By John Stone
A senior British doctor and journalist, James Le Fanu, has broken ranks with both professions to condemn the GMC decision against Andrew Wakefield and John Walker-Smith. Writing in his regular column in the Daily Telegraph under the headline ‘MMR vaccine: the hidden hand of powerful forces’ (HERE) with the sub-heading ‘Doctor's Diary: Conspiracy theories and the GMC's recent ruling to strike professors Andrew Wakefield and John Walker-Smith off the register’ puts the entire farrago in perspective in four short paragraphs:
“It is not necessary to be a conspiracy theorist to recognise that the General Medical Council's recent ruling to strike professors Andrew Wakefield and John Walker-Smith off the register had the fingerprints of the medical establishment all over it. They had, it was alleged, brought the profession into disrepute by showing a callous disregard to the children in the (in)famous study investigating the possible role of the MMR vaccine in inducing a regressive variant of autism associated with severe bowel symptoms.
“But this charge against them, as everyone knows, cannot possibly be true. Professor Walker-Smith, who supervised the investigation, is, from personal experience and by common consent, the epitome of the saintly doctor – "dedicated, honorable, held in the highest regard, a man of the highest calibre in his integrity, professionalism and clinical ability", as just one of the hundreds of affidavits from colleagues around the world puts it.
“And so to the opinion of the parents of the vulnerable children whose best interests he had allegedly disregarded. "We were all treated with the utmost professionalism and respect… were kept fully informed about the investigations recommended… they were carried out without distress to our children, etc, etc."
“It seems only sensible, given this moral confusion that would portray a decent and honest man as deceitful and exploitative, to reserve judgment about the GMC's verdict and to speculate what lies behind it. Leaving aside the question of whether the MMR vaccine is implicated in this form of autism – as the parents' accounts would certainly suggest – it is perhaps not unreasonable to detect the hidden hand of those powerful forces for whom the crushing of a professional reputation is a price worth paying for the continuation of the ever-expanding child immunisation programme. “
It would obviously be infinitely easier for Dr Le Fanu to say nothing like everyone else. Instead, he sees it all and says it all – the disregarded families, the scape-goated doctors, and a bureacracy out of control in defence of an industry driven public health policy. No, you do not need a conspiracy theory, you just need to see the modern state for what it is. What a good man, and what courageous one!
John Stone is UK Editor for Age of Autism.
(Managing Editor's Note: You can read Dr. Wakefield's complete analysis of the "Lancet 12" in his new book, Callous Disregard from Skyhorse Publishing. Visit Dr. Wakefield's website HERE.)
By John Stone
By John Stone