Without evidence of benefit, an intervention should not be presumed to be beneficial or safe.

- Rogue Medic

Andrew Wakefield – No longer a doctor

Andrew Wakefield will not be permitted to practice medicine in the UK any more.

Andrew Wakefield has never has been allowed to practice medicine in the US. There may be a similarity to Thalidomide never receiving approval to be used in the US.

How many children have been permanently disabled because of the fraud of Wakefield?

How many children have died because of the fraud of Wakefield?

While anti-vaccinationists claim that this is some sort of global conspiracy, the reality is much more simple. Andrew Wakefield was caught taking hundreds of thousands of pounds from lawyers to create evidence that would help the lawyers to sue vaccine companies for billions of pounds.

Andrew Wakefield’s defense?

He claims that his research – research that nobody else has been able to reproduce – is legitimate. When research cannot be reproduced there are two possibilities. Researcher error and researcher fraud.

The interpretation that is favorable to Andrew Wakefield is that he is just incompetent, since he is not able to recognize where he screwed up. The interpretation that is unfavorable is that he intentionally lied.

The other claim of Andrew Wakefield is that the amount of money he took, under the table from the lawyers, was not as much as has been reported. In other words, Andrew Wakefield is not a high priced liar, just a cut rate liar.

Anti-vaccinationists claim that this is some sort of multinational conspiracy. This is a conspiracy, but a much simpler conspiracy involving Andrew Wakefield and a bunch of lawyers.

Andrew Wakefield has also mistreated the children who were his research subjects. The anti-vaccination mob claims that this is acceptable, since he is trying to make vaccines appear dangerous.

But is he trying to make vaccines look dangerous?

No. He is only trying to sell his own measles vaccine. Andrew Wakefield’s vaccine would not sell unless he scared people about the MMR (Measles Mumps Rubella) vaccine. Andrew Wakefield did scare people about the MMR vaccine.

Vaccination rates dropped.

Measles rates climbed.

Children died.

Anti-vaccinationists were happy.

When vaccination began, there were all sorts of scare stories about vaccines. Since vaccination refers to the cowpox, the claim was that vaccines would turn us into cows. Now the claim is that vaccination will make you autistic.

So far there is no evidence to suggest that vaccination has ever turned anyone into a cow – not even a little bit.

What about autism?

The claim about autism depends on what country you are in. If you are in Nigeria, the claims are that vaccination will decrease fertility, cause AIDS, and cause cancer. The evidence? There is none. These beliefs are cultural.

What about autism?

The claim that vaccination causes autism has been thoroughly studied. Each new claim by anti-vaccinationists is examined. Each claim is shown to have no basis.

Does that stop the anti-vaccinationists?

No. These beliefs are also cultural. The people who believe that vaccines cause infertility, or that vaccines cause AIDS, or that vaccines cause cancer, or that vaccines cause autism, or even that vaccines cause you to turn into a cow, are not going to respond to scientific evidence. They respond to emotion.

They feel that these problems are caused by vaccines. That is all the evidence they need. Unfortunately, this results in delays in eradication of vaccine-preventable illnesses. This means that more children need to be vaccinated before the illnesses become eradicated. The irony is that anti-vaccinationists prolong the need for vaccination. Anti-vaccinationists also rely on others vaccinating to protect anti-vaccinationists from illness.

It is surprising that anti-vaccinationists exhibit contradictory behavior.

No. Anti-vaccinationists do not behave rationally, so their behavior is not expected to follow any logical pattern. Their behavior is based on emotion. Emotion has nothing to do with facts, or with behaving consistently, or with behaving rationally.

Andrew Wakefield lied.

Andrew Wakefield was paid a lot of money to lie.

Andrew Wakefield mistreated the children he used as research subjects.

Andrew Wakefield was trying to sell a vaccine to compete with the vaccine he was telling lies about.

Real doctors have recognized this fraud and had Andrew Wakefield’s fraudulent research retracted.

Real doctors have recognized this fraud and had Andrew Wakefield’s medical license revoked.


Ignorance and Misunderstanding Science

An interesting way to look at the evaluation of science is presented in last night’s Frontline episode Vaccine Wars.

