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Mumble

MMR scare doctor 'acted unethically'

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Mumble   

:notworthy: (clicky the smiley :))

 

Late, but at least it starts to put this to rest. As they just said on the news, now people can concentrate on scientifically validated research. :thumbs:

 

Hopefully he will be struck off, as that would put an end to this once and for all.

 

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jimssmom   
:notworthy: (clicky the smiley :))

 

Late, but at least it starts to put this to rest. As they just said on the news, now people can concentrate on scientifically validated research. :thumbs:

 

Hopefully he will be struck off, as that would put an end to this once and for all.

i totally agree - especially the part where he charged £5 for children's blood at his sons birthday party!!! He should be jailed!!

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baddad   

Sorry - disagree...

a couple of lovely soundbites in there 'paid five pounds for blood samples' but soundbites can be very misleading... Does other research pay study participants? Yes! In fact, I think it's pretty much the norm in the states, isn't it? And they pay for blood by the pint too as opposed to asking for donors... Did the parents of the kids know and give their consent? Were the kids happy with their extra fiver pocket money? Did he take a pint ('that's a whole armful!) - or just a pin prick?

As with the case itself - I'm not making any judgement about whether A W's conclusions were right or wrong (but lets face it, even though that is expressly not what they set out to confirm or deny ( :whistle: ) it is what most people will assume from the very sensational headlines). I think one thing you can say with absolute certainty and authority is that anyone going up against the full force of the GMC is gonna lose (rewind all the way back to Nye Bevan and the start of the NAS and the way it was nearly scuppered by the surgeons etc of the time until certain 'concessions' were offered and you can see that even applies to governments, let alone individuals), and you can say pretty much the same thing about anyone taking on a determined and consolidated official Government line... Put the two together, and A W was toast before he ever set foot in court, regardless of the validity of his reseacrh/methods or otherwise.

 

L&P

 

BD :D

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chris54   
i totally agree - especially the part where he charged £5 for children's blood at his sons birthday party!!! He should be jailed!!

 

May be unethical but one must assume he had permission from parent who were happy to take money.

 

As has been said, there is no comment on the outcome of the research, only the methods used.

 

This does not put it to rest. Only stirs it all up again.

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Mumble   
Sorry - disagree...

With the General Medical Council? :huh: Well, I guess everyone's entitled to their opinion.

 

a couple of lovely soundbites in there 'paid five pounds for blood samples' but soundbites can be very misleading... Does other research pay study participants? Yes! In fact, I think it's pretty much the norm in the states, isn't it? And they pay for blood by the pint too as opposed to asking for donors... Did the parents of the kids know and give their consent? Were the kids happy with their extra fiver pocket money? Did he take a pint ('that's a whole armful!) - or just a pin prick?

We're not in the states. I don't know about research ethics in the states so I can't comment on that. But AW isn't in the states either, so that's kind of a sideways point that doesn't make a difference to this case which is about and based upon UK medical research ethics. As to 'paying', there is actually a huge amount of ethical guidance around what is acceptable practise and what is not acceptable practise. Payment can only be made for out of pocket expenses - you cannot be paid to take part in research per se. The way 'payments' are formulated and/or advertised for any individual research study has to pass through several ethics committees and receive approval before the study can go ahead - this is very strictly regulated to protect vulnerable participants and AW has not acted in accordance with this. As for informed consent, this has to come from the participant (i.e. the child - yes, you have to find a way of simplifying the language so that you can be sure they have understood) as well as the parent. Offering a child £5 for their blood is not informed consent - in fact the offering of the money at that stage would make it impossible for the child to make a balanced decision even if they had also been fully informed of the study.

 

a determined and consolidated official Government line... Put the two together, and A W was toast before he ever set foot in court, regardless of the validity of his reseacrh/methods or otherwise.

That does sound a little conspiricist... Does it really make sense to say that the Government/Dept. of Health would allow the continuing of the MMR if they knew it did cause autism give the great expense that would result in in the long term? If there were a link, even if they didn't want to admit to this, they would have found a way to change/withdraw the vaccine. This hasn't happened.

 

You say 'regardless of the validity of his research' - but this is the very point he is being brought up on - his sampling method is not only unethical but flawed as it is not representative of the population as a whole (unless of course he's going to claim that he took random population samples in choosing who to invite to his son's birthday party... :whistle:)

 

it is what most people will assume from the very sensational headlines

I don't think the headline is sensationalist and I think most people will read 'acted unethically' to mean, erm, 'acted unethically'. :unsure: This case isn't about proving or disproving his results as you rightly say, but it can't be, because his research has been shown to be invalid and therefore doesn't show anything (valid, in research terms, means does the study actually measure what is reports to measure). There is no, 'are the findings correct or not' to prove.

 

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puffin   

I was shocked that the original study was just 12 children. I always learned that this is far to few to drawn any general conclusions from.

 

There was also the conflict of interest which I think does raise questions - having accepted money from solictors who had already decided to sue - this biased the small sample further

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Mumble   
I was shocked that the original study was just 12 children. I always learned that this is far to few to drawn any general conclusions from.

Absolutely. Even if the study were ethically sound, you simply couldn't carry out a robust statistical analysis with this sample size.

