine out-patient surgery, but for a contagious and potentially dangerous condition.”

    Except for one thing, everyone receiving surgery needs that surgery, not everyone receiving a vaccine needs it, so in the hypothetical discussion about the need for surgery one could weigh actual risks to actual benefits, big difference. Vaccines supposedly prevent a potential problem as do weapons of mass destruction. Even having a handgun in the house for protection sometimes will cause injury to the occupant of the house. Should we do away with handguns because a very few kids end up finding the gun and shooting themselves or others? Should we educate the dangers of a loaded handgun, make laws and enforce those laws to make the handgun as safe as possible? I own a handgun, actually more than one, but the difference is I know what harm a handgun is capable of, I had no idea that vaccines can cause serious injury. I was able to weigh the risks with owning a handgun, not true regarding vaccines.

  138. #138 T. Bruce McNeely
    June 4, 2010

    I’ve been consistently forgetting to ask here: Is the award of a medical degree contingent on swearing the/a Hippocratic Oath, either during medical school or perhaps at the award ceremony?

    The Hippocratic Oath is not required to obtain an MD or licensure as a doctor. My graduating class never took it. I’m not sure about using the title “Doctor”. MDs who retire are no longer licensed, but customarily still use the title. If an MD degree was revoked, then I expect that the title could no longer be used. However, I have never heard of this happening. My medical alma mater had a graduate a few years behind me who was convicted of first-degree murder. He lost his license of course, but he still has his degree.

  139. #139 Calli Arcale
    June 4, 2010

    bensparents @ 130:

    I have to disagree about Neurodevelopmental Disorders Calli, Perhaps I am misunderstanding though. As I understand it, Neurodevelopmental Disorders are on the most part, the result of injuries.

    Okay, let me put it another way…..

    I have a friend who is legally blind. His condition is genetic; his mother has it as well, and he opted not to have children of his (he adopted instead) to avoid passing it on. I suppose technically I’m legally blind, if I don’t wear my glasses, and my condition (though I wasn’t born with it) is not due to injury either. My brother was blind in one eye due to strabismus (lazy eye) until it was corrected with extensive and exhausting therapy. His condition was due to an anoxic brain injury, but not an injury to the eye itself. And I also know someone who is partially blind due to a nasty accident as a child — her case is definitely eye injury.

    But blindness is not eye injury. Some blindness is because of eye injury, but the distinction is important; if you assume all blindness is eye injury, where does that leave my friend who was born blind?

    Likewise, neurodevelopmental disorder is not brain injury. It can result from brain injury, but in a great many cases it does not. In the study you linked, a very large percentage were genetic, so to characterize “neurodevelopmental disorder” as “brain injury” is to ignore a large percentage of the affected population. This has serious implications for trying to understand these disorders, because it assumes all cases result from injury, which is not true at all.

  140. #140 bensmyson
    June 4, 2010

    Calli-

    I think we are kind of saying the same thing. Sort of. My point is that autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that can be caused by a brain injury. But of course since no one actually has undeniable proof as to what causes autism I was just asserting, in my uneducated way of doing such things, that neurodevelopmental disorders can be the result of injury, in some studies the majority are in fact injuries. And yes, many are also genetic in nature.

    I do have a question regarding epigenetics, isnt it possible that an injury (enviromental element) injure the DNA? http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1951968,00.html

    It has been discovered that detailed diaries written during the famine in Ireland, 1845 to 1849, have shown that the effects of starvation and malnutrition upon the grandparents affected the grandchildren – genetically. So then isnt there then a possibility that there has been an injury to the genome?

  141. #141 Rogue Medic
    June 4, 2010

    Along the lines of what I wrote in comment #82 -

    The connection between enterocolitis and autism is most likely due to communication problems.

    Ex-Dr. Andrew Wakefield invented this disease. Samuel Hahnemann invented homeopathy. These are not inventions that have been shown to be real. Not being real does not keep them from being popular.

    Another thing that keeps being suggested is that the GMC did not review the quality of the science in the original Wakefield fraudulent study. The GMC only reviewed the many ethical violations.

    Ex-Dr. Andrew Wakefield’s ethical violations were so serious that the GMC stripped him of his license to practice medicine.

    We are supposed to believe that even with such serious ethical violations this study would have received approval to be started.

    We are supposed to believe that even with such serious ethical violations this study would have received approval to be published.

    No.

    This is just part of the conspiracy theory. The science in the Wakefield fraud is not science. This is just documentation of child abuse.

    Nothing is lost by discarding the whole fraud, except if one is interested in studying medical fraud. This is a great example of how far people can go with fraud.

  142. #142 Science Mom
    June 4, 2010

    I do have a question regarding epigenetics, isnt it possible that an injury (enviromental element) injure the DNA? http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1951968,00.html

    It has been discovered that detailed diaries written during the famine in Ireland, 1845 to 1849, have shown that the effects of starvation and malnutrition upon the grandparents affected the grandchildren – genetically. So then isnt there then a possibility that there has been an injury to the genome?

    Why are you so obsessed with injury and damage? What you linked to and stated are a result of epigenetic expression, not injury to the genome. The genome remains intact but the expression of certain genes produces a particular phenotype under particular environmental influences.

  143. #143 Zetetic
    June 4, 2010

    @ ben’s parents:
    That why I stated that the analogy wasn’t perfect, but it’s still better that nuclear weapons in the sense that vaccines only harm others where there is a rare, but sometimes tragic reaction, but ultimately vaccines are designed to save lives. Even your own words, from the other threads confirms that you acknowledge that.

    The seat-belt analogy is often used since they are designed to save lives too, but may sometime result in death. You keeping a handgun for defense analogy also has the same problem as the my surgical analogy they don’t do anything until there as a need.

