It’s a New Year: Dr. Wakefield is Fighting Back
It’s a New Year: Dr. Wakefield is Fighting Back
Community Rallies to his Aid
Files Suit against British Medical Journal, Fiona Godlee, Brian Deer
Dr. Wakefield filed a lawsuit in Travis County, TX District Court, January 3rd against the British Medical Journal (BMJ), the editor, Fiona Godlee, and writer, Brian Deer for defamation, in part, over a series of articles and editorials in the BMJ in January 2011 that accused Wakefield of committing scientific fraud.
The study, in question, by Dr. Wakefield, published in 1998, found bowel disease in children with autism and raised questions about the safety of the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine.
Bill Parish, Wakefield’s attorney, said, “The legal team looks forward to proving the falsity of the claims made by Mr. Deer, Dr. Godlee, and the British Medical Journal in a court of law. Unfortunately,” Parish continued, “many Texas residents were misled by the allegations. We welcome the opportunity to set the record straight. “
“It’s a great day,” said Ed Arranga, director of the Dr. Wakefield Justice Fund. “With great courage and conviction, we go forward and place our faith in the US judicial system, the open and honest hearts and minds of the American people, and our belief that truth will triumph and justice will be served.”Arranga continued, “We look with resolve to the future and stand united in our moral duty to correct this terrible wrong and prove Dr. Andrew Wakefield innocent of the allegations made by the BMJ, Fiona Godlee, and Brian Deer.”
Jennifer Larson, a mother-advocate and Wakefield supporter stands firmly behind Dr. Wakefield. "I know him to be a man of honor and integrity," Larson said. "It has been a tough year watching Dr. Wakefield be falsely accused of research fraud and there comes a time when we must stand together for the truth." Larson continued, "That time has come.”
The DR. WAKEFIELD JUSTICE FUND was established by friends and supporters to fund the legal fees and related expenses in order to respond to false claims made against Dr. Wakefield; expose the corrupting influence of special interest groups behind these allegations and protect Dr. Wakefield’s work from both profit- and politically-motivated censorship and retribution. Learn more here.
At the time Deer's article was published Andrew Wakefield was withdrawing from the appeal because of cost (the insurers having let him down)but this was not known. Otherwise Deer was incorrect: erasure would only follow the failure of appeal if it went ahead.
Of course, this is sheer shoddy reading or dirty play by the BMJ's editors or peer reviewers. It seems inconceivable indeed that the editors, including Harvey Marcovitch - who was one of the signatories of the accompanying editorial accusing Wakefield of fraud and also head of GMC panels at the time - were unaware of this, but allowed the prejudicial statement to stand.
Posted by: For Fever | January 14, 2012 at 12:26 PM
In an article published on 11 january 2011, Brian Deer wrote "Both [Wakefield and Walker-Smith] were struck off the medical register and have since filed High Court appeals. " I thought Dr Wakefield did not engage in an appeal ! Or perhaps he did at first and then abandoned this legal action ? Or Deer made an error when he wrote this article ( http://briandeer.com/solved/bmj-wakefield-2-1.htm ) ? [if so might be usefull to collect all such errors ?]
Posted by: Fever | January 14, 2012 at 12:06 PM
Dr. David Lewis:
"Dhillon's and Anthony's grading sheets are consistent with the results Wakefield reported for the children's histologies in Table 1 of the Lancet article. Namely, Child 7 was the only child whose biopsies showed no evidence of colitis in Dhillon's blinded expert analysis."
Brian Deer responding to Lewis's report:
"....It took me, 'with no formal training in medicine or science' approximately six minutes to realise that Dr Dhillon's grading sheets reported overwhelmingly normal findings. I urged Dr Godlee to test my judgment by putting the documents out to peer review. This she did. All reviewers confirmed my impression."
Here Deer shifts the argument away from whether or not the Lancet children had colitis to the question of whether or not the kids' colons were in bad enough shape to suit him.
I think we can assume that Dhillon's expert review did indeed indicate that all kids save Child 7 showed evidence of colitis or Deer would have told us otherwise. Advantage Lewis.
Posted by: Carol | January 12, 2012 at 04:11 PM
From Bolen Report
Posted by: ottoschnaut | January 11, 2012 at 02:04 PM
A very good point.
