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Autism Advocacy Organizations and Parent Groups Support Dr. Andrew Wakefield

Dr. wakefield Autism Advocacy Organizations and Parent Groups Support Dr. Andrew Wakefield Urging Both Scientists and Journalists to Do More Thorough Research Into Vaccines and Autism

Last week, an article in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), written by a freelance newspaper reporter, Brian Deer, created a media firestorm in the United States. In his article, Brian Deer accuses Dr. Andrew Wakefield of deliberate fraud regarding his 1998 case series, which was published in the British journal, The Lancet.  Dr. Wakefield reported that the children in his case series were suffering from a novel form of bowel disease and that parents reported a temporal link between the onset of symptoms and receipt of the MMR vaccine.  Contrary to what has been reported in the media over the years, Dr. Wakefield never stated that the MMR vaccine caused autism.  The full text of the original paper is available at http://www.generationrescue.org/.

These libelous accusations are based on the flimsiest possible construct. Deer claims fraud on the basis of differences between the case histories in the Lancet study and the children's private medical records which Deer obtained under questionable circumstances.  Since the team at the Royal Free Hospital never had access to the children's private medical records, it was impossible for them to know what was in them and, therefore, impossible for them to fraudulently report something different.  It is standard practice in medicine for a specialist seeing a new patient to take a new history. Of the parents involved in the original study, none have made any complaint, at any time, against Dr. Wakefield.  In the case of the only parent we can confirm Brian Deer actually spoke to, Deer used false pretenses and the alias "Brian Lawrence" to obtain the interview.  The parent did not turn over any medical records to him.

The undersigned autism organizations, representing  thousands of parents, are deeply disturbed by this most recent character assassination of Dr. Andrew Wakefield.  This is an attempt to discredit a doctor who has been extraordinarily courageous in treating and researching children suffering with both bowel disease and autism. He has paid a high personal price for his refusal to walk away from children who are suffering and has earned the utmost respect from the families of these children.  We believe this is an industry-driven attempt to shift public attention away from legitimate concerns about vaccine reactions and the development of autism.   Science, even controversial findings, should not be distorted by fear or greed.

The truth in this story is that Dr. Wakefield's findings of bowel disease in association with autism have been replicated (see references) and his work along with that of other doctors has advanced the treatment of these children to the point that the journal, Pediatrics, has published a paper on the treatment for gastrointestinal symptoms in children with autism.  The issue of whether MMR is causal for this subgroup of autistic children remains an open question.  The epidemiological studies that claim to prove there is no link between the MMR and autism have not had the statistical power to rule out a link for a subset of susceptible children.  Much study remains to be done.  Attempts to "shoot the messenger" will only result in further erosion of public trust.

Parents of children with autism encourage the media to dig deeper and provide comprehensive investigations and balanced reporting.   For more information or to schedule an interview please contact Rebecca Estepp  [email protected] 858-829.6454

Age of Autism
Autism Action Network
Autism Media Channel
Autism One
Autism File Global
Autism Research Institute
Elizabeth Birt Center for Autism Law and Advocacy
Generation Rescue
National Autism Association
No Mercury
Schafer Autism Report
TACA-Talk About Curing Autism
The Autism Trust USA/UK
The Coalition for SafeMinds
The Alan D. Clark, M.D.Memorial Research Foundation
Unlocking Autism

The following peer-reviewed papers support Dr. Wakefield's original findings:

Furlano R, Anthony A, Day R, Brown A, Mc Garvey L, Thomson M, et al. "Colonic CD8 and T cell filtration with epithelial damage in children with autism." J Pediatr 2001;138:366-72.

Sabra S, Bellanti JA, Colon AR. "Ileal lymphoid hyperplasia, non-specific colitis and pervasive developmental disorder in children". The Lancet 1998;352:234-5.

Torrente F., Machado N., Perez-Machado M., Furlano R., Thomson M., Davies S., Wakefield AJ, Walker-Smith JA, Murch SH. "Enteropathy with T cell infiltration and epithelial IgG deposition in autism." Molecular Psychiatry. 2002;7:375-382.

