Tag Archives: Lancet

LANCET: Anti-Semitism is Fine, Suing Vaccine Manufacturers is “Fatal”

Photo Credit: EAT Foundation

Read the editor’s rejected letter to the editor of The Lancet about the double-standard in his journal concerning vaccine injury and anti-Semitism:

Not even anti-Semitism is a fatal conflict of interest worthy of retraction, so why is vaccine injury litigation?

The Lancet keeps a published “An open letter for the people in Gaza” by Manduca et al. despite the undisclosed, anti-Semitic conflicts of interest of two coauthors. Yet The Lancet now keeps “Ileal-lymphoid-nodular hyperplasia, non-specific colitis, and pervasive developmental disorder in children” by Wakefield et al. retracted solely because of a coauthor’s undisclosed involvement in vaccine injury litigation.

The stated reasons for the paper’s retraction are findings by the General Medical Council (GMC) that were overturned on appeal by the senior author. The Lancet’s ombudsman made clear in email that reasons not explicitly mentioned in the retraction statement are the reasons for the paper’s continued retraction. Wakefield’s undisclosed “interests” of litigation are those reasons.

Meanwhile, The Lancet keeps the Gaza letter published even after it was revealed that two of its coauthors circulated anti-Semitic conspiracy theories by a former Ku Klux Klansman. One of those coauthors is still registered with the GMC despite her non-disclosure to the editor of The Lancet. That is because a “conflict of interest” as defined in GMC’s guidance for doctors is left to the subjective decision of the doctor.

The editor of The Lancet – being registered with a license to practice – would know that. Yet he is perfectly happy to be cited in the GMC’s discredited decision against Wakefield et al. as the person whom Wakefield was obligated to disclose his litigation involvement to. The editor even assisted the GMC in its pursuit of Wakefield after accusing him of a “fatal conflict of interest.”

Per GMC’s guidance, Wakefield was under no obligation of disclosure. The GMC decisions cited in The Lancet retraction explicitly held him to a different standard because of what he published.

Neither the GMC nor the editor took any such exception with the anti-Semitism of Gaza letter coauthors. The editor called it “irrelevant,” saying “I have no plans to retract the letter, and I would not retract the letter even if it was found to be substantiated.”

Since anti-Semitism is not even worthy of retraction or disciplinary erasure, vaccine injury litigation should not be either. If the editor of The Lancet agreed, he would have restored Wakefield et al. with a statement urging the GMC to restore Andrew Wakefield’s registration. The editor refused.

Comment to Del Bigtree That He Out Lancet Liar Richard Demirjian and Son


Lancet Liar Richard Demirjian Libels Vaccine-Autism Science. Comment here, include contact info below.

My son’s autistic behaviors did NOT begin a week after administration of the vaccine, in fact they began several months afterwards with several medical complications occurring in between. The bottom line is that, if my son is indeed Patient 11, then the Lancet article made a false assertion set in immediately after MMR. -From letter by Richard Demirjian, Lancet Liar

That is who Del Bigtree is keeping anonymous. Demirjian is a fabricator. He knowingly lies that his son was misrepresented in an early vax-autism paper. Richard Demirjian does NOT deserve the title of Lancet Father. He is the Lancet Liar!

Here is what the paper really says about his son Vahe Demirjian.

Only “viral pneumonia” is mentioned, nothing about autism

Richard Demirjian knows what the paper says. Autism Investigated left messages. He blocked Autism Investigated from calling.

His son has blocked Autism Investigated on Facebook when shown the above table. Therefore, the Demirjians are evil people. They throw your kids to the fire.

Please comment underneath Del Bigtree’s new episode. Tell him to out Lancet Liar Richard Demirjian and his son. They don’t deserve to be hidden.

Share their contact information obtained by Autism Investigated everywhere you can so that other people can write the Demirjians. We need to tell them that the anti-vaccine movement will tell the world that they have no character. Therefore, they must retract their lies about vaccine-autism science and tell the BMJ to retract its attacks on the Lancet paper.

Vahe Demirjian’s online contact information:

https://vahedemirjian.academia.edu/contact
www.facebook.com/vahe.demirjian.1
vahedemirjian@cox.net

Richard Demirjian’s phone number and address:

949 718 0180
11 Canyon Terrace, Newport Coast, CA 92657

Tell Lancet Child 11 To Be a Real Scholar and Defend Lancet Paper

Vahe Demirjian

Child 11 in The Lancet‘s seminal autism-vaccine paper now has a profile on academia.edu. Despite playing scholar, he continues to allow his father Richard Demirjian to lie about him to tarnish that paper:

The bottom line is that, if my son is indeed Patient 11, then the Lancet article made a false assertion that his [autism] symptoms set in immediately after the MMR [measles-mumps-rubella vaccine]; in service of some attorneys’ efforts to prove “causation” that, unbenknownst to me, apparently drove this research…I am very thankful that the Lancet article has been withdrawn and the “research study” discredited.