But while I cannot imagine how they are going to defend the case, I really wonder whether they will try that.
Posted by: John Stone | January 11, 2012 at 09:50 AM
John and GH,
When I was having trouble accessing the bmj site last year I used Visual Route to see if I could find out where the blockage was. I was most surprised to find that the route lead to Stanford University.
I've looked into it again tonight, and emails from Sharon Davies "bmj.com Responses" are marked with "stanford edu" ISP: 22.214.171.124 (From: Ultimate Network Information Centre Stanford University OrgID: STANFO Address: 241 Panama Street Address: Pine Hall, room 125
City: Stanford StateProv: CA PostalCode: 94305-4102 Country: US), and I just have found this:
bmj.com now hosted by Stanford University library’s scholarly digital publishing arm, HighWire press"
The BMJ website is hosted in the US, not in the UK. If Deer and Godlee claim that the BMJ is a UK publication, maybe this would make a difference.
Posted by: ATSC | January 11, 2012 at 09:31 AM
Anyone interested in helping - either by donating money or time, please go to: http://www.drwakefieldjusticefund.org/
Everyone is needed for this effort. We CAN make a difference - thank you so much!
Posted by: Sylvia | January 10, 2012 at 05:20 PM
Is there a mailing address to send a check to?
Posted by: Harry T | January 10, 2012 at 04:35 PM
Could these procedures be placed on a webcast ???
Would be very nice to see Deer, Dr. Godless, Dr. Nancy and Dr. Offit under oath for a few hours...
Posted by: cmo | January 10, 2012 at 02:05 PM
No, of course, there isn't any stage in all this when dirty tactics have not been used against us, although I don't know whether Madsen figured in the decision to withdraw legal aid, since the papers are sealed.
Posted by: John Stone | January 10, 2012 at 11:46 AM
John - the Madsen study was a poor argument for cutting off funding from the Legal Aid Board. If this becomes a test case there will be very powerful forces trying to influence it.
That Deer was all over national television networks in the US would seem to leave little dispute about jurisdiction in Texas for him at least.
Posted by: GH | January 10, 2012 at 11:12 AM
It is evident that BMJ gave the publication international publicity and put it unrestricted on the world-wide web, so it would certainly be a poor argument.
Posted by: John Stone | January 10, 2012 at 10:10 AM
Bob - at least as important is whether there is precedent in Texas for a libel case to be heard against a publication based in another country. The defendants best hope is to prevent the case being heard at all, which, sadly, could happen.
Posted by: GH | January 10, 2012 at 09:50 AM
Any lawyers know if the "discovery rules" of the United States will allow Dr. Wakefield opportunity to read any and all email-correspondence between Godlee, Deer and various dignitaries who may have provided critical information that was eventually published in the BMJ?
By the way .. thanks for the easy contribution site to defend Dr. Wakefield.
Posted by: Bob Moffitt | January 10, 2012 at 08:46 AM
I have read it all. The demand letter (impressive!) the consequent litigation and the exhibits. Not easy for any lay person to digest as we all know. But the evidence against Deer and Godlee is all out there, you don´t have to be a scientist to see it. It is plain enough and totally damning.
How they can imagine they can defend themselves is beyond my comprehension. Are they so convinced that the case will never be allowed to happen due to these antislapp (who slaps me first?)laws that so many blogs are crowing about? Is this why they say they are going to go ahead and "vigorously defend" themselves, because they honestly believe it will never get to court, so in fact they won´t need to? The truth is still out there. It is not going to evaporate.
What is this legislation? Can anyone here tell me if it is a hurdle too high?
Posted by: Patricia | January 10, 2012 at 08:13 AM
Ed and Teri, beautiful! Thank you for making this easy. How can I make a monthly contribution?
Posted by: Dan E. Burns | January 10, 2012 at 07:51 AM
Truth beats lies every time ,backed by the ingrity of Dr Wakefiled ,Godlee and Deer haven`t a chance
Tomorrow, David Lewis from the National Whistleblower Centre will be
interviewing Andy W from 1-2 PM EST on the progressive radio network.
You can listen live at
http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/steve-kohn/ or pick it up later
when it's archived.
Posted by: Angus Files | January 10, 2012 at 06:10 AM