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

The Appeal of Prof John Walker-Smith Against the United Kingdom General Medical Council (Wakefield Case) – AGE OF AUTISM

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 28:  Dr Andrew Wakef...
Image by Getty Images via @daylife

On Monday the appeal begins of Prof John Walker-Smith against the decisions of the GMC as one of the three doctors in the Wakefield case. It should be stressed that Prof Walker-Smith’s appeal is purely on his
own behalf and that Andrew Wakefield was forced to withdraw from the appeal due to cost. A third doctor, Prof Simon Murch, was permitted by the GMC to return to work on the basis that he was only Prof
Walker-Smith’s junior at the time.

A key issue at the GMC hearing was the prosecution claim that the Wakefield 1998 Lancet paper was in reality a study that had been commissioned by the UK Legal Aid Board relating to pending litigation over the MMR. The three doctors, on the other hand, contended that the projected LAB study was never performed, and that Lancet paper was “an early report” of cases seen on the basis of clinical need, as indeed it had stated. Paradoxically, the GMC panel also found the doctors to be guilty of breaching the terms of the LAB protocol in virtually every respect, instead of accepting the plausible evidence of the doctors that it was simply not the same paper. The panel found:

“The Panel has heard that ethical approval had been sought and granted for other trials and it has been specifically suggested that Project 172-96 was never undertaken and that in fact, the Lancet 12 children’s investigations were clinically indicated and the research parts of those clinically justified investigations were covered by Project 162-95. In the light of all the available evidence, the Panel rejected this proposition.”

The Appeal of Prof John Walker-Smith Against the United Kingdom General Medical Council (Wakefield Case) – AGE OF AUTISM.

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Can we see justice at last for Wakefield and Walker Smith?

The following letter was written by Jackie Fletcher of the British vaccine injury support group, JABS  (Justice, Awareness and Basic Support) to the British Medical Journal.  A shortened version was posted as a Rapid Response to the article, Wakefield Sues BMJ over MMR articles. I felt it was very important for you to be able to read the complete letter. Here’s hoping that there will be real justice for both Drs Wakefield and Walker-Smith and that Brian Deer, Fiona Godlee, the BMJ and the General Medical Council (GMC) will all be held accountable for their actions in these cases.

Starting in February, there will be an appeal against the GMC ruling by Professor John Walker Smith at the High Court in London and then a US Court appearance for Mr Deer, BMJ Editor-in-Chief Dr Godlee and the BMJ representatives to defend a libel action brought by Dr Wakefield sometime later this year (or maybe next). I trust that all claims/counter claims can be thoroughly tested with all the appropriate evidence being heard and supported by witnesses. I hope that these legal proceedings will help to expose those responsible at the highest level for one of the biggest medical scandals in history and those fighting the rearguard action to defend the MMR vaccine will be found out. The hounding of the co-authors of The Lancet paper has been a very disturbing but clever diversion which, in my opinion, was designed to distract attention from the main issue, the MMR disaster.

I just wish Mr Deer had used his considerable talents to hound the committee responsible for introducing a vaccine, brands of which had already been withdrawn in other countries for causing neurological problems. I wish Mr Deer had used his time and energy to expose the people responsible for allowing the continued use of MMR vaccines when children were reported to have suffered problems in the opening weeks of the MMR campaign back in 1988. I wish he had used his efforts to expose the inadequacies of the Government’s yellow card scheme which has been ineffective since it began. Mr Deer was informed of these points and much more but for some reason chose to investigate the one team of doctors who had raised a flag over the MMR and possible side effects.
I would like to remind/inform your readers that the problems with MMR were known about by the UK Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation at least eight months before they sanctioned its use in the UK. (1) This was way back in 1988, ten years before The Lancet case series early report was published.
From the minutes of the JCVI Working Party On The Introduction of Measles, Mumps and Rubella Vaccine (11 February 1988):
‘…5. MMR Vaccination In Canada
Members read a report of cases of mumps encephalitis which had been associated with MMR vaccine containing the URABE strain of the mumps virus. The Canadian authorities has suspended the licences of MMR vaccines containing the URABE strain but Dr Salisbury considered that the data on which the decision had been based was slender. It was agreed that North Hertfordshire would use the Jeryl-Lyn vaccine, if it was available from MSD, to obtain comparative data. A statement would be prepared in anticipation of any adverse publicity which might arise.’
The Government clearly was aware of the risks involved with the URABE containing vaccines (Pluserix and Immravax) before they were introduced and had the audacity to prepare an adverse publicity statement in readiness for what was potentially to come.
Problems with MMR vaccine began in the opening weeks/months of the new campaign starting in October 1988 as subsequently reported in the UK Daily Mail: ‘MMR killed my daughter’ 18th May 2004 (2) and the Sunday Express: ‘Were all of these children killed by the triple MMR jab? by Lucy Johnston 13/1/02 (3)

