You're invited to email BMJ editor Fiona Godlee's office asking the following questions. Word docx file version HERE. A respectful tone will encourage answers and be in the best interest of all of us. Thank you.
FROM: (Your name here)
Dr. Godlee, I submit the following questions and would appreciate your response. Thank you.
1. Do the BMJ editors stand by their 6 Jan 2011 editorial "Wakefield’s article linking MMR vaccine and autism was fraudulent" alleging Andrew Wakefield alone and unassisted committed research fraud?
This relates to a 1998 Lancet medical journal "early report" calling for more research into a finding of a new bowel syndrome in children exhibiting autistic symptoms?
2. The editors claim "Wakefield altered numerous facts about the patients’ medical histories in order to support his claim to have identified a new syndrome" and base this substantially on a comparison between early general family doctor records and what was reported in The Lancet early report.
Do the BMJ editors dispute that:
- it was impossible for that to be done by anyone as they have alleged
- it could not have been done by Dr Wakefield
- none of the other 12 expert specialist medical professionals at The Royal Free Hospital London worked from or even saw those "patients’ medical histories"
- those experts carried out their own investigations afresh
- Dr Wakefield faithfully reported the data and results provided by his other 12 expert professional colleagues
3. If these matters are disputed, can the BMJ produce the data and results provided to Dr Wakefield by his 12 colleagues and demonstrate where The Lancet early report diverges?
4. If the editors cannot produce evidence, do they now retract their editorial and the paper by Mr Brian Deer upon which it is based and which they also published?
5. Can the editors confirm that neither they nor Mr Deer had sight of or access to the "prospective developmental records" of the 12 Lancet children [the "Red Books"].
These were used as part of the basis for detailed clinical histories investigating afresh early signs of disintegrative disorder.
6. Do the editors agree that family doctors would not have considered "disintegrative disorder" nor looked for early signs.
7. If the editors still stand by their story how do they account for the fact that those 12 specialist expert medical professionals read and reviewed the Lancet paper before submission for publication, approved Wakefield's report of their work and put their names to the paper?
8. Do the editors accept that by accusing Dr Wakefield of fraud they are accusing all the other 12 experts?
9. Do the editors also accuse the authors of the following papers of fraud for claiming to have found the same or a closely similar condition in autistic patients:-
Balzola F, Barbon V, Repici A, Rizzetto M. Panenteric IBD-like disease in a patient with regressive autism shown for the first time by the wireless capsule enteroscopy: another piece in the jigsaw of this gut-brain syndrome? Am J Gastro. 2005; 979-981. (Italian replication)
Balzola F, et al. Autistic enterocolitis: confirmation of a new inflammatory bowel disease in an Italian cohort of patients. Gastroenterology.2005;128:Suppl.2;A-303. . (Italian replication)
Balzola F, et al. Beneficial behavioural effects of IBD therapy and gluten/casein-free diet in an Italian cohort of patients with autistic enterocolitis followed over one year. Gastroenterology, 2006:30; suppl. 2 S1364 A-21. . (Italian replication)
Chen B, Girgis S, El-Matary W. Childhood autism and eosinophilic colitis. Digestion. 2010;81:127-9. (Canadian replication)
Galiatsatos P, et al. Autistic enterocolitis: fact or fiction? Can J Gastroenterol 2009;23:95-98. (Canadian replication)
Gonzalez L, Lopez K, Navarro D, Negron L, Flores L, Rodriguez R, Martinez M, Sabra A. Endoscopic and Histological Characteristics of the digestive mucosa in autistic children with gastrointestinal symptoms. Arch Venez Pueric Pediatr 69;1:19-25 (Venezuelan replication)
Horvath K et al. Gastrointestinal abnormalities in children with autistic disorder. J Pediatr. 1999;135:559-63. (US replication)
Krigsman A, Boris M, Goldblatt A et al. Clinical Presentation and Histologic Findings at Ileocolonoscopy in Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder and Chronic Gastrointestinal Symptoms. Autism Insights 2010;2:1-11 (US replication)