Wakefield’s back – a rant

Sweaty Andrew Wakefield is suing the British medical journal for claiming his research into MMR and autism to be fraudulent.

  1. The BMJ claimed no such thing. They presented evidence, much of it garnered by journalist Brian Deer and presented the overwhelming case for fraud and lack of ethics;
  2. The man has lost his right to practice medicine in the UK and is suing from Texas where he has worked abusing autistic children with unproven and potentially fatal “treatments” such as chelation. He was  sacked (he says resigned)  from this clinic (the Thoughtful House)  around about the same time he was struck off by the GMC. He also abused autistic children while in the UK and still a doctor.  His 1998 study that didn’t show anything,  much less a link between vaccines and autism, almost cost Jack Piper, then 5, his life when his bowel was perforated a dozen times during a colonoscopy that had no potential medical or research benefit nor ethical approval when he underwent the procedure in November of that year to further the research.

One can only guess at his motivations but going on past performance I’d say egotism and fear of obscurity rate pretty highly. Maybe he is planning to become, once again, a figure head to reinvigorate a tired anti-vax movement in the UK. Perhaps he plans to return to the UK to set up clinics to drain British families living with autism of what little cash they have as the ludicrous cuts to services Cameron et al have planned begin to take their toll. The Tories are, after all, as Sandi Toksvig put it, the Party who put the ‘n’ in cuts). These cut backs twinned with  NHS reforms will open the doors to charlatans and snake oil salespeople of the Wakefield ilk, though the government chooses to use the term “any qualified provider”.   One depressing thing is for sure:  we’ll be seeing a lot more of Polly Tommey while this rumbles on.

I’ll leave the rest to Orac, a far better writer than I.



    1. Thanks. Think he’s out stayed his welcome in US and the anti-vax scene is too full of “personalities” vying for attention. I hope our media behave far more responsibly than they ever have when it comes to reporting this

  1. I welcome the justice this case will bring. I welcome that BMJ received significant funding from Meryk and Glaxton coming to light.. I welcome any pioneer who is willing to put their reputation on the line through a clinical study to find the cause to an ever increasing crisis in not only our medical world, but our world, period.
    I do not welcome a journalist who is able to make a medical diagnosis.

    1. justice for the people who have died from vaccine preventible infections? No. I doubt you mean them.
      Here in the UK drug companies are not allowed to market drugs to patients so in, professional journals, yes, you will find big pharma advertising but it tends to be for training courses, conferences, jobs, publications, studentships and not drugs and certainly NOT vaccines (BTW I think you mean Merck and Glaxo?) And the “crisis” you refer to…would that be autism?

    2. aefountain, Are you aware that Wakefield has already sued Brian Deer and lost? He will likely lose again. Since the BMJ series was published, the only corrections have been two typos. In case you don’t understand the significance, this piece has been thoroughly scrutinized and no factual errors have been found.

      I am certain that Wakefield knows he has a losing case on his hands and that he will end up paying Deer’s legal fees. His purpose could not be to win this case. This case stinks of publicity stunt.

      The more his followers believe he is persecuted, the more they will shell out money to send their children to his associates, have their intestines tested for measles virus, and be given (highly dubious) results and treatments that have no basis in science.

      His theories are implausible, and he is nothing more than a scam artist.

      1. Two perceptions of the facts. If I recall correctly, he didn’t lose but had to withdraw due to the outcome of Medical Board.

      2. He had to withdraw the action because the case against Brian Deer was being heard at the same time as his GMC hearing and his lawyers advised him that he couldn’t fight both cases at the same time. He couldn’t drop the GMC case…

      3. Karen, you need to research some of your facts. He didn’t lose the court case, he dropped it. A very big difference when you look at the reason why.

      4. Karen: You will never find an antivaxxer who gives a damn about dead children – unless they can blame the deaths on vaccines. These creeps spit on the graves of the victims of real disease.

