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Famous British Autism Study an 'Elaborate Fraud'

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the someone-alert-jenny-mccarthy dept.

Medicine 813

Charliemopps writes "An investigation published by the British medical journal BMJ concludes the study's author, Dr. Andrew Wakefield, misrepresented or altered the medical histories of all 12 of the patients whose cases formed the basis of the 1998 study — and that there was 'no doubt' Wakefield was responsible."

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The Source Article (5, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776388)

Here's Brian Deer's publication at the British Medical Journal [bmj.com] . Although lengthy (and apparently the first of a series to come), it has a lot of critical details about how this was fixed. It also has 124 citations through the article -- now that's journalism!

This guy tracked down subjects all the way over in the United States:

Child 11 was among the eight whose parents apparently blamed MMR. The interval between his vaccination and the first "behavioural symptom" was reported as 1 week. This symptom was said to have appeared at age 15 months. But his father, whom I had tracked down, said this was wrong.

"From the information you provided me on our son, who I was shocked to hear had been included in their published study," he wrote to me, after we met again in California, "the data clearly appeared to be distorted."

He backed his concerns with medical records, including a Royal Free discharge summary. Although the family lived 5000 miles from the hospital, in February 1997 the boy (then aged 5) had been flown to London and admitted for Wakefield’s project, the undisclosed goal of which was to help sue the vaccine's manufacturers.

Sadly, CNN couldn't even bother to have a single citation to the actual source text that is uncovering this. Of course they have all sorts of links internal to their site ... gotta keep those page clicks up, don't want eyeballs over at the BMJ.

Re:The Source Article (1, Interesting)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776462)

Out-linking is awesome and from a business sense brings more eyeballs wanting quality. Today's business model is cult following and bullshit.

Re:The Source Article (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34776566)

NPR reported on it this morning as well: http://www.npr.org/2011/01/05/132692497/journal-study-linking-vaccine-to-autism-was-fraud

Sadly, CNN couldn't even bother to have a single citation to the actual source text that is uncovering this.

Of course not. The major news services want to present the illusion that they did some kind of investigation to get this info, as opposed to reprinting the AP wire stories or watching what the other networks are playing.

click, click, ka-ching!

Re:The Source Article (4, Funny)

commandermonkey (1667879) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776572)

Lazy journalism from CNN? I'm shocked!!11!!

What I am really shocked about is that CNN is breaking form with this article in only presenting a person with a well researched position. Normally they would have the comments about the study being a fraud in the first paragraph, followed by several paragraphs from celebrities talking about how they know more than any doctor and MMR definitely causes autism. And since the piece also mentions that the guy did this for financial gain I expect several paragraphs from a Big Pharma rep(no disclosure that this is who he represents) about tort reform.

Plus, where is the part of how this relates to Michael Jackson? (Seriously though, can CNN go one day without reporting something on MJ?)

Re:The Source Article (1)

jolyonr (560227) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776812)

I was disappointed that the article wasn't split onto 8 different sub-pages needing me to hunt for the "print" option" to read it without adverts.

Re:The Source Article (5, Informative)

queequeg1 (180099) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776934)

You have just perfectly described the CNN special I saw last night on TV about this. Anderson Cooper was using Jenny McCarthy as the counterpoint to the claims of fraud.

Anybody hear the Imus take on this? (1)

Suki I (1546431) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776740)

Here's Brian Deer's publication at the British Medical Journal [bmj.com] . Although lengthy (and apparently the first of a series to come), it has a lot of critical details about how this was fixed. It also has 124 citations through the article -- now that's journalism! This guy tracked down subjects all the way over in the United States:

Child 11 was among the eight whose parents apparently blamed MMR. The interval between his vaccination and the first "behavioural symptom" was reported as 1 week. This symptom was said to have appeared at age 15 months. But his father, whom I had tracked down, said this was wrong. "From the information you provided me on our son, who I was shocked to hear had been included in their published study," he wrote to me, after we met again in California, "the data clearly appeared to be distorted." He backed his concerns with medical records, including a Royal Free discharge summary. Although the family lived 5000 miles from the hospital, in February 1997 the boy (then aged 5) had been flown to London and admitted for Wakefield’s project, the undisclosed goal of which was to help sue the vaccine's manufacturers.

