For some reason, Newsweek decided to ask the discredited researcher Andrew Wakefield for his views in the wake of a measles outbreak. To be fair, they’ve done their research and they do present the important facts (for example the retraction of his fraudulent paper). But: we all know what he’ll say (the same as he did last time there was an outbreak) and we all know how much weight we can give the word of a man who’s chiefly known for his misconduct. Read the rest of this entry »
Anti-vaccinationists have made a wide range of claims about the dangers of vaccines. In spite of the fact that they have generally had neither data nor a plausible mechanism for the claimed effect, several of their claims have been investigated by researchers.
As it turns out, the anti-vaccinationists are remarkably consistent. Time and time again, they are shown to be wrong. I’m not sure how many times a group needs to be wrong before people stop seeing them as credible. Perhaps people need to be reminded of how many times this group has been wrong? Read the rest of this entry »
It has been reported that Andrew Wakefield’s case against Fiona Godlee, Brian Deer and the BMJ has been thrown out. The Statesman has this: “In a one-paragraph order, Travis County District Judge Amy Clark Meachum said Texas courts don’t have jurisdiction over the parties Wakefield sued. She tossed out the case.” Read the rest of this entry »
A guest blog post from a UK Doctor
New revelations and implications about Andrew Wakefield’s research work.
For anyone who doesn’t know about the ramifications of the Andrew Wakefield saga, here is a brief recap. In 1998 he published a paper in the Lancet journal along with 11 colleagues, detailing bowel changes found in a sequence of children supposedly consecutively referred to his department of Gastroenterology at the Royal Free Hospital in London. The suggestion was that these children’s parents had noticed behavioural or gastrointestinal abnormalities within a very short interval following MMR vaccination. The inference drawn was that MMR might damage the bowel, leading to neurological changes of autism. In a press conference called after the paper was published, Wakefield expressed no faith in the MMR vaccine, and called for single measles vaccines to be used as an alternative. Read the rest of this entry »
Andrew Wakefield and the British media created a baseless scare around the MMR vaccine. They’ve since moved on. Wakefield’s paper has been retracted by the Lancet (and referred to by the BMJ as “fraudulent“), and he has been struck off by the GMC. Wakefield now appears to be promoting a Facebook page collating anecdotes from parents worried that vaccination may have had adverse effects on their children. Read the rest of this entry »
The BMJ has published a strongly-worded editorial on Andrew Wakefield and his claims regarding the MMR vaccine. I was a little surprised to see that the headline ran “Wakefield’s article linking MMR vaccine and autism was fraudulent“. The use of this particular ‘f-word’ is quite rare in articles published in England, perhaps due to the nature of libel law in this country. Read the rest of this entry »
I find it odd, and on occasion a little unsettling, to see instances of people or ideas being subject to criticism for what appear to me to be the wrong reasons. I think some of the criticism of Andrew Wakefield and Gillian McKeith falls into this bracket. Read the rest of this entry »
Guest blogpost from Peter Flegg, UK doctor.
A company called Rodial have threatened a doctor with a lawsuit after she raised doubts about a “boob job cream”. While Rodial’s lawyers letter states that Rodial would have provided information on “clinical assessment and product ingredients” on request, they failed to do so when contacted by Ben Goldacre. Read the rest of this entry »
Where to begin… well, I guess I’ll need to split this post up into sections. I’ll look at specific groups first, then move onto examples of vaccine scares. Read the rest of this entry »