  2. yes Autism is a crisis. If we cannot locate a cure, we need to look for a cause. The British government cannot currently care of it’s senior and disabled population. As the numbers in Autism grow, how do you forsee the financial commitment to the Autistic community will sustain itself.

    And yes Merck and Glaxo, my apologies for the typo.

    With regards to your first statement, are you aware of the increase in polio when it was discovered that the ‘cheaper’ oral version of the vaccine was provided to our children. It wasn’t our children who were getting polio but their grandparents who had never received a polio vaccination. Due to the fact that the polio vaccine had ‘live’ polio within it, a simple kiss from grandchild to granparent transmitted polio and hundreds were stricken.

    Suddenly oral polio vaccines were pulled off the market. My son of 1992 received Oral Polio, my son of 1993 received the older version via needle. The 1993 version came with a huge warning and a document to which I had to sign. The oral vaccine was given with no warning and no signature.

    Vaccinations are not the cure all you would like to make them out to be.

    IF, and I say a big IF, it’s understood a vaccine was actually causing significant numbers to be ill, would you still stand behind that the vaccine is good for majority at the sacrifice for the few?

    1. “IF, and I say a big IF, it’s understood a vaccine was actually causing significant numbers to be ill, would you still stand behind that the vaccine is good for majority at the sacrifice for the few?”

      Vaccines are monitored for safety and they are pulled off the market if they are shown to be causing serious adverse effects.

      1. Do you have any comprehension of the difficulties in getting the medical professionals and authorities to acknowledge that a vaccine may be as safe as originally thought? Are you aware of the number of children who have to suffer before the evidence cannot be ignored any longer and the vaccine is withdrawn.
        The MMR vaccine with the Urabe-9 strain of Mumps vaccine was withdrawn from Canada in 1988 because it was causing encephalitis. The UK licenced it AFTER it had been withdrawn in Canada because they felt the evidence wasn’t strong enough to support the withdrawal. The UK, despite ‘suspected’ cases of encephalitis linked the vaccine refused to withdraw it. The manufacturers of the vaccine stopped production of it in 1992 on the legal advice of their lawyers and the UK changed to a different MMR vaccine. I believe the stockpile of MMR containing Urabe-9 mumps vaccine was shipped off to third world countries to be used up!
        The current HPV vaccine is causing autoimmune disease in 12 and 13 year old school girls and the science behind it is so dubious and shoddy, it’s unbelievable that it ever got through the licensing system. Something is rotten to the core within the vaccine industry and if anyone thinks that it’s OK for some children to suffer to protect others, please explain that, face to face, to my 14 year old daughter who can’t understand why she is suffering constant joint pain, some days can’t muster the energy to get out of bed, has violent headaches, has excruciating abdominal pain, suffers numbness in her limbs, has had to reduce her school timetable to just 12 hours per week to try to salvage some of her education, can’t go out with friends, has had to give up her dance activities after studying since she was 5 and is on the verge of depression because her life has been turned upside down and there is no light at the end of the tunnel.
        I would like whoever thinks all vaccines are ‘safe’ to explain that to my daughter – that the adverse reaction she had after the HPV vaccine was in fact pure coincidence – that our GP is wrong when she said that some adverse reactions don’t come to light until a vaccine has been on the market for several years and once its in the body there’s nothing you can do to take it out again – the damage is done. Or perhaps you would just like to explain to her that it is just tough luck – she unfortunately is one of the unlucky kids who is looking at a lifetime of pain and disability, poor educational prospects and poor career prospects because it was necessary to be protected against a disease that she had minimal chance of contracting without the vaccine, in order to offer a dubious reduction in the risk of cervical cancer for other girls.
        I didn’t realise the deceit, the cover-ups and the political manoeuvrings surrounding vaccines until I was thrown into this nightmare and everyday, I learn something that leaves me gobsmacked and sickened.