But that paper was clearly not referring to Vahe Demirjian’s autism symptoms.

After reaching out to him, Demirjian blocked Autism Investigated.

FB: “You cannot reply to this conversation.”

He cannot deny he knows what evil his medical records are used for.

Here’s a link to his Academia.edu contact page: https://vahedemirjian.academia.edu/contact

Here’s his email, where Autism Investigated’s first inquiry went unanswered: vahedemirjian@cox.net

Here’s his Facebook, where Autism Investigated is now blocked: www.facebook.com/vahe.demirjian.1

Here’s his dad’s phone number, which also blocked Autism Investigated: 949 718 0180

Here is the Demirjian address: 11 Canyon Terrace, Newport Coast, CA

Tell him that if he is a real scholar, he’ll denounce his father and stand up for the paper.

BBC Host’s Anti-Vax/Anti-Semite Comparison Backfires Spectacularly

Adam Rutherford, Age of Autism

Mainstream news about autism is totally fake. Last year, BBC said wearing a medieval helmet is an “ASSET” in the workplace.

Now look what anti-vaxxers are compared to!

It didn’t end well for Rutherford, however.

(The editor was promptly blocked by Rutherford.)

While The Lancet retracted Wakefield’s early vaccine-autism paper, the journal keeps published An open letter for the people in Gaza. Dr. Ang also remains registered with a license to practice by the UK’s General Medical Council. She was never even charged with having an undisclosed conflict of interest, unlike Dr. Wakefield.

The Lancet and the UK government both clearly take exception with vaccine injury litigation. They do not take any such exception with anti-Semitism.

Adam Rutherford doesn’t either.

UK Gov’t Authority Fabricated “Duties” Against Early Vax-ASD Science

 

The UK government completely made up “duties” to disclose conflicts of interest to defame the lead author of early science linking vaccines to autism. It is perhaps the most clear-cut proof of the UK government’s conspiracy to cover up the vaccine autism link.

The vaccine people are quick to cite the UK General Medical Council (GMC’s) findings of “disclosable interests” against Dr. Andrew Wakefield. Meanwhile, the vaccine people completely ignore the GMC’s own Financial and commercial arrangements and conflicts of interest guidance. The guide tells doctors to “use your professional judgement to identify when conflicts of interest arise.” By second-guessing Dr. Wakefield’s professional judgement to punish him, the GMC completely fabricated the “duties” it said he violated according to its existing rules.

Though GMC’s findings of unethical research and dishonesty were overturned on appeal, vaccine people still use the red herring that Dr. Wakefield was not the one who appealed. However, the “disclosable interests” findings were only against Dr. Wakefield and were not grounded in findings against any other researcher.

But as the GMC’s guidance on its own website shows, those findings were not based on any existing rule either. One need only compare the GMC “findings” and the GMC’s actual position on conflicts of interest to see that they are a hoax. Nobody and certainly no government should recognize any findings or verdicts by the GMC panel that ruled against Dr. Andrew Wakefield.

BMJ Deceived Lancet Parent Into Attacking Dr. Andrew Wakefield

The British Medical Journal (BMJ)’s commissioned writer Brian Deer duped the father of the 11th child described in The Lancet paper into believing his son’s case was misrepresented. That father, Richard Demirjian, was led to believe the paper said his son’s autistic symptoms began weeks after vaccination when the report said no such thing. The Lancet paper was perfectly consistent with what Demirjian said happened to his son.

So Autism Investigated wrote BMJ editor Dr. Fiona Godlee about how Deer misrepresented Demirjian’s son. Yes, it was that Dr. Godlee who Autism Investigated’s editor confronted back in 2011.

Despite past history, she replied cordially:

Thank you for your message. Might you or Richard Demirjian send a rapid response to the article on BMJ.com. We can then ask Brian Deer to respond. Best wishes. Fiona Godlee

But two months after Autism Investigated submitted a rapid response at her invitation, she coldly rejected it:

I have now had an opportunity to discuss this with our lawyer. We will not be publishing your rapid response. It is highly defamatory of Brian Deer and the allegations you raise have already been refuted in detail by Brian Deer on his website. Best wishes, Fiona Godlee

When asked for details, Godlee gave no reply.

In any case, read the below response and see for yourself if it defames Brian Deer. It doesn’t, but it shows Deer and the BMJ defamed Wakefield – in large part by deceiving parent Richard Demirjian.

Lancet father 11 hammers a nail into the coffin of Deer’s fallacious allegations

Brian Deer republished his Sunday Times accusations in the BMJ knowing that they were refuted in Dr. Andrew Wakefield’s 58-page press complaint against him and against the newspaper that ran the article two years prior.(1) Deer’s justification for doing so was the GMC’s ruling in favor of his earlier accusations of unethical research.(2) He has also misled a parent of one of The Lancet paper children (child 11) into believing The Lancet paper misrepresented the child’s case, but the wording in The Lancet paper itself confirms that the child’s case was not misrepresented.(3) The GMC’s findings have been overturned,(4) and a letter from the parent corroborates that The Lancet paper accurately represented his son’s condition.(5)

Two months after the article was published, Brian Deer received a letter from the parent of The Lancet child 11 that directly contradicts Deer’s account. Yet no correction has ever been made in the BMJ.

