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Dr. Andrew Wakefield Responds in The Spectator with Melanie Phillips

Queen's medal Here's a valid question from The Spectator's Melanie Phillips: "Since when has a reputable paper published a story by a reporter who is actually part of that story himself -- without saying so – and who uses information arising from the disciplinary hearing which he himself has instigated and which is investigating allegations he himself made in the first place?"

Read Melanie Phillips' full story including an interview with Dr. Wakefield HERE. The introduction is below.

The Sunday Times last weekend resumed its witch-hunt against Andrew Wakefield, the gastro-enterologist who warned against the possible risks to children of the MMR vaccine following a paper he wrote in the Lancet in 1998. In this paper, he described a new childhood syndrome which he called autistic enterocolitis, which suggested a connection between a new type of bowel disease and autistic spectrum disorder and reported the fact that some of the parents of the children in the study thought there was a connection between these symptoms and the MMR vaccine. The titanic furore which subsequently engulfed Wakefield, in which virtually the entire medical establishment turned on him, effectively forced him out of Britain and has resulted in his being investigated by the General Medical Council for serious misconduct.

The campaign against Wakefield in the Sunday Times has been led by journalist Brian Deer. Last weekend, the paper published a two-page ‘investigation’ and a front-page spin-off story alleging that confidential medical documents and interviews with witnesses have established Wakefield had changed and misreported results in his research, creating the appearance of a possible link with autism amidst various other lurid charges. Deer claimed that his ‘investigation’ was confirmed by evidence presented to the General Medical Council.

What the Sunday Times did not report was that the GMC investigation into Wakefield was triggered by a complaint from... Brian Deer, who furnished the allegations against him four years ago. He has thus been reporting upon the hearing into his own complaint. Since when has a reputable paper published a story by a reporter who is actually part of that story himself -- without saying so – and who uses information arising from the disciplinary hearing which he himself has instigated and which is investigating allegations he himself made in the first place?

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Michael

It seems that the Spectator site no longer carries any of the blog articles Melanie Phillips wrote for them so at least they didn't just pick on the Wakefield ones. The other piece of good news is that they can still be found in the web-archive. A link for this one is:

http://web.archive.org/web/20090417024557/http://www.spectator.co.uk/melaniephillips/3346281/the-witchhunt-against-andrew-wakefield.thtml">http://www.spectator.co.uk/melaniephillips/3346281/the-witchhunt-against-andrew-wakefield.thtml">http://web.archive.org/web/20090417024557/http://www.spectator.co.uk/melaniephillips/3346281/the-witchhunt-against-andrew-wakefield.thtml

But unfortunately you are right, it is wise to store everything.

John


The Spectator has removed Melanie's articles on Dr Wakefield.

What else may have disappeared from The Spectator or other places on the internet?

I'm saving everything now and backing it up on jump drives.

PS Please focus for a moment not on who is making what charge against Wakefield, but rather what is being charged. In the end you may not be able to set aside your bias but consider briefly the seriousness of the charges and the fact that serious people take them seriously!

God Bless you Melanie and Dr. Wakefield!

The Sunday Times is to the UK what the New York Times is to the US.

Thank you Melanie. You are couragious and appreciated.

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