One of the ways that misinformation is spread about science is mentioned by Dr. Paul Offit. Dr. Offit is portrayed by the anti-vaccinationists as corrupt, because he made a lot of money creating a vaccine for an illness that kills hundreds of thousands of lives of children each year.[1] Almost all of the children, who will have their lives saved by this vaccine, live in other countries. The opponents of vaccines will tell you that they do not care about children dying in other countries. They are only interested in creating suspicion and fear about the health of children in this country.

The anti-vaccinationists defend Dr. Andrew Wakefield. What did Andrew Wakefield do? He took hundreds of thousands of pounds from lawyers to create a study to make it look like the MMR (Measles/Mumps/Rubella) vaccine causes autism. Nobody has been able to scientifically reproduce this study. An important parts of the scientific method is that research must be capable of being reproduced. Research that cannot be reproduced is flawed. Flawed is the polite way scientists have of saying BS.

The General Medical Council ruled he (Andrew Wakefield) had acted “dishonestly and irresponsibly” in doing his research.[2]

Do the anti-vaccinationists criticize Andrew Wakefield for creating a fake scare about the MMR vaccine?

Do the anti-vaccinationists criticize Andrew Wakefield for selling out to a bunch of lawyers, who are only looking for a multi-million pound settlement?

Do the anti-vaccinationists realize there is a problem when Andrew Wakefield is forced out of his job at Thoughtful House, an autism advocacy organization?[3]

Do the anti-vaccinationists realize there is a problem when another of Andrew Wakefield’s research papers is retracted as bad science – so bad that it is unfit for publication?[3]

No. The anti-vaccinationists defend Andrew Wakefield.[4] Barbara Loe Fisher is the head of the National Vaccine Information Center and claims to be “dedicated to preventing vaccine injuries and deaths through public education and defending the informed consent ethic.”[5] Informed consent is important. Informed consent requires that we provide accurate information about the risks and benefits of any medical decision. Barbara Loe Fisher acts as if screaming, Evil! Evil! Evil! at every opportunity is providing informed consent. She is misinformed. Those who listen to her are also misinformed. To be fair, Barbara Loe Fisher is most accurately described as a liar.

Frontline describes Barbara Loe Fisher as vaccine watchdog. This is an interesting choice of words. She is a watchdog in the way that a dog trained to kill anything that moves is a watchdog. Her goal appears to be the elimination of vaccines. Maybe they would describe Timothy McVeigh as a government watchdog. McVeigh’s death toll is likely to be much lower than Barbara Loe Fisher’s. How many children will die because of Barbara Loe Fisher’s lies?

Several months ago, Barbara Loe Fisher sued Dr. Paul Offit for libel for comments he made to a reporter. Barbara Loe Fisher also sued the reporter and sued the periodical. This is the part she sued about –

“Scientists, bound only by reason, are society’s true anarchists,” he has written — and he clearly sees himself as one. “Kaflooey theories” make him crazy, especially if they catch on. Fisher, who has long been the media’s go-to interview for what some in the autism arena call “parents rights,” makes him particularly nuts, as in “You just want to scream.” The reason? “She lies,” he says flatly.[6]

Dr. Offit writes a lot about vaccination and the anti-vaccine/pro-disease movement. In order to try to stop Dr. Offit, dishonest people will resort to law suits, just as the BCA (British chiropractic Association) did when Simon Singh pointed out that the BCA was telling lies. Simon Singh was telling the truth, while the BCA was trying to silence him with a libel charge. That did not work. The result was that there was much more exposure of the lies of the BCA.

Barbara Loe Fisher had her case dismissed.[6] I guess it is not libel to call Barbara Loe Fisher a liar. Maybe it is just accurate.

It is interesting that Barbara Loe Fisher started her misinformation warehouse based on the pertussis vaccine scare. When Andrew Wakefield’s Lancet paper was published, there was no scientific basis for the panic, but the media jumped all over it. The media have been encouraged to scare people by public menaces, such as Barbara Loe Fisher. Her business model is to sell fear and books, based on the thoroughly debunked autism/vaccine fraud. Barbara Loe Fisher is a liar. She will encourage you to endanger your child, but she does not present any legitimate reason to avoid vaccines. She lied about the pertussis vaccine. She lies about all vaccines.

