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Voice Your Opposition to Brian Deer Lecturing at Oxford University

Speak your mindEditor’s Note: Brian Deer, known for his false allegations of research fraud against Dr. Andrew Wakefield and vitriolic attacks against autism parents who witnessed regression in their children following vaccination, is scheduled to lecture at Oxford University at a conference organised by British Medical Journal and hosted by the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine. Please make your opinions known to the organizers of his lecture. The letter below can be used as a guide or copied and pasted into an email. You may wish to include your own story if you or a family member has suffered from a vaccine injury. If a diagnosis of bowel disease is involved, include that information as well.

Send your e-mail to: Dr.  Carl Heneghan, Director of the Center for Evidence Based Medicine carl.heneghan@phc.ox.ac.uk , Prof. Richard Hobbs, Head of Department, Primary Health Care Sciences richard.hobbs@phc.ox.ac.uk,  Dr. Rafael Parera rafael.perera@phc.ox.ac.uk , Dr. Matthew Thompson  matthew.thompson@phc.ox.ac.uk  and Dr. Amanda Burls Amanda.Burls@phc.ox.ac.uk . Subject line: ‘I oppose Brian Deer at Oxford’.

Dear  Dr. Heneghan,

I am writing to voice my objection to Brian Deer’s scheduled appearance March 26 at Oxford University as a keynote speaker in the EvidenceLive Conference, sponsored by the British Medical Journal which is currently being sued for libel over allegations of fraud made by Deer in the BMJ, which have already been substantially proven false in the English High Court through the successful appeal of Prof. John Walker-Smith, senior author and clinician in the controversial Wakefield Lancet paper. (This sponsorship also represents a conflict of interest for the conference.)

Brian Deer is an agenda journalist. He was hired in 2003  by a Sunday Times editor, Paul Nuki, who told him “I need something big” on “MMR”   (Nuki’s father was on the Committee on Safety in Medicines when MMR was introduced in the late 1980s, while Nuki junior now heads the National Health Service’s main “information” site, NHS Choices). Sanctioned by his newspaper, Deer then interviewed parents using a false identity  , disguising from his subjects his role in an earlier report on successful Irish DPT litigant Margaret Best, in which he claimed “vaccine and drug companies might be welcome scapegoats.” 

Contrary to his later conceit that he was somehow taking on “the establishment” Deer obtained unimpeded access to confidential medical and legal documents which he was ill-equipped to interpret (and while the agencies stood by and did nothing). Moreover, the allegations were rapidly taken up by the BBC and an NHS website linked to his. However, any public interest defense effectively collapsed with the exoneration of Prof Walker-Smith, who is widely recognized as the world’s leading expert in pediatric gastroenterology and who had to spend eight years of his retirement fending off incompetent allegations, and undergoing a show trial. 

Equally outrageously it was Deer, subsequent to his initial newspaper articles, who covertly submitted three formal complaints to the General Medical Council requesting the prosecution of doctors Walker-Smith, Murch and Wakefield, while coming to a mutually beneficial arrangement with the GMC prosecutor that he not be named, allowing him to continue reporting on a case when he had a personal interest. Deer was the only complainant against the three doctors and his role as complainant was confirmed in a High Court Judgment of Mr Justice Eady.



In the High Court last year, Mr Justice Mitting rejected virtually all Deer’s claims about misconduct in the Wakefield Lancet paper which had been adopted by the GMC prosecutors: the data regarding autism, GI illness, onset of symptoms had not been misreported, the paper correctly described the referral of the children, the paper was not funded by the Legal Aid Board, and there had been no unauthorized or inappropriate investigation of children. All these claims, which had originated in Deer’s reporting were found to be without foundation. Furthermore, Deer’s re-interpretation of the Wakefield paper’s GI findings, and the claim that Wakefield had in some way tampered with them, were denied and disproven in letters to BMJ by both histopathologist co-authors of the paper, neither of whom was on trial at the GMC (here  and here.)

Following the exoneration of Dr. Walker-Smith, the University College London (the parent institution to the Royal Free where Dr. Wakefield was employed) stopped its own inquiry into “the Wakefield affair” on advice of the UK Research and Integrity Office. This was despite the BMJ’s plea for the inquiry to continue. UCL stated that such an inquiry would cost a substantial sum of money and would yield nothing conclusive.