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baddad   

Hi mumble - I'm not gonna spend long on this one - I've spent far too much time over the past few days defending my rights to have unpopular opinions! :lol:

So I'll quickly say that no, he's not in America etc, but I think the blood letting is probably being blown out of all proportion... reading between the lines, he probably wanted some 'control' samples from kids of a certain age and when he saw a fairly hefty gang of kids gathered at a party thought he could cut corners. A very bad error of judgement, but not the act of evil it's being made out to be, and I'm guessing that this:

 

Dr Kumar said he had acted with "callous disregard for the distress and pain the children might suffer".

 

didn't apply to any of the kids involved because if it had he would have been struck off and we'd have heard about it long ago, and this very expensive lynching trial wouldn't have been necessary...

 

There have been very big changes to the MMR vaccine, in fact. Certain 'strains' of the antibodies have been removed from the equation completely and manufacturing/chemical processes have changed dramatically. And, no, the costs of continuing with 'herd immunisation' are nothing if only a tiny percentage are implicated and the government/manufacturers can succesfully divert attention away from any link. The cost of a scrapped programme, a complete backdown and a massive upsurge in claims and really, really HUGE payouts to those affected (or potentially affected, 'cos once that can of worms was open there's absolutely NO getting the lid back on it) would bring the goverment and the manufacturers to their knees.

 

Think about BSE and Selwyn Gummer feeding his kid a burger, and the tiny, tiny number of people who developed CJD... now multiply the pay-outs for that by the millions of children who have been diagnosed in the past 30 years or so who had MMR jabs, because once that connection was established for certain it would be impossible to say a child who had had the jab and been diagnosed wasn't affected by MMR...

 

Which of course, is all a moot point... because whether there's a connection or not has been removed from the debate.

 

TBH there are not many 'conspiracy theories' I'll entertain - but i have absolutely no doubts about the reality of government cover ups; be they to do with the tobacco industry, the agricultural industry or the drug/chemical industries or any of the other 'biggies' economies and goverments absolutely depend on.

 

L&P

 

BD :D

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KezT   
Dr Kumar said he had acted with "callous disregard for the distress and pain the children might suffer

 

that was in regard to carrying out uneccessary lumbar punctures on children!

 

His findings have been thoroughly discredited already as the groups was too small, there was no proper control group and there was a major conflict of interest. There have been plenty of subsequent, valid, reports on the same issue, and you may chose which bits of those you wish to believe/disregard, but Dr A-W's findings are totally invalid in every way.

 

IMO, all the evidence points towards ASDs being a neurological condition that happens in the first few weeks of foetal development. Certainly my DS had signs of ASD from the day he was born (even if I didn't recognise them as that at the time) and neither the MMR, or any of the boosters had the slightest impact on him. Sometimes we just have to accept there is no-one and nothing to blame - this is just the way life is.

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Mumble   
reading between the lines, he probably wanted some 'control' samples from kids of a certain age and when he saw a fairly hefty gang of kids gathered at a party thought he could cut corners. A very bad error of judgement, but not the act of evil it's being made out to be

An 'error of judgement' that any researcher worth anything or with any basic understanding of research validity simply wouldn't make. He would have known at the time of doing this that it simply wouldn't lead to valid research.

 

I've looked into his processes a little more. It transpires that not only was it unethical, he did not seek ethical approval to conduct his study. He has never explained why. Perhaps he didn't think he would get it? (before anyone leads that back to cover-ups etc. ethical committees are only interested in whether the research is being conducted following ethical guidelines,nothing about potential findings - they are independent).

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Mumble   
Sometimes we just have to accept there is no-one and nothing to blame - this is just the way life is.

Very well said. :)

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Karen A   
Sorry - disagree...

a couple of lovely soundbites in there 'paid five pounds for blood samples' but soundbites can be very misleading... Does other research pay study participants? Yes! In fact, I think it's pretty much the norm in the states, isn't it? And they pay for blood by the pint too as opposed to asking for donors... Did the parents of the kids know and give their consent? Were the kids happy with their extra fiver pocket money? Did he take a pint ('that's a whole armful!) - or just a pin prick?

As with the case itself - I'm not making any judgement about whether A W's conclusions were right or wrong (but lets face it, even though that is expressly not what they set out to confirm or deny ( :whistle: ) it is what most people will assume from the very sensational headlines). I think one thing you can say with absolute certainty and authority is that anyone going up against the full force of the GMC is gonna lose (rewind all the way back to Nye Bevan and the start of the NAS and the way it was nearly scuppered by the surgeons etc of the time until certain 'concessions' were offered and you can see that even applies to governments, let alone individuals), and you can say pretty much the same thing about anyone taking on a determined and consolidated official Government line... Put the two together, and A W was toast before he ever set foot in court, regardless of the validity of his reseacrh/methods or otherwise.

 

L&P

 

BD :D

 

 

 

''The verdict, read out by panel chairman Dr Surendra Kumar, criticised Dr Wakefield for the invasive tests, such as spinal taps, that were carried out on children and which were found to be against their best clinical interests''

 

The difficulty the GMC had was not with pin prick blood tests as shown from the quote above.The issue was invasive tests such as spinal taps.

