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Embattled autism study author sues medical journal for defamation
Dr. Andrew Wakefield authored a 1998 study that was retracted by the journal The Lancet.
January 6th, 2012
07:22 PM ET

Embattled autism study author sues medical journal for defamation

A doctor whose research on autism has been discredited by many medical authorities is launching a lawsuit against the British Medical Journal, as well as a freelance journalist and one of the journal's editors.

Dr. Andrew Wakefield is the author of a controversial 1998 autism study and has linked the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine to causing autism. In his lawsuit, he alleges that the British Medical Journal (BMJ), and specifically writer Brian Deer and editor Dr. Fiona Godlee, defamed him. They have made "unfair, incorrect, inaccurate and unjust criticisms of findings previously reported by Dr. Wakefield and 12 other co-authors," a petition filed in Travis County, Texas, states.

Wakefield's medical license was taken away in Britain in 2010 after a lengthy investigation into his research on children with autism.

One year ago this week, the British Medical Journal published the first of a series of articles calling Wakefield's controversial research fraudulent. They accused Wakefield of misrepresenting or altering the medical histories of all 12 of the patients involved in the 1998 study. Deer, the author of the articles, said last year he thought Wakefield should face criminal charges.

Wakefield's petition denies that Wakefield fraudulently and intentionally manipulated or falsified data or diagnoses in the study published in the journal Lancet in 1998. Twelve years later, in February 2010, three months before Wakefield lost his licence, the Lancet retracted the 1998 study because they said it became clear parts of the paper were "incorrect."

The petition states that this "malicious publication of the false statements about Dr. Wakefield" continue to cause damages such as "injury to character and reputation, humiliation, injury to feelings, and loss of earning capacity."

CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta questioned Wakefield in 2011 - watch here.

Deer told CNN Friday he has not received the petition, although he is aware of its existence. A statement on behalf of Deer and the British Medical Journal defended what had appeared in the journal previously: "While we await formal service, unsurprisingly the BMJ and Mr. Deer stand by the material published in the BMJ and their other statements and confirm that they have instructed lawyers to defend the claim vigorously."

The petition cites interviews Deer did with CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 and CNN's American Morning in 2011 among examples of defamatory statements made by Deer. CNN is not implicated in the petition. It also takes issue with an editorial written by Godlee calling Wakefield's paper "an elaborate fraud."

Wakefield has brought claims and made complaints against Deer, as well as other news outlets, in relation to the Lancet study, but none of these have been successful, the British Medical Journal statement said.

A call to Wakefield's lawyer was not immediately returned.

Wakefield now lives in Austin, Texas, the petition said.

CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin finds it surprising that Wakefield would launch this lawsuit in the United States instead of Great Britain, because with the freedom of the press, it's harder to win a libel suit of this nature in the U.S.

Related coverage:

Vaccine study's author held related patent, medical journal reports

Probe of early autism-vaccine complaints was limited, report says

Autism Day in the shadow of Wakefield


soundoff (440 Responses)
  1. EBNV

    He must be trying to sell more trash to the public.

    January 6, 2012 at 19:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mike

      Honestly I think it's been proven that medical science has alot of flaws. These pills are not helping people, for millions it's making it worse and when it's time to change up and try a new medication. It's usually to late the person commits suicide by overdose. Vaccinations? As extreme as a vaccination is I think science has proven that it messes up the reproductive organs. Autism even? 12 people used in a study? Is this Author blind to some of the bigger studies? Or unable to conduct a study himself? No studies done? DON'T vaccinate your kids until they do a bigger study. But even with the government propoganda to cover up mistakes. Trust your instincts get critical ask the doctor about the vaccine figure out the purpose ask how they made it.

      January 6, 2012 at 23:11 | Report abuse |
    • Neeneko

      Maybe some of his bad PR... or at least people finding out about him, has caught up with him. So now he will go with the persecution mythology to convince his followers that he isn't bilking them with snakeoil....