In the first article of Brian Deer’s MMR series for BMJ, Deer wrote of The Lancet Child 11:

But child 11’s case must have proved a disappointment. Records show his behavioural symptoms started too soon. “His developmental milestones were normal until 13 months of age,” notes the discharge summary. “In the period 13-18 months he developed slow speech patterns and repetitive hand movements. Over this period his parents remarked on his slow gradual deterioration.”

That put the first symptom two months earlier than reported in the Lancet, and a month before the boy received the MMR vaccination. And this was not the only anomaly to catch the father’s eye. What the paper reported as a “behavioural symptom” was noted in the records as a chest infection.(6)

However, Deer’s claim that child 11 regressed before the vaccine was disputed by child 11’s father in the letter he wrote to Deer (that is currently posted on Deer’s website):

One of the incorrect statements in my son’s discharge report was that autistic symptoms were seen from 13-18 months, while the vaccination was at 15 months. This is clearly inaccurate as his symptoms began several months after the MMR, as reflected in my initial correspondence to the Royal Free requesting my son be included in the research study.(5)

In the private meeting between Deer and father 11 that was referenced in Deer’s article, Deer had apparently misled the father into believing The Lancet paper misrepresented his son’s case. In that same letter to Deer, father 11 echoed Deer’s false statement that The Lancet paper put child 11’s first autistic symptoms at one week after the vaccine when in fact, the paper makes clear that that was only when child 11’s first behavioral symptom (associated, as also described in Table 2, with recurrent “viral pneumonia”). The first symptom, that could have been any of a number of behaviors such as permanent or chronic change in sleep pattern, occurred after vaccination. The table father 11 referred to in The Lancet paper makes no mention of onset of first autistic symptoms.(3) Father 11 corroborates The Lancet paper and contradicts Deer’s BMJ article.

Despite Deer being told by father 11 directly that his son did not regress until after his vaccination, Deer made no effort to correct the misinformation in his BMJ article. On Deer’s personal website, he even continues to cast doubt on father 11’s account:

Which is true for child 11? Who can say, years later? The father says one thing, the medical records another. Nobody can time-travel back to the 1990s. And in lawsuits, it is the records that usually count. But, whichever version is right, Wakefield’s story was not. Neither can be reconciled with The Lancet.(7)

The fact is there is only one correct version: The Lancet paper account corroborated by father 11 twice, both in his correspondence with the hospital and with Deer. The incorrect version is the faulty discharge summary exploited by Deer to mislead. This is not the first time that evidence was submitted to BMJ that dismantles the article’s veracity post-publication.

When other evidence was previously brought to the journal in November 2011 that also supported The Lancet papers findings,(8)(9) Deer deflected by referring back to the GMC findings.(10) Though Deer cited them to add credibility to all his allegations, the findings themselves have been deemed unsustainable by an English High Court ruling.

In 2012, Justice Mitting overturned the GMC decision that The Lancet paper had misrepresented its patient population, was unethical and was part of a litigation-funded project.(4) By extension, the paper’s lead author Dr. Andrew Wakefield could not have been dishonest for not disclosing that the paper was funded by litigation or was part of that project when neither was the case.

In fact, the court decision refutes all the GMC findings that Dr. Wakefield broke any rule of professional conduct as laid out in GMC’s Good medical practice guidance.(11)(12)(13) Likewise, there is no existing justification for the paper’s retraction.(14) The Lancet knows this. When I confronted The Lancet ombudsman, Dr. Malcolm Molyneux, with the fact that the GMC findings that served as the basis for the retraction were killed, all he could say was:

In the retraction statement, the editors of The Lancet stated that “several elements of the 1998 paper by Wakefield et al are incorrect. In particular….’” The retraction then mentions the enrolment procedure and ethical clearance, but implies that there remain other elements on which the decision was based.(15)

As the above statement reveals, the ombudsman is unable to state a single reason for the paper to remain retracted. Furthermore, there can be no “other elements on which the decision was based” since the retraction statement only cites the GMC findings – now overturned.(14)

Of Brian Deer’s many false claims, among the most egregious is his deceiving father 11 and misrepresenting child 11’s case.

