Dr. Andrew Wakefield's MMR studies are unethical

The doctor who first suggested a link between MMR vaccinations and autism acted unethically, the official medical regulator has found.

via BBC News – MMR scare doctor ‘acted unethically’, panel finds.

Wakefield’s studies have been discredited repeatedly, but the anti-vax crowd still hangs on to this fear. It was just reported today that a baby in Long Island has the measles. The measles, a potentially deadly disease, is only making a comeback as a direct result of the scaremongering that followed Dr. Andrew Wakefield’s studies.

The panel said Dr Wakefield, who was working at London’s Royal Free Hospital as a gastroenterologist at the time, did not have the ethical approval or relevant qualifications for such tests.

The GMC also took exception with the way he gathered blood samples. Dr Wakefield paid children £5 for the samples at his son’s birthday party.

Dr Kumar said he had acted with “callous disregard for the distress and pain the children might suffer”.

He also said Dr Wakefield should have disclosed the fact that he had been paid to advise solicitors acting for parents who believed their children had been harmed by the MMR.

via BBC News – MMR scare doctor ‘acted unethically’, panel finds.

How many more committees, physicians or studies have to come out against not only the theory that the MMR vaccine causes autism, but that Dr. Wakefield screwed up before parents will pay attention and vaccinate their kids? Protecting children too young to get vaccinated and adults with immune system disorders and underlying health conditions by sustaining the herd immunity is crucial to avoid unnecessary disease or untimely death. Continuing to act on the lies of an unqualified, morally questionable doctor to the detriment of your community  –  that’s also unethical.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Health, Parenting, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Dr. Andrew Wakefield's MMR studies are unethical

  1. Alex Hazell says:

    “How many more committees, physicians or studies have to come out against not only the theory that the MMR vaccine causes autism, but that Dr. Wakefield screwed up before parents will pay attention and vaccinate their kids?”

    Absolutely, that should now be the focus of this story. I work at Sense, the charity for deafblind people and we work with families still living with the effects of previous rubella outbreaks. You can read our full response to this story on our website: http://bit.ly/dARXbU

  2. lizditz says:

    Will the GMC decision be enough to break the back of the anti-vaccination fad? I hope so, but I’m not holding my breath — there seems to be a determined resistance to rationality and evidence, especially in the online communities like Mothering.com.

    Here’s a set of facts (from a pdf called “Too Many Vaccines”, available from http://www.chop.edu/service/vaccine-education-center/home.html)

    “Thirty years ago, children received seven vaccines, which protected against measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and polio. The total number of bacterial and viral proteins contained in these seven vaccines was a little more than 3,000.

    Today, children receive 14 different vaccines, but the total number of immunological components in these vaccines is only about 150. This dramatic reduction is the result of scientific advances that have allowed for purer, safer vaccines. ”

    Are vaccines perfect? Not by a long shot. But they are safer than the diseases they prevent.

    Here is what I object to about Wakefield (and Thoughtful House, Age of Autism, Generation Rescue, and even Autism Speaks). Their focus on “a cure for autism” sucks up the time and money that should be going to

    * Increasing support for families who have one or more members with autism
    * Increasing educational opportunities for people with autism — safe, welcoming, and effective educational opportunities
    * Increasing opportunities for dignified, meaningful employment for people with autism
    * Increasing safe and dignified living arrangements for those with autism who cannot manage independent living.

    I sometimes write a post that collates blog responses, both positive and negative, to a given issue.

    I’m keeping one now on responses to the GMC’s ruling on Andrew Wakefield’s conduct.

    I’ve added your blog to the list.

    The post is at

    http://lizditz.typepad.com/i_speak_of_dreams/2010/01/andrew-wakefield-dishonesty-misleading-conduct-and-serious-professional-misconduct.html

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s