By John Stone
As the hearing at the UK General Medical Council against the three Royal Free doctors staggers on into 2009 it is intriguing to report that Bill Welsh, president of the Edinburgh based Autism Treatment Trust and autism grandparent, has launched a personal complaint against eleven British health officials closely linked to the MMR affair. The 25 page document has been sitting before the GMC since October, and he has now decided to publish it.
Bill Welsh’s complaint covers the whole history of recklessness and negligence surrounding MMR, going back to 1988 when a known defective version of the vaccine was introduced by GlaxoSmithKline despite the fact that it had already been banned in Canada, and indeed later had to be withdrawn in the UK. He also draws attention to the fact that up until the introduction of MMR medical advice was against the use of mumps vaccination for infants, thus delaying likely onset of the disease to an age when it is more hazardous – suggesting its application may still be unethical.
At the beginning Welsh outlines five areas of concern:
1. The inexplicable, and unforgivable, failure to react appropriately when it was established in 1998 that autistic children had a novel form of bowel disease/ inflammation.
2. An insistence on an “MMR or nothing” policy in face of the initial, and accumulative, scientific and anecdotal evidence re MMR’s lack of safety for a sub-set of children.
3. A refusal to press for proper investigation, using the most appropriate scientific means of research, of the claims of thousands of parents that the MMR vaccine had damaged children.
4. The promulgation, in conjunction with the Health Protection Agency, of information relating to MMR vaccine safety that is likely unreliable and potentially misleading in that context.
5. The recommendation that unethical treatments be given to children when there is no clinical need and irrespective of whether the child might be prone to adverse reactions.
Particular fire is directed at Prof. David Salisbury, Director of Immunisation at the Department of Health, who is named throughout the complaint, but ten other health officials are also named. They are the two Chief Medical Officers at the Department of Health during the period, Sir Kenneth Calman and Sir Liam Donaldson; chairmen of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation Prof Sir David Hull, Prof Michael Langman and Prof Andrew Hall; chairmen of the Committee on Safety in Medicines, Sir Alisdair Breckenridge and Gordon Duff (Breckenridge is also named as the head of the medicines licensing authority, the MHRA); two directors of the Medical Research Council Sir George Radda and Sir Colin Blakemore and the head of the Health Protection Agency, Sir William Stewart.
The complaint documents the systemic failure to heed any counter evidence about the vaccine’s safety over a period of two decades in pursuit of health policy – an over-reliance on epidemiology, and a tragic failure to monitor or explore the harm caused to individual children, failing ethically and humanely those children and the public.
Plainly, so long as medicines are administered there is a duty on officials, on doctors and scientists, to make sure that they are safe, and used as safely as they can be. As Bill Welsh makes clear, this has never happened. It could not throw into greater relief the present perversion of justice taking place in the prosecution of Andrew Wakefield, John Walker-Smith and Simon Murch, who are on trial because of the bureaucratic fantasy that the children they were investigating and treating were not ill. Perhaps one day soon the bureaucrats, themselves, will be on trial. Thank you, Bill!
Read the full complaint HERE.