Here is what was written comparing the original fraudulent Wakefield vaccine scare paper to the scare over the pertussis vaccine. This was before the abundant research that has made it clear that there is no vaccine/autism link. Even then, the scientists realized that this was nonsense. The anti-vaccinationists haven’t figured it out, yet.

The experience with pertussis in the 1970s was also based on anecdotal case reports linking pertussis vaccination with infant brain damage.9 Again a temporal link between a vaccine and a devastating childhood condition whose natural peak onset was at the very time when most children received that vaccine was misinterpreted as a causal relation. A national study eventually showed that, while there was a temporal association with encephalopathy, any risk of lasting damage was so rare as to be unquantifiable.10 But the initial report, then as now, attracted media attention; parental and professional anxiety soared; and national immunisation rates fell from 80% to 30%. The number of susceptible children rose, and in the 12 years after 1976 three major pertussis epidemics accounted nationally for over 300000 notifications and at least 70 deaths. The suffering of families experiencing long miserable illnesses was considerable, and in some cases long term damage ensued. Some parents came to believe that an immunisation they had approved had damaged their child.[7]

Jenny McCarthy has said that we need to bring back the diseases that are prevented by vaccines.[8] Jenny McCarthy believes that the vaccines are more dangerous than these diseases that kill millions

Dr. Offit does research on vaccines and talks to people about vaccines – they threaten to kill him.[9] All of the research supports Dr. Offit. His is the rational approach.

The discredited Andrew Wakefield is defended by those, who want us to ignore the research. Since the research continues to show the same thing – vaccines are safe – they lie. Their’s is the irrational approach.

Even the courts have ruled that there is no evidence of any link between autism and vaccines.[10]

Apparently, the anti-vaccinationists are facing the worst kind of conspiracy. A conspiracy that will not stop. A conspiracy of truth.


^ 1 Rotavirus vaccine

^ 2 MMR scare doctor ‘acted unethically’, panel finds
By Nick Triggle
Page last updated at 17:35 GMT, Thursday, 28 January 2010
BBC News

^ 3 Andrew Wakefield: Destined for even more disrepute
Respectful Insolence

^ 4 Dr. Andrew Wakefield and his compelling courage, as recounted by Barbara Loe Fisher
Natural Health strategies

^ 5 Barbara Loe Fisher

^ 6 Barbara Loe Fisher’s lawsuit against Paul Offit dismissed
Left Brain/Right Brain – Autism Blog

^ 7 MMR vaccination and autism 1998.
Nicoll A, Elliman D, Ross E.
BMJ. 1998 Mar 7;316(7133):715-6. No abstract available. Erratum in: BMJ 1998 Mar 14;316(7134):796.
PMID: 9529392 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Free Full Text                 Free PDF

^ 8 Jenny McCarthy on Autism and Vaccines
By Jeffrey Kluger
Wednesday, Apr. 01, 2009
Time Magazine

^ 9 Stomping Through A Medical Minefield
The author of a new book about autism says exactly what he thinks about vaccines and other hot topics.

By Claudia Kalb
Published Oct 25, 2008

^ 10 2010: Another bad year for the anti-vaccine movement, as the Special Masters rule
Respectful Insolence


The Twisted Mind of Andrew Wakefield

An interesting and very brief post at Black Triangle. It is so brief that I cannot take just a sample, but include the whole post. He has other interesting posts that are worth reading.

The upside of infection

How Wakefield spoke at an US anti-vaccine conference in the early 2000s (transcribed from audiotape sample no longer on web).

the upside of infection, yes the upside of infection, we are survivors of infection, we are here not in spite of infection, but because of infection. Our immune system has been conditioned over millions and millions of years by infection, and if we alter the way in which infection is delivered to our systems we must expect that by changing the ecosystem, there will be a downside, there will be attrition, we will render some children damaged.

That was the whole post.

Andrew Wakefield appears to have an interesting interpretation of evolution.

If we have survived thrived because of an improved intelligence, then we should ignore that and try to survive on the merits of a less capable naturally acquired immunity. Another way of describing natural immunity is those who do not die from an illness that confers immunity.

If we accept that logic, maybe we should stop wearing clothing. . . . we must expect that by changing the ecosystem, there will be a downside, there will be attrition, we will render some children damaged.

