BMJ's Godlee Swears She Did Not Know Wakefield Lived in Texas In Face of Documentary Evidence
'On Thursday 12 April 2012 British Medical Journal's appeal against Andrew Wakefield's libel suit being heard in Texas goes before Travis County Court in Austin. John Stone, AoA's UK editor, reports on developments in the case.' You can donate to the Andrew Wakefield Justice fund HERE.
BMJ editor Fiona Godlee swears that she and her colleagues did not know that Andrew Wakefield lived in Texas, in the face of documentary evidence.
By John Stone
In an attempt by British Medical Journal to wrest Andrew Wakefield’s libel case from the jurisdiction of a Texas court its editor Fiona Godlee has denied ‘under penalty of perjury’ that she and her colleagues were ever aware that Wakefield resided in Texas, despite numerous references in the journal to this fact since 2005. The declaration which was made to the court twice, first on 28 February 2012 and then on 5 April, coincided on the second occasion with the presentation by Wakefield’s lawyers of annotated evidence that the fact had often been reported by the journal. This claim must cast doubt on Godlee’s competence and reliability as a witness. It follows her remarkable claim last year, at a meeting of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, that she did not know that BMJ’s business partners Merck and GSK were manufacturers of MMR vaccine . It also follows the revelation last month that BMJ had not had the article by Brian Deer – on which its claims of fraud against Wakefield were based – externally peer reviewed, as claimed at the time of publication, (See BMJ HERE.)
The wording of Godlee’s twice made declaration is as follows:
‘Indeed, to the best of my recollection, even though I was aware that the Plaintiff had relocated to the United States, I do not believe that I knew that the Plaintiff was a Texas resident at the time of these publications, and I am not aware of anyone else at BMJ publishing group who knew the Plaintiff was a Texas resident.
‘I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.’
Meanwhile, an affidavit (paras 28-38) from Wakefield’s lawyers (signed John D Saba) lists references by the journal going back six and a half years:
Clare Dyer on-line 10 November 2005 ‘High Court judge criticises Andrew Wakefield for trying to silence his critics’ quote:
“Dr Wakefield, who now works in Austin, Texas…”
Owen Dyer on-line 12 July 2007 [print version 17 July] ‘GMC hearing against Wakefield opens’ quote:
“Dr Wakefield, now lives in Austin, Texas…”
Owen Dyer on-line 3 April 2008 [print version 5 April 2008] ‘Wakefield tells GMC he was motivated by concern for autistic children’ quote:
“Dr Wakefield, now lives in Austin, Texas…”
Clare Dyer on-line 29 January 2010 ‘Wakefield was dishonest and irresponsible over MMR research, says GMC’ quote:
Dr Wakefield…is now executive director of Thoughtful House Center for Children in Austin, Texas..’
Clare Dyer 2 February 2010[print version 6 February 2010] ‘Lancet retracts Wakefield’s MMR paper’:
‘Dr Wakefield…is now … in Austin, Texas…’
Fiona Godlee on-line 4 February 2010 [print version 6 February 2010) ‘Editor’s Choice: MMR and other controversies’ references Dyer’s reports:
‘In Brief’ on-line 25 February 2010 [print version 27 February] ‘Wakefield resigns from autism centre he founded in Texas’ quote:
‘Andrew Wakefield,…, has resigned from…the autism centre he founded in Austin, Texas…’
Brian Deer on-line 15 April 2010 [print version 17 April 2010] ‘Wakefield’s ‘autistic enterocolitis’ under the microscope’ quote:
‘In 2005 [Dr Wakefield] established a private clinic in Austin, Texas…’
Zosia Kmietowiscz on-line 24 May 2010 [print version 29 May 2010] ‘Wakefield is struck off for the “serious and wide-ranging findings against him”’ quote:
Dr Wakefield…became executive director of Thoughtful House Center for Children in Austin, Texas…’
Brian Deer on-line 9 November 2010 ‘Pathology reports solve “new bowel disease” riddle’ quote:
‘Wakefield…now self-employed in Austin, Texas…’:
Clare Dyer on-line 14 March 2012 [print version 17 March] ‘BMJ invokes new Texan freedom of speech law to fight Wakefield libel case’:
When Dr Godlee was appointed to the post of editor-in-chief at BMJ in 2004 she already had a known agenda to defend the vaccine programme and MMR. In 2010 BMJ removed correspondence from its on-line columns indicating Deer’s unauthorised access and use of confidential medical documents. The BMJ has repeatedly ducked making Deer disclose that he was the complainant against Wakefield and colleagues at the GMC hearing and has also repeatedly excused him from disclosing pharmaceutical industry patronage. Moreover, Godlee and the journal only themselves made the most belated and inadequate acknowledgement over its business partnerships with Merck and GSK in relation to its attack on Wakefield (see BMJ HERE.)