    Perhaps a better analogy would be a burglar/fire alarm system? It’s something that is set up before it’s needed. There is a small possibility of the house being damaged (by an electrical fire in the alarm, for example). But if there is a break-in or a fire it allows emergency services to respond in a more effective manner. There still no guaranty that you can’t be robbed or you house won’t burn down, but is makes it far less likely (at least for the hypothetical situation here). For example an unresponsive emergency service can be analogous to a weakened immune system. Especially if more people use similar alarms to allow fires and burglars to be more readily caught before they more to another home.

    No analogy will be perfect, but comparing a vaccines to other items that have a similar function, saving lives, is more appropriate and tends to make for better analogies.

    ———————————————————-

    So ben’s parents(s) any thoughts on reducing the communication hassles by using two different handles yet?

    ——————————————————————

    Lastly my understanding of epigenetics is that it’s not change to the genome, but rather a change in the way the cells express the traits. Therefore you can change the expression of a trait without changing the gene itself. While this would result in a physical difference in the subject, it wouldn’t be detected as a change in the genome itself. To anyone out there with more knowledge on the field, please correct me if I’m wrong about that.

  144. #144 Calli Arcale
    June 4, 2010

    bensparents:

    But of course since no one actually has undeniable proof as to what causes autism I was just asserting, in my uneducated way of doing such things, that neurodevelopmental disorders can be the result of injury, in some studies the majority are in fact injuries.

    “Uneducated” my foot. You know exactly what you’re doing, and it was quite clear that you didn’t meant to point out the minority of cases which are due to injury (the source you linked had less than 50% of cases known to be due to injury), but rather to indicate that you consider all of them to be injury. You’ve said time and time again that autism is a brain injury. Not that Ben’s autism is a brain injury, but that autism itself is a brain injury. You are being disingenous, and trying to distract us with your “I’m too uneducated to understand” schtick. You’re as well educated as I am. (I have a mere BA.)

    You ask about epigenetics…. I don’t know about that, but I do know that learning disorders can be acquired by means which are neither genetic nor brain injury nor some sort of weird environmental exposure. Profoundly neglected children nearly always have some learning disorders, and often a range of other social and behavioral issues. One of the sadder examples is “Genie” (a code-name given to her by the scientists who studied her, to protect her identity). She was confined to a single room for the first 14 years of her life, and did not hear any human speech or socialize with anyone — even her parents. It was a pretty horrific childhood. She was profoundly disabled as a result of it, but apart from malnutrition, her main problem was simply lack of exposure to other people — she was a true “wild child”. Something to think about.

    (BTW, my brother had an anoxic brain injury as an infant. But we do not know whether that had anything to do with it; autism runs in the family as well, and indeed, my totally un-brain-damaged daughter has been diagnosed on the spectrum. In fact, she seems so much like him in many ways that I suspect it wasn’t so much a case of the brain damage causing his condition as it was a case of his brain rebuilding according to its original plan. But it’s impossible to know.)

  145. #145 Pablo
    June 4, 2010

    I always get a kick out of morons who are all like, “Oh, I’m just a simple person and don’t know all this technical stuff like science” but then spout off a bunch of nonsense and act like they know what they are talking about.

    No, we are not buying your, “Caveman Lawyer” routine (by Phil Hartmann – “what do I know? I’m just a caveman”). You think you are smart and know it all, but when you get stuck in a corner where you know you are exposed, you run behind the “aw shucks, uneducated old me” bit.

    If you really thought you were uneducated and ignorant, you’d stop spouting out of your blowhole and listen. You might ask a question every once in a while to get some clarification, but you’d stop trying to tell everyone else they are wrong. Remember, you are an uneducated fuckwit. That’s YOUR assessment, not mine. So stop telling the people here, people who ARE educated and DO know their stuff, that they are wrong.

    If you really think you are uneducated, then listen and learn.

    OTOH, if you actually do think you know something, then knock off the idiotic clueless routine.

  146. #146 bensmyson
    June 4, 2010

    Calli- “She was confined to a single room for the first 14 years of her life”

    See, to me the confinement was the assault that caused the problem/injury. If another human being is responsible for the confinement then surely someone was charged with a crime for causing the “injury.” If civil charges are filed then the plaintiff’s attorney will have to prove an injury, etc.

    And yes, the way I interpret the term “injury” I believe (not saying it’s a fact but it is a belief) that all autism is the result of an injury. At 27 I had an aneurysm, it did not rupture. Nearly all the deceased elders in my family died of strokes, I suppose I have a genetic cause for what ever causes strokes, what ever caused my aneurysm, the aneurysm was an injury, the weak wall, the spike in blood pressure, whatever is something else. To me autism is like an aneurysm or I might add, lung cancer caused by smoking.

  147. #147 bensmyson
    June 4, 2010

    Pablo- I guess you are confused, you said, “you’d stop trying to tell everyone else they are wrong” How could I possibly do that when I know very little with absolute certainty, my questions deal with those who profess knowledge of certainty on issues that folks with a greater education and professional experience still argue about.

    I guess what gets me about all this certainty is how you project so much of it into me when I seriously doubt I have stated anything emphatically that I have claimed to be certain of. I have my beliefs and those beliefs are based on my understanding which may or may not have something to do with intelligence or education, or lack of the same.

    Many of you who have demonized Dr Wakefield will not read page one of his book that I suppose gives his side of things, to me that just shows the prejudicial bias that prevents any meaningful or legitimate debate. I mean you’d more than likely read a cook book by Hannibal Lecter than read Wakefield’s book.