Sadly, CNN couldn't even bother to have a single citation to the actual source text that is uncovering this. Of course they have all sorts of links internal to their site ... gotta keep those page clicks up, don't want eyeballs over at the BMJ.

Don Imus' wife has been beating this junk science trashcan lid for years, and making loads of money off of the Wakefield fraud too. If anybody listens to that show I am curious to know if it was mentioned.

I wish it weren't true, but (5, Insightful)

Officer Friendly (1002686) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776484)

Sadly, there's a lot of money in junk science.

Re:I wish it weren't true, but (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34776954)

Sadly, there's a lot of money in junk science.

Yep. Just look at the huge amount of money being poured into "climate change".

The damage is already done (5, Insightful)

scoser (780371) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776496)

People are still going to ignore all the retractions from the real medical and scientific community in favor of Jenny McCarthy saying on TV that "Vaccines gave my baby autism!"

Re:The damage is already done (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34776608)

People are still going to ignore all the retractions from the real medical and scientific community in favor of Jenny McCarthy saying on TV that "Vaccines gave my baby autism!"

People are also going to ignore any reasonable evidence that they shouldn't pump a small infant with 30 vaccines on a single day because "Jenny McCarthy is a moron!"

Re:The damage is already done (0)

grub (11606) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776694)

Please link to any peer-reviewed science journal which states they should give kids 30 vaccines in a single day. Or, conversely, any peer-reviewed science journal which shows 30 a day would cause damage ("reasonable evidence" you say).

Re:The damage is already done (1)

notgm (1069012) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776968)

please link to any peer-reviewed science journal which you can prove isn't an 'Elaborate Fraud'.

no matter how you slice it, fraudulent studies don't prove or disprove anything, but they hurt the entire process by calling everything other study on the matter into question as well.

Re:The damage is already done (1)

grub (11606) | more than 3 years ago | (#34777022)

GP was suggesting that 30 vaccines a day is commonplace. I'm asking for any proof for his/her claims.
Simple.

Re:The damage is already done (1)

Joehonkie (665142) | more than 3 years ago | (#34777028)

No they don't. Just because one study was proved to be fraudulent, they are now all fraudulent? that's poor logic.

Re:The damage is already done (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34776630)

People are still going to ignore all the retractions from the real medical and scientific community in favor of Jenny McCarthy saying on TV that "Vaccines gave my baby autism!"

Her baby is artistic?!?

Re:The damage is already done (1)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776948)

Artistic? Are we sure it's her baby?

Re:The damage is already done (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34777002)

Yep it makes the best paper machetes in the state.

Re:The damage is already done (5, Funny)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776702)

Current Wikipedia article text on her:

"... is an American adult model, comedian, actress, author, and activist/murderer whose ardent anti-vaccine quackery has doomed an unknown number of children to painful deaths by otherwise controllable diseases." [Emphasis mine]

Lovely.

Re:The damage is already done (3, Informative)

Ponyegg (866243) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776762)

Unbelievably the Daily Mail has published this today as well:

Mercury in flu vaccine is linked to autism.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-153722/Mercury-flu-vaccine-linked-autism.html [dailymail.co.uk]

You couldn't make it up.... unless you were the Daily Mail.

Re:The damage is already done (1)

HAKdragon (193605) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776878)

Considering that it's the Daily Mail, it's quite believable.

Re:The damage is already done (2)

afidel (530433) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776882)

That's why it's know as the Daily Fail =)

Re:The damage is already done (2)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776814)

Sad but true. CNN had some guy on last night who was an autism-vaccination believer, they asked him if this changed his opinion, his answer, predictably enough "not one bit". Seriously, WTF, do you really care about what might have caused your child's autism or not? I think people have some much time, effort and rage involved in blaming vaccines that they can't allow the cognitive dissonance of accepting the idea that it may have all been a waste of time. Time that could have been spent actually helping their children and looking for the real cause and a cure.

