John Walker-Smith wins case against the GMC-Wakefield next!

2012 – the year for justice!

First, the AVN won its case against the Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC) quashing the investigation and warning against our organisation by that government body.

Now, Prof John Walker-Smith has won his case against the General Medical Council (GMC) in the UK. Prof Walker-Smith was one of the 3 people ‘investigated’ by the GMC for their part in the now infamous case series on 12 children (called the Wakefield 12 by many in the media) who developed autism along with serious gut issues. Dr Wakefield, as the lead researcher for this case series, hypothesised that since many of the parents of these children had said that their conditions started after MMR vaccination, there may have been a connection between the MMR vaccine and autism which could require further investigation.

For this medical heresy, 10 of the 13 researchers were forced to recant and 3 – Dr Andrew Wakefield, Prof John Walker-Smith and Dr Simon Murch – were called before the Grand Inquisitor or, as they prefer to call the inquisition in England, the GMC. Two of the three were struck off. One, Simon Murch, was let off because he was a junior researcher.

Since Walker-Smith has now been exonerated, it is only a matter of time before Wakefield wins his case against the British Medical Journal, it’s Editor and journalist-hack Brian Deer.

On with justice, I say. And may 2012 continue as it started – with victories for truth and fairness for families.

Below is a selection of some of the reports on this court case:

Prof Walker-Smith Cleared and the Beginning of the End for Allegations Against Andrew Wakefield

JABS Press Release

Andrew Wakefield’s co-author exonerated of professional misconduct in MMR paper

MMR doctor John Walker-Smith wins High Court appeal

MMR doctor wins High Court appeal

General Medical Council response to the successful appeal of Professor John Walker-Smith

Stunning Reversal, Court Overturns Conviction of Autism/MMR Vaccine MD

MMR row: high court rules doctor should not have been struck off

MMR doctor wins battle against being struck off

English Court Exonerates MMR/Autism Doctor – UK General Medical Given Sound Thrashing

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Public Officer - Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network, Inc.
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7 Responses to John Walker-Smith wins case against the GMC-Wakefield next!

  1. As I often do, I have made a roundup of posts about both the UK high court’s ruling on Professor Walker-Smith and Brian Deer’s anti-SLAPP suit. I’ve included this post in the list, both at Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism (where the list will be static) “What the UK High Court’s Ruling on John Walker-Smith Means and Doesn’t Mean”,

    http://thinkingautismguide.blogspot.com/2012/03/what-uk-high-courts-ruling-on-john.html

    and at my own blog, I Speak of Dreams “UK High Court Quashed Rulings Against John Walker-Smith; Means NOTHING about Andrew Wakefield”

    http://lizditz.typepad.com/i_speak_of_dreams/2012/03/walker-smith-ruling-means-nothing-about-wakefield.html

    I’ll continue to update the latter post daily.

    • Thank you Liz. Unfortunately, I disagree with your conclusion. The High Court ruled that the GMC’s methodology was flawed. Therefore, their conclusion was also flawed. Walker-Smith was exonerated and reinstated as a doctor because the GMC HAD to reinstate him – because their investigation and conclusion were flawed. Therefore, to continue relying upon their conclusion is not correct. That is my reading of the case anyway – I would love to hear a legal person’s opinion on this.

    • Sue says:

      Liz – thanks for the link to the High COurt ruling – it makes fascinating reading. It is clear from the detail in the transcript that the court made a distinction between the roles of Walker-SMith (who was the admitting consultant for the children) and Wakefield (who had a purely research role). This excerpt is interesting:
      “At a press conference, which Professor Walker-Smith did not attend, convened to accompany publication, Dr. Wakefield stated publicly the view which he had previously expressed privately to Professor Walker-Smith that he could no longer support the giving of MMR vaccine. The joint view of Professor Walker-Smith and Dr. Murch, stated in a letter to Dr. Wakefield on 21st January 1998, was that it was inappropriate to emphasize the role of MMR vaccine in publicity about the paper and that they supported government policy concerning MMR until more firm evidence was available for them to see for themselves. They published a press release to coincide with publication stating their support for “present public health policy concerning MMR”. Dr. Wakefield’s statement and subsequent publicity had a predictable adverse effect upon the take up of MMR vaccine of great concern to those responsible for public health. There is now no respectable body of opinion which supports his hypothesis, that MMR vaccine and autism/enterocolitis are causally linked.”

      According to the transcript, Walker-Smith also said this: “My position as with measles, MMR and Crohn’s disease is that the link with MMR is so far unproven. It is clear that the legal involvement by nearly all the parents will have an effect on the study as they have a vested interest. I myself simply will not appear in court on this issue.
      I would have been less concerned by legal involvement if our work were complete and we had a firm view. Never before in my career have I been confronted by litigant parents of research work in progress. I think this makes our work difficult, especially publication and presentation.”

      The case appears to stand on whether Prof Walker-SMith’s intention in subjecting the children under his care to invasive tests was treatment to benefit the children, or purely for the purpose of research. The transcript states “At worst, it was an individual example of a procedure undertaken for genuine but ill-founded clinical reasons. Even that finding required the rejection of Dr. Miller’s evidence; and by itself, it could amount to no more than an error of clinical judgment, insufficient to support a finding of serious professional misconduct.” In other words (in this particular child’s case) – the tests performed may have been an error in clinical judgment but, because the intention was not proven NOT to be clinical care, the severity of the GMC’s finding was inappropriate.

      From the detail of the transcript, my reading is that Liz’s conclusion is correct.

  2. Jennifer Power says:

    “Callous Disregard’ by Dr. AJ Wakefield is available for Kindle!

  3. Ross Coe says:

    Priceless justice.

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