It really is bizarro day: Andrew Wakefield sues Brian Deer, BMJ

Late yesterday, I got word that Andrew Wakefield — the the anti-vaccine leader who has lost his medical license, drew blood from his child’s friends at a birthday party, headlined a rally with 9/11 Truthers, and had his signature paper retracted — sued investigative journalist Brian Deer and British Medical Journal editor Fiona Godlee. For defamation. In Texas.

That’s not a joke (and, as Amy Wallace can tell you, no matter how ridiculous a lawsuit might seem, it can still be incredibly painful and time consuming to deal with). The PDF of Wakefield’s complaint is online; this section actually made me laugh out loud:

The Defamatory Statements were and are false and written and published with actual malice and intended to cause damage to Dr. Wakefield’s reputation and work as a researcher, academic, and physician and to permanently impair his reputation and his livelihood.

I haven’t had a chance to dive into this yet, but Orac at Respectful Insolence and Sullivan at Left Brain/Right Brain have the goods.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Creative Commons License
This work, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.

This entry was posted in Media, Vaccines and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to It really is bizarro day: Andrew Wakefield sues Brian Deer, BMJ

  1. Matt Carey says:

    “intended to cause damage to Dr. Wakefield’s reputation and work as a researcher, academic, and physician and to permanently impair his reputation and his livelihood.”

    His work as a researcher at Thoughtful House ended a year previously when they let him go (and even changed the name of the organization). Whatever work he had as a researcher as head of his “Strategic Autism Initiative” was supported by the people and organizations who would rally around him after the BMJ articles. Consider his standing ovations at the Autism One conference.

    He hasn’t worked as an academic since leaving the Royal Free Hospital. He left rather than accept the Royal Free’s condition that he work to support his claims.

    He wasn’t a practicing physician at the Royal Free. His appointment prohibited him from clinical work. This is one of the charges found proved by the GMC. Mr. Wakefield was never licensed in the U.S. and his license in the U.K. was revoked a year before these BMJ articles ran.

    His reputation was already poor as a researcher and academic. (his reputation as a physician seems moot since he wasn’t acting as one for well over a decade).

  2. Pingback: Wakefield Sues British Journal For Defamation in Texas | Care2 Causes

  3. cia parker says:

    Wednesday must have really been a bizarro day for you when you learned that Sir John Mitting ruled in favor of Professor John Walker-Smith, finding essentially that he and Dr. Wakefield had been framed by you guys, that the children had been appropriately treated for their medical condition, there was no connection between the lawsuit and the Lancet study, that the GMC’s reasoning was superficial and their conclusions wrong. Dr. Wakefield suggested that the fact that so many children were getting bowel disease and autism shortly after the MMR merited further study. If further study had been done fourteen years ago, thousands of children would not have gotten the MMR and would not have developed bowel disease and autism. But wow, just think of the lost profits from all that MMR just sitting on the shelves!
    I thank God that justice has finally prevailed! The way has now been cleared for the complete vindication of Dr. Wakefield. For us vaccine-damaged families, we now have hope for a better, healthier future. For those of you who serve Mammon, I know that such a future can only appear bizarro to you.

    • Matt Carey says:

      “finding essentially that he and Dr. Wakefield had been framed by you guys”

      Really? Where did you find any language in his decision to imply that Andrew Wakefield was framed (by anyone, much less “you guys”)?

      Aside from the fact that Justice Mitting didn’t rule on Andrew Wakefield at all, I’d like to see where you feel he made any mention of these offenses:
      Mr. Wakefield’s actions calling for medical investigations on children, when his post specifically forbade clinical activities. These were found proved for children 2, 4, 5, 12 and 7.

      Mr. Wakefield’s unethical behavior at his son’s birthday party where Mr. Wakefield purchased blood samples and did not have ethical approval.

      Mr. Wakefield’s double-billing of the UK taxpayers. If you recall, he charged the Legal Aid Board for work performed on some of the children, then charged those activities to the National Health Service.

      Mr. Wakefield’s shifting of research funds. Funds allocated for his reasearch for the Legal Aid Board were not used for that purposes and, instead of returning the money, Mr. Wakefield used the money for other projects.

      Mr. Wakefield’s failure to disclose his multiple conflicts of interest when publishing and promoting his research. As you recall, Mr. Wakefield was already a paid expert for the Legal Aid Board MMR litigation at the time of his Lancet paper. Mr. Wakefield was receiving research funding from the LAB. Mr. Wakefield had multiple business deals in development at the time.