A spinal tap is an invasive procedure which for children frequently requires a general anaesthetic.It can in occasional cases cause after effects.Such a procedure would not normally be undertaken unless there was a specific clinical need such as in suspected meningitis or leukemia.

This is somewhat different to a pin prick blood test and has more of a risk of complications than giving blood.

 

The article also pointed out that Dr WAkefield did not have qualifications to undertake the tests he was undertaking which would be a serious issue with spinal taps.

Edited by Karen A

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Karen A   
didn't apply to any of the kids involved because if it had he would have been struck off and we'd have heard about it long ago, and this very expensive lynching trial wouldn't have been necessary...

 

 

 

L&P

 

BD :D

 

He could still be struck off they have not decided yet.

 

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Well I see this as political, with a small p. The GMC must be seen to validate the Chief Medical Officer who has declared the MMR totally safe. Any other conclusion is unthinkable.

 

Wakefield was not acting alone - the entire gastrology department of the Royal Free was involved. Wakefield will not have signed off this piece of research, I'm sure it went to the hospital research panel/board.

 

I'm not a fan of Wakefield and heartily wished at the time when the Daily Mail fanned the flames some time after his original announcement that he would just shut up. That way my son might have had some treatment for his bowel problems. As it was the gastrology department at the Royal Free (the only hospital in the country prepared to look at this 'novel' condition) may have offered my DS some treatment. We were within two months of an appointment with Simon Murch, which got cancelled over this. Not a single hospital in the UK was prepared to examine a child with autism who had bowel problems. My GP tried hard to find one for me.

 

Handing out fivers of his own money is neither here nor there in the bigger picture however heinous a crime it's going to be painted now. Writing off a small number of autistic children who are presenting with bowel problems for the sake of a vaccine programme is more questionable in my mind.

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baddad   

Accepted i missed that about spinal taps. the bit I quoted was in the same paragraph as the bit on blood tests and I only really scanned the article.

 

I'm not arguing for A W. I don't know.

The only thing I do know with any certainty is that one side lied to me about MMR/Autism and that was the Government and the GMC in a pamphlet called 'MMR - the facts' when the whole debate took off. I know this, because I researched the statistics and facts they gave in the pamphlet at the time for a project I was doing as part of my HND course, and they simply were not 'facts'.

I can't remember all of them now but they were things like:

  • MMR has never been linked with autism - when in fact all three have been linked and were considered (before the vaccine question was raised) as the three biggest likely causes of autism.
  • The MMR vaccine has never been linked with autism - This written at the time when there was huge speculation and ongoing court cases in the states, of which the people writing the pamphlet must have been aware.
  • MMR has an unblemished safety record in every country into which it has been introduced. - This written after it was withdrawn from use in China after links were established between it and encephalitis, which was itself (encephalitis) directly linked to autism as a complication of Mumps...

there was loads more - but I'm certainly not gonna do the research again just to satisfy people who don't feel I have a right to a different opinion to them :rolleyes:

When they've uncovered that many direct and verifiable lies in A W's research, i'll be a bit more open minded, but given fags and cancer/bse and cjd/thelidomide drugs and deformed babies/formula milk and infant deaths in Africa etc etc etc etc I'll remain sceptical of government department research and that coming from multinational corporations with a vested interest in the outcome. Simple as...

 

Oh - Karen. The fact that he 'still might be' is irrelevant to the point i made: if he HAD, if it had been PROVED that he had:

 

Dr Kumar said he had acted with "callous disregard for the distress and pain the children might suffer".

 

all of this would be academic. Because he would have been gone. Years ago. And yes, he may be struck off further down the line, and that accusation might be part of the cumulative 'evidence', but the fact that he hasn't been yet must, logically, be either an indication that they don't have evidence that would have enabled them to have him struck off on the strength of that specific allegation, or that it is okay for a doctor to show:

 

"callous disregard for the distress and pain the children might suffer".

 

as long as there are no other negative factors involved. I can't quite buy into that one either, I'm afraid.

 

 

Please don't quote me again - just agree to differ! :pray:

L&P

 

BD :D

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My understanding, in simplistic terms, is that it wasn't claimed that MMR caused autism, but that the reactions in the gut of some children to the combined vaccine caused an overload of chemicals in the brain, so that a child who was predisposed towards autism (ie there was already a genetic link) could be adversely affected.

 

Hence some children have no adverse reaction to the MMR, some children with MMR are not altered in any way, yet some children who have gut issues AND already have the 'autistic group of genes' find that their autism is exacerbated. It is anecdotally accepted that many children with autism have gut issues, although it's not very well understood...

 

My understanding also is that Wakefield did not tell people not to get vaccinated, he suggested that separate vaccines may avoid this 'exacerbation' issue. The government, however, would not have this (reasons of funding?) and the press then took hold of the story and blew it up into sensational proportions. Being a journalist myself (not responsible on this one, however!), I know from the inside how stories such as these can be twisted to fit the headlines...

 

Whether Wakefield should be struck off or not, I couldn't say, but I felt I had to comment on the issue of the MMR 'causing autism'.

 

Lizzie x

(Please don't hit me!)

