Money, Medicine, and Fraud: The Latest in the Wakefield Vaccine Hoax
Surely you’ve heard of the latest development in the continuing saga of Andrew Wakefield.
Although The Lancet officially withdrew Wakefield’s original 1998 paper last year, the British Medical Journal has now published evidence the good doctor didn’t just use faulty research but instead participated in outright fraud by deliberately manipulating his data.
That’s the question you might be asking yourself as you sit there with your asthma kid, thinking about midnight nebulizer treatments to open up tight airways and coughing spells so severe they bend your child in half. What could possibly possess a doctor – a doctor – to alter his “research” and use those results to target autism parents with a campaign of suspicion against the MMR vaccine? And as things turned out, all vaccines?
While we can only avoid controllable risk factors (there aren’t many) like smoking when it comes to preventing asthma development in our kids, there are a whole host of diseases we can prevent with vaccines.
And those are just the ones that popped into my head as I type this. Vaccinations are a powerful public health weapon. In the face of all the conditions we can’t yet prevent, like asthma, why would one man – one doctor – have a problem with the things we can control?
Specifically, a multimillion dollar business consisting of lawsuits and Wakefield’s own alternative vaccine.
Now, you can go read investigative reporter Brian Deer’s story (previous link) on the details into the financial side, and you should, but please also check out the excellent summary of that article and the BMJ response at Left Brain/Right Brain.
In fact, do me a favor and check out those links before you continue with this post.
Now check out all the people still defending him. The best way is through Liz Ditz’s coverage at I Speak of Dreams. Scroll about two-thirds of the way down for a list of posts and articles that continue to speak out on Wakefield’s behalf and/or suggest a vaccine/autism connection.
I’m not even sure why I’m writing this post.
I can’t convince anyone who doesn’t already agree with me. That’s obvious every time I open my keyboard to this subject, and the emails from Wakefield’s supporters start rolling in.
I’m also not sure my take on the Wakefield fraud is even needed, since better, more scientific minds than mine can pick apart the medical details in a way I can’t. Vaccination websites cover stories like this everyday and have more up-to-the-minute links than I do. Blogs like Left Brain/Right Brain have insight into the autism side of the story in a way I never will.
I think it’s a question of quantity. I feel compelled to write this not because I have new perspective to add, but in order to help push all that good information to the surface. Wading through the muck of junk science takes time, since the Internet is so very good for fast research and instant information but also, unfortunately, so very convenient for disseminating and perpetuating rumors like the vaccination ones.
To sum up, apologies to whoever wrote this following statement on Twitter first, and if you know who did then please inform so I can properly attribute it:
The only thing vaccinations cause is vaccinated children.