All this is in stark contrast to Godlee and BMJ’s continuing Robespierre-like public stance on research integrity and conflict of interest (example 1) (example 2) (example 3). In 2004 Godlee was appointed chair of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) with Harvey Marcovitch - who was also a co-signatory of the BMJ editorial condemning Wakefield and as it later emerged alleged external peer reviewer of Deer’s paper despite being a BMJ editor of long-standing - as her deputy. Godlee was succeeded as chair of COPE by Marcovitch in 2006 and by another long term associate Liz Wager (who also sits on BMJ’s ethics committee) in 2008 . Wager is an industry ghost writer and research publication advisor. She also sits on the advisory board of the United Kingdon Research Integrity Office (UKRIO) as Markovitch did before her.
It really is beginning to look with this latest manoeuvre as if – despite the many promises – all the King’s horses and all the King’s men won’t be able to put Humpty together again.
John Stone is UK Editor for Age of Autism.
Someone asked if there was some advantage for big Pharma to having the venue moved to federal court.
Federal court lawyers are very expensive. It would benefit big Pharma because they can probably outspend this guy Wakefield until he is totally broke that way. This is a typical tactic of large corporations fighting the little guy in court. They make it so expensive that they win by default by superior funding. They also try to drag out the proceedings as long as possible so that for example if a plaintiff is sick, they'll die while still trying to sue, also to make it more expensive.
Posted by: Penny Pincher | April 30, 2012 at 11:43 AM
We are presently talking about one judge who has to decide whether his court can hear the case, and which will be heard before a jury if it can. At the moment the judge only has to make his mind up about legal issues pertaining to BMJ's applications which should lie wihtin the court's competence. Issues of the case's complexity probably do not bear on how these decisions are taken.
Posted by: For Patricia | April 18, 2012 at 08:08 AM
yes I get your drift. As to the "not knowing where he lived" question which seems to have some legal importance, I have said before along with others that if they didn't know they SHOULD have found out - before publishing all that libellous stuff. Ignorance in this case cannot be any form of defence surely?
But still I can't help feeling that the weight of what is actually behind this whole case will be pressing down hard on some of these judges. Do they really want to open up Pandora's box, comes to my mind. They may well feel it isn't really their ball game to begin with, but I sincerely hope that is not their frame of mind! Let us pray for some inspired souls amongst these judges who see an opportunity to open up a real debate in an open court of law before a jury.
Posted by: Patricia | April 18, 2012 at 06:52 AM
Looking back in history, this article from Martin Walker would be hilarious if it weren't so appallingly serious,
Of course, Professor Robespierre is very far from being an irrelevance, now or in the past.
Posted by: Mark Struthers | April 18, 2012 at 04:03 AM
These are very different sorts of issues involved at the moment to the GMC hearing: it is really about whether BMJ get off the hook through legal technicalities and drawing the process out. Can they persuade the court that AW's reputation was so damaged prior to the articles that they can say what they like about him whether it is true or not (an unusual position for a respectable academic journal to hold)? Did they really not know that he lived Texas? This is pretty much just legal knock-about.
Posted by: For Patricia | April 17, 2012 at 05:19 PM
I can't help feeling the case is way too complex for a quick decision. Even Justice Mitting in Walker's Appeal admitted being worried by the complexities of the whole issue. A lot of professional opinion is being sought is my gut feeling. I just pray they have the courage to open the case up and not to throw in the towel as the easy option.