1.     http://www.autisminvestigated.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Complaint_to_UK_PCC1.pdf

2.     http://briandeer.com/solved/gmc-charge-sheet.pdf

3.     See Table 2: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(97)11096-0/fulltext

4.     http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2012/503.rtf

5.     http://briandeer.com/solved/dan-olmsted-child-11.pdf

6.     http://www.bmj.com/content/342/bmj.c5347

7.     http://briandeer.com/solved/dan-olmsted.htm

8.     http://www.bmj.com/rapid-response/2011/11/09/re-how-case-against-mmr-vaccine-was-fixed

9.     http://www.bmj.com/rapid-response/2011/11/17/re-pathology-reports-solve-%E2%80%9Cnew-bowel-disease%E2%80%9D-riddle

10.   Deer dismissed slides from The Lancet paper co-author Dr. Andrew Anthony later supplied by Dr. David Lewis on the excuse that Dr. Wakefield could have tampered with them. The only supporting evidence Deer offered of tampering was the GMC’s ruling that Dr. Wakefield had been “dishonest” based on the disciplinary findings that were since overturned. http://briandeer.com/solved/david-lewis-2.htm

11.    See 12a, which proves Dr. Wakefield was not professionally obligated to disclose his personal connection to litigation or his patent application to the editor of The Lancet. http://www.gmc-uk.org/guidance/ethical_guidance/30191.asp

12.    See page 8, endnote 7, which refers to the National Research Ethics Service (NRES) rules for when Research Ethics Committee (REC) approval is necessary. (NRES link in endnote no longer works) http://www.gmc-uk.org/Good_practice_in_research_and_consent_to_research.pdf_58834843.pdf

13.    NRES rules prove Dr. Wakefield’s birthday party blood draws did not require REC approval because they were not done on patients, therefore falling outside GMC’s authority to make any judgement on the matter. http://www.hra.nhs.uk/documents/2013/09/does-my-project-require-rec-review.pdf

14.    http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(10)60175-4/fulltext

15.    http://www.autisminvestigated.com/the-lancet-dr-andrew-wakefield/

ALL MMR VAX BACKERS CAUSE AUTISM AND MEASLES


There is no available measles vaccine, only the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine. The former prevents measles, the latter causes measles to linger in the guts of children who developed autism and GI disease as a result of MMR. Measles has made a comeback in the US and UK because there is no measles vaccine available – just the MMR which every child should be protected from. Below is a nearly 20-year old story about the withdrawal of the measles vaccine in the UK by the manufacturer because of – get this – high demand for its use. That demand followed publication of exonerated Dr. Andrew Wakefield’s paper on MMR-injured children. Former CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden is complicit in covering up their injuries.

Measles jab withdrawn due to ‘high demand’

PARENTS CONCERNED about inoculating their children with the controversial triple vaccine MMR will be forced to travel to Europe if they want a single measles vaccination, it was revealed yesterday.

The company that makes the single measles vaccine said it was withdrawing it from sale in Britain because it could not meet demand.

From now on parents will have only the option of using MMR, which has been linked by one study, published in the medical journal The Lancet, to autism and bowel disease.

Last night Pasteur Merieux MSD, the Paris-based company that makes both the triple and single vaccines, said the single vaccine had been available in Britain on a named-patient basis only.

“That meant it was only available to a very small number of people,” said Dr Veronique Maguin, the company’s marketing director.

“As demand grew we had to make an ethical decision about who the drug should be available to. It was a problem for the company because we could not satisfy everybody. Our main concern is one of public health and we felt we could not satisfy everybody.”

There has been a huge increase in demand for the single measles injection since the report last February in The Lancet on MMR, which also inoculates against mumps and rubella.

While a subsequent report published by the Medical Research Council found no evidence of the link, many parents remain suspicious of the triple vaccine and want to see more research carried out into its possible side- effects.

Some believe that receiving all three vaccines at once has a negative effect on the immune system.

Ann Coote, a founder member of the pressure group Jabs – Justice, Awareness, and Basic Support – said she was astounded the company was withdrawing the single vaccine.

“It does seem very strange. Most manufacturers faced with a demand for something would be rubbing their hands together,” she said.

“We get a lot of calls from parents who have lost faith in MMR and would prefer to have the option of a single vaccine. We would like to see MMR suspended and more research done.

“In the meantime single vaccines should be available. We are not against vaccines, we are against damage. Parents have a right to make a choice.”

Mrs Coote said many parents were considering travelling to Europe to purchase single jabs.

She said that her own daughter, Rachal, stopped breathing after being injected with the triple vaccine at the age of 18 months.

Now aged 11, Rachal still suffers from epileptic fits and has the mental age of a six-year-old.

Her daughter’s experience led Mrs Coote to set up Jabs, which has 1,700 members.

The Department of Health accepts the vaccine is not risk-free. “All drugs have side-effects,” said a spokeswoman. “We believe that there is more risk from not having the vaccination.”

She said the Government recommended having all three vaccinations at once, though she denied there had been any pressure placed on Pasteur Merieux MSD to withdraw the single vaccine.

“There is a risk to other children if a child is waiting to go back to the doctor for another vaccination. It is also more painful for the child,” she said.

“But the decision to withdraw the single vaccine is the company’s alone.”

measles

FAKE NEWS: FOUR VACCINE LIES FROM SCIENCE MAGAZINE

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Science Magazine is fake science news and lies routinely about vaccine safety like the rest of the damn mainstream media and major science journals. Here’s four examples from their dishonest post “Four vaccine myths and where they come from” by one of their hired liars Lindzi Wessel. Autism Investigated will not refute all the lies because there are too many, just the major ones below.

