... has been recently strengthened by the suspiciously poor quality of the debunking against it! An ongoing controversy about the possible link between measles, mumps and rubella vaccines and autism, has been brought recently to a peak by the disbarrment of Dr. Andrew Wakefield by Britain's General Medical Council announced on Monday. Nowhere in the criticism of his paper, his detractors have openly argued against the merit, logic and science of the actual research. I could not find any statement that would said something like "the paper is wrong because this or that". Instead, Dr. Wakefield's character is being criticized and the conclulsions condemning his study have been reached by the committee, based apparently on some of his procedural and administrative "transgressions". What exactly are Dr. Wakefield's "crimes"?
- ordered research on nine children without his hospital's ethics committee approval. Three of them had invasive procedures they did not need, the statement said. [took blood samples?]
- failed to disclose that the research was being done to test a theory that there was a link between the vaccine and "a new syndrome."
- mislead readers about how children were chosen for the study,...
- ordered investigations on five children while he was at London's Royal Free Hospital, although he was not a pediatrician and his terms of employment said he should have no involvement in the clinical management of patients,...
- accepted 50,000 pounds (currently $72,000) to act as an expert witness in an MMR court case, misled authorities about the payment, and misused half of it, the GMC found.
- had blood samples taken from children at a birthday party - which the panel found "an inappropriate social setting" - without ethics committee approval, paid the children 5 pounds each, and later joked about it in a public presentation, the GMC said.
- Subsequent research has been unable to duplicate Wakefield's findings.
- "Since Wakefield's study came out, some 20 other studies [I am impressed! S.B.] have come out, and each one of these studies, done by different researchers, in different populations and in different countries, has denied the associations between vaccines and autism," he said. "Scientifically, this story is over."
----------- update (24/05/2010) ------
An interview with Dr. Wakefield can be heard on BBC - 1h47m to 1h57m into this programme .
and here is a short video interview. Thanks Lee.
It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. Jiddu Krishnamurti
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