Posted by: Patricia | April 17, 2012 at 04:37 PM
I should imagine both. Also, I believe the prospect is for a jury trial in Texas, and I don't know whether this would be the case in a Federal court.
Posted by: John Stone | April 17, 2012 at 03:25 AM
Can you explain what advantage there is in wanting to have the case tranferred to a federal court. Do big Pharma feel they have a better of chance finding judges more sympathetic to their point of view or do they hope to impose a greater financial burden on Dr. Wakefield so much so that he will have to drop the case?
Posted by: Jane Vermeer | April 16, 2012 at 07:31 PM
Unfortunately, I don't have any info. I think if anything had finally been resolved either about the Anti-SLAPP or BMJ's bid to get the case removed to the Federal Court we would all have heard something.
Posted by: John Stone | April 16, 2012 at 03:56 PM
It would be great if John could give us an update on what's happening in the anti-slapp motion, it's been three days now, and the suspense is killing me.
Posted by: cia parker | April 16, 2012 at 03:33 PM
Or to put it another way, why - if she didn't know - did she not just say so, instead of "to the best of my recollection...I do not believe that I knew"? And this is pre-meditated stuff which is written down. I think the judge ought to feel thoroughly messed around. Shocking.
Posted by: Let Them Eat Cake | April 15, 2012 at 06:31 AM
Professor Robespierre of the Department of Health prosecutes a vicious vendetta and makes himself a laughing stock ...
But it really isn't funny.
Posted by: Mark Struthers | April 14, 2012 at 03:13 PM
John said, in reference to the editor of the BMJ,
“I think a dismal performance.”
I agree, Dr Godlee has given some truly dismal performances over the last year or so, not least at the NIH last September,
For someone in such an important and influential position in medicine this was a very disappointing presentation and hugely embarrassing. I really think it is time that Godlee went.
Posted by: Mark Struthers | April 14, 2012 at 12:52 PM
Who is the British Robespierre?
Andrew Wakefield reveals the identity in this highly revealing video,
An intriguing analogy could be drawn between the 'Committee of Public Safety', "the de facto executive government in France during the Reign of Terror",
… and the JCVI (Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation), who with their terrible 'cover-up' tactics have so betrayed the public's trust and confidence in such "public health figures and their commercial partners". Godlee is simply the gangsters’ moll. I look forward to the disestablishment of the JCVI.
Posted by: Mark Struthers | April 14, 2012 at 12:38 PM
I guess what struck me about Godlee as a character was the insistent rectitude and her very shallow grasp on detail (two things which I suspect often go together). I remember her even using the phrase about not wanting to be "holier than thou" relating to Richard Horton in the BBC 'Science Betrayed' programme so may she will be relieved to know she hasn't succeeded. I think a dismal performance.
Posted by: John Stone | April 14, 2012 at 10:12 AM
I believe there are two actions by BMJ et al, an action to dismiss (Anti-SLAPP or whatever), for which a lot arguments however tenuous have been published on-line, and an action to get it taken out of the Texas jurisdiction (presumably to a Federal court). Obviously this representation by Godlee relates to the second.
Posted by: John Stone | April 14, 2012 at 09:05 AM
Like many British doctors, I don't know much about the French Revolution, except to remember that there was a lot of chopping off of heads. I didn't recognise the Robespierre heading John's article, but I instantly thought I'd recognised something of the French aristocracy, something regal, something cat-like, something feral, and something of the Marie Antoinette in Fiona Godlee's photo.
I can well imagine the Queen of the Medical Establishment in Britain saying, "Let them eat cake" .... but not a "callous and ignorant" French aristocrat - who was actually neither - let alone stupid and spiteful, like the British one. 
Robespierre, on the other hand, though being "physically unimposing", was "immaculate in attire and personal manners" - a bit of a "dandy" - and allegedly "scrupulously honest, truthful and charitable". His supporters also called him "The Incorruptible". However, he was also the architect of the 'Reign of Terror' that led to the execution of tens of thousands of the alleged "enemies of the revolution". The hapless French Queen succumbed to Robespierre's terror, but Robespierre's stupid insistence on associating 'Terror with Virtue' eventually led to his own downfall and the same sticky end as his Queen.