Re:The damage is already done (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776824)

But, normally, Hollywood bimbos like Jenny McCarthy and himbos like Charlie Sheen are so reliable! If you're pretty or handsome, surely you must know what you're talking about, right?

Big Medicine (-1, Troll)

will_die (586523) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776508)

Sad when Big medicine can get to the authors of this study and the BMJ, getting them to retracted this study.

Vaccination does work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34776512)

At least Jenny McCarthy can be thankful her child won't get polio.

It doesn't matter. (5, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776520)

This has grown beyond Wakefield now. It's become a self-sustaining conspiracy theory, independant of it's source, and no mere facts are going to even slow it down. Parents want to worry, it's in their instincts to protect their children - if they can find no real dangers, they'll inflate anything that looks remotely threatening regardless of true risk.

Re:It doesn't matter. (1)

TheL0ser (1955440) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776712)

People want to worry - if they can find no real dangers, they'll inflate anything that looks remotely threatening regardless of true risk.

There, fixed that for you.

Re:It doesn't matter. (4, Insightful)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776768)

Parents are worse. I know several otherwise very reasonable people who gets absolutely shitbrained whenever they are evaluating fictional threats to their child.

Re:It doesn't matter. (4, Insightful)

Tim C (15259) | more than 3 years ago | (#34777040)

No, some parents are worse; some of us manage to maintain reason even in the face of reports of possible danger. For instance my daughter was due to be vaccinated in 2000, pretty-much at the height of the reports of possible links between the MMR vaccine and autism. We still had her vaccinated, and a great many other parents had their children vaccinated too.

That's not to say that parenthood doesn't change you to some degree, of course it does. However suggesting that we all become shitbrained morons where our kids are concerned simply isn't fair.

Re:It doesn't matter. (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776790)

No, we don't want to worry, it just comes naturally. The difference is some of us understand the science a little better and worry a little less, and don't let that vague worry stop us from doing what we think is right for our child.

Conversely, those that do worry enough to say no to the vaccination are also doing what they believe is right for their child.

if they can find no real dangers, they'll inflate anything that looks remotely threatening regardless of true risk

That's true of some, but by no means all of us. It's true of people in general whether parents or not, whether talking about children or not - just look at the popular support a lot of anti-terror and anti-crime laws have, despite either being of little or no use or being far too easy to abuse.

Re:It doesn't matter. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34776794)

Don't argue - profit from it!

The F/oSS community needs a program that protects children from all the predators on the internet. They then charge for it. Profit!

Re:It doesn't matter. (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34776932)

Is it reasonable to expect that now that there would be a sizable sample size of "non-immunized" kids, that a study to compare the rates of autism between the two groups will be done?
Who would you trust to conduct and publish the results? Big Pharma, AMA ?

Not sure it matters (2)

afidel (530433) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776522)

Thanks to Jenny McCarthy and others of her ilk some large percentage of the unwashed masses now have it fixed in their brain that vaccination=autism.

Re:Not sure it matters (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776590)

It goes back much farther than Wakefield. My own mum refused the MMR for my brother having heard that it might "turn him into a vegetable", and he was born in 1986. IIRC the MMR is generally given to babies or very young children, so a 1998 study would be far to late for her to have got that idea.

Re:Not sure it matters (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776918)

Generally, it's given twice, at 1 year and again at 5 or 6.

Re:Not sure it matters (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34776596)

This might hurt Jenny McCarthy's acting career as much as Jenny McCarthy's acting!

Re:Not sure it matters (-1, Troll)

Ismellpoop (1949100) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776656)

Citation please explaining that mercury is not harmful to life.
Also prove you bathed yourself. When someone resorts to insults to make their point they are usually wrong and know it.

Re:Not sure it matters (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776734)

http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/SafetyAvailability/VaccineSafety/UCM096228 [fda.gov]
Thanks for playing, now go spread your anti-science derp elsewhere, this is a site for adults with a brain.

Re:Not sure it matters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34777000)

Hmm... Ismellpoop (1949100)

Yea, I smell poop too. Why don't you go wipe your mouth. There is nothing but shit coming out of it.