  148. #148 Calli Arcale
    June 4, 2010

    BTW, it occurs to me I wasn’t very clear in my last post. Genie was a very extreme case; other feral children have not been as profoundly disabled, and her case was shocking in its extremity. I do not subscribe to the “refrigerator mothers” theory of autism causation; it just doesn’t hold to scrutiny, or the overwhelming numbers of extremely involved mothers of autistic children. (Ben’s mom, for all I disagree with her and Ben’s dad, is definitely *not* a refrigerator mom. She cares deeply about him, that is obvious.) But Genie’s case does teach us one thing, and that’s that the circumstances in which the brain finds itself can have significant and life-long effects on its structure, organization, and capabilities. This, of course, is why it’s imperative to have early intervention for learning disorders — the sooner they are addressed, the less harm is done by them.

  149. #149 Orange Lantern
    June 4, 2010

    I mean you’d more than likely read a cook book by Hannibal Lecter than read Wakefield’s book.

    I’d read it, but I won’t pay for it. And I don’t know if I’m ever going to come across one of the ~1000 copies currently sold. Maybe he can start distributing free e-copies… Nah…

    I’ve also read “What Your Doctor May Not Tell You about Children’s Vaccinations” by Dr. Cave (given to me, not bought). The copy now has a lot of indentations in it that are the same shape as my forehead.

    I thumbed through some of Neil Z. Miller’s book that was at our library. Seriously, it’s hard to read things that are full of such horrible fallacies. But absolutely, I would read Wakefield’s book if I could guarantee that it did not put money in the pocket of Wakefield or any anti-vax group.

    Have you ever read “Autism’s False Profits”? No money goes to Offit for the sale of the book, it goes to autism research at CHOP. Why not pick it up?

    Or would you like your hypocrisy with some fava beans and a nice Chianti?

  150. #150 Calli Arcale
    June 4, 2010

    ben’s parents:

    See, to me the confinement was the assault that caused the problem/injury. If another human being is responsible for the confinement then surely someone was charged with a crime for causing the “injury.”

    The father was charged with child neglect and child abuse; I don’t recall the outcome, but I recall it being a difficult case because he had skipped town (which was what allowed the mother to finally escape with Genie and her younger son).

    But what happened to her brain was not a brain injury. You are again deliberately using words incorrectly. I’m not sure why; the whole point of language to be understood. I suppose it’s possible you have an ulterior motive, but I fail to see what good would be served by misleading people about teh causes of autism.

    Words matter. You can use them however you like, but if after you have the correct meanings explained to you, you continue to persist in nonstandard usage, you are going to find yourself alienating your audience. They will grow tired of trying to work out what you actually mean, since you’re not using the words the way other people do.

    Genie’s brain suffered no injury. It simply was not given the input necessary for it to develop properly. This is extremely important stuff for understanding the brain — to know that even with no damage and no known genetic developmental disorders, a brain can still wind up profoundly affected by a very bad social environment. This should not be surprising; there is research showing that children who use computers from an early age have differences in their brains from children who don’t. There is also research showing differences between children raised as polyglots (speaking multiple languages) and people who were raised with a single language and then learned other languages later. None of that implies brain damage; just that the brain’s development is affected by the input it gets. It’s enormously adaptive.

    To me autism is like an aneurysm or I might add, lung cancer caused by smoking.

    For goodness sakes! Autism is nothing like an aneurysm, and having had experience with both, you really should know that. An aneurysm is a mechanical failure of a blood vessel; the result can be benign, or it can be massive brain damage, as cells die due to excessive pressure or lack of oxygen or both. In an autistic brain, the cells are all there, alive and well. The difference is that they are not organized the same way.

    But then, if you actually cared about words and details and any side of the Wakefield story besides his own (which he has finally decided to give in the form of a bit of self-promotion, though curiously he had no interest of defending himself against the GMC), you would know these things. You would know that the details *matter*.

  151. #151 Pablo
    June 4, 2010

    To me autism is like an aneurysm or I might add, lung cancer caused by smoking.

    But you are an uneducated fuckwit, so you say. Why would you think that how it is “to you” has any basis in reality?

    Shouldn’t your comment read, “To me autism is like an aneurysm or I might add, lung cancer caused by smoking. But then again, I am pretty clueless on these matters, so I suspect that my view is probably incorrect”?

    Of course, it has been explained to you plenty of times, and you refuse to listen and learn, and continue to hold steadfast to your admitted ignorance.

  152. #152 bensmyson
    June 5, 2010

    Language certainly is an ineffective tool when attempting to get points across this grande divide between us. I see nothing wrong with what I stated, to me autism is a brain injury. If a plant is denied water it will fail to thrive, if the water is denied the lack of water injures the plant, its dehydration is an injury. If a person smokes 2 packs of Camel non-filters for 30 years and develops lung cancer and smoking is said to be the cause of lung cancer then smoking cigarettes caused injury/cancer. Dropping a rock on my toe caused my toe to swell and blood vessels to rupture, the resulting limp is from an injury from a rock not the swelling, had I been wearing steel toed shoes I would most likely not have had an injury, I would have still had a rock dropped on my toe however, but no limp. I have no idea why some children’s brains have shoes and some dont, but the rock hits all of them. Swelling, limps, etc dont come from not wearing shoes, it comes from the rock hitting the naked toe. The toe injury caused the limp.

  153. #153 Todd W.
    June 5, 2010

    Perhaps a better way of explaining it might be with an analogy.

    Take a plant as an analogy for a growing brain. Given good soil, adequate water, fertilizer, the right amount of sun, and it grows up big, healthy, produces robust fruit and seeds, etc. That’s like a normally developing child.

    Now, to take an analog of the wild child, Genie. Same plant. Its soil is poor, doesn’t get much water or fertilizer, and it gets insufficient light. When it is given better environment, it perks up, some, but it is still stunted.