If we accept that logic, maybe we should stop taking medicine. . . . we must expect that by changing the ecosystem, there will be a downside, there will be attrition, we will render some children damaged.

If we accept that logic, maybe we should stop using technology. . . . we must expect that by changing the ecosystem, there will be a downside, there will be attrition, we will render some children damaged.

If we accept that logic, maybe we should stop using research. . . . we must expect that by changing the ecosystem, there will be a downside, there will be attrition, we will render some children damaged.

If we accept that logic, maybe we should stop using money. What? I must be taking this logic thing a bit too far. Andrew Wakefield would never give up those things he feels he has a natural right to – or maybe that he earned with his dishonesty and irresponsibility.

An alternative is to understand that the reason we appear to be the dominant species on the planet. We use our intelligence to modify our environments.

We wear clothing that allows us to live almost anywhere we desire. Does clothing work against evolution? That depends on whether we think that intelligence is evolutionary.

We take medicine that allows us to live longer, healthier lives than would be possible without medicine. Does medicine work against evolution? That depends on whether we think that intelligence is evolutionary.

We use technology that also allows us to live longer, healthier lives. Does technology work against evolution? That also depends on whether we think that intelligence is evolutionary.

We also use research that allows us to live longer, healthier lives. Does research work against evolution? That similarly depends on whether we think that intelligence is evolutionary.

Certainly arguments can be made that individuals, or even groups of people should not survive, because they pass on genes that decrease the likelihood of the species surviving. Yet, with our intelligence, we make it possible for them to pass on their genes. We defeat evolution.

However, the same could be said for just about any other evolutionary change. There is advantage and disadvantage. What evolution does is select for changes that overall increase the chances of survival of the species in that particular environment. Individuals, or even small groups, do not prevent that.

If we believe that research is contrary to the survival of humans, then maybe we should make Andrew Wakefield do some honest physical labor, instead of taking advantage of his evolutionary superiors.

If we believe that taking care of our fellow human beings is an evolutionary flaw, then we agree with Andrew Wakefield. Screw the kids! It’s their own fault they died. Protecting children is wrong.

I do not agree with Andrew Wakefield.

I think that intelligence is important.


Andrew Wakefield and Cognitive Dissonance.

He made up a syndrome.

He performed unnecessary and risky medical procedures on children.

He received hundreds of thousands of pounds from lawyers for a study to look for that imaginary syndrome, because the imaginary syndrome could make the lawyers a lot of money.

He was horribly incompetent in his research methods.

He lied about what he did.

He sued Brian Deer, the investigative reporter who uncovered most of the fraud. He had to withdraw the law suit and pay the expenses of Brian Deer.

In 2004, when they became aware of the fraud, 10 of the 13 authors of the study had their names removed from that study.

On January 28, 2010, a little over a week ago, The General Medical Council released its verdict.

The Fitness to Practise Panel has heard this case under The General Medical Council Preliminary Proceedings Committee and Professional Conduct Committee (Procedure) Rules Order of Council 1988. It has considered which, if any of the facts not admitted by Dr Andrew Wakefield, Professor John Walker-Smith and Dr (now Professor) Simon Murch have been found proved and then went on to consider whether such facts found proved together with those admitted, would be insufficient to support a finding of serious professional misconduct.[1]

The Panel has accepted in full the advice of the Legal Assessor as to the approach to be taken. The three doctors have nothing to prove, the burden of proof is on the GMC throughout. If the Panel were not sure beyond reasonable doubt, the sub-head of charge was found not proved in favour of the doctor, in accordance with the criminal, as opposed to the civil, standard of proof.[1]

A lot of findings of Admitted and found proved.

A lot of findings of Found proved.

The occasional finding of Found not proved.

A lot of irresponsible – Found proved.

A lot of dishonest – Found proved.

Some crazy people are still defending Andrew Wakefield.

You would have to be crazy to defend that fraud.

Or dishonest and irresponsible.

These people have convinced themselves that vaccines cause autism, even though research has repeatedly shown no connection.

So, in order to protect themselves from having to admit that they endangered their children and other children, they need to defend this, even though Andrew Wakefield has admitted some of the fraud and a court has determined that he is guilty of a lot more.

When people should admit that they made a mistake, some will actually become even more defensive of their clearly mistaken position.