Jenny McCarthy's page already has it's rebuttal. (4, Interesting)

whoda (569082) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776536)

http://www.generationrescure.org/ [generationrescure.org] already has it's rebuttal, including a NEW study which shows a link between Hepatitis-B shots and a 3 times higher risk of autism.

When will they stop?

Re:Jenny McCarthy's page already has it's rebuttal (2)

grub (11606) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776742)


When will they stop?

They won't stop.

The anti-vax kooks have been in this game for so long and have so much time and energy invested in it they cannot back out now.

Even if Wakefield came clean and admitted it was all bogus data, the Age of Autism/Generation Rescue quacks won't believe it.

This is their business!

Re:Jenny McCarthy's page already has it's rebuttal (1)

Spad (470073) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776754)

Ah, the classic "We never claimed that [discredited evidence] supported our position, you must have been imagining things. *hastily edits old articles*" approach.

Re:Jenny McCarthy's page already has it's rebuttal (1)

fair_n_hite_451 (712393) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776786)

When will they stop?

When we slashdot them off of the internet?


Done.

Re:Jenny McCarthy's page already has it's rebuttal (1)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 3 years ago | (#34777034)

Are you suggesting some sort of DDOS attack?

TERRORIST!!!11!

Re:Jenny McCarthy's page already has it's rebuttal (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776946)

I love how they didn't post the full text of the study, just the abstract.

The state of affairs today (5, Insightful)

dragonhunter21 (1815102) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776560)

It's a sad world when some money-grubbing fool can publish a fudged article claiming that a vital, lifesaving tool can cause horrible, debilitating disease, get international attention, and when he's finally disproven all the "concerned parents" of the world ignore him because The Man wants to keep their kids autistic, without sparing a thought to the possiblity that maybe The Other Man just wanted a quick buck.

And the lawyers? (1)

rs1n (1867908) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776570)

I would like to know more about the consequences which the lawyers who wanted Wakefield to produce the falsified study will face. From the article, Wakefield has been stripped of his medical license. So what about the lawyers?

Conspiracies (5, Insightful)

schmidt349 (690948) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776582)

Everyone knows how conspiracy theories work. All the wingnuts will just claim this is a political chop job designed to cover up Big Brother/Big Pharma's Big Evil plan. The BBC could play video next week of Wakefield snorting coke and doing an underage hooker, all the while shouting that he had falsified his results, and it wouldn't matter. At some point they'd probably decide that Wakefield was a deep-cover government plant intended to discredit the movement.

Re:Conspiracies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34776720)

The BBC could play video next week of Wakefield snorting coke and doing an underage hooker, all the while shouting that he had falsified his results, and it wouldn't matter.

I doubt WGBH will pick that one up, and all the PBS affiliates get BBC World News via WGBH.

It would be entertaining, though!

My kids are not vaccinated. (-1, Troll)

Ismellpoop (1949100) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776584)

Has something to do with me having a bad reaction when I was a baby to vaccines. I almost died.
I think the concept of vaccines are good however when they stop putting mercury and other toxic additives then that will be another story. When a doctor looks me in the face and says mercury won't harm my kid I know he is lying to me, WHIMIS / OSHA both say no amount of mercury is safe for a child as it stops proper development of nerve sheaths in the brain. Now when the doc lies to me his credibility is shot and I can't trust him.

Re:My kids are not vaccinated. (2)

grub (11606) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776648)


I think the concept of vaccines are good however when they stop putting mercury and other toxic additives then that will be another story.

They haven't used Thimerosal in MMR vaccines since 2001(?). There are trace amounts in most flu and hepatitis vaccines.

The anti-vax crowd doesn't usually talk about that, though. Wonder why?

Re:My kids are not vaccinated. (0)

Ismellpoop (1949100) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776682)

OSHA does not say trace amounts of mercury are safe if they do citation please.

Re:My kids are not vaccinated. (2)

grub (11606) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776782)


You get more mercury from a tuna sandwich than you do from vaccines.
The amount of environmental mercury is high, especially around places that burn coal.

In any case, it's been known for ages that mercury is a neurotoxin. You're drawing correlations to vaccines and autism where no cause has actually been demonstrated.