    Now for autism. This plant has a genetic variation that causes it to grow differently than the first plant. It gets the same quality of soil, water, light and fertilizer. It is still healthy and robust, but its fruit are oddly shaped. The leaves look different. The stems branch off strangely. Physically, there has been no damage to the plant. The cells are all just like the first plant, but they are arranged and interact in a unique manner. It may need additional attention early on to ensure that it does well, and perhaps needs a bit more pampering than the first plant in order to thrive. The differences are difficult to trace back to the specific genetic variations, but physical trauma can be ruled out because there is zero evidence of any such damage.

    Now for the brain injury comparison. This plant is like the first one. It has a good quality environment, but at some point, its main stem is nicked or broken. The results may be anywhere from major (much of the plant dies and it fails to thrive) to minor (a tumorous knob grows at the tear in the stem), depending on the severity of the physical trauma. Whatever changes occur, there is clear, physical damage to the plant, and the type of changes are distinct from those seen in the third plant. One can, with enough training, determine, generally, what type of damage occurred based on the changes that resulted.

  154. #154 Pablo
    June 5, 2010

    Todd – haven’t we learned enough to know that these morons don’t understand the concept of analogies?

  155. #155 Todd W.
    June 5, 2010

    @Pablo

    It’s just my quixotic hope that at some point we’ll hit upon an analogy that they do get. Granted, we’re operating without knowing how they did on that section of the SATs.

  156. #156 bensmyson
    June 5, 2010

    Todd – “Now for autism. This plant has a genetic variation that causes it to grow differently …”

    You’re making an enormous assumption aren’t you?

  157. #157 Orange Lantern
    June 5, 2010

    You’re making an enormous assumption aren’t you?

    Not really. He’s making an analogy using the prevailing theory concerning autism, based on what is known about the differences in the brains of autistic children, when those differences would develop, and the lack of evidence for an environmental cause for autism.

    Even if you don’t believe all that, it’s far from an “enormous assumption”, especially when contrasted against your assumption that autism is a brain injury.

  158. #158 Rogue Medic
    June 5, 2010

    @ 156 bensmyson,

    Todd – “Now for autism. This plant has a genetic variation that causes it to grow differently …”

    You’re making an enormous assumption aren’t you?

    What you should written is –

    You’re making an enormous assumption just to try to explain the errors of only one of my/our enormous assumptions, aren’t you?

    A wonderful irony.

  159. #159 bensmyson
    June 5, 2010

    orange – Lack of evidence for environmental factors? Really? Really?

    “prevailing theory”

    Sort of like the prevailing theory among parents of children with regressive autism, those suspecting vaccines as the cause of their child’s disorder? You talking about that kind of prevailing theory?

  160. #160 Todd W.
    June 5, 2010

    @bensmyson

    I freely admit, that I am making somewhat of an assumption, the basis of which is, as Orange Lantern pointed out, the prevailing scientific evidence to date.

  161. #161 Calli Arcale
    June 5, 2010

    Ben’s parents, so to you, if it’s not due to an injury, it doesn’t count? By defining autism as brain injury, you consciously and willfully exclude any hope for those who have genetic defects which resulted in autism? (That is not an assumption. There are several *known* defects that can cause autism. They do not account for all cases, but the proportion is significant and it is insulting for you to ignore them because they are inconvenient to you.)

    You really aren’t interested in details, are you? Except for your son, the individuals do not matter. The only autism you care to cure is your son’s; thus, if research cures your son, it could benefit any other child who is exactly like your son, but will do bugger all for other children. And if you’ve been barking up the wrong tree all this time, it won’t even help him. And if that happens, you won’t even notice, because you aren’t interested in details. You’ve decided what is true; everything else is compared against that.

  162. #162 bensmyson
    June 6, 2010

    Todd – The prevailing scientific evidence to date is inconclusive, if 7 out of ten children with autism have a particular gene similarity that does noto show up in others then it may show a likelihood of a relationship but the way I see it either it’s there or it’s not. BTW most of these close likelihoods are not that different than the “normal” population.

    Calli – Do me a favor and show me ONE person with autism, NOT an autism related disorder, but AUTISM, show me one person whose autism is purely genetic.

    And as for – “The only autism you care to cure is your son’s; thus, if research cures your son, it could benefit any other child who is exactly like your son, but will do bugger all for other children.”

    Cure? There is a “cure” for autism?

    I am supposing that you are just saying that I am selfish and greedy, that I am only interested in my son and not that of the lives of other children.

    My son versus that of any other child(ren) on the face of the planet every time. If the choice is so black and white then yes, my son wins every time. Unfortunately though my son has already been wrecked which has caused me to have concern for my neighbors unvaccinated children. Now is my own prejudice regarding cause, harmful to my neighbors children? Well first of all I believe Ben’s brain injury has a possible genetic predisposition, the only identified abnormal gene Ben has is the MTHFR gene which affects the narrow small arteries, children diagnosed with autism have been found to show significant hypoperfusion which INJURES the brain. But I also have an abnormal MTHFR gene, so do many people. So what does that prove? Nothing. There is no proof of anything. So what do I tell my neighbors? How to protect their child? I tell them what happened to Ben, his story, they can make their own decisions. What will the pediatrician tell them? The CDC? The FDA? What will you tell them? I am certain that my son’s history will never be mentioned much less that of Hannah Poling. Vaccines are too important to the global health to discuss the serious risks involved.

