Brian Deer 
Member since Dec 27, 2011



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Re: “Idaho's Epidemic of Fear: Vaccination Liberation Movement Takes a Shot at Public Health

Some comments on this thread have made false claims about Andrew Wakefield, who was permanently banned from medicine in May 2010 after more than three dozen charges - including four counts of dishonesty - were found proven, against a criminal standard of sureness, by a statutory tribunal of the UK General Medical Council. He called no witnesses and did not appeal, after his legal team advised his funders that he would not succeed. Here is the sentencing statement:…

One contributor here, oddly, claims that Wakefield's research was not about MMR. Here is the (retracted) research paper from the Lancet of 1998:

You may wish to note the "interpretation" section, which was retracted by the authors in 2004, and the full paper was retracted by the journal in 2010. If you are in further doubt about the project, here is administrative correspondence which shows what it was about and gives information about funding and the involvement of lawyers:…

Another contributor here says: "Dr. Wakefield was vindicated in Nature magazine in November, and even Brian Deer now says he doesn't believe Wakefield committed fraud." Wakefield was not vidicated in Nature, or anywhere else, and I do not say what is alleged. If you are in any doubt about my findings regarding Wakefield, you may wish to read my summary, titled "Exposed: Andrew Wakefield and the MMR-autism fraud":…

With regard to my reports in the BMJ of last year, neither I nor the editors are aware of any error (save a two-letter spelling mistake in one online footnote - which is not bad for an 18,000-word series). I would wish the reports had been even longer, and I'd had more space to explore the cases further.

The comments made were uninformed and somewhat foolish, but I understand from where the writers get information. If they have a genuine interest in what they say, maybe they could use this opportunity to check their facts, even contacting the sources, to find out whether what they say has any basis. I'd hope they would want to do that because then they might learn something about the people who spread this misinformation, and that can only help.

Sadly, discussion of the causes of autism is contaminated by a group blog by a former journalist for the Moonies. He has done everything he can to mislead decent people on behalf of the charlatan Wakefield. Recently, he embarked on what he calls a "series", which is the most sustained deceit with regard to this issue that I have ever seen. When people wrote posts querying aspects of his allegations, they were deleted in what he called a "glitch". Is he edited by anyone? Peer reviewed? Checked by lawyers? Liable for his claims? Nah. But I am.

It's sad to see people so misinformed, but I do draw some comfort from the enormous number of parents who have written to me, expressing support for my investigation. For example, the parent of one of the children in Wakefield's research, who wrote from California:

"If my son really is Patient 11, then the Lancet article is simply an outright fabrication."

4 likes, 16 dislikes
Posted by Brian Deer on 12/27/2011 at 1:44 AM

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