British Dr Vaccine-Autism Scare Falsified Data

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Hoboman, Feb 11, 2009.

  1. #1 Hoboman, Feb 11, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2016
    Investigative reporting sheds light on what may be a shameless case of medical alarmism

    There's plenty to be worried about when it comes to medicine. From toxins, to cancer, and even medicines with unexpectedly nasty side effects, doctors have their hands full dealing with real problems. While some in the medical and scientific community tend to ignore such dangers, sometimes to gain esteem or funding, others gravitate to the opposite extreme of spreading alarmism.

    The latter may be the case with Dr. Andrew Wakefield, the British physician who fathered the scare about the possible link between the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism. According to extensive investigative reporting by Sunday Times of London, a British newspaper, Dr. Wakefield falsified data and lied to make his case in his 1998 Lancet journal paper.

    In his paper, Dr. Wakefield claimed that 8 of 12 families of autistic children who attended the clinic at his hospital began to show signs of the illness immediately after getting the "jab" -- the British name for the MMR vaccine. In the paper, he claimed that the measles virus infected the children's bowels, giving them inflammatory bowel disease, which in turn triggered the autism.

    However, the Sunday Times of London found a far different story. Investigative reporter Brian Deer, who has been covering the story since its start, found that hospital and other records showed signs that the children were already developing autism before they had received any injection. And while that difference might be attributable to innocent oversight, the newspaper discovered even more shocking allegations.

    According to Mr. Deer, the physicians working under Dr. Wakefield were unable to find signs of inflammatory bowel disease in many of the children, but Dr. Wakefield ordered his team to falsify the data to indicate they had. Furthermore, one of the children deemed to have the condition was taken by a parent to three other labs which were unable to find signs of the illness.

    The reporter also discovered that Dr. Wakefield's interest in a MMR vaccine-autism connection began when he was retained as an expert witness two years earlier by a lawyer representing the parent of an autistic child. The parents were planning to sue the MMR vaccine makers because they believed the vaccine caused their child's illness. According to Mr. Deer, Dr. Wakefield then launched the Jabs program, the name for clinic that led to the study. The program was advertised by the lawyer's firm, and the clinic was not a routine screening, accuses Mr. Deer.

    There had already been some signs that tomfoolery might be afoot in the paper. By 2004, 10 of the 13 original authors on the Lancet paper asked to have it withdrawn. They stated that "no causal link was established between MMR vaccine and autism because the data was insufficient." Dr. Wakefield however, refused to back down from his theories.

    England's General Medical Council has brought charges of medical misconduct against Wakefield and two other co-authors, Dr. John Walker-Smith and Dr. Simon Murch (the authors who continued to support the paper). The charges revolve around the ethics of the researchers testing on children, not the new accusations. The paper, though, has forwarded its results to the board and expects new charges to be forthcoming.

    Dr. Wakefield's attorneys vigorously denied the preexisting charges as well as the newspaperÂ’s accusations, but refused to give a formal statement.

    In Britain, thanks to the scare, vaccine rates dropped from 92% to below 80%. This led to the number of measles cases in England and Wales to soar from 56 in 1998 to 1,348 in 2008. Two children died as a result of the disease.
  2. autism is no laughing matter
  3. Ugh, terrible. <A BORDER="0" HREF=""><IMG BORDER="0" SRC="pitlane/emoticons/sad.gif"></A>
  4. Could you link the source please?
  5. editted op to ad it, must've forgot to hit paste earlier
  6. Thanks.
  7. forgot to get scared earlier
  8. I got a Jaguar, it's pretty sweet.
  9. Is that a walnut jag? It's pretty gangster.

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