  163. #163 Calli Arcale
    June 7, 2010

    There isn’t a cure for autism yet, but that’s no reason to assume there never will be — more likely, though is that there will be better and better therapies. By blinding yourself deliberately to any causes of autism which do not fit your preconceived notions, you rule out any help for those who are different from your son. And there is a very real possibility that you are even ruling out help for your son as well, because you do not know what caused/causes his autism. You have an idea, and you are sticking to it.

    BTW, you are disingenuous to mention Hannah Poling. You expressly forbid me from suggesting a genetic disorder which resembles autism, and then you bring up a child whose disorder is distinct from autism, and the vaccine court recognized that.

    As for children whose autism is clearly genetic — they exist. You may believe that it must be due to some injury to their brain, perhaps caused by a faulty gene in the cardiovascular system, but that’s not at all what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the people (this includes adults, don’t forget about them either) whose brain cells do not operate the same way as yours or mine, in particular, their brain cells do not organize in the same way. You really should read up on neurodevelopment; it is extremely fascinating, even to laypeople such as ourselves.

    There have been a few genetic causes of autism identified; these account for less than a quarter of cases. The rest are largely unknown causes. Vaccines have been suggested; diet has been suggested; poor upbringing has been suggested; prenatal nutrition has been suggested; maternal stress has been suggested; for the most part, at this point it’s all still pretty speculative. (Exception: we know that prenatal rubella can produce autistic symptoms, but the MMR has virtually eradicated that from the US, so that only relates to older adult autistics.) It seems reasonable that a good percentage will turn out to be not directly due to genes but due to the prenatal environment — and only some of it will constitute injury as you are using the word. More of it will be organizational, resulting not from harm to any of the cells but from their interactions with one another.

    I have to get to a meeting, but later I’ll dig up information on the genes that have been identified as being responsible for some specific cases of autism. (i can’t give you the children, obviously; their names would be redacted from the studies to protect their privacy.) One I seem to recall being sex-specific (which may partially explain why there are more autistic males than females).

  164. #164 MI Dawn
    June 7, 2010

    @Calli: something to give BMS1&2: I can’t access her blog from work (nor am I even sure it is still active), but Autistic Bitch from Hell (Whose Planet is it Anyway) is a woman with Rett’s Syndrome which is known to cause autism. So there is ONE specific, genetic cause of autism and one specific person who can be referenced.

    OT to Calli: BTW: great job on the comments on raw milk at the newspaper. I read them but didn’t bother to register to comment since I knew I could compliment you here!

  165. #165 Calli Arcale
    June 7, 2010

    Thanks, MI Dawn! And you’re very kind. ;-) Rett’s Syndrome was the one I had in mind. DSM-IV considers it on the autism spectrum, though there is some debate about whether or not it should be included. For now, it officially is considered a form of autism. The interesting thing about Rett’s Syndrome is that it is usually not inherited — it is the result of a mutation that occurs either in a parent’s germline cells, the individual gametes, or the newly conceived zygote.

    It differs from some of the trends in autism; for instance, Rett’s Syndrome tends to produce smaller head circumference, while if you look at all autistics, the average head circumference tends to be larger than the average for the general population. Rett’s can be contracted by embryos of either sex, but the males rarely survive to term — the mutation is on the X, and is not matched by anything on the Y. Having no functional copy of the gene can be fatal.

    Fragile X is another one carried on the X, but a working copy on X will prevent symptoms from appearing, so most people presenting with symptoms are male. I don’t believe fragile X is in the DSM-IV for autism; it’s a question of definition.

    Autism appears suspiciously heritable, though all the gene mutations found to correlate with it seem to be not enough to cause it by themselves. It’s not like colorblindness, in other words, where a single mutation is sufficient. It’s more complex, which probably should be expected, given the inherent complexity of neurological development. (An awful lot of things have to happen in the right order and at the right times in order for things to turn out correctly.) Environmental causes have certainly not been ruled out, but it seems the brain may be most vulnerable prior to the 8th week of pregnancy.

    More and more, though, the evidence is showing that the causes of autism are complex, and the story for one child is probably not the same as the story for the next child. That is why I caution against absolutes, such as defining “autism” as “that thing that happened to Ben”, or “that thing that happened to Calli’s brother”, or “that thing that happened to Calli’s daughter”. I rather suspect they are all different.

    Genetics and the brain can be weird. I knew a gal in college who had a number of genetic abnormalities, such that she was sterile and frankly, doctors were amazed she was even alive. At best, she should have been greatly stunted mentally, as the very few survivors of her conditions generally are, but she was one of the sharpest people I’ve ever met. She spent a lot of time visiting hospitals and allowing scientists to examine her. After all, we generally learn more from exceptions than we do from rules. (And that is why one should remain curious even when we feel we already know.)

  166. #166 bensmyson
    June 7, 2010

    Calli save your time and energy regarding the links to genetics. Ive been down that road and as you point out it is very complex, stars have to be in perfect alignment kind of thing. I am interested in the study that explains why more males have autism than females.

    Hannah Poling’s case is extremely relevant on so many different levels. Im sorry you cant see that.

    One question I got for you, is there such a thing called regressive autism? I got a feeling you dont believe it exist, that is if it is genetic then you must be born with it.

  167. #167 Todd W.
    June 7, 2010

    @bensmyson

    Hannah Poling’s case is extremely relevant on so many different levels. Im sorry you cant see that.

    Please explain how, in your opinion, Hannah Poling’s case is relevant, bearing in mind that her mitochondrial disorder predisposed her to an adverse reaction to fever. I have some thoughts, but I will hold them until I hear your response.

  168. #168 bensmyson
    June 8, 2010

    The Poling case is of particular interest to me because mitochondrial disorders have to do with oxygen depravation. I believe Ben’s brain swelling combined with his mutated MTFHR gene may have prevented oxygen from reaching some critical areas of the brain.

