This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

← Britain bans doctor who linked autism to vaccine

Britain bans doctor who linked autism to vaccine - Comments

Nastika's Avatar Comment 1 by Nastika

Good riddance. This excuse for a doctor has been singlehandedly responsible for the rise in measles and mumps cases in the UK over the past few years. Now he has the gall to spin this ban as a conspiracy out to get him.

Mon, 24 May 2010 15:03:19 UTC | #473008

Opisthokont's Avatar Comment 2 by Opisthokont

Ah, Nastika, I wish it were good riddance! As he says in that article, "I am most certainly not going away." The overwhelming and depressing masses of responses sympathetic to him tend to support that.

Mon, 24 May 2010 15:15:13 UTC | #473010

sara g's Avatar Comment 3 by sara g

Ugh. He was on the Today Show this morning complaining about how mean they are to him. Despicable.

Mon, 24 May 2010 15:16:07 UTC | #473011

besleybean's Avatar Comment 4 by besleybean

I must confess I have mixed feelings about this. When I 1st heard it on the radio news today, I did respond: thank goodness. But on reflection, maybe he was a good doctor in other ways. To be honest, I don't know much about it and I guess we just have to accept the official line.

Mon, 24 May 2010 15:35:29 UTC | #473015

hungarianelephant's Avatar Comment 5 by hungarianelephant

Comment 1 by Nastika :

Good riddance. This excuse for a doctor has been singlehandedly responsible for the rise in measles and mumps cases in the UK over the past few years.

Be fair. That story would have got nowhere without the help of the DFM.

Mon, 24 May 2010 15:45:39 UTC | #473016

Pete.K's Avatar Comment 6 by Pete.K

he lied and cheated for pecuniary advantage, and he is continuing to use fear to make a living. His original thesis was paid for by an industry with a vested interest, his research methods were dubious at best, and scandalous at the extreme.

Read the GMC's findings here: http://www.gmc-uk.org/news/7115.asp

Mon, 24 May 2010 15:51:00 UTC | #473019

Merco's Avatar Comment 7 by Merco

As long as people think it's sexy to rebel against real doctors and scientists, we're going to have to put up with people like Wakefield.

Mon, 24 May 2010 16:01:31 UTC | #473023

Diaz's Avatar Comment 8 by Diaz

Well, what about freedom of research? This reminds the libel against singh.

Mon, 24 May 2010 16:18:37 UTC | #473030

motieone's Avatar Comment 9 by motieone

This man is personally responsible for the deaths of many including children. Worse than that simple fact, the truth is that he (IMO) knowingly skewed his research for financial reward. Finally even after being proved wrong, he continues to promote deadly nonsense in order to rake in the dollars. He should be prosecuted for murder and serve time in jail.

Mon, 24 May 2010 16:34:00 UTC | #473036

Aquaria's Avatar Comment 10 by Aquaria

Comment 8 by Diaz :

Well, what about freedom of research?

This reminds the libel against singh.

What research? This utter fraud paid children at a birthday party to let him take their blood. What tkind of research is that? Where are the protocols?

Comment 4 by besleybean :

I must confess I have mixed feelings about this.

When I 1st heard it on the radio news today, I did respond: thank goodness.

But on reflection, maybe he was a good doctor in other ways.

To be honest, I don't know much about it and I guess we just have to accept the official line.

Most doctors who lose their licenses aren't bad at everything. Just something that justifies yanking their licenses.

Mon, 24 May 2010 16:56:00 UTC | #473052

Stafford Gordon's Avatar Comment 11 by Stafford Gordon

I get the disticnt impression that he's an attention seeker.

Mon, 24 May 2010 17:28:09 UTC | #473060

Stafford Gordon's Avatar Comment 12 by Stafford Gordon

I get the disticnt impression that he's an attention seeker.

Mon, 24 May 2010 17:28:19 UTC | #473061

Ianspa's Avatar Comment 13 by Ianspa

The compensation hungry culture of america have thrown open their arms to him, where else would he be able to gain a foothold?

Mon, 24 May 2010 17:35:16 UTC | #473064

crookedshoes's Avatar Comment 14 by crookedshoes

@lanspa The US is full of ignorant and uneducated people who have disposable income and no idea how science or medicine works. Having said that, it is not hard to imagine how he could "get a foothold"... However, England is where they publicly fund homeopathy so i am surprised that he is being disciplined there.