Re:My kids are not vaccinated. (1)

grub (11606) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776838)

clicked too fast.
Not OSHA, How about the FDA? [fda.gov] . Or are they in on the big conspiracy?

Re:My kids are not vaccinated. (0)

Ismellpoop (1949100) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776952)

Why does the government contradict itself then? FDA/OSHA
And the FDA has never approved something harmful before have they?

Re:My kids are not vaccinated. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34776818)

The Pro-vax crowd usually doesn't talk about how, many of the children in the "measles outbreak" had actually been vaccinated against it. Wonder why?

Re:My kids are not vaccinated. (1)

grub (11606) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776908)

Your FUD-slathered comment suggests a cover up.
Do you have a link to any reputable journal to show what you suggest, Anon?

Re:My kids are not vaccinated. (1)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776876)

The anti-vax crowd also doesn't explain why, after removing the mercury that they blame for causing autism, the rates of autism continue to climb.

Re:My kids are not vaccinated. (0)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776982)

From another post I made in this same discussion:

People do realize the number of increased cases of autism has proportionally risen to the acceleration of our population growth...right?

Re:My kids are not vaccinated. (1)

erzeszut (656145) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776650)

Then you're a fool. And you're also endangering every other child your child comes into contact with.

Re:My kids are not vaccinated. (-1, Troll)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776896)

How, exactly? I'd struggle to count how many people I know, and I can't think of anyone who died as a result of contracting measles, mumps or German measles. I don't even know anyone who has a sibling that died of these diseases.

Everyone I know has had all three. When I was at school in the 1980s, we all had TB and polio vaccinations - separately, not all on the same day and certainly not a combined shot - and the girls were vaccinated against German measles because that actually *is* quite nasty if you contract it when you're pregnant. I knew a few people who died in car accidents. I knew one guy who fell off his boat and drowned, and another who shot himself. I even knew someone who died of meningitis, but no-one who ever died of measles or mumps.

So, where's this big risk?

Re:My kids are not vaccinated. (4, Funny)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776686)

Your /. name is Ismellpoop, you didn't vaccinate your kids, and you tried explaining this foolishness. I am Jack's complete lack of surprise.

Re:My kids are not vaccinated. (1)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776886)

Elemental mercury != mercury compounds. It's basic chemistry.

Re:My kids are not vaccinated. (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776894)

You know your kids are taking in trace amounts of mercury from food they eat every day and the environment around them right? Any of them ever eat any fish, such as tuna? That's a big load of mercury right there.

It is safe to say that sufficiently small amounts of mercury aren't harmful. Probably most of the animals on the planet, and certainly every human, has a non-zero amount of mercury in their body.

Re:My kids are not vaccinated. (-1)

Ismellpoop (1949100) | more than 3 years ago | (#34777042)

My kids don't inject tuna into their bloodstream.
I had my bare hand in coper sulphate the other day (rinsed is quickly) didn't kill me now if I had injected some I don't think I would be typing this right now. Apples and oranges.

Increased cases of autism (2)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776610)

People do realize the number of increased cases of autism has proportionally risen to the acceleration of our population growth...right?

Generally, when the numbers are bigger...

Re:Increased cases of autism (3, Funny)

Spad (470073) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776816)

Generally, when the numbers are bigger...

...the conspiracy must be bigger?

Re:Increased cases of autism (0)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34777024)

DING DING DING!

Isn't this already well-known? (4, Informative)

Yold (473518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776614)

Why is this making the news now? This study has been debunked for a while; I saw a PBS frontline program in May that cast substantial doubt upon the veracity of Wakefield's findings.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/vaccines/view/ [pbs.org]

As mentioned in the above program, dozens of studies have already failed to duplicate Wakefield's findings. Essentially, he blamed autism on a mercury-base preservative that was found in vaccines administered to babies. Even though there was no proof that this preservative had anything to do with autism, manufacturers ceased to use it in vaccines, but this only caused the anti-vaccine to go hypothesis hunting once more.

Re:Isn't this already well-known? (1)

ultraexactzz (546422) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776658)

Seems to me that not taking a mercury-based substance is a good outcome, regardless of the other shenanigans.