    Although mitochondrial disorders are rarely diagnosed in children it is of interest in that some, clearly not all, also clearly not investigated enough, but some children diagnosed with autism have some form or mitochondrial disease.

    Poling regressed after the vaccines. I believe the ruling was that the vaccines triggered the mitochondrial injury which may have presented with autism.

    Ben’s situation is similar.

  169. #169 W. Kevin Vicklund
    June 8, 2010

    One question I got for you, is there such a thing called regressive autism? I got a feeling you dont believe it exist, that is if it is genetic then you must be born with it.

    Note that those are not mutual contradictions. It is entirely possible that regressive autism could be genetically triggered when neurodevelopment reaches a certain stage during childhood. Not all developmental changes are additive.

  170. #170 Todd W.
    June 8, 2010

    @bms

    Poling regressed after the vaccines. I believe the ruling was that the vaccines triggered the mitochondrial injury which may have presented with autism.

    The court ruled that it was more likely than not that the vaccine resulted in a worsening of Hannah’s mitochondrial disorder and that that led to symptoms similar to autism. What remains unanswered, in this case, is what would have happened had Hannah been infected with wild type disease. Since the immune response triggered by the vaccine was what was responsible for the aggravation of Hannah’s mitochondrial disorder, I wonder what the result would be of an even more vigorous immune response to natural infection?

  171. #171 Jen in TX
    June 8, 2010

    “I am interested in the study that explains why more males have autism than females.”

    I have recently come across some intriguing articles that address gender differences in acetaminophen metabolism. Unfortunately, I only have the abstracts, but they do seem to suggest that males and females process APAP differently. If the acetaminophen hypothesis is correct, could this possibly explain why more males are affected with autism than females?

    http://journals.lww.com/asaiojournal/Abstract/1990/07000/Sulfation_and_Glucuronidation_of_Acetaminophen_by.147.aspx

    “…Male rats excreted more APAP as the sulfate conjugate than female rats, which correlated with the twofold greater APAP sulfotransferase activity in the male versus female rats…”

    I did find one full text article…
    http://toxsci.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/92/1/33

  172. #172 Calli Arcale
    June 8, 2010

    There are several theories as to why more males than females are diagnosed with autism. One is that it’s a selection bias; autism in males is usually more easily spotted in females, partly due to our society retaining the old stereotype that a quiet, introverted female is perfectly ordinary and perhaps even preferable — on some level, our society may be less inclined to see a problem in a mildly autistic girl. So maybe the skew isn’t real, but merely an artifact of how we diagnose autism.

    Another theory is that the skew is due to defects residing on the X chromosome that are unmatched by the Y, which would afflict males more commonly than females. Fragile X is symptomless in most females, much like colorblindness, and while it’s not strictly speaking autism, if this neurological disorder is sex-specific, it is plausible that there could be more.

    A third theory is that females and males are fundamentally different, and this fundamental difference leaves males more vulnerable to autism, totally apart from any gender-specific gene defects or later injury or developmental mishap or anything like that. This would go along well with Baron-Cohen’s notion of autism as the “extreme male brain”, and indeed, the gender skew of autism is probably why he came up with that idea in the first place. I’m skeptical of the idea, but it’s one of the more prominent ideas. (It has a nasty side too; the Geiers used it as the launching point for their Lupron therapy.) There are plenty of known gender skews in other psychological phenomenon. Clinical depression is more common in females than in males, for instance, and this may be down to fundamental differences between the two — though of course the “nature vs nurture” debate is far from settled on that question.

    Jen in TX — that’s interesting, but a lot more work would need to be done to show a link to autism. There are a great many things that are different between males and females. Just about any of them could be involved.

  173. #173 Todd W.
    June 8, 2010

    @Calli Arcale

    Closely related to your third point is testosterone. Some studies have suggested some connection to this (e.g., exposure to excess levels of testosterone in utero). As with the majority of research into autism causes, more study is needed to verify the preliminary results. And again, the Geiers twisted this early work to their dodgy chemical castration and chelation protocols.

  174. #174 Calli Arcale
    June 8, 2010

    I remember reading how horrified Baron-Cohen was when he heard the Geiers had cited his work as supportive of theirs, when it’s actually one of the crueler things a person could do to an autistic child.

  175. #175 Orange Lantern
    June 8, 2010

    orange – Lack of evidence for environmental factors? Really? Really?

    Really really.

    Sort of like the prevailing theory among parents of children with regressive autism, those suspecting vaccines as the cause of their child’s disorder? You talking about that kind of prevailing theory?

    Is it? Or is it just the prevailing view of parents of autistic children on certain internet forums? I’ve seen polls to indicate that most parents of autistic children do not believe it was caused by vaccines.

    It is expected, indeed understandable, that a person who’s child develops regressive autism (or notices the first signs of non-regressive autism) within a certain time after vaccination would believe that the shots caused it, even though it is unavoidable that this would happen by chance to a significant percentage of cases. It is also expected that since these parents can get together and form an echo chamber concerning their experiences, that they will believe even more fervently that they must be right.

    Todd and I are not talking about this kind of prevailing theory. We are talking about the prevailing theory of experts in autism, based on the available science.

  176. #176 bensmyson
    June 8, 2010

    Now this is getting interesting. Calli thank you for your various theories, I tend to go with the “extreme male brain” with a side of testosterone (hold the Lupron). Many of the young women injured by the HPV are high achievers, athletes. Many boys doing well in therapy will suddenly regress deeper at onset of puberty.

    Todd – “What remains unanswered, in this case, is what would have happened had Hannah been infected with wild type disease.”