Mon, 24 May 2010 17:47:06 UTC | #473067

emilem's Avatar Comment 15 by emilem

Ah,thank heavens, we have a champion to promote our own ignorance and self destruction. Thank you, Lord Jesus!

Mon, 24 May 2010 17:54:14 UTC | #473072

Ivan The Not So Bad's Avatar Comment 16 by Ivan The Not So Bad

Comment 4 by besleybean

..........maybe he was a good doctor in other ways.

There were people who said the same about Harold Shipman.

Mon, 24 May 2010 18:16:52 UTC | #473077

Stephen Tapply's Avatar Comment 17 by Stephen Tapply

The Today Show website currently has a poll asking, "Do you think vaccines are related to autism". The comments by 'concerned mothers' are quite scary.

http://community.todaymoms.com/_question/2010/05/24/4342399-do-you-think-vaccines-are-related-to-autism

Mon, 24 May 2010 18:39:00 UTC | #473083

Rich Wiltshir's Avatar Comment 18 by Rich Wiltshir

@ Comment 4 by Bleseybean

"A good doctor in other ways"... maybe he didn't realise so much harm would result from his actions; but his training equipped him to have and use better judgement. His decision to start this panic resulted in pain and distress to large numbers; he DECIDED to do what he did, against the knowledge and wisdom of the profession. Do no harm! well hes less likely to now!

Mon, 24 May 2010 19:25:25 UTC | #473095

besleybean's Avatar Comment 19 by besleybean

Shortly after posting, I saw a news piece on the subject and also my husband brought me up to speed on the story. Sounds like the doctor may appeal or something, tho. I'm liking my new name: Bleseybean

Mon, 24 May 2010 19:37:06 UTC | #473102

katt33's Avatar Comment 20 by katt33

Let there be in depth research in regards to this possible connection and if it turns out to be true then something can be done about it.

Mon, 24 May 2010 20:34:29 UTC | #473123

ewaldrep's Avatar Comment 21 by ewaldrep

i agree completely with motieone, because of this man and his un-ethical research practice, children are becoming sick and dying from preventable illensses. His research was flawed in many ways, many that I would be disappointed with if even my undergraduate psychology students proposed. If figures that he would be here in America now, especially in Texas where they don't like "dem big headed scientists" telling them that thier incredible and unsubstantiated cliams and thoughts are idiotic!

Mon, 24 May 2010 20:35:43 UTC | #473124

ewaldrep's Avatar Comment 22 by ewaldrep

katt33, the research has been done and the results are what led to the decision to retract the original article and ban the ex-doc. They thought thermosol (spelling) was implicated and in his case, I think he proposed a connection with intestinal function. The thermosol has not been used for a long time and Autism incidence is still steady and increasing. The problem is illusory correlation. Basically, autism begins in children sometime after 18 months of age. They often have some characteristics of communication with others and then they appear to "turn inward" with much of the current theory involving a break down in developing a "thoery of mind" recently mentioned on RDF. Because the immunizations are administered at around the time the disorder develops, they appeared to be the illusory cause. I wish it were something so simple but the research just has not supported a simple answer and this quack has inflicted tremendous pain, suffering and death because of lining his own pockets!

Updated: Mon, 24 May 2010 20:51:32 UTC | #473129

black wolf's Avatar Comment 23 by black wolf

I can't accuse anyone, but it's not unheard of that people leave all sorts of comments on message boards for reasons they withhold. I find those stories "my child was vaccinated and became an autist within three days" highly dubious for their similarity. But even if they're accurate and there's no hidden motivation and no faulty memory in play, what do we have there? We have a handful of emotional stories, out of how many thousands of autistic children? How many parents are reading such items "well my child is autistic, but the vaccine was months after the signs started" and never comment? There's necessarily a mutually reinforced confirmation bias going on. The studies that have found positive evidence of no link between vaccine and autism tested a total of nearly 100,000 children. And yet people let themselves be swayed by the stories of a handful of grieving, bitter and angry parents.

Mon, 24 May 2010 21:30:25 UTC | #473147

Steven Mading's Avatar Comment 24 by Steven Mading

The headline is terrible. Britain did not ban the doctor. If he gets on a plane and lands in London, he's not going to be stopped in customs and turned back. Britain is not the entity that banned him. A medical association IN Britain banned him. Big difference. That means he can still come to Britain - just that he won't ever be allowed to associate with that medical group.