      January 6, 2012 at 23:20 | Report abuse |
    • Nick

      Mike,

      Multiple large scale studies have shown that vaccines are very safe. There has been no link between autism and vaccinations and furthermore, there is no evidence that they mess with your reproductive organs, as you mentioned. I don't know where you might be getting that information from, but it isn't true. It is important to vaccinate your children to keep them safe.

      January 6, 2012 at 23:49 | Report abuse |
    • Bzzz

      When you figure out that "alot" isn't the same as "a lot", alert the media. Until then, I have more confidence in science than I do in you.

      January 8, 2012 at 23:01 | Report abuse |
    • AutismNewsBeat

      "... there is no evidence that (vaccines) mess with your reproductive organs, as you mentioned. I don't know where you might be getting that information from."

      From Dr. David Ayoub, a Springfield, IL radiologist. Ayoub is a regular at Jenny McCarthy's Generation Rescue's annual anti-vaccine conference. He says the Gates Foundation and the World Health Organization use vaccines to sterilize women in third world countries. It's part of a grand conspiracy to depopulate the earth so the Illuminati can take control of the planet's resources. If you Google Ayoub and vaccines, you can watch his video. It's about an hour long, and really boring, though.

      January 9, 2012 at 15:35 | Report abuse |
  2. unforgiveable

    This man has done so much harm with this bogus study! He has harmed countless children and thier families by convincing them not to get vacinated.

    January 6, 2012 at 19:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ashrakay

      Are there statistics to back your claim?

      January 6, 2012 at 20:55 | Report abuse |
    • Ghost of Dickens

      @ashrakay
      Look up the statisitics on measles, mumps and rubella since 1998

      January 6, 2012 at 21:08 | Report abuse |
    • sharoom

      Have to agree with unforgiveable on this one. ashrakay you can explore the CDC website to find links to peer-reviewed articles on this topic. So far 25 research studies refute the link between autism and MMR vaccine, while 3 studies suggest there is a connection. Interestingly, Wakefield is an author on all 3 of those studies and one was officially retracted.

      January 6, 2012 at 21:22 | Report abuse |
    • sparknut

      Wakefield created all this fuss about vacinations on the basis of one study that involved TWELVE patients? He should be banned from the scientific community and everyone who believed him should be ashamed of themselves.

      January 6, 2012 at 22:20 | Report abuse |
    • Steve P

      @ashrakay...yes, extensive quality statistics.

      January 6, 2012 at 22:45 | Report abuse |
    • Okay8

      If there is no truth in Wakefields claim, then why did our US government push an ammendment in the Patriot Act that says that Eli Lilly cannot be sued or connected to autism and the mmr vaccine?? Government coverup!!

      January 6, 2012 at 22:50 | Report abuse |
    • BA

      Couple of tinfoil hats going out here OKAY!

      January 6, 2012 at 23:22 | Report abuse |
    • Kay

      Because, Okay8, the bill protects companies from lawsuits based on a FRAUDULENT study!! Jeez Louise, couldn't you figure that out all by yourself???

      January 6, 2012 at 23:28 | Report abuse |
    • mother of four

      The government keeps a public record of the number of vaccination injuries. But it gets no press. What does get press is the isolated report of the "measles outbreaks" (which, by the way, almost always happen to people who have been vaccinated–and is usually due to an imperfect vaccine–or a variety of measles brought over here from another country). Or the very rare fatality caused by exposure to disease by a new born (who nearly always got it from an adult).

      I chose to vaccinate my children (all teens and young adults now) on a modified schedule after one of my sons received a series of vaccinations in one visit that made him extremely ill (He got the measles from the vaccination–a full blown case that requires intensive medical intervention). I learned that the science that surrounds vaccinations is inexact, based largely on herd immunity. The occasional fatality or life-changing side effects are considered worth the risk. I decided that I was far more interested in my children's well-being than I was that of the herd. I vaccinated late and put lots of time between each.