    I hope this isnt going down the vaccines might have saved her life road. I doubt any parent would take autism over the slight chance of an infection of measles or chicken pox. But supposing your question is real I would suspect that could be something someone could research since 40 years ago every child became infected with measles and chicken pox, maybe those were the ones with serious complications.

    Jen in TX – Ive always been a little suspicious of Tylenol, we were advised to give Ben Tylenol prior to and after his vaccines. But my suspicions are not backed up by any journals Ive read, they are just from other people’s posts.

  177. #177 Todd W.
    June 8, 2010

    @bms

    I hope this isnt going down the vaccines might have saved her life road. I doubt any parent would take autism over the slight chance of an infection of measles or chicken pox. But supposing your question is real I would suspect that could be something someone could research since 40 years ago every child became infected with measles and chicken pox, maybe those were the ones with serious complications.

    I am quite sincerely interested, and it is, I feel, a valid question to ask. For Hannah’s case, we will never know. Studying the effects of wild type infection in individuals with mitochondrial disorders in a retrospective fashion would be rather difficult, I imagine, since mito. disorders are, I think (someone correct me if I’m wrong) relatively rare and I am not certain how well records of such disorders were kept.

    A prospective, observational study could possibly be done by forming a registry tracking individuals with mitochondrial disorders, descriptions of the exact nature of their disorder, vaccination status/dates of vaccination, infection types/dates and health outcomes.

    Since we know of one case where a vaccine was reasonably found to have aggravated a mitochondrial disorder, it might be worthwhile to do a study of the nature described above to determine how often individuals with mito. disorders suffer AEs in response to natural infection and from vaccines.

  178. #178 bensmyson
    June 8, 2010

    orange – “I’ve seen polls to indicate that most parents of autistic children do not believe it was caused by vaccines.”

    Of course you have, and what percentage of those parents have children who regressed immediately after vaccines?

    Which brings me to this: “It is expected, indeed understandable, that a person who’s child develops regressive autism (or notices the first signs of non-regressive autism) within a certain time after vaccination would believe that the shots caused it, even though it is unavoidable that this would happen by chance to a significant percentage of cases. It is also expected that since these parents can get together and form an echo chamber concerning their experiences, that they will believe even more fervently that they must be right.”

    And?

  179. #179 Orange Lantern
    June 9, 2010

    Of course you have, and what percentage of those parents have children who regressed immediately after vaccines?

    Don’t know, does it matter? This is what I was just describing.

    Once more, with feeling: Naturally parents who believe their child regressed after vaccines are likely to believe it is due to vaccines. That does not make it so, since it is recognized that it should happen that way by sometimes by chance.

    And?

    And the next two sentences that I wrote, thanks. It would not be surprising that this is the prevailing theory in that subset of people, but that does not make it comparable to theories based on science.

  180. #180 Calli Arcale
    June 9, 2010

    Regarding Hannah Poling, didn’t they say her condition was triggered by the fever that resulted from her vaccination? In which case, a wild-type infection would likely not be any different. Possibly worse, but from my layperson’s perspective, I’m thinking she’d have turned out roughly the same. The one advantage to a vaccine is that you know when the fever might occur and can take measures to control it (not limited to the classic acetominophen); with wild infection, you aren’t so lucky. Or, they could have avoided all live vaccines, crossed their fingers, and lived off herd immunity — but then, it could still have been triggered by other infections. How often does a child reach age 5 without ever getting a fever, after all? And most fevers aren’t vaccine-preventable. (The common cold, strep throat, ear infections, etc. The bread and butter of pediatric practice, really, and most kids will get them at least once, and they’re largely not vaccine-preventable.)

    bens parents:

    Now this is getting interesting. Calli thank you for your various theories, I tend to go with the “extreme male brain” with a side of testosterone (hold the Lupron). Many of the young women injured by the HPV are high achievers, athletes. Many boys doing well in therapy will suddenly regress deeper at onset of puberty.

    Out of curiosity, are you implying that female high achievers and athletes are likely to have higher levels of testosterone? I realize that would tend to fit a lot of social preconceptions, but I do not think that is true. The recent case of runner Caster Semenya is illustrative — found to be genetically male, Semenya had always believed herself to be female. She has the most extreme form of androgen insensitivity syndrome. (She’s not the only famous woman who does.) The “default” body plan is female; testosterone in sufficient quantities signals a developing embryo to become male. But XY embryos with androgen insensitivity syndrome do not respond at all to testosterone, and consequently, they develop with a basically female appearance, though they lack a female reproductive tract and will never be able to have children (even with assistive technology, as they also cannot produce sperm). One interesting thing is that if they are injected with anabolic steroids (i.e. testosterone and its relatives), they do not respond. They do not bulk up like men or even normal women on steroids. Yet as Semenya demonstrates, even these people entirely insensitive to testosterone can be elite athletes.

    There is an old idea that testosterone is fundamental to both aggression and athletic performance, but while it can increase both, it is not essential to either. Other factors are more significant — in particular, motivation. The biggest difference between an elite athlete and a mediocre one is not their body but the fact that the elite spends at least half their waking time in intensive training, and has done so from a young age.

    I think calling autism “extreme male brain” is both overly simplistic and potentially misleading. So I disagree with Baron-Cohen. But then, he is vastly better versed in the subject; it is his expertise, and he has done a tremendous amount of work with autistic children. I can offer no meaningful criticism, really; just my own gut feelings.

    That said, you might want to check out a DVD his institute produced, called “The Transporters”. My mom bought a copy and gave it to me for my daughter to watch. She loves it. It was designed to help autistic children learn to read facial expressions, in a format reminiscent of Thomas the Tank Engine. Your son may be beyond its level, I don’t know, but it’s interesting all the same.

