A few facts about Dr Andrew Wakefield, and his paper

1) Dr Andrew Wakefield *did not* publish a paper that claimed Vaccines caused autism. Read this over and over again. That is right, Dr Andrew Wakefield did not claim in a paper that vaccines caused Autism . Dr Andrew Wakefield has not admitted to falsifying anything. Where do people get their information from?
2) In the now famous ‘paper’ – he (along with 12 other researchers) showed that the behaviour symptoms of Autistic children were linked to their gut disorders. A very simply way of putting this is that their intestines were causing them so much pain and discomfort that it severely and seriously affected their behaviour
3) Dr Andrew Wakefield *did not* publish a paper that claimed Vaccines caused autism. Read this over and over again. That is right, Dr Andrew Wakefield did not claim in a paper that vaccines caused Autism . Dr Andrew Wakefield has not admitted to falsifying anything. Where do people get their information from?
4) 12 autistic children were refered to the Royal Free hospital , Scotland via the referral mechanisms of the British medical system. A multi disciplinary team that was treating the children found a similarity among all the children — basically they demonstrated that the autistic (behaviour issues) symptoms were related to their gut problems. Andrew Wakefield’s team basically postulated that the children’s gut symptoms and ne
urological symptoms were related.
5) Dr Andrew Wakefield *did not* publish a paper that claimed Vaccines caused autism. Read this over and over again. That is right, Dr Andrew Wakefield did not claim in a paper that vaccines caused Autism . Dr Andrew Wakefield has not admitted to falsifying anything. Where do people get their information from?
6) The team did not stop at postulating theories. Remember these kids were referred to the Royal Free. They treated the children for their intestinal disorders. What followed was nothing short of miraculous for the parents who actually were doing everything they could for their kids. The kids who had stopped developing showed slight improvements. In some of the cases, the non-verbal kids who had stopped speaking after the MMR vaccines, suddenly started saying a few words.
7) Repeat Pt1 here
8) Some of the children were found to be suffering from Chronic Measles infection — the measles had affected their nervous system. Remember they had been given the MMR vaccine – which is a vaccine containing three live viruses. Dr Wakefield wanted to establish if the virus was the wild Measles virus or the same strain that was present in the vaccine. Funding for the research was abruptly stopped since this was considered a needless ‘evangelical’ approach and a waste of funds
9) Repeat #3 here
10) Dr A.W noted that in 8 of the 12 children, the parents claimed that the children were diagnosed with Autism shortly after the MMR vaccine. When he looked for research on the subject , he realized that there wasn’t any (in fact, there still isn’t any). So he wanted to use this a *starting point* of an investigation. He mentioned this fact (the parents claim that the autism was diagnosed shortly after the MMR — 8 out of 12 was too much of a coincidence in the absence of real data you see.
11)Dr AW did not claim a link betwween Autism and vaccines. That is right, Dr Andrew Wakefield did not claim in a paper that vaccines caused Autism . Dr Andrew Wakefield has not admitted to falsifying anything – ever. Listen to the man speaking if you can. He is undoubtably a hero of our times, sacrificed his career for a cause
12) A press conference was organized to talk about the team’s findings. You see, the idea that the gut and behaviour symptoms of Autistic children was related was a major finding at that time, and the team at Royal Free was happy at the publicity and the pathbreaking nature of the study.
13) At the press conference, Dr Wakefield was asked a few pointed questions.(Paraphrased here , with my own words)
13.1) Do you believe the MMR vaccine caused the autism.
A) Its not for me to say that. 8 of the parents have claimed that, and unfortunately we don’t know enough one way or the other. This aspect should be researched — in many cases in the past, its the parents observations that have been a starting point. And I believe in listening to parents. Both my parents are Doctors and we believe in listening to parents.
13.2) Have you given your children the MMR vaccine
A) Yes
13.3) In the light of what you have seen as part of the research, would you be vaccinating your children with the MMR vaccine.
A) Unfortunately no. But I would be separately vaccinating them with the Mumps, Rubella and the Measles vaccine at separate times. I think we should not be giving multiple vaccines at one go till we have fully researched the effects

That is it. All hell broke loose after that. Of the 13 Doctors, 10 were successfully pressurized to recant their name from the study paper. 3 Doctors, Dr AW , Dr Simon Murch and Dr John Walker Smith – the head of Royal Free at the time of research, refused, standing by their findings, and denying any wrongdoings. They were all stripped of their positions at the Royal Free.
Dr Wakefield moved to Texas, and continues to reside their, doing valuable independent research on Autism.
The three Doctors above were subjected to a GMC enquiry and trial without being allowed to present their side of the story, not being allowed to call the parents as witnesses, and summary stripped of their licenses. Dr Smith and Dr Murch contested in a UK court (where normal court procedures are followed), and got the ruling overruled. Dr Wakefield has stopped clinical practice for years now. He’s currently suing Brian Deer the journalist who brought on the charges against the Doctors which led to the GMC ‘trial’

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4 thoughts on “A few facts about Dr Andrew Wakefield, and his paper

  1. Good article, but it is wrong to state Professor Simon Murch lost his medical licence to practise. Instead he was admonished by the GMC panel and allowed to keep his licence. This excellent compassionate clinician is still practising medicine, luckily for his young patients. Professor John Walker-Smith appealed the GMC decision in the High Court, where Justice Lord Mitting completely exonerated him and had some scathing comments about the three year £8million GMC so called ‘court’. The GMC has now completely changed all disciplinary procedures after Judge Mitting made it clear , this GMC fiasco must never happen again.
    Sadly for Dr Andrew Wakefield, his insurance company refused to fund a high Court appeal, although 75% of the GMC charges against Prof Walker-Smith also applied to Dr Wakefield.

    • Jerry,

      Thanks for correcting me. And adding that extra bit of information about the insurance. Its good to know that sane voices still exist. I was repeating myself ad nauseam in various fora – correcting two lies 1) Dr Wakefield did a sham study 2) He admitted to falsifying data. So I just decided to write this down today morning in a hurry.

  2. Can you please tell me what the exact charges are that were brought against Dr. Wakefield? I can’t find this information anywhere in the sea of anti Wakefield pages on the internet. Thank you.

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