In October 1997, four months before The Lancet publication, a meeting was held with the Health Minister and the Chief Medical Officer, Principal Medical Officer and other senior officers. The Health Minister was presented with details of some 1200 children and asked to instigate a clinical investigation into their ill health or death following MMR or MR vaccinations. This was never done. Most of the children had started with symptoms within the incubation period of the vaccines; symptoms that were recognised by the vaccine manufacturers and then they developed long term problems also recognised by the vaccine manufacturers within their product information sheets. The parents had reported to JABS that no treating physician had been able to determine any alternative medical explanation for the child’s decline. Much money, time and effort has been spent on not studying these children. I think that those accusing Dr Wakefield should look long and hard at their own role in protecting government officials who indemnified vaccine manufacturers against any action for serious damage and deaths of children. That is the fraud.

This is not an MMR scare as has been widely claimed, this is, I repeat, an MMR disaster and there should be nowhere to hide for those responsible.

JABS is a UK support group for parents of vaccine damaged children.

Statement from Andrew Wakefield

Today, the GMC will issue their verdict in the case against Drs Andrew Walkefield, Simon Murch and John Walker-Smith. Dr Wakefield has issued the following statement:

Why the vaccine lobby had to silence me

A Statement from Dr Andrew Wakefield MB,BS., FRCS., FRCPath

The General Medical Council versus Dr Wakefield, Professor Walker-Smith, and Professor Murch.

In a further effort to silence my concerns over vaccine safety, the UK’s General Medical Council [GMC] will erase me
from the UK’s Medical Register on Monday May 24. My colleagues face the possibility of similar sanctions.

In reporting their findings the GMC panel sought to deny that the case against me and my colleagues is related to issues
of MMR vaccine safety and specifically, the role of this vaccine in causing autism. This is not in fact the case. Efforts to
discredit and silence me through the GMC process have provided a screen to shield the government from exposure on
the Pluserix MMR vaccine scandal.

Early in the course of the proceedings, GMC officials removed the appointed chairman Dr Kumar, a general practitioner
from Merseyside. They appointed instead Professor Angus McDevitt from Dundee who had serious conflicts of interest
in his role in the Pluserix MMR vaccine scandal. McDevitt was chosen even though he could not be considered an
impartial, independent or objective GMC panel chairman.

Pluserix MMR was introduced to the UK in October 1988 even though exactly the same vaccine supplied as “Trivirix”
had already been withdrawn as unsafe from Canada in November 1987. It was later also withdrawn from the UK on
seven days notice in September 1992 by Smith Kline Pharmaceuticals acting on legal advice. It was unsafe and caused
high levels of adverse reactions in children.

It has emerged through a government whistleblower and secret documents that the government, knowing of the
vaccine’s risks, protected the vaccine manufacturers from liability for damage. Pluserix MMR was rushed through the
licensing process without adequate safety testing. It appears to be the government that is now liable for compensation
claims from parents of Pluserix-damaged children. Freedom of Information documents confirm the first claims for legal
aid were being made by parents as early as 1991, seven years before I published in The Lancet and raised public
concerns about harm to children.

This matter, which sparked the real MMR scare in the UK – in contrast with my response to parental fears – must be
forced out into the open through a public inquiry

In 1988, McDevitt was part of a committee – the Committee on Adverse Reactions to Vaccination and Immunisation
(ARVI). It was responsible for assessing the safety of MMR prior to its introduction in the UK. The ARVI committee
failed to adequately heed warnings from Canada about the dangers of the Pluserix MMR vaccine.