      2. Who says vaccines are 100% safe?
        No one who understands anything about them. A temporal association is not, however, causation.
        You and your daughter have my genuine sympathy for her suffering and my best wishes.

      3. Megan, seriously check your facts. You all accuse Andrew Wakefield, but you yourselves are no better than what you accuse him of.

        The British government put a vaccine on the market, knowing that Canada and I believe it was Japan had pulled it off the market due to adverse effects. I believe it was on the market for about 3 years. Given to pretty much every child.

        So no, that is not true.

  3. The Salk Polio vaccine was pulled after problems at (among others) Cutter laboratories – a processing issue. That’s why Sabin’s oral vaccine was given for so long as well as, no doubt, cost considerations. Though the Salk vaccine is safer in that it does not mutate in the gut and is not excreted in stools the Sabin vaccine is the right choice for mass immunisation in countries where medical professionals are few and far between for its dual benefits of efficacy and ease of administration. It is highly regrettable that it took so long to adopt the Salk vaccine in countries such as the US and UK and people suffered because of that but that doesn’t make either vaccine bad. Each has saved countless lives and unquantifiable suffering.
    Autism is not a crisis. Its diagnosis has gone up with the broadening of what it means to be autistic, late diagnoses of adults and varoius social factors (includng, simply, awareness) and better screening techniques (see work by Fombonne for example) that mean autism is being detected earlier and earlier. Finding a cause will not necessarily lead to a cure. The singular cause of Huntington’s disease (an inherited gene mutation) is, for example, clearly known yet there’s no cure and few therapies that can do more than temporarily relieve a very few symptoms.

    1. Find me a pro-vax person who will state that any vaccine is 100% effective and 100% safe and I’d put them straight. They’d be as idiotic as any anti-vaxer. All risk is relative and we live each day of our lives judging and balancing those risks whether we’re aware of it or not. Every effort should be made to make vaccines as safe and effective as they can possibly be but to be anti-vaccine on the basis of them not being perfect is as ridiculous as being anti-flush toilet because they sometimes back up leak and this can make people ill.

      1. I can’t believe you are comparing a child’s illness and disability due an adverse reaction to a vaccine to the damage done by a leaking toilet!

      2. No I’m doing no such thing. Read it again. I am highlighting a logical flaw and comparing the outright rejection of vaccination because vaccines are neither 100% effective nor 100% safe with rejecting the use of flush toilet on the same basis.

  4. I live in a country where Wild Virus Polio outbreaks is a car trip away, so we give our children still to this day OPV at birth. I’ve personally participated in each Polio drive by having another dose of OPV, more than ten to date… None of my parents or grandparents developed polio… As a matter of fact, none in this country has had Polio for more than five years kids now only get OPV at birth, followed by injection later. You prove nothing by trying to blame OPV for Autism, or refusing to see that millions of lives are saved, disabilities prevented by vaccinating against Polio…

    1. Your comparison (like the font used on this website) is ridiculous. Further, no-one is in favour of “an outright rejection of vaccination” simply proper investigations in to those children who are suffering (like my two younger brothers) which they have simply not had. Indeed, Dr Wakefield recommended the use of single vaccines until proper tests could be performed on the MMR. The problem here is that you’re clearly so biased against the possibility of there being a problem with the MMR in a subset of children that you’re not at all open to any further investigation.

      1. Wakefield did recommend single vaccines. He would, he’d got a patent for his own for measles. He recommended that they should be spaced a year apart leaving children vulnerabe to those neurotropic diseases for a greatly increased time.
        At the time of this, frankly, ludicrous recommendation, the single vaccines were only available in the UK by going privately so many people who listened to this charlatan didn’t dare risk the mmr yet could not afford the alternative leaving their children unvaccinated.
        You are right though. I’m not in favour of more investigations being done on the vaccine-autism link as the vast body of work conducted over more than a decade has shown that vaccines do not cause autism. Money, effort and expertise would be better deployed elsewhere.
        My blog, my font. I think it’s pretty.