      Mr. Wakefield had a patent application in place which included a single measles vaccine. He had a business plan in place to develop this as a vaccine. I.e. it is clear that his claims are false that the patent was for a therapeutic agent only. So, at the time he was calling for the MMR to be set aside in favor of single vaccines, he was in a position to potentially profit from that action.

      This doesn’t even get to question of whether Justice Mitting erred in his decision. In specific, the idea that the research project was never carried out is plainly wrong. Child 4 was admitted as part of their “study” and had a colonoscopy without ever having an outpatient visit with the team previously. How, precisely, do they justify that as “clinically indicated” when they had no data to judge? Justice Mitting did not rule on this because Prof. Walker-Smith did not see the child.

      For Child 6, Mr. Wakefield wrote to Prof. Walker-Smith ““I received this letter from a GP who has a child with autism and bowel disorder who may be suitable for our study and who, I am sure, would be appropriate to be seen by you in Outpatients”.

      In this case, the GMC dropped the ball twice. First they didn’t do the due diligence to explain their decisions in the case of Prof. Walker-Smith. Then they failed to defend their actions fully on appeal. They didn’t even bring in a Queen’s Council from what I’ve heard. This allowed Justice Mitting no choice but to take everything that was presented by Prof. Walker-Smith essentially unchallenged.

      “The way has now been cleared for the complete vindication of Dr. Wakefield.”

      How, exactly, is this the case? Mr. Wakefield dropped his appeal. Even if you accept that everything involving Prof. Walker-Smith would apply to Mr. Wakefield, Mr. Wakefield has enough ethical violations to have caused him to lose his license.

      And this doesn’t even touch on the multiple research irregularities in Mr. Wakefield’s career.

    • Matt Carey says:

      “If further study had been done fourteen years ago, thousands of children would not have gotten the MMR and would not have developed bowel disease and autism”

      Did you read the decision from Justice Mitting? He stated clearly
      “There is now no respectable body of opinion which supports his hypothesis, that MMR vaccine and autism/enterocolitis are causally linked. ”

      Prof. Walker-Smith, through his attorney, agreed with this statement during the proceeding.

      So, aside from any questions of whether Mr. Wakefield could be exonerated for his ethical lapses (he couldn’t), his hypothesis was wrong. His senior partner in the study agrees. The judge you are citing agrees.

    • Thomas says:

      Cia:

      Your lies might work on people who didn’t read Mitting’s decision, but it’s really foolish to try them on the parents of autistic children. We’ve been watching this situation carefully and noticed that Mitting ruled that Walker-Smith was Wakefield’s dupe not his accomplice, which is hardly good news of the Wakefield. The judge also went out of his way to state that the lie that MMR causes autism has now been completely refuted.

      • Rob says:

        Nonsense, post the excepts from the decision that demonstrate those two statements. Why don’t you skepdicks learn to read.

        • Thomas says:

          Judge Mitting wrote in his opinion “There is now no respectable body of opinion which supports his hypothesis, that MMR vaccine and autism/enterocolitis are causally linked. ” I await your admission that you can’t read or think.

          • Rob says:

            Where’s the part about Walker-Smith being duped? You know like you morons have been by Brian Deer.

          • Rob says:

            One more thing an hypothesis can’t be a lie; It can only be right or wrong. The 1998 Lancet paper never claimed to have proven a link. It only stated more research was necessary. So if no one supports it; it may be invalid, but that doesn’t make it a lie.

      • Rob says:

        Keep watching carefully! One question though; isn’t the view limited from your parent’s basement?

      • Rob says:

        “The judge also went out of his way to state that the lie that MMR causes autism has now been completely refuted.” Is not the same as: “There is now no respectable body of opinion which supports his hypothesis, that MMR vaccine and autism/enterocolitis are causally linked. ” SkepDicks see what they want to see. You’re as bad as Young Earth Creationists.

      • Rob says:

        How do drown a middle-aged SkepDick?
        Flood his parent’s basement.

        What is the epitome of cognitive dissonance?
        A SkepDick going to a TAM conference to meet women.

        • April Fools is Over says:

          Rob: No matter how stupid you think anti-vaccine activists are, it’s unkind to mock their stupid arguments with this kind of parody post.

  4. Seth Mnookin says:

    Example #10882 of why it’s so much easier to prove your point when you don’t censor comments and let people show themselves to the world.

Add Comment Register



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>