John has drawn an interesting analogy between 18th century terror and contemporary medical terrorists. I understand they 'hang 'em high and bury 'em deep' in Texas: I wonder what Texas has in store for the current Queen of the Medical Establishment. And who might the Robespierre, 'The Terror' of modern Britain be? Any ideas?
PS. Actually, "overcooked venison" is not my idea of classy terror and is not the only British dandy that should now be facing justice under the Lone Star.
Posted by: Mark Struthers | April 14, 2012 at 08:09 AM
John this first hurdle for Andrew in the case, this motion to dismiss by Godlee and co, is obviously all important.
Does it rest upon whether Godlee and co knew or did not know or should have known, that Wakefield was or was not a tax resident of Austin Texas?
How can one possibly prove that one did not or does not "know" something? Did Godlee look for his tax records?
And now it is the weekend. Do you think the answers will be revealed on Monday now?
Posted by: Patricia | April 14, 2012 at 07:12 AM
I can't help thinking that even if it ends well it won't ever make up for what's been done against everyone's children in the name of the "greater good".
Posted by: John Stone | April 14, 2012 at 03:03 AM
Fiona is burnt toast, now, and Deer is overcooked venison
This story will end very, very well. Liars lie and cheaters cheat, but they never, ever prosper.
And as we all know, everyone hates overcooked venison. Especially American judges.
Posted by: MelDub | April 13, 2012 at 08:42 PM
Please don't explain how this translates into a viable legal argument. I'm sure no good can come from trying to understand.
Posted by: Jeannette Bishop | April 13, 2012 at 06:23 PM
Both the physical resemblance and the historical resemblance are striking! Although I don't believe Robespiere's Reign of Terror targeted infants.
Posted by: pass the popcorn | April 13, 2012 at 05:36 PM
I think, modern pharmababble can have its use in
judicious doses....but Godlee just shot herself in the ,foot,hand ,head,arm,leg,shin,wrist,....etc...
Brain seem`s to be OK..;
Well pharma lives another day..
Posted by: Angus Files | April 13, 2012 at 05:34 PM
Valuable review of the UK measles data here from Ed Yazbak showing no meaningful evidence that Andrew Wakefield impacted on measles incidence.
Posted by: John Stone | April 13, 2012 at 05:09 PM
Fiona bashing shows how vulnerable most experts are in the field of medical practice:
"Any effect of the scare on the incidence of mumps remains in question. In epidemics in the UK, the US, and the Netherlands, peak prevalence was in 18-24 year olds, of whom 70-88% had been immunised with at least one dose of the MMR vaccine.21 22 Any consequence of a fall in uptake after 1998 may not become apparent until the cohorts of children affected reach adolescence. One clue comes from an outbreak in a school in Essen, Germany, attended by children whose parents were opposed to vaccinations. Of the 71 children infected with mumps, 68 had not been immunised.23"
And a parent of an ASD child had to point out that the mumps outbreak was in fact MEASLES.
Should she be reported to the GMC for FRAUD?
Posted by: John Fryer | April 13, 2012 at 05:01 PM
Fiona is only human and humans err.
I "genuinely" thought both Fiona and Brian lived in "Cloud Cuckoo Land" judging by the quality of their knowledge on medical or other matters.
Her ignorance of the whereabouts of a person that has been hounded for more than a decade as someone says, says it all about the accuracy of anything she says.
I also find it odd that a completely new illness Schmallenberg illness has been solved in less than 6 months while the harm from mutagens abundantly placed deliberately or otherwise in vaccines and their harm has escaped mainstream medical science despite coincidental rises in many illnesses likely to be mutagen caused.
As so many say the real winner will be those who HONESTLY strive to find the cause of and stop babies getting autism.
In reality this denial by Fiona is typical of the world of denial by mainstream Big p'HARMA.