  5. Back to the topic at hand, let’s talk about Andrew Wakefield… Let’s talk about child abuse. Let’s talk about perforating a child’s bowel twelve times… Let’s talk about him refusing to see how almost killing a child to further his own agenda is not “research,” it’s criminal. Let’s not try to deflect from his actions by trying to drag Polio into the discussion.

    1. The reason the vaccines were only available privately was because the government had withdrawn the licences after pressure from the drug company which made the MMR. It wasn’t because it didn’t work or wasn’t proven to be effective.

      The spacing between vaccines was to prevent an overload in a baby’s immature immune system and so as not to present it with a live virus which it may not be able to cope with.

      He, like many scientists, did indeed have a patent on a vaccine because that was part of his field of study and expertise. It wasn’t licensed however and so he wouldn’t have benefited from children in the UK having a single vaccine instead of three in one.

      If you actually look closely, a lot of this “vast body of work” is utterly unreliable – but the fact of the matter is (note the use of the word “fact”) that NONE of the children who claim to have been damaged by the MMR have been included in ANY of these studies. Not a single one. And they continue to suffer.

      1. Too many too soon? Do you have any idea of the immunilogical challenges each and everyone of us fend off each day?

    1. Yes, I do. That’s not quite the same as injecting multiple live viruses into the immature and incomplete immune system of a baby.

      1. Think you’ll find they get injected into soft tissue but you’re right – there is no comparison.

  6. To M O’ C,
    My name’s Bella Tommey, but you probably know of me as you seem to be aware of my mum’s work. Just to correct you on a certain point you raised about my ‘Give Autism a Chance’ campaign. This was something that I set up when I was 15 years old to prove that people like my brother can put something back into society if people actually give them the opportunity to do so. This campaign is entirely mine and I am working with a good friend of mine, Imogen Wakefield to bring the campaign to America as it proved a good point here in the UK. Is it neccessary to be rude about my family and i, when at the end of the day all we are trying to do is help people like my brother?

    Click to access AutismTrustUSA_Flyers2011.pdf

    1. We all have our opinions of people and in my blog I will express them as I choose. No person with autism nor any other human being for that matter is being helped by the disproven theory that vaccines cause autism being spouted as fact time and again.
      Autistic people are not helped by being labelled as damaged, poisoned and in need of being fixed. Many autistic people find the language used about them insulting as do I.
      They are not helped by clinics, DAN practitioners and other quacks encouraging them to part with their cash on unproven and biologically improbable treatments.
      Please read my first ever post as that was one of my inspirations to do this. There is very little from me in it, instead the heartfelt and articulate views of a wonderful young woman with autism

    1. “We all have our opinions of people and in my blog I will express them as I choose.”

      What you mean is “Yes, I can be rude about your family if I wish” – your disrespect does you, and your views, no credit.

      “Many autistic people find the language used about them insulting as do I.”

      My two autistic brothers find YOUR attitude towards their illness and YOUR unwillingness to listen to them as insulting as I do.

      Despite your attempt to deny it and speak universally for people you’ve never met and know nothing about, my brothers have been helped a great deal by Dr Wakefield – the improvement to their quality of life is factually undeniable, whatever ill-informed “opinion” you choose to put forward.

      1. I have never said that I speak for anyone but myself. If you can bear to read more of my posts in this hideous font with which I am assaulting your aesthetic sensitivities you will see exactly that.
        Yes I’m rude about people. What’s your point? I don’t write respectfully about people whose views I do not respect? Too right.

  7. I just wanted to say I am autistic and my mum didn’t give me mmr. I don’t know why not but I had to get it when I went travelling last year. So there must be other reasons.

    1. If you can’t understand why you should, as an adult, be able to discuss a topic or disagree with someone intelligently and with due respect, without being rude and insulting, then I pity you. Genuinely.