Wakefield AJ, Anthony A, Murch SH, Thomson M, Montgomery SM, Davies S, Walker-Smith JA. "Enterocolitis in children with developmental disorder." American Journal of Gastroenterology 2000;95:2285-2295.

Ashwood P, Anthony A, Pellicer AA, Torrente F, Wakefield AJ. "Intestinal lymphocyte populations in children with regressive autism: evidence for extensive mucosal immunopathology." Journal of Clinical Immunology, 2003;23:504-517.

The following peer-reviewed papers replicate Dr. Wakefield's original findings:

Gonzalez, L. et al., "Endoscopic and Histological Characteristics of the Digestive Mucosa in Autistic Children with gastro-Intestinal Symptoms". Arch Venez Pueric Pediatr, 2005;69:19-25.

Balzola, F., et al., "Panenteric IBD-like disease in a patient with regressive autism shown for the first time by wireless capsule enteroscopy: Another piece in the jig-saw of the gut-brain syndrome?" American Journal of Gastroenterology, 2005. 100(4): p. 979- 981.

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.

These are the articles on treatment of gastrointestinal symptoms in autistic children:

Buie T, et al. Pediatrics. 2010 Jan;125 Suppl 1:S19-29.  Recommendations for evaluation and treatment of common gastrointestinal problems in children with ASDs.

Buie T, et al.  Pediatrics.  2010 Jan;125 Suppl 1:S1-18.  Evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of gastrointestinal disorders in individuals with ASDs: a consensus report.


John Stone

Just to mention that this statement did not list two UK organiz/sations, JABS and Cryshame which have always supported Andy and - of course - still do.


Others are pointing out the details of the incongruence of the charges made against Wakefield, so I will just throw out what I think is obvious concerning the list of men who retracted their support and what I see happened.

"In view of this, we consider that now is the appropriate time that we should together formally retract the interpretation placed upon these findings, according to precedent.

Simon H. Murch
Andrew Anthony
David H. Casson
Mohsin Malik
Mark Berelowitz
Amar P. Dhillon
Michael A. Thomson
Alan Valentine
Susan E. Davies
John A. Walker-Smith""

Dr. Wakefield would not retract his position, so he had to be made an example. If everyone else was "let off" for retracting their support it would be too clear that the only crime was not retracting support. Therefore, Walker-Smith had to fall as well as to not highlight the real offense which was not retracting support. If Wakefield had folded the GMC would have relented. Their approach was like a mobster telling a bunch of witnesses to a murder he had committed "you didn't see nothin', right"? It happens to often, villianizing an enemy{as they view him} to start a war. It might appear one against many in this case, but I believe a terrible injustice is being carried out here and I stand with the good doctor as many do. We have a politicized issue in the hands of a polticized GMC against one doctor who spent years treating people and they expect people to believe the things they allege? Who is their chief witness? Brian Deer as of now. That is, until this latest fiasco fails to sway the public and then they will go back to pressure other docs from the group to say Wakefield was dirty. They can say and do what they please, but he will be vindicated in time.

Sallie Elkordy

Gary Null interviewed Dr. Wakefield here (after the woefully under-researched interview with Anderson Cooper): http://www.podbean.com/podcast-players?cid=276663

This was my interview with Andrew Wakefield, moments after the GMC's decision was announced: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ui1xHYnmfgc

Not an MD

Thank you so much for posting this article. I am printing it out to give to someone who blasted me unexpectedly, and almost gleefully, with the "What do you think about this new evidence against Dr. Wakefield?" question. I defended him vigorously, and she started to thank me for my response, but stating his research has been replicated five times and showing the actual citations for that research are two different animals entirely. Consider me prepared for anyone, now. I will keep a few spares with me at all times, too. Just in case. ; )


Erratum. I made a couple of typos in my posting of the Lancet retraction. The first sentence should read "The main thrust of this paper was the first description of an unexpected intestinal lesion in the children reported."

Later on I doubled up on a "have."