“False: Vaccinations can cause autism”

Citing further concerns about ethics and misrepresentation, The Lancet retracted the paper in 2010. Shortly after, the United Kingdom’s General Medical Council permanently pulled Wakefield’s medical license.

The truth is, all those findings against Wakefield and his paper were completely overturned in a court decision that said the GMC used “faulty reasoning” and came to “wrong conclusion”(s). Even The Lancet acknowledges this.

[Brian] Hooker reanalyzed the data in 2014 and claimed CDC had hidden evidence that the vaccine could increase autism risk in black boys. In fact, CDC noted in the paper that rates of vaccination in the oldest age group were slightly higher in kids with autism.

Wait, what about for black kids? The CDC didn’t cover up effects for race because they reported effects for age? That’s a logical conclusion to draw, according to Science Magazine?

“False: Mercury in vaccines acts as a neurotoxin”

Science Magazine completely dismisses Kennedy’s damning Deadly Immunity article of mercury in childhood vaccinations. The excuse was the ghostwritten retraction by the pedophile-defending Salon.com site. Science never went into the details of the retraction because it would show it to be worthless.

Science Magazine continued:

In 2001, well before Kennedy’s article or his related book, thimerosal was removed from all childhood vaccines in the United States except multidose vials of flu vaccine.

What it left out was that in 2004 those flu vaccines were recommended for pregnant women in the first trimester of pregnancy, which has since been linked to autism. It then went on to characterize autism declining post-thimerosal removal in Denmark as a “misinterpretation of epidemiogical data.” Actually, it’s seen in a graph of epidemiological data:

“False: Mercury in vaccines acts as a neurotoxin”

Remarkably, this entire section didn’t focus on work of any other doctor or scientist. It was merely an attack on the physician-son team Dr. Mark and David Geier, taking as gospel smears from the Institute of Medicine and the Maryland Board of Physicians. The Institute of Medicine was revealed in Kennedy’s own article as coming to a foregone conclusion about thimerosal being safe, and being paid to do so. The Maryland Board of Physicians was successfully sued by the Geiers for intentionally violating their confidentiality. Dr. Geier has also responded to the allegations publicly.

Will Science condemn hormones and genital mutilation for “transgender” autists and acknowledge that there are only two genders? Doubtful.

“False: Spreading out vaccines can be safer for kids”

This section is entirely based on the talking points of millionaire vaccine industrialist Paul Offit. He is not only conflicted, but is also an unhinged maniac who said children can safely receive 10,000 vaccines at once. There is no comparison between a vaccine which contains loads of toxic ingredients injected directly into the body and antigens blocked by the human body’s natural defenses.

There is no room for the benefit of the doubt with Lindzi Wessel and Science Magazine. They are simply lying, along with the rest of the mainstream fake news.

Please form that vaccine safety commission soon, President Trump. We need it now more than ever.

UPDATE: Autism Investigated Video!

Dan Olmsted Exposes Evil “Journalist” for What He Is

It is with great sadness that Autism Investigated relays the announcement that Dan Olmsted – Age of Autism’s founding editor – has passed away. While I have had my differences with him and the Age of Autism site, I will be forever grateful to him for his friendship, advice and platform for my views. I’ve always respected him as a journalist and have never forgotten the excellent work he has done over the years, and I just had a very friendly exchange with him on the day of the inauguration. I will never stop missing him and offer my sincere condolences to the entire Age of Autism team. Autism Investigated will devote the entire week to posts honoring Dan Olmsted, including a proper obituary. May we all honor Dan Olmsted’s life by ending the autism epidemic to make America great again! – Jake Crosby, MPH

“Who Can Say?” — Journalist Who Alleged Wakefield Committed Fraud Backs Off Key Claim

By Dan Olmsted

Brian Deer, the British journalist who claimed researcher Andrew Wakefield committed fraud by linking the MMR vaccine to autism, now admits one of his key allegations against Wakefield may be flat-out wrong. Yet he insists it’s no big deal — that it does nothing to undercut his claim that Wakefield is “an elaborate fraud.”

“Not one of the children were reported on truthfully. Wakefield lied again and again,” journalist Brian Deer said in his post on Saturday, referring to Wakefield 12-child case series published in the Lancet in 1998.  But in the same post, Deer acknowledged that, contrary to his previous reporting, he is now unsure whether Wakefield falsely changed the timing of the MMR shot to put it before the autism symptoms began in a key case.

“Who can say?” Deer wrote Saturday.

The allegation that Wakefield reversed the timing of the shot — clear evidence of fraud, if true — was  featured in detail as the shocking opening to Deer’s 2012 series in the British Medical Journal titled “How the Case Against the MMR Was Fixed.”