      Did you know that Polio was the result of dirty water? That it is only contagious if one comes into contact with the body fluid of someone who is a carrier? Did you know that it's near disappearance from western society is largely due to clean water and awareness of how it spreads? Did you know that in the past our government advocated vaccinating children with the live virus even though the vaccine creator himself (Salk) stated that the killed virus was safer? The result of this? From time to time children who had been vaccinated contracted the disease itself. Further more, for six weeks after the vaccination, parents were advised to keep their children away from people with compromised immune systems. Have I mentioned that this is an inexact science?

      January 7, 2012 at 00:54 | Report abuse |
    • Eeyore

      Wrong. Do you know how to think critically? Polio was eradicated by massive vaccinations. You can find lies on the web and believe them if you want, but that won't make them true.

      January 7, 2012 at 11:04 | Report abuse |
    • AutismNewsBeat

      "If there is no truth in Wakefields claim, then why did our US government push an ammendment (sic) in the Patriot Act that says that Eli Lilly cannot be sued or connected to autism and the mmr vaccine??"

      That bill was passed shortly after 9/11, and had nothing to do with MMR. The civil liability waiver was repealed the next year.

      January 9, 2012 at 15:37 | Report abuse |
  3. Mathis

    The British Journal that published Wakefield's work should also be held accountable. You can't expect to lend credibility to a "scientist" who made conclusive findings based on evidence he collected from his child's birthday party. Its foolish nonsense and its led many parents to take unnecessary risks with their children's health. Why else is there not a single shred of externally validated conclusive evidence on the danger of vaccinations?

    January 6, 2012 at 19:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • kmcg

      Journals often study early work with only a few case studies to encourage further research, which is good. In this case the further research found no connection. Additionally, it was later found he had not reported his study accurately, though at the time of publication the journal was not aware of that. Thus, they retracted the study. The journal acted accordingly. Unfortunately it was not the scientific community that ever made a big deal about this study, although they were curious about the results until not shown to be generalizable, but it was the media and misinformed parents who maybe never read the actual study or do not understand the many levels of research with humans.

      January 6, 2012 at 23:09 | Report abuse |
    • AutismNewsBeat

      The news media share a huge part of the blame for Wakefield fraud. Even 60 Minutes fell for the ruse – Ed Bradley interviewed Wakefield in 2000 or so.

      January 9, 2012 at 15:42 | Report abuse |
  4. MagnuM

    Can I sue all the people that have hurt my feelings from my past?

    January 6, 2012 at 19:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • VNBE

      If the lib lawyers have their way, yes.

      January 6, 2012 at 19:55 | Report abuse |
    • Kay

      Jeez, VNBE – stop with the liberal/conservative lawyer nonsense.

      January 6, 2012 at 23:29 | Report abuse |
  5. VNBE

    Trash, no. If he did the study properly he will win. BUT, 12 people is NOT a study. Its a spec of dust in a massive pool of mucous. Just like all the fun CNN studies with 1000 participants......not a study.

    January 6, 2012 at 19:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Steve P

      There were other problems with the study in addition to sample size including selection bias and failure to disclose issues. Complete lack of credibility.

      January 6, 2012 at 22:46 | Report abuse |
    • Kay

      This wasn't just a problem with a small sample. He deliberately LIED about the kids in the study...and he did it for monetary gain. If there's a hell, this man will find himself spending eternity in it for the harm he's caused to innocent children and their families.

      January 6, 2012 at 23:32 | Report abuse |
  6. hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

    From my understanding when he published that journal he had spent year trying to manufacture his own MMR vaccines and failed at the attemp. My guess would be that he only even published the jorunal in the first place so that he could sell more of his own vaccines. Just a theory though...... dont publish!

    January 6, 2012 at 20:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Panacea

      He actually was working for a lawyer suing vaccine makers at the time he published his fraudulent study.

      January 6, 2012 at 21:14 | Report abuse |
    • Steve P

      He was suing the manufacturer because he was working on a "safer" measles vaccine.

      January 6, 2012 at 22:50 | Report abuse |
  7. So angry.

    He and people like him are very dangerous. Jenny McCarthy believed his study too, and spent years condeming vacinations ...blaming them for her sons Autism....Not only was the study false, but it turned out her son was never Autistic!!!!..But she could be seen everywhere stating it as a fact. I can't believe he is not hiding his head somewhere in shame. But then, if he was the type with a conscience, he would never have done such a horrible thing in the first place.