Deer’s presentation at the University of Wisconsin in October of last year defamed several researchers including microbiologist Dr. David Lewis, board member of the National Whistleblowers Center, whose investigation turned up a 2004 document showing that the UK Freedom of Information Office provided Deer with copies of necessary ethics approvals to cover the research component of the Lancet study, which he apparently never passed on to the GMC. A letter from the attorney for the National Whistleblower’s Center informing U of W of the defamatory content of Deer’s lecture and other of Mr. Deer’s fabrications and falsehoods can be read here.

Deer’s breaches of ethics and journalistic standards know no bounds. When parents of children in the study became outspoken in their support of Dr. Wakefield, Deer retaliated by publishing children’s identities online after accessing their private medical records. Deer has frequently disparaged autism parents, blaming them for their children’s disorders in the crassest terms: 1) “And they wonder why their children have problems with their brains…The festering nastiness, the creepy repetitiveness, the weasly, deceitful, obsessiveness, all signal pathology to me.”   2) “…a living example of how autistic disorders, and allied conditions, such as pathological demand avoidance syndrome, psychopathy and whathaveyou, are genetic. Certainly, if you are aware of his behaviour, you can see how hard he would run from the idea that it was the expression of his own genetic makeup that lies behind his son’s disorder.”

Brian Deer has played a major role in the corruption of the scientific process. He appears to be no longer employed by any news organization and has not published an article in nearly a year.  He has no visible means of support aside from advertising revenues from his website. In 2011, he gave the keynote address at a pharmaceutical conference hosted by a foundation with financial ties to three MMR manufacturers.

An open letter which covers the major issues in the Wakefield controversy can be read here.
Please reconsider Brian Deer’s inclusion in the speaking schedule of the upcoming conference. If these are the means necessary to defend the vaccine program then there is something deeply wrong.


Comments

Jeannette Bishop

And who are the "consumers" I wonder or perhaps "evidence ... consumers?" Those who provide the "evidence based" care? That kind of sounds like they are just supposed to eat it up.

Is it true the "evidence based" stuff began only in the early 90s? Isn't that about the time pharmaceutical dependence really seemed to explode? We don't exactly have much evidence we are better off IMO.

Twyla

"Evidence creators"?? Normally evidence is supposed to be found, not fabricated. Oops, they admitted that they create evidence! So much for all their declarations that science has spoken.

LOL Benedetta that's funny - I can imagine his opening act.

John Stone

Perhaps this is the answer? Two days after this letter was posted on AoA Fiona Godlee and Carl Heneghan published in BMJ a joint editorial flyer for the Oxford conference with the caption:

"A BMJ conference aims to inspire a new generation of evidence creators and consumers"

http://www.bmj.com/content/346/bmj.f766

Does the term "evidence creators" hold no conceptual dissonance for these two great leaders of their profession?

So far, anyway, it does not look like Dr Heneghan has had the humility or conscience to respond to any of the letters he received.

(And just possibly at £500 - $800 - a time they are having difficulty filling spaces.)

Benedetta

So Brian Deer is lecturing in pubs.
Is this a tryout comedy routine before he took it on the road.

Did he have and opening act like some drummers, singers, and mandolin players?

Maybe even a flute player -- he really needs a Pan to help lead the crowds along to his erroneous conclusions. A green Pan fluting out green backs.

Mark Struthers

Curious! Professor Trisha Greenhalgh, academic GP, BMJ groupie, and guru on everything evidence-based, is notably absent from the line up of keynote notables at the Oxford conference next month,

http://www.evidencelive.org/keynotes

The Prof wrote a ‘critical appraisal’ of the 1998 Wakefield et al paper, and in April 2004 the piece was lodged with Brian Deer, where it held pride of place until it was quietly removed from his website some 6 years later. Curious!

In his book ‘Callous Disregard’, Andrew Wakefield politely refers to “Greenhalgh’s follies” when describing her preposterous analysis of the paper. As a GP and prison doctor in the UK, I find the Prof deeply disappointing – and that’s putting it politely too.


Jenny Allan

Thanks for the laugh Dr Struthers!!!....and yes, it seems Mr Deer DOES recycle his Powerpoints. They are in for a real treat at Oxford.
http://youtu.be/wDA0YLXX9NM

Mark Struthers

Jenny

Here is K13 (Brian Deer), in a pub with Dr. Evan Harris, ex-MP – in early May 2010

"If he wasn’t so f***ing greedy, he’d a been tougher to spot."

http://youtu.be/wDA0YLXX9NM

Of course this is 'keynote speaking for dummies' … and is therefore entirely suitable material for the audience of EvidenceLive 13. Bring it on!