 

Edited to add that I'm impressed by Baddad's posts on this topic!! Blimey I must be going soft... :whistle::P Oo, and Jaded's too :)

Edited by BusyLizzie100

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Mumble   

Firstly:

Please don't quote me again - just agree to differ! :pray:

I don't think it's fair to slate others and then not be prepared for any comeback :( :

I'm certainly not gonna do the research again just to satisfy people who don't feel I have a right to a different opinion to them :rolleyes:

I actually stated in my first reply to you that:

everyone's entitled to their opinion.

by which I meant everyone has a right to a different opinion.

 

the fact that he hasn't been yet must, logically, be either an indication that they don't have evidence that would have enabled them to have him struck off on the strength of that specific allegation

That decision is taken by a different board, hence why it wasn't part of this enquiry.

 

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baddad   

Mumble, I didn't slate anyone's opinion - I just said i disagree and some of the reasons why...

 

so we disagree. That's fine :thumbs:

 

L&P

 

BD :D

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Mumble   
Mumble, I didn't slate anyone's opinion - I just said i disagree and some of the reasons why...

 

so we disagree. That's fine :thumbs:

I didn't say that you slated anyone's opinion, you added that in. I said that you slated others (me in this case) in talking about people who didn't feel you had a right to a difference of opinion, when in fact I had said exactly that - that you did have a right to a difference of opinion. I've never said you don't have a right to a difference of opinion, so there's not even a need to 'disagree', rather that we have different views.

 

 

 

**I just posted the article, I didn't write it, the BBC did, my name isn't AW or the Government or the Dept. of Health or the GMC. If anyone has a problem with the article, please go shout at them if you have a problem with what they've said, not at me. I didn't want to start an argument, just post what I thought was a relevant news article. I wish I'd left it for someone else to post now.**

 

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Karen A   
Accepted i missed that about spinal taps. the bit I quoted was in the same paragraph as the bit on blood tests and I only really scanned the article.

 

I'm not arguing for A W. I don't know.

The only thing I do know with any certainty is that one side lied to me about MMR/Autism and that was the Government and the GMC in a pamphlet called 'MMR - the facts' when the whole debate took off. I know this, because I researched the statistics and facts they gave in the pamphlet at the time for a project I was doing as part of my HND course, and they simply were not 'facts'.

I can't remember all of them now but they were things like:

  • MMR has never been linked with autism - when in fact all three have been linked and were considered (before the vaccine question was raised) as the three biggest likely causes of autism.
  • The MMR vaccine has never been linked with autism - This written at the time when there was huge speculation and ongoing court cases in the states, of which the people writing the pamphlet must have been aware.
  • MMR has an unblemished safety record in every country into which it has been introduced. - This written after it was withdrawn from use in China after links were established between it and encephalitis, which was itself (encephalitis) directly linked to autism as a complication of Mumps...

there was loads more - but I'm certainly not gonna do the research again just to satisfy people who don't feel I have a right to a different opinion to them :rolleyes:

When they've uncovered that many direct and verifiable lies in A W's research, i'll be a bit more open minded, but given fags and cancer/bse and cjd/thelidomide drugs and deformed babies/formula milk and infant deaths in Africa etc etc etc etc I'll remain sceptical of government department research and that coming from multinational corporations with a vested interest in the outcome. Simple as...

 

Oh - Karen. The fact that he 'still might be' is irrelevant to the point i made: if he HAD, if it had been PROVED that he had:

 

 

 

all of this would be academic. Because he would have been gone. Years ago. And yes, he may be struck off further down the line, and that accusation might be part of the cumulative 'evidence', but the fact that he hasn't been yet must, logically, be either an indication that they don't have evidence that would have enabled them to have him struck off on the strength of that specific allegation, or that it is okay for a doctor to show:

 

 

 

as long as there are no other negative factors involved. I can't quite buy into that one either, I'm afraid.

 

 

Please don't quote me again - just agree to differ! :pray:

L&P

 

BD :D

 

I was not sure about the spinal tap information and am aware the that the wheels at the GMC grind slowly so there is time yet.

However you need not :pray:

I honestly have strong views on a very limited range of issues.

Even as regards those issues I am more balanced much of the time when not under the stress we have been under the last few months. :unsure::)

Karen.

Edited by Karen A

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baddad   
I'm with BD on this one

*faints*

 

Edited to add that I'm impressed by Baddad's posts on this topic!! Blimey I must be going soft...

 

Lizzie, there is some sense in the old boy yet

 

 

:blink::blink::blink:

 

Actually, I'd just popped back because it suddenly dawned on me that even though these days I preface about 75% of my posts with an apology and even though I preface/postscript about 90% of the observations I make with qualifiers like 'This is not a personal observation' or 'please don't anyone think I'm refering to their situation specifically' etc etc I still end up getting more flak than the pilot of a bright pink spitfire low flying over 1941 Berlin shouting 'Ay up Adolf, I've 'ad Eva' through an industrial sized megaphone...

 

It MUST be my deodorant or something!? :blink::lol:

 

 

L&P (pretty please)

 

BD :D

Edited by baddad

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Not intended to ignite the MMR debate but 'for info'. Wakefield said 'the science will continue in earnest' just as his colleague releases new research replicating some of Wakefield's earlier work.

