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'Dishonest and irresponsible': Doctor who triggered MMR vaccine scare is struck off
05-24-2010, 06:04 PM,
'Dishonest and irresponsible': Doctor who triggered MMR vaccine scare is struck off
Quote:The doctor at the centre of the MMR vaccine row was today struck off the medical register.

Andrew Wakefield was found guilty of serious professional misconduct by the General Medical Council (GMC) at a hearing in central London.

He acted in a way that was 'dishonest, misleading and irresponsible' while carrying out research into a possible link between the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine, bowel disease and autism, the GMC said.

He also 'abused his position of trust' and 'brought the medical profession into disrepute' in studies he carried out on children.

The GMC said there had been 'multiple separate instances of serious professional misconduct'.

The hearing described how Dr Wakefield took blood from his son's friends at a birthday party, paying the youngsters £5 each, before joking about it during a U.S. presentation in March 1999.

Panel chairman Dr Surendra Kumar said: 'In causing blood samples to be taken from children at a birthday party, he callously disregarded the pain and distress young children might suffer and behaved in a way which brought the profession into disrepute.'

The GMC said Dr Wakefield, 53, went against the interests of children in his care in conducting his research.

He ordered some youngsters to undergo unnecessary colonoscopies, lumbar punctures (spinal taps), barium meals, blood and urine tests and brain scans.

Yet most of the children did not meet the criteria for inclusion in the research, the GMC ruled.

Furthermore, Dr Wakefield and two other doctors involved in the research - professors John Walker-Smith and Simon Murch - did not have ethical approval to investigate them.

Professor Walker-Smith was also found guilty of serious professional misconduct and struck off the medical register. The GMC noted he is 73 and retired a decade ago.

Professor Murch was found not guilty of serious professional misconduct.

The GMC said Dr Wakefield's contract with the Royal Free 'was subject to a stipulation that he would not have any involvement in the clinical management of patients', yet this was breached.

Dr Kumar said: 'On five occasions he ordered investigations on children - when he had no paediatric qualifications - and in contravention of the limitations of his appointment.'

Dr Wakefield submitted an application for funding from the Legal Aid Board for research but failed to disclose that some of the costs would have been met by the NHS anyway.

Dr Kumar said: 'In all the circumstances and taking into account the standard which might be expected of a doctor practising in the same field of medicine in similar circumstances in or around 1996 to 1998, the panel concluded that Dr Wakefield's conduct not only collectively amounts to serious professional misconduct over a timeframe from 1996 to 1999 but also, considered individually, constitutes multiple separate instances of serious professional misconduct.'

In a statement, Dr Wakefield said: 'In reporting their findings the GMC panel sought to deny that the case against me and my colleagues is related to issues of MMR vaccine safety and specifically, the role of this vaccine in causing autism.

'This is not in fact the case. Efforts to discredit and silence me through the GMC process have provided a screen to shield the Government from exposure on the (Pluserix) MMR vaccine scandal.

But critics accused him of needlessly sparking a public panic which led to a prolonged slump in the number of children being vaccinated and a consequent rise in measles and mumps.

Dr Wakefield challenged his critics to 'talk about the science', and insisted the Government's decision to prevent parents opting for the single vaccine had been to blame for the rise in measles.

He said he had never opposed vaccination or claimed to have proof that MMR was linked to autism.

'I never made the claim at the time, nor do I still make the claim that MMR is a cause of autism,' he said.

'You are conflating the two things. You are conflating the link with autism with the overall review of the vaccine.'

Supporters said that his 'only crime' was to voice concerns about MMR which embarrassed the Department of Health.

Parents who believe their children's health was devastated after having the vaccine today came out in support of Dr Wakefield.

Allison Edwards, chairman of campaign group Cry Shame, which has supported him throughout the proceedings, said: 'I knew they would do this, they've had the intention of doing this for the past three years.

'This is to issue a warning to doctors not to dissent. No children were harmed in the clinical tests, they were trying to look at the problems and treat them, and the children improved.

'How do you get charged with doing your job?'

Mrs Edwards believes her son was left with neurological damage after having the MMR jab at the age of one.

He is now 13 and unable to speak, wash or dress himself.

A growing body of research appears to show no evidence of a link between MMR and autism.

The slump in take-up of vaccinations in the UK has resulted in outbreaks of both measles and mumps, from which at least one child has died.

In January, Dr Wakefield told the Daily Mail: 'I've never said don't vaccinate.

'I made it clear that children should continue to be protected using single vaccines.

'It was the Government's withdrawal of the option of the single-measles vaccine which has led to this problem.'

He added: 'What has happened to me has taught other scientists that it's safer never to rock the boat.

'Doctors are scared to speak for fear that what happened to me may happen to them. And that can't be good for science.'

Dr Wakefield hit the headlines in 1998 when he and several colleagues published research in The Lancet suggesting a possible link between the MMR jab, autism and bowel disease.

Although the study involved just 12 children, it generated a substantial amount of interest.

During a press conference on the research, he said: 'For the vast majority of children the MMR vaccine is fine, but I believe there are sufficient anxieties for a case to be made to administer the three vaccinations separately.

'I do not think that the long-term safety trials of MMR are sufficient for giving the three vaccines together.'

The Government sought to calm fears but uptake of the jab fell to 80 per cent over the following years. This was way below the recommended 95 per cent needed for immunity in the community.

In June 2006, the GMC announced that Dr Wakefield was under investigation for alleged misconduct.