Child 11’s autism symptoms developed “two months earlier than reported in the Lancet, and a month before the boy had MMR,” Deer reported, “too soon” to be the cause. That “must have been a disappointment” to Wakefield, who proceeded to switch the sequence to suit his bias, Deer wrote. The father angrily “spotted the anomaly” after Deer identified and interviewed him, but  “needn’t have worried” that Wakefield would get away with it: “My investigation of the MMR issue exposed the frauds behind Wakefield’s research.”

But on Saturday, after I showed that Deer is the one who got the sequence wrong – that the shot indisputably did come first, followed by the development of regressive autism — Deer wrote: “Who can say, years later?” In fact, I can say: The father, whom I also identified and interviewed, wrote Wakefield as early as 1997, and contemporaneous medical records establish, that the child got the MMR at 15 months, became sick for several months, developed autism symptoms by 18 months, and was given a formal autism diagnosis at age 3. The father has always said he believes the shot caused all those consequences — none of which Deer managed to reflect in his own investigation despite interviewing and e-mailing with Father 11 over an extended period of time.

The fact that a core element of his claim of research fraud is now a matter of uncertainty to Deer, the only man who made it, is a remarkable development under any circumstance, but considering the impact the claim has had on the autism debate in subsequent years, it is extraordinary. The claim has been used by officials around the world to say concerns about autism and vaccines have been “debunked” because they originated from a fraudulent research report. A typical example: Senator Dianne Feinstein of California wrote a constituent last week: “I understand that many parents are also concerned that vaccines may cause autism. This claim was published in 1998, in an article in the Lancet, a British medical journal. The researcher who authored the article was later found to have deliberately falsified data to produce a fraudulent link …”

Equally striking is how little its accuracy seems to matter to Deer, convinced as he is that Wakefield’s status as a charlatan is beyond dispute, even if such a central “fact” no longer supports it.

Deer, a veteran newspaper correspondent who, as he frequently points out, has won numerous prestigious journalism awards including the British equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize for his Wakefield investigation, on Saturday offered no convincing reason for how he could have gotten something so central to his fraud claim against Wakefield so wrong. Instead he portrayed the father’s account as a “competing” explanation to the one Deer had independently settled on, based on a couple of unrelated court documents that led him to falsely infer that the autism symptoms preceded the shot in Child 11. Standard journalistic practice would be to check that assumption against the other, far more dispositive evidence that refuted it, and with the child’s father, who subsequently told me: “Mr. Deer’s article makes me appear irrational for continuing to believe that the MMR caused difficulties which predated its administration.”

Instead, on Saturday Deer sneered at the messenger – me – as he staged a full-scale retreat from the facts, using Father 11’s acknowledged but irrelevant antipathy toward Wakefield as cover. He called me “an undistinguished former journalist” who now runs a website “largely funded by anti-vaccine profiteers,” claiming that I had been “dumped some years ago from his post as a copy editor for a news agency owned by the Rev Sun Myung Moon – himself convicted of fraud … Olmsted has since sought a livelihood from his website, misleading vulnerable parents of children with autism. …  He sought to profit with his website by lying to parents whom he disgustingly purports to champion” and followed “British research cheat” Wakefield “into the toilet.”

Whatever. On Saturday Deer also tried to elevate a secondary issue – how long after the shot the autism symptoms occurred in Child 11 – into a replacement for his now-discredited claim that the entire sequence was reversed, an incomparably more serious and black-and-white issue. 

Ultimately, Deer suggested, the truth is unknowable.

“The father says one thing, the medical records another,” as Deer put it on Saturday. In fact, the father says one thing, and the medical records back him. (That does not mean the vaccine caused the autism, of course, but it does mean the father believed it did, and that Wakefield got the sequence right.) Only Deer’s idiosyncratic and journalistically unjustified misuse of a couple of stray medical records, unchecked by the reality described by everyone else, says another.

As I’ve shown in a 10-part series,  this tendentious approach applies to the entirety of Deer’s reporting on Wakefield, including Deer’s accusation that in five of the 12 children – Child 11 included – autism symptoms occurred before the shots were given. In fact, those cases are no more illustrative of Deer’s allegation of the shot-symptoms sequence than Child 11. Nonetheless, when one “fact” starts to wobble, Deer refers to all the other facts that have not been as closely scrutinized as if they offer some sort of collective support – “Of course, my reports did not hinge on child 11, or on any individual case,” he said Saturday. “As explained in the most detailed account of Wakefield’s grotesque misconduct, it rested on the findings (as the BMJ noted) that not one of the children were reported upon truthfully. Wakefield lied and lied again.” 


And if that’s not enough, well, Wakefield’s license to practice medicine was revoked and the Lancet paper was retracted (largely based on the “facts” Deer alleged).

At some point, though, Deer’s claims – or anyone else’s – must hinge on the facts of individual cases if they are to add up to widely accepted evidence of “Wakefield’s grotesque misconduct.” Just saying so doesn’t make it so; referring to “lie after lie” doesn’t constitute “an elaborate fraud” unless each “lie” can be shown to be exactly that. (Deer’s piece on my own reporting was titled, “Dan Olmsted lies for research doctor.” One is tempted to rewrite the headline as “Lying Undistinguished Former Journalist Lies for Lying Research Fraud Wakefield.”)