Mark Struthers

Curious! Professor Trisha Greenhalgh, academic GP, BMJ groupie, and guru on everything evidence-based, is notably absent from the line up of keynote notables at the Oxford conference next month,

http://www.evidencelive.org/keynotes

The Prof wrote a ‘critical appraisal’ of the 1998 Wakefield et al paper, and in April 2004 the piece was lodged with Brian Deer, where it held pride of place until it was quietly removed from his website some 6 years later. Curious!

In his book ‘Callous Disregard’, Andrew Wakefield politely refers to “Greenhalgh’s follies” when describing her preposterous analysis of the paper. As a GP and prison doctor in the UK, I find the Prof deeply disappointing – and that’s putting the case politely.

John Stone

nd

It was a modest observation that the audiences at conferences tend to thin towards the end (people get tired, have planes they don't want to miss, have something else they really must get on with). Of course, making someone a keynote speaker denotes the ideological approval of the organisers. What can they do with this guy?

Also, when BMJ circularised me by email about the conference there was a list of keynote speakers with Deer left off for some reason.

nd

You wrote: "I notice that they have tucked [Deer] away at the end, presumably allowing people to sneak off back to the airport or London . . . "

You noted that Brian Deer is a keynote speaker; his presentation will be followed by a concluding panel discussion. What purpose is served by pretending that Deer is tucked away at the end? I don't think that helps at all--factual reporting will of course, in the end, be much more credible.

Jenny Allan

Yes Brian Deer seems to be an odd choice of lecturer for inclusion in a programme heavily promoted for its 'academic' content and 'eminence' of chosen speakers.

I wonder if Deer will use any of his previous Powerpoint stuff, denigrating Andrew Wakefield with analagies to casino gambling and card games, including that profane intro at La Crosse, " If he wasn’t so f***ing greedy, he’d a been tougher to spot."

Then there was that "Jackpots of money" to be made from Transfer Factor, which Deer called a 'rival' vaccine to MMR. All nonsense of course. The Royal Free Hospital held (still holds) the patent for this discovery, and any profits would have gone directly to the NHS Trust. This was not a vaccine as such, but was designed to ameliorate wild measles virus damage to children who could not be vaccinated for health reasons.

I'm sure Wisconsin Uni profoundly regrets ever inviting Deer to sully their premises. I look forward to Deer making everyone cringe at Oxford!! I expect, as John Stone points out, the organisers will be hoping everyone will have left the premises before his slot at 4.00pm.

John Stone

Mark

Of course Deer started to peddle this nonsense some while back.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/blog/2011/jan/12/andrew-wakefield-fraud-mmr-autism

Could it be that the luminaries of the British establishment that he defeated included Ben Goldacre, Michael Fitzpatrick and Fiona Godlee (not to mention Jeremy Laurence kite flying at the Independent on behalf of someone or other, perhaps David Salisbury), all of who were getting cold feet at the stupidity of GMC prosecution in 2006 and who are now stuck with the awful results, Goldacre and Fitzpatrick particularly silent since the full exoneration of John Walker-Smith, and Godlee further up a tree than anyone would ever have thought possible?


http://www.ageofautism.com/2012/02/the-walker-smith-appeal-the-british-media-and-the-boseley-problem.html

Even Paul Offit was off-side according to Deer because of his less than fulsome welcome to the GMC findings, also no doubt worried that they would come unstuck.


The truth is that in 2005 Goldacre - the son of an Oxford professor of public health and a government scientist - tried to warn the world that the Wakefield/Lancet paper was a perfectly good piece of work, and even seems to have got the support of Oxford's political scientist Evan Harris MP, who had earlier backed Deer, as of course they all would in end after the GMC got underway. There is no doubt that Deer resented all this, but now they are stuck with him (and serve them right).

I notice that they have tucked him away at the end, presumably allowing people to sneak off back to the airport or London (Goldacre with his new position at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

http://www.ageofautism.com/2013/01/not-all-mercury-is-toxic-desperate-throw-in-new-scientist-to-prevent-un-ban.html

John

Mark Struthers

It's now nearly two years since an idiot presenter at the BBC declared that the BMJ and Lancet represented "the twin pillars of the British Medical Establishment".

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/player/b00zm328

There is now therefore something faintly absurd about Brian Deer "Taking on the Establishment" at a gig organised by one of those twin pillars. Idiots!

Benedetta

John Stone said:
Brian Deer's title of the lecture will be
"Taking on the Establishment!"

Heeee,heeee,heeee, really!