    Jen in TX – Ive always been a little suspicious of Tylenol, we were advised to give Ben Tylenol prior to and after his vaccines. But my suspicions are not backed up by any journals Ive read, they are just from other people’s posts.

    My doctors suggested Tylenol before vaccines if desired when my daughter was little; we didn’t do it, on the basis that we’d treat only if a fever appeared. But they haven’t been making that same suggestion in recent years. I’m not sure what information has shifted to affect their advice.

    There’s a very interesting post over at sciencebasedmedicine.com about OTC drugs and pharmacies and suchlike. It touches briefly on acetominophen.
    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=5062 It doesn’t get into specific risks for children, nor make any clear indications one way or the other; the post is about the seemingly haphazard way some drugs are deemed safe for OTC, others need to be behind the counter, and still others require a prescription. There was a fascinating discussion about the interaction between Tylenol and alcohol in the comments, though, which I found very educational.

  181. #181 Orange Lantern
    June 9, 2010

    My doctors suggested Tylenol before vaccines if desired when my daughter was little; we didn’t do it, on the basis that we’d treat only if a fever appeared. But they haven’t been making that same suggestion in recent years. I’m not sure what information has shifted to affect their advice.

    It might have been the study in the Lancet last fall suggesting that prophylactic Tylenol may essentially blunt the immune response and decrease the chance of the vaccine being effective.

    http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(09)61208-3/abstract

    It’s an early study, though it makes reasonable sense. It’s been discussed at our clinic, as well as others that I know of.

  182. #182 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    July 1, 2010

    BMS:
    “I didnt see anything that said “PhD in biochemistry” I was merely repeating what Brian Deer had on his webpage, I am that stupid.”

    Evidently, indeed you are.

    BMS:
    “From: Molecular Strategies for the Detection of Measles Virus in Inflammatory Bowel Disease, a thesis submitted for the degree of doctor of philosophy, by Nicholas Charles Chadwick, Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of London.”

    So what do you think Chadwick was doing in Wakefield’s lab? Research into the application of friggin’ Machiavelian politics in the investigation of children’s arse-holes???

    How can you not know what Ph. D. is if your relative had one?!

    Against the way I feel about you for being one of the shittiest humans I’ve ever had the misfortune to encounter in the blogosphere, I’ll explain what the bloody degree of Doctor of Philosophy is.

    The degree of Doctor of Philosophy is (in the UK; at any rate) a primary research degree, awarded in any academic field in which the university concerned engages in research. It is awarded upon successful defence of a thesis, which is written after the candidate has pursued a line of research germane to his/her academic interests. Being a primary research degree, it can be completed on the basis of a thesis; a higher doctorate (e. g., a Doctor of Science degree, or that of Doctor of Medicine) comes after a number of years of work in one’s field, and usually has to be applied for on the basis of much scholarly work conducted since gaining one’s bachelor degree. Occasionally, a Ph. D. can be awarded on the basis of published papers, but this still requires the writing of a synthesis of these papers, and the development of a conclusion to be derived from the work undertaken by the candidate.

    When someone working as a researcher in a laboratory is undertaking Ph. D. research, it is usually in a science or engineering discipline. Regarding Dr. Chadwick’s work… he was working in a laboratory dealing with intestinal issues. So how could you possibly even get to the idea that he was researching philosophy? Eh??

    Just so you don’t make the same sort of prick of yourself next time, here’s an idea of how to go about figuring this stuff out:

    Intestines – definitely biological sciences.

    What are the biological sciences? They include the following-

    anatomy
    physiology
    cell biology
    biochemistry/molecular biology/genetics*
    immunology
    pharmacology
    toxicology
    histology
    oncology
    osteology
    neurology
    myology
    cardiology
    renology
    enterology
    virology
    bacteriology
    mycology

    and a good few others.

    * These tend to overlap to a very significant degree… my ex-wife was employed in genetic engineering; her M. Sc. is in plant physiology but she took this major because they had the best genetics training and investigation methods available at the University of Helsinki. Her B. Sc. was in plant physiology and biochemistry with genetics. She was researching her Ph. D. at the time.

    If the lab is researching intestines, then you’ve a shortlist-

    enterology
    biochemistry/molecular biology/genetics
    histology
    immunology
    cell biology
    (possibly oncology, if the lab is specifically researching cancers/tumours)

    Someone who is researching molecular strategies for detection of a virus is likely to be researching a molecular biology or biochemistry topic.

    In short-
    intestines —> biological sciences
    intestines -/-> philosophy

    You come on here thinking you’re so bloody clever… how can you not know this?

    Now a question for Orac, a surgeon:

    How much cortical tissue loss would I have to undergo to end up as clever as BMS is?

    (I wish I could say this was a rhetorical question, but given the shit that this person has slung at me, I’m really interested to know)

    Simple equation here: BMS=CSF!

  183. #183 Brian
    August 25, 2010

    I went back to the Callous Disregard Amazon page for some unknown reason and noticed 40 reviews at an average of 4.5 stars. It seemed odd until I scrolled and clicked on a forum link in the Recent Discussions named Where Happened to All the Reviews? (Sorry for it being so long, I was not sure what was supposed to be cut from the link):

    http://www.amazon.com/What-happened-all-the-reviews/forum/Fx3I25MYLPPFN1R/Tx3L48M0CIKH4DA/1/ref=cm_cd_ef_rt_tft_tp?_encoding=UTF8&asin=1616081694

    Apparently there was a mass purge of all the one-star reviews (if you notice they are all at the end). Why does this not surprise me?

  184. #184 lig tv izle
    October 12, 2011

    Thanks for playing. By the way, “peer review” on the internet means people making fun of you for not being able to follow the last set of valid criticisms levied in the attempt to refute them.