Marco Cáceres di Iorio

The Mythical ‘Debunking’ of Andrew Wakefield

One of the greatest national security and public health threats to the United States of America is a poorly trained, apathetic, and gullible media. Because in such a world not only does there cease to be a watchdog against government, industry, and general hucksterism, the media itself becomes prone to manipulation, deception, coercion, and outright recruitment by precisely those it is supposed to be watching for the good of the people.

Take the case of the paper by Dr. Andrew Wakefield, Prof. John Walker Smith, and Dr. Simon Burch (plus 10 co-authors) published in the British medical journal The Lancet in 1998. The paper consisted of a series of 12 clinical observations of children who had received the MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella) vaccine and later developed gastrointestinal dysfunction, developmental delays, and autism. The paper determined that there may be a possible correlation between the vaccine and the problems experienced by the children, and that there was sufficient cause for concern to justify further study. That’s it, plain and simple.

The paper did not state a conclusive causal effect. And yet, nearly every reference by the media to the Wakefield study states that it was ‘debunked.’ … Uh, there was nothing to debunk. But the chant has been repeated (and continues to be repeated) so much that it has become ingrained in the American psyche, to the point where no attempt to explain and try and correct the mischaracterization is taken seriously.

Without even so much as bothering to go back and evaluate the series of articles by reporter Brian Deer which led to the retraction of the multi-authored paper by The Lancet and the destruction of Dr. Wakefield’s reputation, so-called journalists have simply assumed that there was only one side to the story. No matter that Mr. Deer misrepresented himself when interviewing parents of some of the children referenced in the paper. No matter that Mr. Deer was not a science or medical writer, and thus was unqualified to write his articles. No matter that there have been numerous peer-reviewed papers that support Dr. Wakefield’s findings.

And finally, no curiosity about the possible motivations behind the hiring of Mr. Deer by section editor Paul Nuki of The Sunday Times of London, given that Mr. Nuki was the son of Prof. George Nuki, who just happened to be a member of the vaccine licensing authority committee in the United Kingdom when MMR was introduced in the country in the late-1980s.

In other words, no balance, no perspective, no original-source material. Why go to the trouble. It’s easier to go with what everyone already assumes to be the whole truth and nothing but. Why bother to do your job when you can lean on someone else’s work. The Wakefield paper was debunked, and the good doctor was discredited. It all “proves” that there is no link between MMR and autism. Never has been.

So the lie sticks, and Americans continue with their drug-induced romp through Alice’s Wonderland. Nothing speaks to power like the power of the media. Yeah, right.

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14 Responses to “The Mythical ‘Debunking’ of Andrew Wakefield”

  1. suzieq2014

    I have vaccinated hundreds of children during my working life as a nurse with all the current schedule of vaccines and never seen any bad reactions apart from some local reactions of redness. certainly never autism. My own children have all been vaccinated and I would not put their lives at risk by not having them immunised
    .

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • toni

      That’s known as an anecdotal evidence, and is no more valid than a mother’s account of her child becoming autistic after a shot. Both are based on personal observation.

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply
    • anon74

      Then you either weren’t paying attention or brushed it off as “normal”, as thousands of parents have had happen.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
    • WiseWup

      Oh, I didn’t know that you live with all of those children for the rest of their lives to know what goes on after the few minutes you spent with them administering their vaccines.

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply
    • pythagorisji

      I was a nurse and witnessed how rapidly my elderly patients were dispatched after receiving a flu vaccine.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
    • Petrina

      How would you see an aitistic outcome post vaccines. It’s not like you, as a nurse, would be called upon to analyze these children’s cases.

      Like

      Reply
  2. sally0204

    It is not enough to teach children how to read.Children must also question what they read, and what they are taught.Sadly this is discouraged.

    In college my professors would often try to engage the students in discussions.Hundreds of silent students starting back.The professor gives up and continues his lecture.The students write down what he says,so it can be memorized for a test. Apathetic students in college were once students in elementary school excited about learning and questioning everything.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
  3. tannim

    Also not mentioned was the complete exoneration of Walker when he sued to get his license back, in which the special master deciding the case validated each and every patient in the case, thereby exonerating and validating Wakefield as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  4. Bridgit Gilmore

    Great article. I could have written it myself! All we can do is keep repeating ourselves…if we get only 1 person to listen, think for themselves, do their research, save ONE CHILD. Then we have done our job. I just thank God and goodness that AW continues to face the ‘nay-sayers’ and fight the good fight, thereby encouraging us all. I get so angry and fraustrated when I read, “the discredited AW”. They somehow miss the ‘and exonerated’. Sheesh.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  5. Jym Fair

    Was it true that Wakefield was struck off as a doctor for giving hundreds of autistic kids unnecessary procedures, namely colonoscopies?

    Like

    Reply
    • Bridgit Gilmore

      No, Jym. That is a lie. His study was simply a case review and was done on only 12 children. The children were brought to him (he’s a consultant pediatric gastroenterologist) having gut and failure to thrive and already been diagnosed with autism. Biopsies of the gut were done. The children were found (ALL OF THEM) to have vaccine strain measles in their gut flora. AW’s only recommendation was that single vaccines should be given, not the trivalent MMR, until this could be further investigated. If you want the whole story, there is a 10-part interivew with AW and Dr Mercola on YouTube where AW explains the whole event. Really interesting.

      Like

      Reply

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