Cryshame parents welcome with immense relief the end of the eight year ordeal of Prof John Walker-Smith and the quashing of all substantive charges against him in the High Court, and wish him their heartfelt congratulations at finally clearing his name.
In an unflamboyant 70 page judgment Sir John Mitting (see photo) was unable to establish any reasoning behind the GMC's findings, relating either to the ordering of inappropriate investigative procedures on children, or to the claim that the controversial 1998 Wakefield Lancet paper (of which Prof Walker-Smith was senior author) was based a research protocol 172-96 which the GMC further alleged to be funded by the Legal Aid Board rather than an "early report" reviewing the cases of patients seen entirely on the basis of clinical need, as stated. These allegations, which were originally made against Prof Walker-Smith (as well as Dr Andrew Wakefield and Prof Simon Murch) by journalist Brian Deer and Liberal-Democrat politician Evan Harris in the Sunday Times in 2004, have now been shown to be completely unfounded.
This judgment not only vindicates Prof Walker-Smith (one of two acknowledged world pioneers in the field of paediatric-gastroenterology) but also families seeking treatment for autistic children, and now adults, with clinical issues - particularly gut related - who have been denied appropriate investigation and treatment for more than a decade in British hospitals as a consequence of the witch-hunt against Prof Walker-Smith and colleagues, conducted by both the GMC and parts of the media. Cryshame particularly regrets the present failure of the Leveson Inquiry to look in to a succession of complaints regarding the media's handling of these matters, which has been to the detriment of thousands of sick British children.
We note that the charges against Prof Walker-Smith - which have now been proven false - were integral to the case brought against Andrew Wakefield. We believe that many people in the medical profession and in journalism have known that these charges were flawed and unsustainable in a proper court of law for a long time, but the defence of the vaccine programme has taken precedence over truth and justice.