    January 6, 2012 at 20:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Mr Mark

    Wakefield ruined his own reputation years ago with his bogus linking or vaccines to autism. That begs the question: what is he suing over? He has no reputation left for anyone to besmirch, so how can anyone libel him?

    As far as hurt feelings – is he serious? This is a person whose stock in trade was falsely placing blame on vaccines and giving false hope to parents of autistic children that a reason had been found for autism, and that could lead to a cure.

    All lies.

    What a lowlife POS Wakefield is.

    January 6, 2012 at 20:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. drew

    Speak up..... cat got your tongue?

    January 6, 2012 at 20:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Chuck

    Unfortunately, most people don't understand how science works.

    That something is published in a major scientific journal does not make it true. Scientific journals publish papers that end up being wrong all the time. Being published in a journal is not some sort of "Scientific Seal of Approval."

    Scientists write papers when they have some result to report. They submit those papers to journals. Good scientists try to conduct good studies using good methods and they try to let the data guide them to the proper conclusion. But, the best method is not always obvious and even the best methods can sometimes produce errors. And the interpretation of the results is always open to debate.

    The better journals such as the British Medical Journal have peer-review systems wherein the paper is sent first to a selected handfull of respected scientists in the field who review it for obvious flaws. But the goal of peer review is not to pass judgement on the veracity of a paper's conclusions, just to filter out obviously-flawed papers.

    Those papers that appear to be in good order are then published so that everyone in the field all over the world can read and review them. That stimulates discussion. It may motivate other scientists to try and repeat the study or to design and conduct new studies to validate or refute the first study. This process often goes on for years and even decades before some concensus is reached.

    What sometimes happens is that the popular media picks up on one of these studies and reduces what may have been fifty pages of dense, scientific text into a 250-word article or a two-minute TV report well before any of that discussion and confirmation happens. The popular media declares that because it was published in a scientific journal, it must be true. It is the popular media, not the scientific journal or the scientific paper or the scientist that declares it true. And that is seriously wrong and the result of an utter misunderstanding of how science and scientific publication works.

    January 6, 2012 at 20:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • kyle

      Actually the best methods are usually pretty obvious and they do not produce errors. The problem is that the best methods are often not possible and in cases like this (which is often the case in medical research) is purposefully not done as to skew the data in a way that favors a desired result.

      January 6, 2012 at 20:27 | Report abuse |
    • Panacea

      In addition, the system worked exactly as it was supposed to. Other scientists tried to reproduce his results and could not. The supposed link was studied extensively and conclusively ruled out.

      Wakefield's exposure was inevitable.

      January 6, 2012 at 21:15 | Report abuse |
    • sharoom

      One thing to note, peer-review does not end once the paper appears in the journal. Peer-review continues every time someone reads the paper and tries to reproduce the results.

      January 6, 2012 at 21:41 | Report abuse |
  11. John

    In the scientific community comparison and criticism of results is a requirement to maintain the quality of data and to make sure people are not negatively impacted by bad data, such as that presented Wakefield. Look at the damage the man has caused, he created a mass hysteria which has resulted in countless parents putting their children at risk. To allow this man to receive damages would set the precedent that truth comes second to hurt feeling and reputation. Countless scientists have fallen into obscurity because their theories did not pan out. They did not falsify data and profit from it but instead maintained their integrity and continue to pursue new theories in the name of better science and as a consequence a better world.

    Mr. Wakefield failed to hold up to this standard and as a result has experienced personal inconveniences. Big deal, the man should be in jail. If even one child dies as a result of a disease that could have been prevented by vaccination, but was not because of parental decisions made based on Wakefield's deceptions, that child's blood is on his hands. He did not consider the consequences of his actions, to compensate him would only further reward a man who has gained from spreading lies and damaging lives.

    January 6, 2012 at 20:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • aefountain

      John you stated "If even one child dies as a result of a disease that could have been prevented by vaccination, but was not because of parental decisions made based on Wakefield's deceptions, that child's blood is on his hand".