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pearl   
**I just posted the article, I didn't write it, the BBC did, my name isn't AW or the Government or the Dept. of Health or the GMC. If anyone has a problem with the article, please go shout at them if you have a problem with what they've said, not at me. I didn't want to start an argument, just post what I thought was a relevant news article. I wish I'd left it for someone else to post now.**

 

You've been here long enough to know that any post about Wakefield/MMR will produce lively debate.

 

 

 

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cmuir   

Hi

 

I don't know all the ins and outs of this, but from what I do know, I have a great deal of admiration for this man. He obviously has a medical/scientific background and he may well not have acted entirely professional at all times, but nonetheless he's stuck his neck on the line for all of those parents whose children have been extremely ill (or worse) after having haad the MMR. All of which has risked his crediiblity, his career and reputation, etc. I believe that there's no smoke without fire, but at the same time, I think extreme caution needs to be exercised in cases like this (which has resulted in scaremongering/propaganda and has divided the medical world in half in some quarters). Indeed, other supportive reports have been published, but by persons who are perhaps unwilling to take a public stance on this for fear of losing credibility, their job, etc. Pharmaceutical companies have a great deal of money to lose, as do a lot of scientists, doctors, etc. I wonder if AW's research has been hampered. Fact is, wihtout the full facts and medical expertise we just don't know. Having someone go against the grain isn't always a bad thing. Parents deserve answers and to know the risks of the MMR if any. There are millions of medicines in circulation, all of which carry risks which are labelled. If the MMR does carry the risk of autism, no matter how small, parents should be informed.

 

I wish to add, that I'm not in full agreement with his methodology.

 

Caroline.

Edited by cmuir

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baddad   

Honestly, I do want out of this thread, but just wanted to say:

 

**I just posted the article, I didn't write it, the BBC did, my name isn't AW or the Government or the Dept. of Health or the GMC. If anyone has a problem with the article, please go shout at them if you have a problem with what they've said, not at me. I didn't want to start an argument, just post what I thought was a relevant news article. I wish I'd left it for someone else to post now.**

 

 

Mumble: Not shouting at you, and not blaming you for the article or crediting you with responsibility for it or anything like that at all...

But I do feel that the cards were stacked against A W, and that one man up against the full force of the govt and the GMC (which in this case I really think is a combined force and might as well be seen as one 'Super power) was pretty much destined to become a scapegoat whatever the validity (or otherwise) of his research. I have a natural abhorance of 'scapegoating', particularly where big business and/or politics is concerned, and I genuinely do believe there is a bigger picture here even if we can't be certain about what that bigger picture is. So to see the two opening posts, one of which cries for A W to be struck off and the next which suggested he needs jailing did kind of make me think some balance should be introduced. That's not having a go at you or anyone else, and I think (hope) you've cross-posted enough with me in the past to know that if that had been the case I would have been much more up front about it.

 

L&P (as always)

 

BD :D

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The trouble with conspiracy theory arguments is that they are almost impossible to engage with on a rational basis. Any criticism of Andrew Wakefield becomes part of the conspiracy and is therefore dismissed.

 

It is oversimplifying in the extreme to assume that all of the actions taken against Andrew Wakefield are motivated by vested interest.

 

I discussed the case a while ago with a GP (not mine) who I share a common (unrelated) interest with. He is, (as are all GP's these days) well paid and more than happy with his income. He has a close family member who is profoundly Autistic. He will continue to be paid well whether he is instructed to gives the triple vaccine, single vaccine or none at all.

 

He is scathing about Andrew Wakefield because he considers him to be publicity-seeking and a bad scientist, and has caused parents all over the country to make decisions about their child's vaccinations based on an incorrect understanding of the issues involved. That is his genuinely held private belief not what he has been told to say publicly.

 

The conspiracy theory doesn't wash because he has no reason to be a part of the conspiracy. He is rational, well-informed and detached enough to reach his own conclusion and has done so.

 

My late mother (A retired Consultant Radiologist)held similar views on Andrew Wakefield and as she was retired could not possibly of had any incentive to be part of a conspiracy, nor was she the kind of person who could be intimidated into failing to give an honest opinion!

 

There are people out out there who have a financial interest in the single vaccine. There are also many more men and women of integrity who have no such self-interest who are profoundly unhappy with the way in which Andrew Wakefield went about his business. Put bluntly there are clear rules and regulations surrounding how such studies should be conducted. The rules are there for a good reason and Andrew Wakefield did not follow them.

 

Whatever your views on the safety of MMR Andrew Wakefield is the Villan here.

 

If you think MMR is unsafe Andrew Wakefield through his actions has given the pro-MMR campaign enough ammunition to last several years.

 

If you think MMR is safe he has caused a massive reduction in Vaccinations on the flimsiest of evidence. This reduction in vaccinations does not appear to have affected the steady rise in numbers of children with Autism.

 

What is clear to me is that Andrew Wakefield is a shameless media manipulator who was in the (paid) employment the anti-MMR campaign before his research even started (he somehow failed to mention this minor detail when publicising his research). His approach to research was highly opportunistic at best , and drove a coach and horses through ethical guidelines.

 

I just can't buy into the idea that he is some kind of heroic campaigner for truth and justice, and I find the 'Conspiracy Theory' defence doesn't stand up to scrutiny, therefore I don't believe the GMC hearing was a 'Kangaroo Court' and hope to be hearing much less from Andrew Wakefield in future.

