MMR doctor defends his research

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-05-2003
MMR doctor defends his research
17
Thu, 03-27-2008 - 10:48am

MMR doctor defends his research

The doctor who first linked the MMR vaccine to autism has defended the way he carried out his research and his motivation for doing so.

Dr Andrew Wakefield said he adhered to official guidelines in his research, which led to the publication of the 1998 Lancet paper.

He said he had wanted to help treat and prevent autism after being approached by worried parents.

Dr Wakefield, and two colleagues, deny charges of professional misconduct.

The 51-year-old, who is now working in the US, is accused of violating ethical guidelines, and of acting against the clinical interests of the children who took part in his trial.

He is also accused of acting dishonestly in failing to disclose to the Lancet that he was advising solicitors acting for parents who had alleged their children had been damaged by MMR.

He said he was approached by a mother in 1995 who believed her child had regressed into autism after having the MMR jab and felt it was his duty as a "human being" to help her.

The mother said her child also had terrible bowel problems, which she believed was linked to the autism.

This woman then put him in touch with other parents.

Compliance

At the time he had been looking at links between measles and bowel disorders, but thought the woman's concerns were worth exploring as it was well-known that there was a link between gut and brain problems.

The GMC hearing was told that Dr Wakefield, along with colleagues, developed a hypothesis linking MMR and autism and decided to conduct clinical studies to establish the "validity" of it.

Dr Wakefield said he wanted to do this "so we could help in treatment and prevention".

He said at this time he was unaware that some parents were seeking to take legal action over the issue.

And when asked by his own QC, Kieran Coonan, whether he had followed Royal College of Physicians guidance on research practices, he replied: "We complied entirely consistently with this document."

'Trying to help'

Supporters of the doctor who first linked the MMR vaccine to autism gathered as the GMC hearing began.

Nina Lteif, 37, from Surrey whose six-year-old twin boys have autism, said: "There has been a witch-hunt against him, when all he was trying to do was help people."

The GMC hearing is not examining the safety of MMR, designed to protect against measles, mumps and rubella.

The scientific community has repeatedly stressed that the vaccine is safe. But a crisis of public confidence in the vaccine in the wake of Dr Wakefield's original research saw vaccination levels fall, with experts warning that children were being exposed to a raised risk of measles.

Although the infection is usually mild, it can be serious, and in rare cases life threatening. If found guilty of serious professional misconduct, Dr Wakefield faces being struck off the medical register in the UK.

Also facing professional misconduct charges are Professor John Walker-Smith, and Professor Simon Murch.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/health/7314144.stm

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Avatar for catherina
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Fri, 03-28-2008 - 7:39am
and did anyone expect a breakdown and admission of sloppy (or intentionally misleading) work?
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Fri, 03-28-2008 - 8:44am

Exactly!!


iVillage Member
Registered: 10-18-2007
Fri, 03-28-2008 - 11:35am

A grave mistake indeed.


Avatar for catherina
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Fri, 03-28-2008 - 1:29pm

Jamie,

have you read day 8 of the Autism Omnibus proceedings? You can download the transcript or wav file here:

ftp://autism.uscfc.uscourts.gov/autism/cedillo.html

I listened to much of the proceedings and read all - it is quite an eye opener regarding the lack of quality of the vaccines caused autism experts...

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-04-2007
Fri, 03-28-2008 - 1:55pm

I think it's going to get more interesting now that Wakefield is testifying.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-05-2003
Fri, 03-28-2008 - 2:21pm

I don't understand this sentence:

"it is quite an eye opener regarding the lack of quality of the vaccines caused autism experts..."

Either I am misreading it or a word is missing... Could you perhaps rephrase?

Please and thanks - I feel like I am having a DUH day in general today.

Tash

Avatar for catherina
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Fri, 03-28-2008 - 6:46pm

sorry, my bad.

So the claimants (the ones who claim that vaccines cause autism) have a number of 'experts' testifying to support that hypothesis (that vaccines cause autism) and the quality of these experts is not very good. Does that make more sense? It is almost 11pm here. I might try tomorrow ;)

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-05-2003
Sat, 03-29-2008 - 4:04pm
Got it! :)
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-04-2007
Sat, 03-29-2008 - 5:19pm

Hey Catherina, do you have the list of experts that are testifying?


iVillage Member
Registered: 10-18-2007
Sun, 03-30-2008 - 7:38pm

I listened to all of it, and read a lot of it... day 8 I did read, some passages more than once.

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