Mon, 24 May 2010 21:32:53 UTC | #473149

Steven Mading's Avatar Comment 25 by Steven Mading

Comment 18 by Rich Wiltshir :

@ Comment 4 by Bleseybean

"A good doctor in other ways"... maybe he didn't realise so much harm would result from his actions; but his training equipped him to have and use better judgement. His decision to start this panic resulted in pain and distress to large numbers; he DECIDED to do what he did, against the knowledge and wisdom of the profession. Do no harm! well hes less likely to now!

Furthermore, even if you could chalk up his original claims to an honest mistake, the fact that today he still won't acknowledge the fact that his findings were refuted shows that he is now well out of the "honest mistake" category and has moved into the "deliberately lying" category.

The correct response by a scientist to having been proven wrong by evidence is "thank you".

Mon, 24 May 2010 21:38:25 UTC | #473153

sisko7's Avatar Comment 26 by sisko7

He should be locked away for life

Mon, 24 May 2010 21:53:48 UTC | #473157

Cestriana's Avatar Comment 27 by Cestriana

I have an autistic child and the signs were there before he had the MMR vaccination. Dr Wakefield's 'research' was even discredited by a London GP, who also happens to have a child with autism. He was completely unimpressed and unconvinced by Dr Wakefield's work, and in particular, the methods used for the furtherance of the so-called research programme.

Mon, 24 May 2010 22:03:18 UTC | #473161

lackofgravitas's Avatar Comment 28 by lackofgravitas

OK, let's take the points as they arise;

Today he was 'struck off' the medical register in the UK, which means he can't practice in the UK. No problem for him, I assume he has no intention of returning.

2nd; The whole protocol used, and the 'dubious' way he obtained samples is immediately obvious.

3rd; He was conducting this research on 12 (TWELVE) patients. Any outcome would have been statistically suspect from a clinicians, scientists or health-professionals point of view. 12 patients is, most definitely,NOT a proper cohort sample.

4th; Upon discovering a false-positive (not unusual in such a small cohort (sample) he publicised his results. Which resulted in:

5th; A media feeding frenzy which resulted in thousands of UK parents, then (possibly millions of parents outside the UK) not vaccinating their children. Result? Needless death of children, much suffering of parents and children, a complete lack of confidence in scientists, followed by the 'I read it on Google, so I know best', mentality propagated by the Age of Autism crowd.

6th: The most reactionary publication in the UK (Daily Mail) championed Dr (?) Wakefield as a maverick, and he was rewarded with lots of money. Some of it from the lawyers who paid him to prove a link between vaccines and autism. Are we still paying attention here? He was paid to prove a link!

Points in our favour; He can't practice in the UK He has been proved to be a liar, unethical and not worthy to be a doctor..

Points in his favour; He doesn't care if he is 'struck off' in the UK. He can still be a medical advisor. He's still pimping his book. He's not being asked big questions by interviewers, such as 'do you feel guilty that children died as a result of your wholly unfounded, scientifically suspect and downright unethical publication of a fraudulent report paid for by the lawyers who were trying to get money from the US government, trying to link a vaccine which had been discontinued in many countries, yet still the prevalence of autism increased?'

My solution? Have the man interviewed by Hitchens, Dawkins or Harris, not on Faux News though.

The worst thing, in my mind, is that he convinced so many parents that they have autistic children because 'they made the wrong choice'. That is to say, 'it's your fault'. And people support him? People with autistic children?

The man is a work of art. Say Heironymus Bosch.

Rant Ends in 3..2..1..

LoG

Mon, 24 May 2010 23:27:41 UTC | #473187

lackofgravitas's Avatar Comment 29 by lackofgravitas

And just to add that there are many parents of autistic children who don't blame themselves, or anyone else. here's a link to the lovely blog of Kristina Chew : http://autism.typepad.com/

LoG

Mon, 24 May 2010 23:44:19 UTC | #473194

Fuller's Avatar Comment 30 by Fuller

"These parents are not going away; the children are not going to go away and I most certainly am not going away,"

Wakefield, go away.

Tue, 25 May 2010 00:09:29 UTC | #473206