 

Simon

 

 

 

 

 

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Karen A   
If you think MMR is safe he has caused a massive reduction in Vaccinations on the flimsiest of evidence. This reduction in vaccinations does not appear to have affected the steady rise in numbers of children with Autism.

 

....Whilst I thought I would add leading to sufficiently low rates of vaccination uptake that measles is now back certainly in my borough.Measles is no small matter for a small proportion of children who develop it. :tearful:

 

 

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baddad   

Hi Mossgrove ...

 

Firstly, I don't think you can equate a possible cover up to a 'conspiracy theory'. There is huge evidence that governments and drug manufacturers regularly 'cover up' stories like this and many of those stories are directly related to medical issues (as I've pointed out). As for 'engaging on a rational basis' I have very rationally pointed out that the Government are the only 'side' in this debate that I have actual personal evidence of of lying: They issued a pamphlet to me intended to convince me that MMR was safe and the details within that leaflet were simply untrue. That's not 'irrational'. It doesn't prove that MMR is unsafe, but it certainly undermines my confidence in it, and in the official line that is being taken to convince me of its safety. Again, entirely logical.

The fact that you have a GP friend and/or a radiologist mum who has no vested interest in being part of a conspiracy theory who takes the same official line doesn't in any way imply that a conspiracy theory can't exist (any more than finding one who believes there is a cover-up implies there must be one). That is incredibly flawed logic. Far more flawed, in fact, then anything AW has ever said! The majority of people will take the majority view, especially if all of the official evidence is manipulated to propogate that majority view. That's just group dynamics, pure and simple...

And the simple fact is that vaccine rates do make a difference to a GP's funding (unless the law has changed) because unless the GP completes a full innoculation programme on any individual child they are not paid for it. And he can't give a single vaccine option because it's not available! :wacko: but that's not in any way to imply that your GP friend is part of a conspiracy theory; it's far more likely to be group dynamics, and even sub-group dynamics, because - lets face it - If few of his colleagues openly endorse A W that's gonna have a huge influence on his opinion. I posted somewhere here on in an unrelated thread about ear grommet and tonsilectomy statistics. No suggestion of a 'conspiracy' there but very good evidence of the way medical opinion can shift dramatically depending on popular culture and opinion and indirect forces like finance. In actual fact, I've said many times in the past (and will again here) that I think a huge part of the rise in diagnoses is directly related to this kind of shift in thinking. Tony Attwood and people like him term it 'Improved Diagnosis' while I'm becoming increasingly convinced that the term 'Relaxed Diagnosis' is probably more apt (with official 'recovery' statistics emerging from the US seeming to bear this out). But even taking this into account I think there are other factors going on too, that aren't being fully investigated because the 'Improved Diagnostic' argument offers a wonderfully convenient get out clause...

 

Please, if you are going to respond to this, do me the courtesy of offering reasoned comments on the points I have raised (as I have offered you) rather than observations where the conclusion and premise do not 'hold water'. I've highlighted the flaws in my own reasoning, and where those flaws exist (because there simply is not enough evidence to back them up) I keep an open mind rather than assuming right or wrong on either side.

 

L&P

 

BD :D

Edited by baddad

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florrie   

Lets not forget that the parents of the children he was investigating all supported Dr Wakefield.

 

My son went into a coma after his MMR vaccine, and I've also had serious bad reaction to seroxat so whether there is an underlying reason for why some people have reactions has not been proved yet but it does not mean there is not a reason for this. Both my sisters children both autistic also had bad reactions to the vaccine.

 

All reactions are denied by NHS doctors and say it is proved there is no link but it has not been proved that it is safe, and thousands of children have been harmed by the vaccine.

 

This just makes me feel so depressed, I would do anything to have a doctor who would listen to the symptoms you tell them and to something anything to help rather than go along with the status quo and block you from receiving any support or help. Even if they gave a reason but they do not, so I've had no choice but to do my own research

 

As far as I'm concerned it has not been proved that this vaccine is safe and no explanation has ever been given for why my son and others went into a extreme fever, projectile vomiting, then a coma and within hours of having the vaccine then years later being diagnosed with autism

Edited by florrie

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The trouble with conspiracy theory arguments is that they are almost impossible to engage with on a rational basis. Any criticism of Andrew Wakefield becomes part of the conspiracy and is therefore dismissed.

 

It is oversimplifying in the extreme to assume that all of the actions taken against Andrew Wakefield are motivated by vested interest.

Decisions were made for the 'greater good' rather than anything more sinister. I wouldn't mind if the 'lesser' who were sacrificed got adequate treatment. But no, much was decided on keeping costs down and health department officials ended up stamping down on anything that would put the government stance at risk. I don't think they foresaw that at all.

 

I discussed the case a while ago with a GP (not mine) who I share a common (unrelated) interest with. He is, (as are all GP's these days) well paid and more than happy with his income. He has a close family member who is profoundly Autistic. He will continue to be paid well whether he is instructed to gives the triple vaccine, single vaccine or none at all.
I think it's perfectly valid to have an opinion on this if you don't have medical qualifications - this is more political than medical.

