Quashing of GMC Findings Against Prof Walker-Smith
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 These allegations, which were originally made against Prof Walker-Smith (as well as Dr Andrew Wakefield and Prof Simon Murch) by journalist Brian Deer and Liberal-Democrat politician Evan Harris in the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.
The Walker-Smith Appeal, the British Media and the Boselely Problem
Thank you for your comments Pass the Sick Bag !
Posted by: Fever | August 11, 2012 at 05:41 PM
This stuff doesn't sound too good-a way of keeping routine malpractice out of the limelight with secret hearings protecting the offenders: another tool of news management. It may be noted that during the hearing against Wakefield, Walker-Smith and Murch the media only ever reported on cue from the GMC press office, never the defence, so we had reported the charges, the findings and the sentences, and one particularly nasty day at the beginning of the cross-examination of Wakefield with dirty tricks and a particularly trashy little madam reporting from the BBC who was normally a DJ. Wakefield's admission that he did not have paediatric qualifications was widely reported (completely disregarding the fact that he was a researcher and not a clinician) as if it was of huge and damning significance. The laziness, cynicism and brutal viciousness of it all was truly mind-boggling.
Doctors caught in controversy would be very ill-advised to leave news briefing to the GMC press office in future.
Posted by: Pass the Sick Bag | August 11, 2012 at 12:39 PM
Between the GMC verdict and the quashing of it by the High Court , the GMC appeared to have expressed wishes to modify its fitness to practice procedures ( cf 13 June 2011 this article http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/story.asp?storycode=47274 ; 20 April 2011 http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/story.asp?storycode=47004 )I am wondering what cases might have incented the GMC to launch such a work ?
Posted by: Fever | August 11, 2012 at 08:04 AM