McDevitt took part in ARVI meetings that discussed warnings about the dangerous Trivirix MMR vaccine, made by
Smith Kline Beecham, that was withdrawn in Canada for causing meningitis. At the same time, exactly the same
vaccine was rebranded as Pluserix and licensed in the UK. The vaccine then had to be withdrawn in a dramatic volte
face four years later when the rate of MMR-associated meningitis was found to be far higher than previously claimed.
The full extent of other serious adverse reactions is not known publicly although attempts were made to ascertain this
by Jack Ashley MP in 1992.

McDevitt was specifically brought in by the GMC to replace Kumar because of his vaccine expertise. When challenged
on McDevitt’s appointment by my lawyers, the GMC initially resisted removing him from the panel despite the fact that
he had not disclosed his obvious conflict of interest. McDevitt has also received research grants from a large number of
drug companies including manufacturers of the MMR vaccine.

Media inquiries caused the GMC sufficient embarrassment that they were forced to remove McDevitt, and re-insert
Kumar. Kumar also had undisclosed conflicts, sitting on two medicine licensing authority committees and owning
shares in GSK, manufacturers of Pluserix. Their current denial that the issue has anything to do with MMR vaccine
safety, should be viewed in the light of these facts.

My book Callous Disregard, available on Amazon.com and at Callous-Disregard.com, exposes the scandal. The book
is not currently available in the UK. Press copies are available through Skyhorse Publishing, NY.
Skyhorsepublshing.com Tel: 001 212 6436816 ext 236

Dr. Andrew Wakefield and the Distasteful Practice of the Ignorant “Pile On”

It is not often that I will publish an entire article from another source on this blog, but I felt that this article and the open letter that follows it were so important, they needed to be read and distributed as widely as possible. These pieces come from the excellent blog by Louise Kuo-Habakus of LifeHealth Choices. Louise is a tireless health advocate who has done amazing work in the United States – especially in the State of New Jersey – the home of just about every single multi-national pharmaceutical company out there and victim of some of the most repressive vaccination legislation around. I hope that those  of you who live in the US will appreciate the work done by volunteers like Louise and will support them with your donations and hands-on help.

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I have been watching and listening to the media circus following the vilification of Dr. Andrew Wakefield with great interest and sadness. I pray that people will rise above our sound bite world to understand that there is a tremendous amount at stake and we all better be paying careful attention.

WAKEFIELD’S LANCET PAPER

Here’s what you need to know. In February 1998, a paper entitled Ileal-lymphoid-nodular-hyperplasia, non-specific colitis, and pervasive developmental disorder was submitted by thirteen medical researchers to the Lancet, a British medical journal, observing the presence of a novel form of inflammatory bowel disease in twelve children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. All children received the combination measles, mumps and rubella vaccine and onset behavioral symptoms were noted after receipt of the triple jab in 8 of the 12 children. The paper recommended further inquiry and explicitly stated no proof of causation between vaccination and autism. That’s it. There is nothing in the paper that could lead anyone to state that the authors intended to wage war against the wisdom of vaccination in general or the MMR vaccine specifically.

PARENTS ARE DESPERATELY CONCERNED ABOUT VACCINES

There can be no doubt that the paper struck a chord among parents worldwide, already consumed with anxiety about the dramatic increase in very ill children diagnosed with autism, and the more important fact that our medical establishment and public health officials still have no idea why. The degree of parental concern is not unreasonable. Governments and doctors employ a variety of ways to urge and compel us to vaccinate. The trend has been to give more shots and earlier. In the U.S., we now start on day of birth. With the present addition of the H1N1 swine flu vaccine and a double dose for children under ten, fully 89 doses of 17 different vaccines are currently recommended to age 18. Increasingly, people are questioning whether all these shots are such a good idea.

WHAT HAPPENED?

There can be no doubt that the paper also struck a chord within the medical establishment.  Many parents stopped vaccinating and the government was hopping mad.

The Lancet paper merely offered an organized and methodical framework to view data on twelve children. It also recommended we do more science. What parents chose to do with this information is a separate issue.  That many stopped vaccinating to await the outcome of further scientific inquiry can be regarded as a public health failing, not the fault of one medical journal article about the experiences of twelve children.  What has subsequently unfolded is a systematic, chilling and deeply unfortunate process to blame the authors of the paper for reduced vaccination uptake.