You get the gist, though. It's not the kind of retraction Deer wants you to believe it is. The authors say they have *more* evidence of gastrointestinal problems in autistic children. But they do admit they were naughty to mention that MMR might be implicated because it raised such a ruckus.


ChildHealthSafety - just curious when you were at IC Phi. I was there 90 - 93.

Jenny Allan

'In the second part of a special BMJ series, Brian Deer reveals a secret scheme to raise huge sums from a campaign, launched at a London medical school, that claimed links between MMR, autism, and bowel disease.'

This is the next installment of Deer's BMJ 'detective story'. It's beginning to sound a bit like an Agatha Christie's Poirot novel. It certainly DOES involve the entire Royal Free research team, and the clinician Professor Walker Smith plays a leading part in this 'drama', (although there is NO mention of Professor Murch, surprising in view of his clinical involvement with these children at that time).

These latest allegations also appear to involve the Royal Free Hospital's executives and by association, the UK Department of Health personnel involved with funding and licensing new research projects.

Weirdly, there is also an Irish connection involving Professor O'Leary.(Remember, Prof O'Leary's research findings were a crucial part of the Cedillo case and Deer was involved with discrediting these research findings as they applied to the pursuer's case).

I'm afraid the only persons who can refute this are the persons who have been named by Deer as being part of this conspiracy. What I can't get my head round is the fact that the Royal free Hospital always had the patent rights to the so called vaccine referred to in this article. This would have meant that any future profits from the sale of this vaccine would have automatically gone to ......the Royal Free Hospital and NOT to Dr Wakefield, or any company he set up to 'market' the vaccine. I believe this is STILL the case under UK patent laws.


After an introduction stating which paper they're talking about the Lancet retraction reads this way:

"The main thrust of this paper was this first description of an unexpected intestinal lesion in the children reported. Further evidence has been forthcoming in studies from the Royal Free Centre for Paediatric Gastroenterology and other groups to support and extend those findings. While much uncertainty remains about the nature of these changes, we believe it important that such work continues, as autistic children can potentially be helped by recognition and treatment of gastrointestinal problems.

We wish to make it clear that in this paper no causal link was established between MMR vaccine and autism as the data were insufficient. However, the possibility of such a link was raised and consequent events have have had major implications for public health. In view of this, we consider that now is the appropriate time that we should together formally retract the interpretation placed upon these findings, according to precedent.

Simon H. Murch
Andrew Anthony
David H. Casson
Mohsin Malik
Mark Berelowitz
Amar P. Dhillon
Michael A. Thomson
Alan Valentine
Susan E. Davies
John A. Walker-Smith"


Re: Post by Jersey Joe: "I am very sympathetic to Dr. Wakefield who seems to be the victim of some type of primitive witch hunt."

The short answer to your question regarding why the other co-authors of the research with Wakefield recanted their support: It is difficult to face "burning at the stake" when the solution is offered to publicly recant your beliefs.


Re: Post by Jersey Joe: "What I do not understand, though, is why the other doctors removed their names from the study and seemingly disowned the findings. I am curious to know if anyone is aware of their motivations or if they have made statements about why they withdrew their names."

In my humble opinion, it is obvious to me that these doctors and researchers were in legitmate fear of their own reputation being trashed and of losing their professional licenses to practice medicine. They realized why they were being attacked and could not financially afford to mount a defense that would only end up costing them their careers. [thus their "motivations"]

Regarding any statements made by these co-authors, that issue would require research; Martin Walker or John Stone would probably have information on this. However, it would not be wise for any of them to make any statements against the prosecution, Brian Deer, or the GMC, unless someone decides to come forward now and risk their own career.

The three that refused to recant thier findings were very courageous and determined to represent the interests and welfare of all children who recieve vaccines that could possibly cause serious damage to them. They realized that the GMC ruling was a pre-determined outcome and yet they stayed to fight for all of us at "The Battle of the Alamo". That battle was also "lost" but because of this the WAR was finally won later on, and Texas won it's independence from Mexico. Let's just hope that America and Great Britain may finally win their independence from Big Pharma.