Posted by: John Fryer | April 13, 2012 at 04:19 PM
Good point. As 'Godlee Busted Again' pointed out below AW's place of residence was not only noted several times in BMJ it was also in the evidence at the GMC which BMJ's editors are presumably supposed to have read. But, you know, for any journal or newspaper even, where someone lives is the most basic information you obtain. "Oh, America somewhere" is not exactly international medical journal standard.
Posted by: John Stone | April 13, 2012 at 07:42 AM
BTW I am not at all sure if the Court in Texas is so concerned with such technicalities as residency v relocation. They should be looking at motive and intention in this instance. I sincerely hope they see through Godlee's attempt to get herself out of trouble with oh so clever semantics.
Posted by: Patricia | April 13, 2012 at 06:54 AM
She is indeed very clever with her choice of wording, this is what I have been trying to emphasise. She does not lie in this instance. She is simply drawing attention to the legal definition of "residency" as opposed to "relocation". But as has been commented earlier, what she aught to have done is to discover Wakefields exact status re domicility before she published. The fact that it is reported in various publications that Wakefield is "living" somewhere does not mean he is technically or legally a "resident" of that country. I am not sure of his status at the time she published. Can anyone enlighten us?
Posted by: Patricia | April 13, 2012 at 06:46 AM
She should be safe from a perjury charge because she used the words "to the best of my recollection". Very clever.
Posted by: Albert | April 13, 2012 at 05:44 AM
I hope the State of Texas charges her with perjury.
Posted by: Jake Crosby | April 13, 2012 at 01:22 AM
Godlee's photo even looks like that man's in the picture.
I'm still trying to understand her position.... She thinks that since she didn't know he was living in Texas that her claiming him a fraud is ok, since she didn't know she was breaking Texas law???? Doesn't she have any excuses that would exhaunerate her from committing the fraud with Deer? Is it as stupid as it sounds or is there more to it?
Posted by: maggie | April 12, 2012 at 09:48 PM
Interesting choice to have Robespierre's picture on this article. He condemned thousands of innocent people to a hideous death via the guillotine. But in the end, he ended up on the guillotine himself. Only rumor has it he was the only one during the French Revolution who was guillotined facing UP. He was forced to see the blade coming. Poetic justice?
Posted by: Sylvia | April 12, 2012 at 08:02 PM
I am afraid I don't have any information.
Posted by: John Stone | April 12, 2012 at 06:13 PM
John, or anyone: will the hearing continue tomorrow?
Posted by: Shawn Siegel | April 12, 2012 at 06:03 PM
Posted by: John McClane | April 12, 2012 at 05:36 PM
And after the vipers , comes the Godfather Murdoch..many thanks to Mark Lewis...
"News International braced as lawyer brings phone-hacking scandal to US"
Posted by: Angus Files | April 12, 2012 at 05:17 PM
It may not be concluded today.
This is legislation which is intended to prevent powerful or wealthy interests use their muscle to stop legitimate comment. I believe you are right in your analysis of its inappropriateness here.
Posted by: John Stone | April 12, 2012 at 04:55 PM
Or has Fiona just received a complimentary bottle of amnesia spray, from the Penguins In Madagascar..
What`s my name?
Posted by: Angus Files | April 12, 2012 at 04:45 PM
So will we get news today... I keep popping in to check.
Posted by: maggie | April 12, 2012 at 04:34 PM
Someone give her a bigger spade… get the job done a lot faster. .great work Fiona ....dig it !!I really do dig it..
Ain`t going to start larfing, as I wouldn’t stop...
Posted by: Angus Files | April 12, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Apologies for the poor English.
I meant to say to please tell us what the anti-SLAPP motion means.
Posted by: Cassandra | April 12, 2012 at 04:03 PM
John or legal experts,
Can you give us a background on what does the anti-SLAPP motion mean?
What I can say is that it is customary for scientific journals to send a draft to the person who is being attacked to give them a chance to comment. In this case, it is clear that the BMJ commissioned Deer to write this article, did not externally peer review it, and never bothered to give Dr. Wakefield the chance to read and comment on it prior to publication. This is consistent with an intent to smear his reputation.