  8. “Dr. Wakefield’s crucifixion is a desperate well-orchestrated effort to restore faith in risky vaccinations that the majority of people worldwide no longer trust,” said Dr. Horowitz.

    We noted that in connection with the harassment of Dr Wakefield simultaneous broadcasts from radio stations world wide announced that his work was fraudulent, and they interviewed “experts” who all declared that the MMR was perfectly safe.

    We also noted that the questions and answers in these interviews were identical, irrespective of whether they were broadcast from radio stations in European or African countries.

    1. Such as? Which radio stations? What time?
      Of course similar questions are going to be asked of experts of any issue in the news and yes it gets repetitive. Naturally, responses would be similiar because one thing was found: NO link between mmr and autism! There’s only so many ways you can say it

  9. I am Autistic, and I got measles from the MMR (one aunt got polio from the polio vaccine, and my mother got Guillain Barre Syndrome from the flu vaccine, and I have an Autistic aunt as well, so vaccines have an iffy history with my family).

    So, fast forward to my nephew, a smiling, happy, interactive little boy who loved sharing smiles and laughs with us but wasn’t talking yet when he was 1. Then he got the MMR. The next day, he no longer smiled, he drooled constantly, headbanged, and started having so much diarrhea in his diapers he was being changed 5 and more times/day. He no longer babbled, and didn’t seem to notice anything in his environment any more. It took us until he was nearly 5, with diet, vitamins, and therapies to get him back to just being speech-delayed.

    Don’t tell us it wasn’t the vaccines for him. Not EVERY child should be vaccinated, and not every child should be vaccinated on the same bloody one-size-fits all schedule. And we haven’t vaccinated him since, as he already has markers for autoimmune disorders that can be made WORSE by vaccination… just like me. But then, I had all my vaccines, so I’m much sicker than he is. We’re trying to prevent him from going through the medical nightmare I’ve been through.

    I’m not saying vaccines caused your child’s autism, or did anything to YOUR child, but MY family’s experience is different. Quite frankly, when I have children, there will be NO vaccinations. End of story.

    1. It is sad that vaccines can and do cause adverse reactions but they do not cause autism. Indeed some work suggests that the mmr could actually be protective against it.
      If a child goes from happy and smiling etc to acting entirely out of character and oblivious to the world overnight I would not suspect a vaccine reaction and would immediately call an ambulance as that sounds more like a stroke.
      It is absolutely true that not all children should be vaccinated because of underlying medical conditions and so the impetus is on parents who can vaccinate their children to do so to protect the most vulnerable.

      1. Martine, have a heart and use your brain – a child, just having received a vaccine and becoming ill overnight – and you wouldn’t suspect an adverse reaction? You would call an ambulance though, thank goodness, suspecting a stroke – in a child? You have already admitted that vaccines can and do cause adverse reactions.

        Do go back and read what Caron Ryalls has to say about vaccine damage to her child, and really, there is no need to be rude to the Tommey family when good-hearted, loving families are doing whatever they can to try and put things right.

      2. Not from the symptoms described no though it would, of course, be something that would need to be ruled out. I’m sure the Tommey family are loving. I have said nothing to the contrary but their continued backing for Wakefield and the quackery they promote is abhorant. I will not couch opinions in respectful tones when describing my thoughts and feeling about those for whom I have very little respect indeed.

      3. “Don’t tell us it wasn’t the vaccines for him.”

        So, if your child was involved in a car accident the night after having a vaccine, it was the fault of the vaccine too, right?

        Autism signs can show up very early, but parents fail to realize that these are the signs of autism. It’s sad to see that parents are instead blaming vaccines rather than just a natural onset of autism. 12 months is about the time where the signs of autism are distinctly seen.

