Monday, May 24, 2010

Celebrity Medicine and Autism

Credulous parents, celebrity appeals and bogus research are a damaging combination, leading to a rise in diseases thought essentially eradicated by vaccination. (Even in affluent areas like New Trier among the hippie happy). Reuters:
A doctor whose claims of links between vaccination and autism triggered a scientific storm before being widely discredited was struck off Britain's medical register on Monday for professional misconduct.

Dr Andrew Wakefield's 1998 study led many parents to refuse to have their children vaccinated with the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) shot and has been blamed for a big rise in measles cases in the United States and parts of Europe in recent years.

A disciplinary panel of the General Medical Council (GMC) found that Wakefield had acted in a "dishonest," "misleading" and "irresponsible" way during his research.

He's still able to practice here in the U.S., however, in tandem with the trial lawyers and our celebrity MSM, ginning up more victims and cash. Clearly he's a real gem:

Wakefield and colleagues published a study in the medical journal Lancet in 1998 alleging a link between autism and the vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella.

At the time, Wakefield was working as a gastroenterologist at London's Royal Free Hospital and did not have the ethical approval to conduct the study. He had also been paid to advise lawyers representing parents who believed their children had been hurt by the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine.

Ten of the study's authors later renounced its conclusions and it was retracted by the Lancet in February.

In 2005, Wakefield founded a nonprofit autism center in Austin, Texas, but quit earlier this year.

In January, Britain's medical council ruled that Wakefield and two other doctors acted unethically and showed a "callous disregard" for the children in their study. The medical body said Wakefield took blood samples from children at his son's birthday party, paying them 5 pounds (today worth $7.20) each and later joked about the incident.

His study came out 12 years ago and his misconduct and faulty research are only being fully repudiated now.

I know it's a lot to ask from the Today shows and Katie Courics, but perhaps we could get back to some hard news, hard science, and real medicine.

Because real lives are at stake, those who may contract diseases that can blind or kill, and families with autistic children nurturing bitterness rather than working on positive approaches.

And can we apply this lesson to the climate change hysteria?

1 comment:

Tim said...

I am a conservative business owner. IMHO only reason Health Care Reform passed was back room secret deals with the pharmaceutical industry. Being conservative is taking responsibility for ones action not hiding behind the skirt of government. If the pharmaceutical Medical Mainstream have nothing to hide participate in the free legal system. Unbiased Autism Vaccine Environmental research has not been done. TannersDad Tim