Posted by: Cassandra | April 12, 2012 at 04:02 PM
Was the slapp law conceived by ALEC, and after watching Democracy Now today, I started wondering if the vaccine laws popping up around the nation are also conceived by ALEC
Posted by: maggie | April 12, 2012 at 03:57 PM
The Hero Wakefield shall prevail !!!
Posted by: sarahsam | April 12, 2012 at 03:06 PM
How does this woman look herself in the mirror!????? Far too many lies for my taste!
Posted by: Jen | April 12, 2012 at 02:24 PM
This is a hearing taking place today to decide whether the Wakefield libel action can go ahead in a Texas court. If this application by BMJ fails, as it ought, the next matter will be BMJ's Anti-SLAPP motion which will also be heard very soon. Eventually, when all the junk is cleared out of the way it is to be hoped that Godlee and Deer will be forced to answer some proper questions for once, and be cross-examined by a skilled, well-briefed attorney.
PS This bit will be decided by a judge. When the libel action is finally heard it will be before a jury.
Posted by: John Stone | April 12, 2012 at 01:50 PM
when will this all be decided... is it a trial,,, or a judge decision. May the children win.... and those who have given their lives for them.
Posted by: maggie | April 12, 2012 at 12:56 PM
Even if, as a previous poster says, Godlee and company only checked the GMC transcripts against Brian Deer's claims, they seem to have been singularly clueless. What Deer claims was a "hallmark presentation of classical autism" in Child 1's new patient note was actually reported by Dr. Barrow (and recorded in the transcripts) as an ear infection: "New patient – recently posted from XXXX. Mum worried re hearing/wax in ears/? Discharge left ear … Reassured." The disconnect between Deer's claim and the GP record should have set off a warning bell to any reviewer.
Deer then claims that Wakefield concealed this transient ear infection because it didn't fit his theory. Did Brian Deer fail to tell Godlee that the Royal Free didn't have access to the GP records?
Posted by: Carol | April 12, 2012 at 12:38 PM
This is all about the definition of defamation as being one of "knowingly" causing harm or defamation. So Godlee is insisting she did not "knowingly" did Wakefield harm HA!
If you are about to publish anything which could be mistrued as harmful surely you should do some research first? If as she says she did not "know" Wakefield was a Resident, but believed he had merely relocated under a contract to the USA, she could have, she indeed SHOULD have verified her facts before she went ahead and published her defamatory article. Yes?
Posted by: Patricia | April 12, 2012 at 12:31 PM
Fair is foul, and foul is fair:
Hover through the fog and filthy air.
Posted by: The Three Witches | April 12, 2012 at 10:51 AM
Maybe she thought Wakefield was living here under a stolen identity. Like James Randi's boyfriend.
Posted by: Carol | April 12, 2012 at 10:31 AM
I do not understand.
Which is nothing new when it comes to courts, law, judicial system . That is why the medical system got away with doing what they did to my enitre family.
So, Godlee is saying that she would not have done it or said it, or printed it --- if she had just known that Dr. Wakefield had lived in Texas???
Posted by: Benedetta | April 12, 2012 at 10:07 AM
The BMJ's and Deers' use of the Anti-Slapp legislation can best be compared to George Zimmerman's use of the "Stand Your Ground Legislation" in Florida where he says he had to shoot Trayvon Williams in "self defense" - the kid had a bag of skittles - and we all can see where that case is heading.
The Williams case is a great example of what happens when the foxes are originally left guarding the henhouse, but the farmer eventually shows up to clean things up.
Here in the U.S., farmers like to go Deer hunting as well. They get pissed when Deer damage their crops.
Well, my son is one of a large crop of kids that were kicked to the wayside when Deer successfully eliminated any serious research into autistic enterocolitis. I had to sit and watch my crop dwindle on the vine for years until we finally mortgaged the farm to travel cross the country to be treated by one of the few docs that is not afraid to treat the disease.
I am one pissed off farmer and I hope one Deer gets run over on the freeway of the Texas court system. Metaphorically speaking, of course.
Posted by: Tim Kasemodel | April 12, 2012 at 09:24 AM
But as Jenny Allen says "they knew or Aught to Have Known"!!!
And playing around with legal definitions of domicility is being facetious and a good judge should catch on to that.