On a blog on which Brian Deer posts regularly and in comments Deer himself posted just yesterday, CHS has challenged Deer and his followers to come up with justification for the allegations of fraud.

So far they cannot do it and Deer has provided no answers.

Child 8 and Child 11 have been covered. There are 10 more to go.

This is what the 1998 Royal Free Lancet paper said about all the Lancet 12 children:-

they had “a history of normal development followed by loss of acquired skills”.

That was a main issue The 1998 Royal Free Lancet paper was reporting on scientifically and medically. It also states clearly it was an “early report” and called for further investigation.

For Child 8 specifically the Lancet paper stated:-

"Prospective developmental records showed satisfactory achievement of early milestones in all children. The only girl (child number eight) was noted to be a slow developer compared to her older sister."


COMPARE - the General Medical Council hearing transcripts.

These show what the specialist developmental pediatrician said on 23 December 1994 taken from the prior clinical records just over one month before Child 8 had her MMR vaccination on 27th January 1995.

“I felt that her abilities, although delayed on the average age of attainment were not outside the range of normal. Her growth has been satisfactory.” [Day 29 page 3H to 4A].

This specialist was not any part of the Royal Free team and was part of the normal UK NHS health service.

There are no notes for Child 11. Child 11 was not included although briefly mentioned.

Everything is based on Brian Deer's personal word and there are no documents or other substantiation for it.

This is bizarre. And we still have 10 Lancet children left to cover on the blog.

We keep asking Deer and his acolytes where the fraud is. They and Brian Deer so far have not come up with any.

So what did the British Medical Journal think it was playing at when it cried "fraud". And that claim is defamatory of all the other 12 doctors named as authors on the 1998 Lancet paper because it was they and not Andrew Wakefield who produced the data and results reported.

If you want to know the truth, read Chapter 2 of Andrew Wakefield's book Callous Disregard.

If you want to see for yourself Brian Deer failing to answer, here it is:-
"Fact checking Brian Deer on Andrew Wakefield"

Jersey Joe

I am very sympathetic to Dr. Wakefield who seems to be the victim of some type of primitive witch hunt. What I do not understand, though, is why the other doctors removed their names from the study and seemingly disowned the findings. I am curious to know if anyone is aware of their motivations or if they have made statements about why they withdrew their names.


@Estellea - you are right that independent research is of utmost importance, but that also applies to research independent of big pharma influence


Estrellea, are you accusing the researchers of being in cahoots with Wakefied? Which ones?

Carol, some were co-defendants of Wakefield's in the GMC hearing and Walker-Smith was also stripped of his license to practise. So their co-authorship with Wakefield is of very limited value. But I was referring more to the fact that none of those citations replicates Wakefield's original postulation of MMR->Gastroenteritis->Regressive Autism. Nor do they support his unique diagnosis of 'autistic enterocolitis'.

Erik Nanstiel

You can add to the list the "Foundation for Autism Information & Research, Inc." as a supporting organization. We on the board of directors stand behind Dr. Wakefield and his important work.


Estellea- I'm afraid your comment doesn't make any sense. ??? huh?


Estrellea, are you accusing the researchers of being in cahoots with Wakefied? Which ones?

Or are you saying something else? What? Give details of your accusations.

You must be specific or your comment is not of any use.


I feel public trust is already eroded. It is rare to find a young parent who doesn't hear about vaccine safety concerns. Even with little exposure to those concerns they are giving pause. This whole journey has really taught me to question everything (not just in medicine). I ask myself, "Who is paying for this?" "Where did this originate?" Lots of "W" questions. Thank God for Dr. Wakefield and his research at Thoughtful House. Because of pioneering, brave practitioners like him, my son is recovered. I will do anything to prevent vaccine injury in other children. I don't care how much money Pharma wastes on propaganda and false advertising---Too many people know.


I'm afraid that not a single one of your citations replicates Wakefield's Lancet work. Independently replicated is also of utmost importance.

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