Jul 16, 2007

Anti-vaccine doctor in the pay of ambulance chasers

Alexander Wakefield, one of the people behind a study that linked the MMR vaccine to autism and bowel disorders, was allegedly advising lawyers whose clients believed their children had been harmed by the vaccine. In addition, Wakefield is accused of paying children attending his son's birthday party £5 for allowing him to draw blood.
It was also alleged that 11 children were subjected to a series of invasive tests, including colonoscopies, lumbar punctures, blood and urine tests and MRI scans.

This was contrary to their best clinical interests and Dr Wakefield did not have the "requisite paediatric qualifications" nor sought the right approval for the tests, the charge sheet went on.

Dr Wakefield and Prof Walker-Smith are also accused of acting "dishonestly and irresponsibly" in failing to disclose in the Lancet paper the method by which they recruited patients for inclusion in the study.

And it is alleged that a drug was administered to one child for experimental reasons.

The allegations that he took blood from children at his son's birthday party date back to prior to 20 March 1999.

Later on, he joked about the incident while giving a presentation at the Mind Institute in California, and said he intended to get samples the same way in the future, the hearing was told.
The 1998 study, which appeared in The Lancet led to a drop in the number of vaccinations even though subsequent studies have been unable to find a link between the vaccine and either autism or Crohn's disease. The paper has since been disavowed by the British medical journal--but not before causing an upswing in the number of measles cases.

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