The timing of shots and symptoms in just 12 children more than a decade ago may seem trivial, but the issue is anything but arcane. Millions of cases of autism have occurred since 1998, when Wakefield sounded what he believed was an “early warning” of a possible link between vaccination and autism that required further research and led to his suggestion that until that was complete, the M, M, and R in the MMR should be given separately. Thousands of parents have subsequently described such an outcome, but because Wakefield has supposedly been “discredited” and his work “debunked” — by Brian Deer — that and other evidence have been dismissed.

I first wrote about Deer’s investigation in 2012. Let me again spell out what I learned from Father 11 and how it differed from Deer’s account.

I met Father 11, who like Deer I identified from my own independent reporting, at a Peet’s Coffee shop in an affluent, picture-perfect Southern California enclave, and we sat outside in the mid-60s sunshine he jokingly called “a little frosty.” A wealthy businessman who lives in a gated community nearby, he wore a light jacket emblazoned with “Cal,” for the University of California at Berkeley where he got an engineering degree. He carried a thin file folder and a spiral notebook.

In this laid-back setting, it was hard to grasp the role he and his family have played in one of the major medical controversies of our time, one that unfolded in a foggy city 6,000 miles to the east.

This father is Deer’s best witness among the parents of the 12 children described in the Lancet paper – in fact, his only one, the lone parent who is hostile to Wakefield, not just a little frosty, but coldly angry. His anonymous comments to Deer in the BMJ seemed to fully support the January 5, 2011, cover story: “Secrets of the MMR Scare: How the Case Against the MMR Was Fixed.”

“My investigation of the MMR issue exposed the frauds behind Wakefield’s research,” wrote the ludicrously self-aggrandizing correspondent.

Child 11, in fact, was Deer’s opening into fraud. He was among those “whose parents apparently blamed MMR,” but Deer commented acidly that “Child 11’s case must have been a disappointment. Records show his behavioural symptoms began too soon.” [Italics in original] Deer quoted from a Royal Free Hospital discharge summary: “His developmental milestones were normal until 13 months of age. In the period 13-18 months he developed slow speech patterns and repetitive hand movements. Over this period his parents remarked on his slow gradual deterioration.”

Deer summarized: “That put the symptom two months earlier than reported in the Lancet, and a month before the boy had MMR. And this was not the only anomaly to catch the father’s eye. …” (Note that it is Deer, not the discharge paper, saying the symptoms came “a month before the boy had MMR.”)

Well yes, if you’ve got a parent saying that a child developed autism before he got the MMR shot, and you’ve got a research paper saying the opposite and suggesting a link between the shot and the disorder, and pulling the same stunt with several other children, you’ve got your fraud right there.

The BMJ report was the coup de grace for serious consideration of a link between vaccines and autism. Wakefield was “convicted of fraud,” wrote Time magazine in an article titled “The Dangers of the Antivaccine Movement.” An editorial in The New York Times, titled Autism Fraud,noted Britain’s General Medical Council had already stripped Wakefield of his medical license, and the Lancet retracted the paper: “Now the British Medical Journal has taken the extraordinary step of publishing a lengthy report by Brian Deer, the British investigative journalist who first brought the paper’s flaws to light — and has put its own reputation on the line by endorsing his findings.”

Indeed it did.

“Clear evidence of falsification of data should now close the door on this damaging vaccine scare,” Editor in Chief Fiona Godlee wrote. She said “there is no doubt it was Wakefield” who was responsible for the “elaborate fraud,” despite having 12 co-authors.H

old the door, please. I was about to learn that Deer’s explosive claim about Child 11 – Exhibit A in this alleged hoax — was false. And that was just the first step of my journey into a world where things were not at all as they seemed.

The father opened the file folder – guarding the papers against a fickle coastal breeze — and showed me a letter he had written on January 1, 1997, to “Dr. Andrew Wakefield, Royal Free Hospital, London, England.”“My son [name deleted] at age 15 months, was immunized with the Merck MMR vaccine and became ill for the next several months,” the letter began.“As his pediatric records indicate he came down with a viral infection, and shortly thereafter viral pneumonia. His condition slowly deteriorated over time, and was diagnosed as being autistic on his birthday at age 3. The onset of his autistic behavior began around 18 months. … He was diagnosed as moderate to severe, with no speech, no eye contact, and cognitive function at 6 months overall.”

Multiple specialists in the United States confirmed the autism diagnosis, the letter added, as well as their suspicions of the MMR vaccine as the cause. Further workups in California also revealed “indeterminant inflammatory bowel disease” — the dual syndrome Wakefield was then investigating at the Royal Free. That was why the father wanted the hospital’s pediatric gastroenterologists to evaluate his child.

