A few news items of import:
- Andrew Wakefield, formerly a licensed to practice medicine in England, has officially lost that privilege. Others have covered this more comprehensively than I’d ever be able to, but this is big news. Wakefield is the father of the modern anti-vaccine movement. His study of a putative relationship between the MMR vaccine and autism led to mass rejection of vaccination and a resurgence in many vaccine-preventable diseases. After decades of relative quiescence, anti-vaccination ideas became popular again, especially among the rich and famous, but also among those struggling to understand their children’s health and development. Wakefield’s study was retracted. He was found to have falsified data, and now the British General Medical Council has given him the axe for unethical behavior, including subjecting children to unnecessary invasive procedures as part of his study. Undoing the damage he has done is daily work for those of us on the front lines of medicine. He of course has the unqualified support of the American antivax movement and and has taken up residence in Texas.
- Speaking of Texas, the nurses in Winkler County who were fired and prosecuted for (properly) blowing the whistle on Dr. Rolando Arafiles are suing, and the trial starts this fall. The hospital has already been fined in relation to the case, and a Texas TV station is reporting that Arafiles is being fined and put on probation by the state medical board. Arafiles may be running out of places to practice. He’s already surrendered his license in New York State, and given his history, he may eventually wear out his welcome in Texas. But Texas is pretty close to Arizona, and he can always get a license as a homeopath down there. Maybe he can take correspondence courses from Dana Ullman.