Posted by: Patricia | April 12, 2012 at 08:56 AM
Is Godlee referring to the legal definition of being a "resident" of Austin texas? Is there such a thing?
She certainly knew Andrew lived there, and was currently exeutive Director of Thoughtful House. But she may well be playing with words. Again! She enjoys this game.
Posted by: Patricia | April 12, 2012 at 08:06 AM
They are getting more an more desperate. They should have learned that in most cases it is not the original crime but the cover up that gets people in trouble.
Posted by: Cassandra | April 12, 2012 at 07:46 AM
In the UK the legal 'jargon' used in the courts for this kind of defence tactic is 'they knew or ought to have known'. I expect things are not too different in Texas. These obvious lies on the part of Godlee & Co will surely be seen by the Texans for what they are -obvious LIES!!
As I understand it the recent US Anti-SLAPP legislation is intended to protect the 'little man' from being wiped out by legal fees incurred by defending litigation actions, instigated by powerful corporate institutions. This hardly applies to Dr Wakefield, who is having to fundraise to finance his action. The BMJ and Godlee, on the other hand, have huge rescources and insurance cover. This also applies to Brian Deer whose BMJ articles were all commissioned by the BMJ. The role of James Murdoch, then leading spin doctor/director of MMR manufacturers GSK, (who also sponsor the BMJ), and who was also CEO of News Corp, owners of The Sunday Times, which published Deer's damaging anti Wakefield articles, needs to be declared to the Texan court.
As for Deer's ridiculous assertion that he was awarded the British version of the Pulitzer prize, his press award was just one of many awarded to various journalists on the night. Two of the main judges were from Murdoch's News Corp, including one facing criminal charges as a result of the phone hacking scandal in the UK. There is presently NO equivalent Pulitzer prize in the UK!!
Posted by: Jenny Allan | April 12, 2012 at 07:05 AM
"I am not aware of anyone else at BMJ publishing group who knew the Plaintiff was a Texas resident."
Well the lead author Brian Deer certainly did and Fiona Godlee handily linked to his website as the editor in charge and responsible for all matters in the BMJ.
If Fiona is to be believed that she undertook a thorough examination of the GMC transcripts then surely she read this ...
ANDREW JEREMY WAKEFIELD, Afffirmed
THE CHAIRMAN: Good morning Dr Wakefield. Can I first of all thank you for agreeing to give us the benefit of your evidence this morning. I think you have heard me explain to the other witnesses the way we will proceed in this hearing, and the same procedure will be followed, examination in chief, cross-examination by the other counsel and also by counsel on behalf of the GMC. After re-examination, if any, the Panel will ask questions and after that if there is any further re-examination to be done that will be done. That will be the order.
Can I also say, if at any stage you find that it is starting to get stressful or are you getting tired or anything like that, give me a hint and I am sure we will be very sympathetic to giving you a break at that stage.
I think on that note can I ask Mr Coonan to proceed.
Examined by MR COONAN
Q Dr Wakefield, would you give the Panel, first of all, your full name and your current professional address?
A Andrew Jeremy Wakefield, MB BS, FRCS, FRCPath. I am currently Executive Director at Thoughtful House Center for Children, Bee Caves Road, Austin, Texas.
It would be quite odd if she assumed Andy was commuting from another state to his place of business ?
Posted by: Godlee Busted Again. | April 12, 2012 at 06:57 AM
Fiona Godlee said that the allegations were checked against the children's medical records. To most readers that strongly and emphatically suggests the actual physical records with full accompanying documentation.
But on the BMJ podcast found here Godlee says they were compared to ... the GMC transcripts. These are NOT the physical medical records they are transcripts of legal argument.
Feel misled ... I would. Did you as an ordinary member of the public think that the BMJ had actually seen the records and carefully examined them ? I did. But that's not quite right is it ?
podcast is found here ... http://www.bmj.com/podcast/2011/01/10/sting-tale
Go to 14.50 to hear Fiona in her own words
This is a serious breach of her editorial duties and ethics.
Posted by: Godlee Busted Again. | April 12, 2012 at 06:25 AM