Re:Isn't this already well-known? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34776866)

FYI, this was the preservative in question.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thiomersal [wikipedia.org]

Re:Isn't this already well-known? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34776898)

Just because it contains mercury in a compound doesn't mean it's bioavailable enough to harm you. It's just a simplification where people choose to ignore the precise cause and therefore are free to conflate it with anything that sounds bad. See also, 'carbon' vs tropospheric CO2 concentration increases, 'chlorine' vs CFCs, 'natural fructose' vs HFCS absorption profile.

Re:Isn't this already well-known? (4, Informative)

goodmanj (234846) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776916)

Well that all depends. How much is relieving your vague sense of unease over a scary-sounding chemical worth?

Is it worth 622 dead children? [jennymccar...ycount.com]

Re:Isn't this already well-known? (2)

Subura (1816926) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776922)

Except the amount of mercury in the vaccine was orders of magnitude less than what is found in a serving of tuna. So its really just hype and the decision to remove it is not based on science. Another example, there is formaldehyde in some vaccines. This might seem scary but there is a good reason not to be the least bit concerned. Your body on a daily basis produces formaldehyde in its normal metabolic functions. In fact, if you consider the relative concentrations of the vaccine and your blood, the vaccine dilutes the formaldhyide naturally occurring in your body. The poison is in the dose.

Re:Isn't this already well-known? (1)

terjeber (856226) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776974)

Then you should stop eating. Particularly fish. You should also get a house with a extremely efficient air filtration system and stay inside forever.

Re:Isn't this already well-known? (5, Informative)

goodmanj (234846) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776834)

Why is this making the news now?

Because the final in-depth analysis has been published by the journal which originally published Wakefield's findings.

To put it in courtroom drama terms, it's the difference between a suspect being charged with a crime and a being convicted.

Re:Isn't this already well-known? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34776972)

Sadly, the anti-Wakefield backlash smacks of Shakespeare's line: "Me thinks he doth protest too much."

Both sides have taken this to the level of religious zealotry, and both have presented countless citations to back their cases.

To me, this makes an argument for free choice - whether it be for vaccinations, or any other topic on which so many people disagree.

Re:Isn't this already well-known? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34776998)

Essentially, he blamed autism on a mercury-base preservative that was found in vaccines administered to babies

No, he did not. Wakefield's study is nothing to do with mercury, instead he suggested a novel immunological response arising from multiple vaccinations.

Re:Isn't this already well-known? (1)

sribe (304414) | more than 3 years ago | (#34777014)

Yes, it's been debunked before. But what is new is compelling evidence that the study was deliberately faked, rather than just really poorly done. The man already lost his medical license, but now with this journalist's revelations we are moving into "he ought to be in prison" territory.

Re:Isn't this already well-known? (5, Insightful)

Tony (765) | more than 3 years ago | (#34777038)

Why is this making the news now?

Because this not only debunks the study (which has been debunked for a few years now), it proves Wakefield manufactured the entire thing. He altered data, misrepresenting each case -- for instance, while Wakefield claimed none of the subjects exhibited signs of autism, medical records show that 5 of the 12 had already been shown to have autism. Further investigation shows that all twelve cases had been misrepresented to various degrees.

Also, Wakefield misrepresented the study to the doctors from whom he received referrals. He called it a "clinical trial," not a study.

Basically, this investigation proves that Wakefield was not simply careless; he intentionally fictionalized the entire study.

We can no longer attribute to incompetency that which is demonstrably malicious.

DO YOU HEAR ME? (1)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776692)

Why is this elderly CNN moderator shouting all the time? Or am I too sensitive and its just the normal way they talk at CNN HQ? Just curious...

Re:DO YOU HEAR ME? (1)

goodmanj (234846) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776990)

If you consider that shouting, hoo boy have I got a show for you to watch.

http://nancygrace.blogs.cnn.com/ [cnn.com]

If only we knew what really caused Autism. (1)

onkelonkel (560274) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776706)

Part of the reason why this fraudulent BS was accepted was that we don't actually know what causes Autism. No criticism of medical science implied here, there is all kinds of research going on, just no definitive answer. If we could say, "No, Autism is not caused by vaccines, it is caused by ....." the vaccine issue would mostly go away. Right know we are left trying to prove a negative. The saddest part of all this is that children have now died from these entirely preventable diseases.

