Decision viewed as further attempt to hinder scientific investigation of vaccine safety issues
WASHINGTON, May 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today's decision by the UK's General Medical Council (GMC) to strike Dr. Andrew Wakefield from the medical registry provides further evidence that science linking vaccines and autism is being suppressed at the expense of children's health, according to families affected by autism. Dr. Wakefield co-authored the case series reported in the British Journal, The Lancet, in 1998, which identified a novel inflammatory bowel disease in children diagnosed with autism. This association has been repeatedly confirmed by subsequent studies.(i ii iii iv v) The actual findings were not the subject of the GMC hearings, which many parents believe to have been an attempt to derail future autism research efforts that might bring vaccine safety concerns to light.
"Unquestionably, the GMC had predetermined they would find The Lancet doctors guilty of professional misconduct in an effort to discredit not only their work with these twelve children, but any possible association between the MMR vaccine and autism," says Washington DC-based public interest attorney Jim Moody, Esq. "They acted on two false premises: first by confusing diagnostic clinical tests with research, and second by claiming there were no ethics committee approvals that covered the research aspects of The Lancet paper. There was -- but the prosecution failed in their duty to identify it."
While government agencies at home and abroad claim a link between vaccines and autism has been disproven, supporters of Dr. Wakefield say the epidemiological studies purportedly exonerating the shots are fatally flawed and could never account for susceptible populations. Repeated requests for studies comparing health outcomes in fully vaccinated versus unvaccinated populations have been ignored by federal health agencies.
"With this decision, the GMC is taking an active part in the suppression of vaccine safety science," said National Autism Association (NAA) board chair Lori McIlwain. "The message is clear, scientists who dare to question the safety of vaccines do so at the risk of their careers. Meanwhile, public confidence in the vaccine program continues to erode, and desperately needed answers for families dealing with autism are further delayed."
i Evaluation, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Gastrointestinal Disorders in Individuals With ASDs: A Consensus Report, Timothy Buie, MD, et al, Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School Pediatrics, Vol. 125 Supplement January 2010
ii Clinical Presentation and Histologic Findings at Ileocolonoscopy in Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder and Chronic Gastrointestinal Symptoms, Arthur Krigsman, MD, et al, New York University School of Medicine, Autism Insights, 27 Jan 2010
iii Endoscopic and Histological Characteristics of the Digestive Mucosa in Autistic Children with gastro-Intestinal Symptoms. Gonzalez L, et al. ArchVenez Pueric Pediatr, 2005;69:19-25.
iv Panenteric IBD-like disease in a patient with regressive autism shown for the first time by wireless capsulenteroscopy: Another piece in the jig-saw of the gut-brain syndrome? Balzola F, et al. American Journal of Gastroenterology. 2005. 100(4):979-981.
v Childhood autism and eosinophilic colitis. Chen B, Girgis S, El-Matary W.. Digestion. 2010;81:127-9. Epub 2010 Jan 9.
Contacts: Rita Shreffler (Nixa, MO) 417-818-9030, or Leslie Phillips (Katy, TX) 281-794-1283
SOURCE National Autism Association