A clear case of cognitive dissonance.[2]

If you wish to read about the research that has been done on autism and vaccines, there are scores of studies.[3] Studies paid for by many different organizations – governments, universities, non-profit groups, and even drug companies. They don’t find any connection between vaccines and autism.

Andrew Wakefield was receiving hundreds of thousands of pounds from lawyers to show a connection. Is it surprising that he did?

Andrew Wakefield was working on a vaccine to compete with the MMR vaccine, so he has another reason he might benefit financially from making false accusations about the MMR.

Andrew Wakefield has shown that he is willing to subject children to risky procedures for no benefit to the children, as long as he makes his money.

There has been a lot written by others on the topic. In the comments the anti-vaccinationists will try all sorts of misleading approaches. Some will claim that they are not anti-vaccinationists, but that they only want safe vaccines.

Vaccines are safe.

How much safer could vaccines be?

There are a some examples in response to Dear Jenny McCarthy . . . at A Day In The Life Of An Ambulance Driver. Another is at Asshole doctor responsible for false MMR/autism claim gets his at Cranky Epistles.

In The martyrdom of St. Andy at Respectful Insolence, there is far more detail about the dishonest and irresponsible conspiracy to link autism and vaccines. A listing of a lot of posts on this topic, even some defending the fraud, can be found in On The Lancet’s Retraction of Wakefield’s 1998 Paper Alleging A Connection Between the MMR Vaccine and Autism at I Speak of Dreams.

The unfortunate thing is that Andrew Wakefield is still making over a quarter of a million dollars a year to spread his lies for Thoughtful House, an anti-vaccination organization in Texas. When it comes to Andrew Wakefield, follow the money – he does. He came to the US, but he is not a doctor in the US.

If you know of Andrew Wakefield pretending to be a doctor, call the police.

And vaccinate your children for their sake.

More information is available at Brian Deer’s website.


^ 1 Fitness to Practice Panel Hearing
UK General Medical Council
January 28, 2010
Free Full Text

^ 2 Cognitive dissonance

^ 3 Vaccines and Autism
Science-Based Medicine


March of Dimes and Jennifer Lopez Encourage Adult Vaccination for Pertussis

The second video starts out with no sound for 22 seconds, just a title card – Clinical Examples of Pertussis. However, once it gets started, it gives several examples of whooping cough, for those who may not be familiar with whooping cough. Expect to see more children like this, because compromised airways are what the anti-vaccine mob wants for our children.

Jenny McCarthy – an ignorant mother just knows that respiratory distress is what’s best for a child.

Coughing fits are sometimes followed by vomiting, which can lead to malnutrition. Fits can occur on their own or can be triggered by yawning, stretching, laughing, eating or yelling; they usually occur in groups, with multiple episodes every hour around the clock. This stage lasts two to eight weeks, or sometimes longer. A gradual transition then occurs to the convalescent stage, which usually lasts one to two weeks. Common complications of the disease include pneumonia, encephalopathy, earache, or seizures. Infection in newborns is particularly severe, with a death risk of up to 3%, often caused by severe pulmonary hypertension.[3][1]

Below is a link to the first video and other information on pertussis. This is a video that has been around since April, but I only just saw it. Unfortunately, it starts playing as soon as the page opens.

sounds of pertussis

This is a one minute video with Jennifer Lopez talking about the importance of adult vaccination for pertussis. This is a video from Sanofi-Pasteur and the March of Dimes. The March of Dimes was instrumental in eliminating the need for us to worry about polio. Sorry, Jenny.

Due to Jenny McCarthy and other anti-science pro-disease endanger your child so we can sell T-shirts, books, and supplements people, this deadly disease is making a comeback.

I am seeing children with diseases that should have been eradicated, but the disease peddlers are playing God with the lives of our children.

Watch the video of the children trying to breathe. This is preventable by vaccinating our children, but there are people trying to get us to bring this disease back. They are succeeding. They claim that they know what is best for our children.

What should you do to somebody who made it so that your child can barely breathe?

Buy their book?

Take their advice?

March to help them do this to other children?

The behavior of Jenny McCarthy, Dr. Jay Gordon, Andrew Wakefield, et cetera is contemptible. Do not listen to these child abusers. Do not encourage these child killers.


^ 1 Pertussis