Did the founder of the antivax movement fake autism-vaccine link

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Did the founder of the antivax movement fake autism-vaccine link


THE doctor who sparked the scare over the safety of the MMR vaccine for children changed and misreported results in his research, creating the appearance of a possible link with autism, a Sunday Times investigation has found.

Confidential medical documents and interviews with witnesses have established that Andrew Wakefield manipulated patients’ data, which triggered fears that the MMR triple vaccine to protect against measles, mumps and rubella was linked to the condition.

The research was published in February 1998 in an article in The Lancet medical journal. It claimed that the families of eight out of 12 children attending a routine clinic at the hospital had blamed MMR for their autism, and said that problems came on within days of the jab. The team also claimed to have discovered a new inflammatory bowel disease underlying the children’s conditions.

However, our investigation, confirmed by evidence presented to the General Medical Council (GMC), reveals that: In most of the 12 cases, the children’s ailments as described in The Lancet were different from their hospital and GP records. Although the research paper claimed that problems came on within days of the jab, in only one case did medical records suggest this was true, and in many of the cases medical concerns had been raised before the children were vaccinated. Hospital pathologists, looking for inflammatory bowel disease, reported in the majority of cases that the gut was normal. This was then reviewed and the Lancet paper showed them as abnormal.


Read it [url=http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/health/article5683671.ec....



[url=http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2009/02/07/did-the-founde... tip to Phil Plait[/url]

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

This is just the latest in a whole [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Wakefield][color=mediumblue][u]series of allegations of professional misconduct[/u][/color][/url] involving Andrew Wakefield. 

It is no surprise to me that he is now accused of falsifying medical data.


[url=http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/02/12/autism.vaccines/index.html]Vaccines didn't cause autism, court rules[/url]

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A special court ruled Thursday that evidence presented in three cases by parents of children with autism did not prove a link between autism and certain early childhood vaccines.


The ruling came from a panel of "special masters" who began hearing three test cases in 2007 involving children with autism -- a disorder that their parents contend was triggered by the vaccine against measles, mumps and rubella combined with vaccines containing thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative.

Three families -- the Cedillos, the Hazlehursts and the Snyders -- sought compensation from the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, but the panel ruled that they had not presented sufficient evidence to prove that the childhood vaccines caused autism in their children.


That is good news.

The real tragedy of promoting the spurious MMR-autism link comes from all the resources devoted to this: the legal fees, the wasted research; when they could have been trying to find the real cause, or helping autistic children.

Basically, we live in a post-vaccine world, where people don't remember, like my mom does, polio epidemics, or classmates dying of diphtheria.  My mom remembers being quarantined for scarlet fever - not a vaccination issue, but illustrative of the sort of medical technology that has only existed for a few decades, which we now take for granted.



[url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8511100.stm]Brain clue may explain why some autistics avoid hugs[/url]



Wakefield has been struck from the register for carrying out his research unethically.


The General Medical Council found Dr Andrew Wakefield guilty of serious professional misconduct over the way he carried out his controversial research.

It follows a GMC ruling earlier this year that he had acted unethically.

During the two-and-a-half-year case, the longest in GMC history, he was accused of carrying out invasive tests on vulnerable children which were against their best interests.

The GMC also said Dr Wakefield, who was working at London's Royal Free Hospital as a gastroenterologist at the time, did not have the ethical approval or relevant qualifications for such tests.

And the panel hearing the case took exception with the way he gathered blood samples. Dr Wakefield paid children £5 for the samples at his son's birthday party.

It also said Dr Wakefield should have disclosed the fact that he had been paid to advise solicitors acting for parents who believed their children had been harmed by the MMR.


Ironically, rubella (the R part of the MMR vaccine) is a cause of autism - as many as 20% of children who contract rubella prenatally have autism spectrum disorders as a part of the congenital rubella syndrome.  

Here's a nice explanation of the immune system's response to infection and vaccines in lay language:


A story from the pre-vaccine era: actress Gene Tierney, in 1943, was pregnant with her daughter Daria when an obsessed fan, infected with rubella, sneaked out of quarantine to meet the star, and gave her a kiss.  Daria was born deaf, partially blind, and severely mentally retarded - the story is reported to be the inspiration for Agatha Christie's book, "The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side." 

Brian White

http://tallguywrites.livejournal.com/148012.html is the story of Wakefield in "comic book"  format.  I have had it bookmarked for weeks but did not think anyone would be interested. 

The good doctor made $435, 643 + expenses from  his little scheme. (Just in England)

He has done really well for himself.