Autism Parents Respond to Dr. Andrew Wakefield's Libel Writ Against The British Medical Journal
CryShame Monday 9 January, 2012 UK
Almost a year after the British Medical Journal first charged Dr Andrew Wakefield with scientific fraud on 5 January 2011, Wakefield has filed a suit against the Defendants, the BMJ, its editor Dr Fiona Godlee and investigative journalist Brian Deer who wrote the BMJ article. The article, published in the Lancet in 1998, claimed that Wakefield falsified the findings of a small case series of 12 autistic child patients treated for bowel problems at the Royal Free Hospital in the mid-1990s.
Wakefield has now hit back in a suit claiming Deer’s article is defamatory in accusing Wakefield of ‘fixing’ the case study and using ‘bogus data’. Deer’s article was accompanied by an editorial from Dr Godlee saying the Lancet paper was ‘an elaborate fraud’
In his deformation defamation suit Wakefield states that Deer’s charges of fraud are false in offering a “re-analysis” of the medical records, many of which, the suit claims, “the Defendants know were not in the possession of or used by Dr Wakefield” [see http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/01/04/BritMedJ.pdf].The suit charges Godlee, Deer and others at the BMJ of using “the BMJ to launch an unprecedented personal attack against a doctor who was part of a group of well-respected physicians that presented a case study that simply suggested there might be a connection between the MMR vaccine ... and autism and that suggested that further research is warranted”.
CryShame is a group of parents many of whom saw their children succumb to autism and bowel disease following the MMR. We applaud Wakefield’s decision to challenge Godlee and Deer’s claims against him and hope from the bottom of our heart that he receives justice.
Today the number of children suffering from autism stands at one in 64. Many of these parents continue today to witness their children regress into autism following MMR. But since the campaign to discredit Wakefield, there has been no research in the UK to investigate this pattern. The public are repeatedly told by government and the medical profession that the MMR is safe and not associated with autism, and yet anecdotally parents of autistic children who trusted the government discover the opposite is true. There has been no scientific explanation for this temporal association between regressive autism and the MMR.
The BMJ’s attack on Wakefield has been a gigantic distraction from research in the UK to uncover the causes of autism and bowel disease. It is vitally important for existing autistic children, and for the thousands of children who will, given current medical ignorance, regress into autism over the coming years, that research into the role of vaccines in the genesis of autism is put back on track.
We just donated to [email protected] and will send friends and family to the website.
Posted by: Amanda Blinn | January 10, 2012 at 08:06 PM
This is the statement put out by the Sunday Times after the appalling CNN Anderson Cooper interviews following the BMJ Deer article 'How the case against the MMR vaccine was fixed', Jan 2011. Deer described himself to Cooper as being employed by 'The Times of London'. They call him a 'Freelance Journalist'; that's about right:-
"It is quite clear that you do not understand English. Brian Deer is not a member of the Sunday Times staff. He is a freelance journalist who runs his own website and blog and is not under the control or direction of the Sunday Times. Mr. Deer should not represent himself as a Sunday Times journalist. He is not a member of staff, does NOT have a regular salary from us, is not on our pension scheme and pays his own tax as a freelance. If he says that he writes for the Sunday Times that would be correct. He is a contributor to The Sunday Times on an occasional basis but again we have no control over him ..."
- Alaistair Brett, Legal Manager, Sunday Times
Posted by: Jenny Allan | January 10, 2012 at 07:22 PM
Tabloid writers deserve more respect than referring to Brian Deer as one of them.
Posted by: Bob Moffitt | January 10, 2012 at 02:32 PM
Brian Deer is not an "investigative journalist", he is a tabloid writer. Let's stop refering to him as an "investigative journalist".
Posted by: Dr.Witzsnyderbonne | January 10, 2012 at 09:34 AM