Re:If only we knew what really caused Autism. (1)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776832)

I thought it was inherited.

Re:If only we knew what really caused Autism. (2)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 3 years ago | (#34777010)

Yeah, unfortunately it's the children of rocket scientists and engineers who inherit it more often.

There's a special place in hell for... (4, Insightful)

shar303 (944843) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776770)

What really amazes me about this business is the behavior of the mainstream media in relation to the development of this 'story' in the first place.

Wakefields paper was just a collection of 12 anecdotes - meaningless in any clinical sense. He's clearly an idiot and should simply have been struck off and ignored.

You don't need to be an expert to work out that MMR and autism are both fairly common, and to find some cases of kids that have both is not that unusual - certainly not enough to start the newspaper and TV frenzy that occurred. That the media decided not to ignore him and tried instead to promote the scare, is to their great shame.

What is also incredible is the fact that that media deliberately ignored studies that proved no connection at all between MMR and autism.

It's appalling that this effort to boost ratings almost certainly cost the lives of infants and probably still does.

Re:There's a special place in hell for... (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776900)

While I am cynical concerning Flu and Chicken Pox vaccines, I have a hard time understanding how a sample size of 12 can be seriously considered a "Study".

Re:There's a special place in hell for... (5, Interesting)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776996)

You can blame Oprah for that. She is directly responsible for giving a platform to this nonsense.

She is an accomplice. Because of her platform, children are dead.

It'd be interesting... (1)

doug141 (863552) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776798)

... to see the MMR makers sue Wakefield and, especially, the trial lawyers who paid him.

Vaccine-linked polio hits Nigeria (-1, Troll)

Ismellpoop (1949100) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776872)

Re:Vaccine-linked polio hits Nigeria (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776970)

Yeah, safe.

Far safer for the overall population then not having a vaccinmate population.

Of course the reason for that polio was more completecated then 'they got it from a vaccine'.

Do to cost reasons they used a 'live' vaccine; which is fine. But they didn't finish the vaccination regime because of some religious 'leaders' making up nonsense. With a live vaccine there is a slight risk of mutation if you don't get enough of the population vaccinated.

Of course, in most countries they don't use a live vaccine anymore they this risk is non existent for those groups.

Naturals, nothing is 100% safe. In medicine it's about risks. And the risk of not having a vaccinated population far outweighs the fraction of a percent of people that actually have a problem.

And yet (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776892)

this jackass goes on to continue to make up lies about autism.

Not news (1)

defaria (741527) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776928)

You mean you're just coming to this realization???

the guy is guilty of mass murder (3)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776964)

it is hard to quantify, but the amount of idiots of didn't get their kids vaccinated because of this guy's "research" probably resulted in many unnecessary deaths of children. and this includes children who were vaccinated: an effective vaccine relies on "herd immunity". if enough kids are resistant to say, whooping cough, whooping cough can't get a leg up into a given population. but if enough aren't immune, the disease gets a certain amount of circulation in the community, and is able to try to infect many more kids. eventually, it is able to infect kids of parents who dutifully got their kids vaccinated (since for every vaccination, many vaccines don't take), and eventually, it is able to kill many kids

oh, and someone infect jenny mccarthy with whooping cough, that ignorant bitch. let her know what her "advocacy" really means

National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34777016)

It's curious that the US gov is funding a Compensation Program for those injured by vaccines [hrsa.gov] .

Wakefield’s Lancet Paper Vindicated [wordpress.com]

Original article was retracted in *2004* (1)

bendilts (1902562) | more than 3 years ago | (#34777018)

Um, yeah, this article was already thoroughly debunked and disowned by its original publisher, Lancet, back in 2004. Ten of the twelve original contributing authors made an official statement in Lancet that they'd been deceived by false data created by Wakefield and wanted to get their names erased from that lie. Why is this still news?
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