      4. I only suspect the vaccines because I have seen this, and similar reactions, in three children now IN PERSON. I’ve seen it in two clients besides my nephew, who both experienced severe regression, starting within hours of their vaccinations. One of them has had seizures ever since. I also have MANY clients whose parents make the connection, although I haven’t seen their regressions, since it had already happened by the time I met the child.

        The CDC, in case you missed it, has actually acknowledged that vaccines can cause encephalitis. And post-encephalitic symptoms can frequently match those of Autism. In fact, one woman in my support group was considered typical until she had encephalitis when she was 7, and was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome shortly thereafter.

        As for “missing the signs”, I work with Autistic children, and have for nearly 10 years. My nephew is 7. Do the math. Not only do I know the signs, I have suggested to a few parents that they pursue a diagnosis.

      5. “The CDC, in case you missed it, has actually acknowledged that vaccines can cause encephalitis.”

        I would love some evidence of this, because all of the credible sites do not claim such. Japanese encephalitis only pops up, and one link of vaccine preventing encephalitis does as well.

    2. Hi Tara,
      I could not agree with you more, I know of adults and children that have various conditions as a result of vaccination. My argument is that not all children even adults are able to have vaccinations without consequence. Private testing showed that my son had a poor immune system, mitochondria dysfunction. Prior to the vaccination I had a child developing above an beyond his expected age and development, standing supported at 4 months, walking at 8, was able to say 20 – 30 words including mummy and daddy, he was given one vaccination that resulted in him having a temp & lethargic, we thought it was normal as the advice given suggested.

      The next one the MMR, within 3 wks became unresponsive, lost eye contact, lost speech, cannot draw unsupported, had to learn to walk over again, has developed epilepsy. In the 1st year of life he was on many antibiotics, I questioned my GP why he was always ill with respiratory infections and others, answer was because I too him to toddler groups, private testing showed there was actually more to it than that.

      At 6 years we have no speech a child who is less than half his age developmentally. We are currently going through a vaccine damage payment process.

  10. Let me just make one thing quite clear Andrew Wakefield did not say that MMR causes Autism , and as for saying the parents are anti- vaccine that is a stupid comment because parents did vaccinate their children to their cost they became Autistic and had bowel conditions

  11. Alit where does it say that Andrew Wakefield perforated a childs bowel you will find that the comment you made is very wrong

  12. Rosey, if your child was on antibiotics for quite a lot of his first year, what does that have to do with MMR? It seems to me that there might just be underlying problems with or without any vaccinations. If he only had one vaccine during his entire first year, he would have been vulnerable to all sorts of childhood diseases.

    1. would that be the same David Lewis who handed Brian Deer the histology reports that showed no pathology in the guts of the Wakefield study subjects that were further evidence of scientific fraud? Are you sure he’s on Wakefield’s side – he seems a bit of a liability.

  13. The anti-vax thing is an excellent example of what happens when a society fails to value critical thinking and teach basic science. These people can’t distinguish correlation from causation or judge relative risks. They also usually can’t be bothered to understand the fundamentals of biology. Not because they are stupid, but because their environment reinforces and rewards ignorance and mental laziness.

    1. Sadly, I think the pro-science people have not been as effective in getting their voices heard (especially at when Wakefield thrust this nonsense on the world) and the anti-vax movement has benefitted from sympathetic PR, an easy to understand narrative and some very loud advocates whose credentials in speaking on such matters is rarely questioned by an overly sensationalist media.

      1. As far as I am concerned the only thing that trumps education and research is having boobs and being willing to get them out… this appears to be the only credential needed to qualify a person to influence major life decisions that affect other peoples children.
        perhaps the scientific community would be better heard if they took their tops off

  14. Wakefield is not trying to exonerate himself,. He is just presenting himself as a victim and engaging in that typical tactic of “the science isn’t settled” that is so favored by climate change deniers who lack any actual evidence. It is amazing how the vaccine opponents are so quick to accuse others of being on the take, but never consider Wakefield’s payoff and his commercial aspirations..

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