So, -- the only thing I can think "HE" could mean by that article is how to go about receiving money from the establishment.

oneVoice

It would be a horrendous mistake to invite Mr.Deer and to allow him to speak even one word at Oxford University.This event is organized by BMJ - the "marketing arm of pharmaceutical industry" by Dr.Godlee's words.We can see the pHarmaceutical industry is everywhere and desperately trying to control the students or the "future scientist".This liar does not have science or medical background.He is a pHarma bought puppet
to spread the message what happens if your research does not match with pHarma's principles.It is time to get rid of this liar,he should be in jail for all the damage he had done to
the families,to the children,to science and to Dr.Wakefield.

John Stone

Deer's presentation at the BMJ/Oxford conference is entitled 'Taking on the establishment - investigative journalism'. In this regard it may be helpful in documenting just how fanciful this claim is to revisit my letter to BMJ published after a tussle in February 2010:

http://www.bmj.com/rapid-response/2011/11/02/trisha-greenhalgh-competing-interests

........................................

Trisha Greenhalgh's competing interests

Prof Greenhalgh [1] does not disclose any competing interests. She has, however, contributed a controversial article [2,3] attacking the 1998 paper [4] to journalist Brian Deer's website. Although not disclosed here by Greenhalgh or in the accompanying article by Deer [5], Deer was named as a complainant against Andrew Wakefield in the High Court by Mr Justice Eady, who stated [6]:

"Well before the programme was broadcast [Mr Deer] had made a complaint to the GMC about the Claimant. His communications were made on 25 February, 12 March and 1 July 2004. In due course, on 27 August of the same year, the GMC sent the Claimant a letter notifying him of the information against him."

Since 2003 Greenhalgh has benefitted from more than £1.4m in research grants from the Department of Health [7]. When Deer's original allegations were published in the Sunday Times in February 2004 he was supported by the then Prime Minister, Tony Blair, who told ITV [8]:

"There is absolutely no evidence to support this link between MMR and autism. If there was, I can assure you that any government would be looking at it and trying to act on it. I hope, now that people see that the situation is somewhat different to what they were led to believe, they will have the triple jab because it is important to do it."

and by Chief Medical Officer, Sir Liam Donaldson, who told the BBC [8]:

"I don't think that spin and science mix. If they are mixed, it is a very unfavourable position for children's health. Now a darker side of this work has shown through, with the ethical conduct of the research and this is something that has to be looked at."

and Jeremy Laurance reported in the Independent [9]:

"At the Department of Health, which has striven for the past six years to bolster public confidence in the vaccine, joy is unconfined at the discrediting of Andrew Wakefield, as the researcher responsible for the scare."

Meanwhile, Health Secretary John Reid asked the GMC to investigate [10].

I express concern that conflicts that go up to the highest ranks of government are still conflicts, that the government itself is not a disinterested player, and has not behaved like one. At the same time Prof Greenhalgh's research has benefitted hansomely from its largesse. I believe there should be an inquiry.

[1] Trisha Greenhalgh, Why did the Lancet take so long? BMJ 2010; 340: c644

[2] Professor Trisha Greenhalgh. Analysis of Wakefield MMR study asks why flaws weren't spotted by Lancet editors. April 2004. http://briandeer.com/mmr/lancet-greenhalgh.htm

[3] Mark Struthers, 'Unfonded and Unjust' BMJ Rapid Responses 8 February 2010 http://www.bmj.com/cgi/eletters/340/feb02_4/c644#230993

[4] Wakefield et al, 'Ileal-lymphoid-nodular hyperplasia, non- specific colitis, and pervasive development disorder in children, THE LANCET, Vol 351, p.637-41, February 28, 1998 637

[5] Brian Deer,'Reflections on Investigating Wakefield' Published 2 February 2010, doi:10.1136/bmj.c672

[6] Melanie Phillips, 'A deer in the headlights', The Spectator 16 February 2009, http://www.spectator.co.uk/melaniephillips/3362116/a-deer- in-the-headlights.thtml

[7] Profile: Prof Trisha Greenhalgh: Funding Received: http://myprofile.cos.com/P243302GRa

[8] James Meikle, 'Claim that MMR work mixed science and spin', Guardian 24 February 2004, http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2004/feb/24/science.sciencenews
[9] Jeremy Laurance, 'Ministers temper their triumphalism but delight spreads at Whitehall', 24 February 2004, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/ministers-temper-their- triumphalism-but-delight-spreads-at-whitehall-571091.html


[10] BBC NEWS, Top doctor wades into MMR debate', http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/3512195.stm

Competing interests: Autistic son

Twyla

Thank you for making this so easy to do!

JerseyGuy, it's not a mistake to keep making noise wherever we can.