 

He is scathing about Andrew Wakefield because he considers him to be publicity-seeking and a bad scientist, and has caused parents all over the country to make decisions about their child's vaccinations based on an incorrect understanding of the issues involved. That is his genuinely held private belief not what he has been told to say publicly.
Wakefield did not act alone. The department of Health were advised in advance what they were going to say. If you remember the press conference there was a whole team of doctors sitting there. The government admits appalling mis-management of the publicity and has since set up a national research press office.

 

The conspiracy theory doesn't wash because he has no reason to be a part of the conspiracy. He is rational, well-informed and detached enough to reach his own conclusion and has done so.

My late mother (A retired Consultant Radiologist)held similar views on Andrew Wakefield and as she was retired could not possibly of had any incentive to be part of a conspiracy, nor was she the kind of person who could be intimidated into failing to give an honest opinion!

I'd hope we could all have honest opinions and be able to express them.

 

There are people out out there who have a financial interest in the single vaccine. There are also many more men and women of integrity who have no such self-interest who are profoundly unhappy with the way in which Andrew Wakefield went about his business. Put bluntly there are clear rules and regulations surrounding how such studies should be conducted. The rules are there for a good reason and Andrew Wakefield did not follow them.
I think you'll find the ethics committees only got their acts together post Wakefield.

 

Whatever your views on the safety of MMR Andrew Wakefield is the Villan here.
I don't see it in terms of heroes and villains. There were faults on both sides.

 

If you think MMR is unsafe Andrew Wakefield through his actions has given the pro-MMR campaign enough ammunition to last several years.

 

If you think MMR is safe he has caused a massive reduction in Vaccinations on the flimsiest of evidence. This reduction in vaccinations does not appear to have affected the steady rise in numbers of children with Autism.

Again I think it's not quite so simple. The DoH statements have always made statements about causal links between MMR and autism. Nobody's really asked the question whether there's a non-causal link - that is, children who are already autistic regressing. Having looked at my home-school books (which document hospitalisation and GP visits) and brought out the old videos, we can see our DS had quite a gradual but significant regression at the same time as having the MMR booster, changing from nursery to school and quite a number of other big changes in his life, but of course we'll never get any proof. That would come from large scale long term studies, and there are very many reasons why they won't happen, not related to any conspiracy theory, more to do with the slowness of the diagnostic process.

 

What is clear to me is that Andrew Wakefield is a shameless media manipulator who was in the (paid) employment the anti-MMR campaign before his research even started (he somehow failed to mention this minor detail when publicising his research). His approach to research was highly opportunistic at best , and drove a coach and horses through ethical guidelines.
There have been loads of dubious ethics on this - the editor of the Lancet being related to someone on the board of one of the vaccine manufacturers is an interesting snippet, when you consider the pressure The Lancet put on Wakefield to withdraw his paper.

 

I just can't buy into the idea that he is some kind of heroic campaigner for truth and justice, and I find the 'Conspiracy Theory' defence doesn't stand up to scrutiny, therefore I don't believe the GMC hearing was a 'Kangaroo Court' and hope to be hearing much less from Andrew Wakefield in future.

 

Simon

 

Neither hero nor villain. He believes he has valid research, which incidentally was not concluding MMR caused autism at all, they were reporting that they'd found vaccine-strain measles in the gut of these children. Whether the control blood samples cost him £5 a pop or the children suffered pain and discomfort to find it are side issues.

 

It was a journalist at the press conference who asked Wakefield for advice on vaccination. He should have declined to answer, but said he would opt for single vaccines as a precaution. Personally I think the DoH vetoed single vaxes on cost. And let's face it, not a single parent has complained about what he did to their children. It was a jpournalist that brough the complaint to the GMC. Note that the GMC complaints procedure was changed post Wakefield so that a third party could complain.

 

For us the best outcome is not anyone being jailed. Whether Wakefield loses his practicing certificate is also academic. I want research on bowel conditions in autistic people resumed.

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Hmmm...one interesting fact never seems to get a mention:

Everyone agrees that in the 12 years since Dr Wakefield's publication, uptake of the MMR has fallen dramatically (as much as 20% in some parts of the country), yes?

And everyone agrees that in the last 12 years the number of children diagnosed with autism had continued to

rise steadily. Yes?

So, if the two trends are going in opposite directions, how could one be causing the other?

 

It is the same with the mercury idea. Mercury was removed from all childhood vaccines, first in California (nearly 10 years ago) the in the rest of the US, then in the UK (about 5 years ago). Anti-mercury campaigners had hoped and expected to see a big fall in the number of autism cases as a result but as we all know this has not happened. Now even the fiercest campaigners are having to do a re-think (though many have just switched allegiance to new bogey-men)

 

I look at it this way: if I'm sitting in my room and the light goes out, I'll try changing the bulb. But if the room continues to be dark, I'll have to consider other possibilities (fuse? power cut?). It would be pretty fruitless for me to carry on sitting in the dark, still insisting that it must be the bulb!

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baddad   
Please, if you are going to respond to this, do me the courtesy of offering reasoned comments on the points I have raised (as I have offered you) rather than observations where the conclusion and premise do not 'hold water'. I've highlighted the flaws in my own reasoning, and where those flaws exist (because there simply is not enough evidence to back them up) I keep an open mind rather than assuming right or wrong on either side.