Ten of the authors retracted their support. This happened six years later, in 2004, and is entirely understandable. Who could blame them? Their reputations, credentials and livelihood were at stake. Remarkably, however, the first author, Andrew Wakefield, would not retract. What has ensued, culminating in the General Medical Council’s recent decision to censure Wakefield, is a very public smackdown. The purpose is to send an unambiguous message to other researchers who might dare possess a similar degree of arrogance and continue their scientific inquiry into the causes of a disorder affecting a great number of very sick children.

UNLIKE BRITONS, ALL AMERICANS DO NOT HAVE CHOICE

It is also instructive how the media has seized, indeed lunged at the opportunity to draw applicability of the Wakefield example in our country, while failing to highlight a salient difference. Britons enjoy the privilege of vaccination choice. They cannot be compelled by the government to vaccinate for any reason, including a requirement for school admission or employment. Over half of Americans, in thirty-two states, do not have vaccination choice. If we are so keen to compare ourselves to our friends across the pond, perhaps we should start by looking at the reasons why they have choice and we do not.

THE MEDICAL “PILE-ON”

Doctors have wasted no time in pillorying one of their own. Overnight, Andrew Wakefield has become the poster child for irresponsible and unethical medicine. I find the medical “pile-on” reprehensible. And I urge doctors who care about their profession to take heed. Please consider the following an open letter to all professionals who take the extraordinary step to label anyone concerned about vaccines: anti-vaccine, vaccine deniers, irresponsible, and societal parasites. Our nation must find the way to engage in a responsible and respectful dialogue about vaccines. In my opinion, the failure to do so will irrevocably damage public confidence in government, medicine and industry.

Two and a Half Years on and still no Verdict

It is time for the GMC to prove that they are not a kangaroo court. That they are not just out to cover up the fact that Wakefield has not done anything wrong nor has Murch or Walker-Smith. The GMC’s biggest problem appears to be – if they come out and tell the truth, the witch hunting of these three doctors will have to stop and the blame for the years of stress suffered by these men, their families and the families of autistic children everywhere will have to be laid right where it belongs – with the Ministry of Health, the UK Government, the Times and their ‘front man’, journalist Brian Deer who started the ball rolling but has not accepted any responsibility for the harm he has caused.

After all, the more than 1 million pounds which has been spent so far trying to crucify these caring doctors could go a long way towards researching why children are becoming autistic. The GMC needs to justify that expense and the time they have wasted.

But instead, we get articles like this which appear to be yet one more ignorant ‘trial by media’ piece.

It says, “Since the Lancet printed Dr Wakefield’s paper in February 1998, a series of epidemiological studies has failed to find any evidence of a link between MMR and autism”. The average layperson reading this may not be used to scientific terminology and may not understand the difference between epidemiology (the study of disease at the population level) and clinical science (actual studies in individuals across a spectrum of the population). This difference is critical to understanding that a lack of epidemiological evidence means nothing since epidemiology could be useless at picking up this sort of information.

A lack of epidemiological evidence does not mean a lack of evidence and the fact that the journalist in this piece made that distinction indicates that they could have and should have known this. There is a great deal of clinical evidence showing that vaccines can be implicated in the development of regressive autism – the form that is growing in epidemic proportions.

And while it may be true that epidemiological studies have not shown this connection, there are literally dozens of good, peer-reviewed clinical studies (and Wakefield’s initial study was a clinical trial – much more science involved there) that have come out since the 1998 study by Wakefield that have not only verified his initial hypothesis – they have expanded on it.

Two and a half years on and still no verdict on MMR scare – Health News, Health & Families – The Independent

The GMC’s case against Andrew Wakefield has cost over £1m – so far. Jeremy Laurance, health editor, reports

Andrew Wakefield, the doctor who sparked the biggest health scare of the decade over the safety of measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine, has broken a second record.

The hearing into the disciplinary case against him brought by the General Medical Council has become the longest and most complex in the organisation’s 148-year history with costs well in excess of £1m.

Preliminary verdicts on the “facts” of the case are expected this month, more than two-and-a-half years after the case began in July 2007. Hearings were initially scheduled for 64 days and the case was expected to conclude by November 2007.

Instead, it has run for 166 days so far (up to 19 November). The panel sat for an undisclosed number of days in December and a further 19 days of hearings have been scheduled during January. Extra dates have been set aside from April to June 2010, if required.