Benedetta

I done it early this morning.
Dr. Amanda Burls sent me one right back saying she was out of her office right now and could not respond.

Yeah, sure -- other than that she would have responded. Mayb her box be blessed to the point of overload.

AussieMum

Sent!

Elizabeth Gillespie

julie

done! thanks!

MotherofPossibility

I highly recommend people attend this event and take good notes about what he says, what charts he puts up for the audience, and what questions people in the audience ask and who they are, first and last names and where they are from and what they do for a living. Also, please find the people who are sponsoring this and ask them what they are thinking... many would love to hear about this, so please publicize your findings after it is over. Thank you.

Ed.

First Do No Harm

Not Becky. More style.

First do no harm

Done! Times five - one for each recipient.

Ed.,
Did you say the patronizing lady "from Oxford" was foul and treated our letter like a big joke? Well that's none other than Becky Fisher! Brian Deer's alter ego . Good to know he's read every word of this letter so carefully.

Jersey Guy,
There's nothing to stop you from attending and asking questions if you've got airfare to the UK and £495 for a ticket to the conference. Go for it!
But saying we shouldn't object because it will be ignored is kind of a cop-out, isn't it?
Free speech doesn't apply to every venue - certainly not a private university.

Letthembegot

Done. Thank you for the letter an excellent reference doc and for collating all this stuff.

Ed.

Jersey Guy

The real point is surely that Deer is past his use-by date, it is their problem and we are pointing it out.

I would just like to mention there was a foul, patronising lady on from Oxford a few minutes ago whose big point was that there was a mispelling of "breaches" (now corrected). She really seemed to think in her super-bitch way that it was all a big joke. We are perhaps dealing with the scum de la scum.

Mark Struthers

Sadly, the Director of the Oxford 'Centre for Evidence Based Medicine' has a closed mind and eyes wide shut to any opposition to the wretched Deer. The EvidenceLive13 blog is a window on the Heneghan soul ... and it's really not a pretty sight/site.

http://www.evidencelive.org/blog/2012/35768/something-wicked-this-way-comes-new-book-reports-more-lies-about-inflammation-and-au

In my view, Dr. Carl Heneghan is a deeply unimpressive character.

PS. Other dismal 'evidence-based' luminaries at the conference will apparently include Drs Margaret McCartney and Ben Goldacre. Whoopee!

PPS. You can still get a ticket for the 2 day gig, a snip at £495 – but the £75 gala dinner is now sold out.


JerseyGuy

Believe me, I share your opinion of Brian Deer, but I think this petition would be a mistake, for two reasons. First, the organizers of the lecture will ignore it, and second, Deer will claim that his free speech rights are being violated. I think we should press for the right to (1) attend the lecture and direct some penetrating questions at Deer, and (2) having our own speakers presenting our side of the issue.

cmo

It is rather comical that the BEST THEY HAVE is Deer, Thorsen, Dr. Nancy, Dr. Offit

...and study after study... from bankrupt HMO's that state that Autism rates are about the same for those who have had 32 vaccines compared to those who have had 28.

Marie McLoughlin

To understand Deer, follow the money, simple.

C's Mom

Done!

Anne Dachel

Deer continues to take his dog and pony show on the road.
I can say it's an incredibly crude performance, having witnessed it firsthand in Oct at the University of WI--La Crosse.
http://www.ageofautism.com/2012/10/brian-deer-at-the-university-of-wi-la-crosse-an-elaborate-fraud.html

Anne Dachel, Media

michael boult

This man has caused so much delay in preventing so many children from being damaged it is disgusting, he now owns many properties all derived from payments pharmacuticals,cdc etc.,
time for the truth!

Ed.

J Vermeer

It was actually the allegations which were incompetent ie based on lack of contextual knowledge of the author.

J Vermeer

Thank you for drafting this letter for us and including all the relevant links. I have posted emails to all of the people mention above. I also changed the final sentence of third paragraph to read "allegations of incompetence" instead of incompetent allegations. My husband thought it would make more sense. I hope it results in Deer being removed as a speaker but money talks.

Seonaid

Brilliantly written thank you. And it's great to have all the relevant links gathered together here for future reference! Have emailed them.

Shawn Siegel

I'm surprised Thorsen's not scheduled too.

Jenny Allan

Done!! I added my Grandson's case as a non Lancet patient of Professor Walker Smith at the Royal Free Clinic and some more comments about the content of Deer's La Crosse lectures.

ANGUS FILES

To be followed by his book ...Autobiography Of A Liar...

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