So – first came the shot, then the symptoms. The father’s account, and medical records created before he got anywhere near Wakefield, could not be clearer. But didn’t he tell Brian Deer exactly the opposite, as recounted in the opening of the BMJ cover story? And didn’t a hospital record confirm that?

No. And no.

Though you’d never know it, the father was actually disputing how long after the shot specific symptoms occurred. In fact, the father did directly blame the MMR for causing his son’s illnesses and autistic regression – a fact that appears to have escaped Deer’s notice, or at least acknowledgement.

Yes, the father was angry at Wakefield. Yes, he disagreed with other points, some of them unrelated to the content of the Lancet article. But no – he did not say that the symptoms came before the shot. That was not an “anomaly” in the Lancet paper that caught his eye, as Deer wrote.

And the discharge document itself? It was simply wrong, one of thousands of pieces of paper generated by many medical personnel in a complicated medical case stretching over many years; perhaps the “13-18 months” was a typo for “15-18,” since that is what the father had reported all along. Regardless, the father says he never told Deer that the symptoms came first, and there is no evidence to the contrary. Deer apparently did not bother to check that one piece of paper against the large volume of other evidence, or to confirm it with the father, or to make sure that his own claim that symptoms began “a month before the boy had MMR” coincided with any actual chronology.

As far as I can tell, no one on the planet — no doctor, no parent, no document – has ever said Child 11 was anything but healthy and developing normally before the MMR. No one, that is, but Brian Deer in the BMJ. And here we see Deer at work: Because Wakefield was by definition a fraud – because Deer said so – any discrepancies between data in the Lancet paper and any other source was proof against Wakefield. One document says 13-18 months for the period of regression? That was evidence enough that Wakefield “used bogus data … to manufacture a link” between the MMR and autism.

To my surprise as we sat outside in Southern California, the father told me he hadn’t read the BMJ article, and he declined my offer to quote from it or have him read it during our visit. He would rather lay out the sequence in his own words, he told me.

That turned out to be a useful approach.

His son had been completely healthy and developing normally, he said, until the MMR shot at 15 months triggered a downhill progression.

“I very much believe it,” he said about the relationship of the shot to the symptoms: The measles component of the vaccine triggered an immune deficiency that produced the cascade of devastating physical and mental problems. This, in fact, was Wakefield’s provisional hypothesis.

How did Brian Deer miss all this? How did he misrepresent the core of the alleged fraud and claim the symptoms came before the shot? How did he rely on the father to rage against Wakefield but completely omit the fact he believed his child’s autism did not just come after the vaccine but was caused by it?

Who can say?

Dan Olmsted is Editor of Age of Autism.

Originally posted on Age of Autism

Happy New Year: The Lancet Acknowledges Dr. Andrew Wakefield Is Exonerated

While The Lancet ombudsman Dr. Malcolm Molyneux refused to reverse the retraction of exonerated gastroenterologist Dr. Andrew Wakefield’s landmark paper on post-vaccination autism, Dr. Molyneux did acknowledge that the UK General Medical Council’s findings of misconduct against Dr. Wakefield had been overturned.

When told that the 2012 High Court decision in favor of Dr. Wakefield’s colleague Prof. John Walker-Smith “would kill the GMC findings on which your journal’s retraction was based”, the ombudsman Dr. Malcolm Molyneux replied:

Dear Mr Crosby,

Thank you for your letter of June 13, 2015, in which you request that the Lancet Editor reinstate the retracted paper Ileal-lymphoid-nodular-hyperplasia, non-specific colitis and pervasive developmental disorder in children.

In the retraction statement, the editors of The Lancet stated that “several elements of the 1998 paper by Wakefield et al are incorrect. In particular….’” The retraction then mentions the enrolment [sic] procedure and ethical clearance, but implies that there remain other elements on which the decision was based.

Having considered all of the relevant material, I can see no sufficient reason for reinstatement of the Wakefield paper. I do not believe that COPE’s guidelines have been violated by retraction of the paper in question, or by failure to reinstate it.

I do not believe there is justification for any further debate about this extensively discussed article.

Yours sincerely,

Prof Malcolm Molyneux, Lancet Ombudsman

Despite Molyneux alluding to “other elements” which he did not name, at least both The Lancet and Dr. Andrew Wakefield agree that he was exonerated of the disciplinary findings against him now that they have been completely overturned. The British Medical Journal had better have a strong enough relationship with the drug company Merck to offset the expulsion from the National Library of Medicine that journal may now face as a result of defaming Dr. Wakefield. Now that The Lancet ombudsman has acknowledged that elements of its own retraction of Dr. Wakefield’s paper have proven to be false, The Lancet had better hope the same for its own relationship with Merck as well.

There is another choice The Lancet can make, however, which is to do the right thing by restoring Dr. Wakefield’s paper to its rightful place in the medical literature. And then maybe – just maybe – The Lancet editor can get that five minutes with Donald Trump he’s been begging for…

 

 

Here’s to a Happy New Year!