Anatomy of a Witch Hunt
Much has happened in the last few weeks surrounding Andrew Wakefield, and I have not been available to write about it. It has been truly frustrating to see this story reported as if the GMC hearing was legit and The Lancet as if it was a respectable and unbiased publication, rather than the dog fight between corporate interests and safety advocates that it actually is. Was the fact that 21 autism organizations in the US and UK filed perjury charges against the head of the Lancet for lying about Wakefield's disclosures of his conflicts in the GMC hearing not relevant to the fact that the Lancet retracted Wakefield's article the following week? Apparently the press didn't think so.
Also fascinating that they have tried to portray Wakefield as the guy that invented the autism/vaccine connection, despite the fact that Leo Kanner reported that one of his first 11 cases in the 1940's was a regression following a smallpox vaccine, the VCIP has been paying autism cases for 25 years, and I first heard about the connection in my undergrad psych program in 1988 at George Mason University, so that they can use this GMC hearing to declare the vaccine controversy over. (I have forty or so studies on my "no evidence of any link" page supporting the vaccine/autism connection and I have never even had Wakefield's MMR paper up there.
Labels: Andrew Wakefield