 

L&P

 

BD :D

 

Sorry Mossgrove - just read that bit back when i read florries post and realised it sounded a bit rude! What I meant was that I didn't want to be swapping posts on the basis of 'theoreticals' because they don't move the discussion forward in any way...

Hope that makes more sense!

 

L&P

 

BD :D

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I'm also quite puzzled when people say "the government can't admit the truth because then people would sue". Of course, anyone can sue any time they like. In fact the whole point of suing is to get someone to admit liability. All you need is evidence.

 

In fact, that was how this whole thing kicked off, because a group of parents wanted to sue. But the case stalled, because in spite of spending 5 years and £15 million of public money, they never found enough evidence to make a case. Since then, the "no win no fee" system has been introduced, so there is nothing to stop them having another go.

 

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baddad   
Hmmm...one interesting fact never seems to get a mention:

Everyone agrees that in the 12 years since Dr Wakefield's publication, uptake of the MMR has fallen dramatically (as much as 20% in some parts of the country), yes?

And everyone agrees that in the last 12 years the number of children diagnosed with autism had continued to

rise steadily. Yes?

So, if the two trends are going in opposite directions, how could one be causing the other?

Actually, I mentioned it! And offered what I thought was quite reasonable poss explanation. And given that even the most militant of those arguing against MMR agree that it's probably only a factor in a small percentage of cases where a genetic predisposition is also a factor...

 

HTMS

 

L&P

 

BD :D

 

 

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I've read back and can't see where you have refered to this, BD, or offered an explanation. Was it on another thread?

 

"And given that even the most militant of those arguing against MMR agree that it's probably only a factor in a small percentage of cases where a genetic predisposition is also a factor... " Do they?? I doubt that applies to those waving banners behind Dr Wakefield!

 

 

 

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baddad   
I'm also quite puzzled when people say "the government can't admit the truth because then people would sue". Of course, anyone can sue any time they like. In fact the whole point of suing is to get someone to admit liability. All you need is evidence.

 

Hi letterwriter - I'm a bit confused by this. The only practical way of demonstrating liability in a case like this is through research, which has effectively been 'blocked' unless you consider the people doing the sueing paying for the research (which would then be tied up for the next god-knows-how-many-years before being rejected for either not being replicated - because nobody was trying to replicate it - or because the people conducting the research were paid by one of the 'interested parties!). In the simplest of terms, only independent research can establish this and no independent research is being done or - given what's happened to A W and logical assumptions about self-preservation among potential researchers - likely to be done. Lets face it, however strongly held your convictions you'd have to be mad to spend money trying to prove an unprovable case, whether the reasons it was unprovable were because it wasn't true or because the resources weren't available to prove it. It's called 'plausable denial', and in political terms it means deliberately looking the other way (or refusing to look at evidence) so you can legitimately say 'No I haven't seen that'. Probably the best case of it was an American president who got away with lying about a sexual encounter by saying he didn't consider the 'act' to be sexual so didn't know the rules applied! :lol::whistle: Actually, that was just lying, but it was presented as plausable denial no matter how implausable that denial was! :lol:

 

I'm not arguing that A W's findings are right - I don't know. But what I can say is that there has been no independent research to find out, and the statistics the Goverment have quoted from other studies are further evidence of misdirection, because none of those studies were done to look specifically at whether there was a link.

 

It took 5 years to establish links between thelidomide (drug) and thelidomide effected babies. And everybody was looking for the cause and there was a blatant cause and effect to be seen in every case - A baby with spatulate limbs and a mother who took a specific morning sickness drug...

It took 10 years to establish the link between BSE and CJD, even though there was a blatant cause and effect and it had already been established that the disease was perfectly capable of moving between at least three different species of mammal...

If it takes that long to establish a direct link when everybody is looking for it, how long is it likely to take to find an indirect link when the only people who can look for that link are deliberately looking in the oppposite direction?

 

L&P

 

BD :D

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baddad   
I've read back and can't see where you have refered to this, BD, or offered an explanation. Was it on another thread?

 

"And given that even the most militant of those arguing against MMR agree that it's probably only a factor in a small percentage of cases where a genetic predisposition is also a factor... " Do they?? I doubt that applies to those waving banners behind Dr Wakefield!

 

In actual fact, I've said many times in the past (and will again here) that I think a huge part of the rise in diagnoses is directly related to this kind of shift in thinking. Tony Attwood and people like him term it 'Improved Diagnosis' while I'm becoming increasingly convinced that the term 'Relaxed Diagnosis' is probably more apt (with official 'recovery' statistics emerging from the US seeming to bear this out). But even taking this into account I think there are other factors going on too, that aren't being fully investigated because the 'Improved Diagnostic' argument offers a wonderfully convenient get out clause...

 

You'll have to look back to see it fully in context, but that's it in a nutshell... A HUGE rise in dx's because of Improved (or relaxed) Diagnoses meaning that many, many people who would not have been viewed historically as being autistic are now being viewed as autistic. A small percentage of vaccine damaged people would not show up in such a huge fugure without someone looking for them.

Actually, the 'small percentage' of children has always been part of the research, but if the research went ahead we might find it wasn't as small as we thought...

 

 

L&P

 

and i MUST ignore this thread 'cos it's "going nowhere and it's doin' my bleedin' ed in''''

 

:lol:

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