Earlier this year, Dr Wakefield left his role at The Thoughtful House Centre for Children in Austin, Texas, which he founded.

The GMC hearing, which has lasted 217 days and heard from 36 witnesses, is the longest in the GMC's history.

It has reportedly cost in excess of £1 million.

Dr Wakefield was an honorary consultant in experimental gastroenterology at London's Royal Free Hospital at the time of his research.

Dr Wakefield's wife, Carmel, has always stood by him and spoke out in his defence. The couple have four children.

Dr Wakefield and Prof Walker-Smith have 28 days to appeal against the decision.
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05-25-2010, 12:34 PM,
RE: 'Dishonest and irresponsible': Doctor who triggered MMR vaccine scare is struck off
Reuters even picked the story up since this story would not go away with all the public uproar. Seems that this will end up raising awareness on the vaccine -> autism connection and leave the medical establishment reeling.

[Image: article-1280840-09BAE794000005DC-481_468x299.jpg]
There are no others, there is only us.
05-25-2010, 06:10 PM, (This post was last modified: 05-25-2010, 06:11 PM by kevlar.)
RE: 'Dishonest and irresponsible': Doctor who triggered MMR vaccine scare is struck off
yea, did you sign the petition ?

05-25-2010, 07:00 PM,
RE: 'Dishonest and irresponsible': Doctor who triggered MMR vaccine scare is struck off
(05-25-2010, 06:10 PM)kevlar Wrote: yea, did you sign the petition ?


Quite honestly no I have not signed it. I don't sign anything unless I have have read it and understand it. I'd first have to look at his work even though I am supportive of the overall evidence of the link between and believe him to be a man of honour I do not know that as fact .. yet.

Which PDF is in question or is it any of the material posted on the site? There is a good chance I won't even understand it fully then I can't, in good conscience, sign the petition - as well meaning as it may be. I have some literature to get through first, maybe I'll test out my speed reading.

Here's the petition and what it asks from the undersigned.

Quote:Five years after the initiation of a campaign to discredit the work of Dr. Andrew Wakefield, the London Sunday Times carried additional allegations on Sunday, February 8, 2009. Three pages of coverage that presented no new evidence accused Dr. Wakefield of "fixing" research data. These allegations have no basis in fact and have been fully addressed in Dr. Wakefield's response to the General Medical Council (GMC) prosecution, now well into its second year.

We the undersigned, representing multitudes of citizens worldwide, demand an enquiry into the means by which the continuing episodes of misrepresentation concerning Dr. Wakefield came to pass.


* We demand that the London Sunday Times review its coverage and the increasingly evident conflicts of interest of Brian Deer with regard to both the initial lodging of the GMC complaint and subsequent reporting.
* We demand to see substantiation of allegations made in the London Sunday Times article of February 8, 2009, or to be informed should no such substantiation be available.

As Brian Deer has stated that his reporting was directed by editors managing his investigation for the London Sunday Times, we demand answers of the editors with regard to mismanagement of Deer's investigation and why unsubstantiated text was permitted to be published. We request that the editor-in-chief and ownership of the London Sunday Times review, amend, and apologize for this mismanagement and editorial failure.

Further, we support an independent investigation into potential influences from pharmaceutical companies, government agencies, and other special interest groups that may have played a part in efforts to censor the reporting of academic research that does not present the current mainstream medical position. We also support an enquiry into Brian Deer's activity that addresses his statements about influencing vaccine cases in the United States.

We declare that:
1. Dr. Wakefield is a man of honesty, integrity, courage, and proven commitment to children and the public health.

2. Dr. Wakefield’s research is rigorous, replicated, biologically valid, clinically evidenced, corroborated by published, peer-reviewed research in an abundance of scientific disciplines, and consistent with children’s medical problems.

3. We support clinicians who pursue treatments for bowel disorders based on Dr. Wakefield’s work and corroborating science, most specifically Arthur Krigsman, MD.

4. We support all scientists, including Dr. Andrew Wakefield, in the freedom to conduct medical research into the biological mechanisms for vaccine-related immune and brain dysfunction, including autism, without being attacked personally and professionally by industry, government, and organized medicine. We support scientific discovery, freedom to investigate, and freedom to speak in science.

5. We question the work of Brian Deer. Although journalists have a right to investigate and report, time after time Brian Deer has stepped over the line in terms of journalistic ethics. This has included his misrepresenting as new information that which he knows to be untrue; consistently misrepresenting himself and his role; and failing to meet minimum standards separating facts from opinion.

6. We renounce pharmaceutical lobby groups and the London Sunday Times supporting the complaint lodged with the GMC, the actions of which result in intimidating doctors thereby preventing objective medical assessment of autistic children with co-morbid bowel involvement.

7. We condemn the censorship of science. There are more than enough facts and evidence to support the case of vaccine injury, but the politicization of these issues has made it impossible to publish important and valid science. The debate is rigged in favor of the vaccine industry.

8. We condemn the conflicts of interest and abuse of power of the government, which has become the greatest proponent for vaccines and the greatest opponent to vaccine safety research.

9. We serve the children and families who daily suffer the consequences of the largest institutional failure in modern medicine. This is a moral crisis demanding urgent action.

10. We demand recognition of the global autism emergency. We call for investigation into the most likely environmental causes (including vaccines). We cry out for the application of proven treatment practices and for the investigation of other treatment options to help suffering children and families immediately.

Members of the public, parents, doctors and scientists worldwide are now calling for a formal enquiry:
[great big list of names]
There are no others, there is only us.

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