Parents of Children with Autism Call Decision in Wakefield Trial a Threat to Medical Integrity

Jan 28, 2010, 15:10 ET from National Autism Association

GMC Findings Uphold Status Quo, Discourage Physicians from Listening to Parents' Concerns

NIXA, Mo., Jan. 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is being released by the National Autism Association:

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090918/NAALOGO)

Parents of children with autism around the world are calling the findings against Dr. Andrew Wakefield in the UK's General Medical Council (GMC) unjust and a threat to researchers investigating autism as a medical condition.  The verdict comes less than a month after an article in the journal Pediatrics(1) urged further study of a link between gastrointestinal disturbances and autism originally pointed out by Dr. Wakefield in 1988.

The GMC hearings have been labeled a smear campaign from the beginning by thousands of parents in the autism community who hold Dr. Wakefield in high regard for his pioneering work to understand autism's medical underpinnings. Many parents of children with autism view the GMC investigation as little more than character assassination of a physician brave enough to investigate controversial issues, and fear that relevant science will never advance if researchers are forced to put their careers in jeopardy by following the scientific truth wherever it leads.

Additional confirmation of Dr. Wakefield's early findings was published yesterday by a research team led by Arthur Krigsman, MD in the journal Autism Insights.(2)  The researchers found a significant association between ileo and/or colonic inflammation and the onset of developmental disorder, which further supports autism as a medical versus a behavioral condition as parents have been reporting for years to the medical community.

"Dr Wakefield was one of the first physicians to take the concerns of parents seriously and investigate the medical conditions they noted in their children," commented NAA Board Chair Lori McIlwain.  "The real danger comes from those unwilling to ask questions, seek answers and challenge comfortable science for the sake of propelling medicine to a higher level of safety. Here's a doctor who asks the questions others are too afraid to ask, even though it's their obligation to ask them on behalf of our children. Bravo to Dr. Andrew Wakefield."

For more information on autism, visit www.nationalautismassociation.org

(1) 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

(2) 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

Contacts:

Rita Shreffler (Nixa, MO) 401-632-6452

Wendy Fournier (Portsmouth, RI) 401-835-5828

SOURCE National Autism Association



RELATED LINKS

http://www.nationalautismassociation.org