      But it's okay IF, and I say a big IF, a vaccine has knowingly caused severe side effects that has resulted in the detrimental growth of a large population's mental ability? Without transparancy and studies, how can we possibly find the cause in a growing epidemic that will cost our countries billions in taxpayers money to provide for their futures.

      So sacrifice the few for the majority.
      Hmm, if your name wasn't John, I would think you are my son's biological father. Maybe I should have thrown my son down a well instead?

      January 6, 2012 at 21:12 | Report abuse |
    • JeramieH

      Ever seen a population decimated by smallpox?

      January 6, 2012 at 21:18 | Report abuse |
    • R.J.

      Aefountain:

      We do have large scale studies showing no link between vaccines and autism or some neurological effect. How many more could you want, especially considering that inital claims were based on falsified data. You can believe whatever you like, but if people die from vaccine preventable illnesses, then those who refuse to vaccinate -do- have blood on their hands.

      January 7, 2012 at 00:02 | Report abuse |
    • aefountain

      R.J. I have not stated I am anti-vaccine. I do not believe vaccines cause autism. I do believe vaccines cause both neurological and 'gut' issues which need to be explored. Oh and btw, whatever caused my son to be the way he is, do they not have blood on their hands and do I not have a right to know if it's controllable for the future generations of my family?

      January 10, 2012 at 20:21 | Report abuse |
  12. johnkeating

    Do not underestimate the power of greed in determining the objectivity of scientific study. This man has absolutely nothing to gain by publishing his study. Nothing except condemnation from the medical establishment. This man followed his heart rather than his bank account in coming forward the way he did.

    January 6, 2012 at 20:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • kyle

      100% wrong, he benefited greatly from his published paper. He gained fame, and financial backing for himself and his research. One of the biggest problems in science is exactly this. The ability of dishonest scientists to bamboozle groups of people into believing something, especially if it caters to their fears or desires causes a huge need for all research to not only be peer reviewed, but be repeated and retested.

      January 6, 2012 at 20:32 | Report abuse |
    • johnkeating

      I do not think Dr. Wakefield could have predicted any such 'gain' following his published study. Whatever he supposed 'gained' was coincidental, not pre-planned. Materially, I think he lost more than he gained. He lost his career as a medical doctor in the United Kingdom. And not fame, but infamy. Just because he found something that all of his colleagues did not, does not make him wrong. He is considered an 'anomoly' in the medical establishment because he did not conform to the mainstream dogma. He dared to challenge the status quo, and that comes at a very heavy price. I do not think he suddenly decided to one day up and leave his comfy post in Britain to start his own religious cult lol

      January 6, 2012 at 20:42 | Report abuse |
    • Nathan

      ...except that Wakefield was hired by lawyers to prove a link between autism and the vaccine, and held a patent for treatment options related to his own study.

      He definitely stood to benefit financially from the quackery he promoted.

      January 6, 2012 at 20:45 | Report abuse |
    • JeramieH

      The Washington Post reported that Deer said that Wakefield predicted he "could make more than $43 million a year from diagnostic kits" for the new condition, autistic enterocolitis. According to Deer's report in BMJ, the ventures, Immunospecifics Biotechnologies Ltd and Carmel Healthcare Ltd—named after Wakefield’s wife—failed after Wakefield's superiors at University College London's medical school gave him a two-page letter that said:

      "We remain concerned about a possible serious conflict of interest between your academic employment by UCL, and your involvement with Carmel ... This concern arose originally because the company's business plan appears to depend on premature, scientifically unjustified publication of results, which do not conform to the rigorous academic and scientific standards that are generally expected."

      WebMD reported on Deer's BMJ report, saying that the $43 million predicted yearly profits would come from marketing kits for "diagnosing patients with autism" and that "the initial market for the diagnostic will be litigation-driven testing of patients with AE [autistic enterocolitis, an unproven condition concocted by Wakefield] from both the UK and the US".[85] According to WebMD, the BMJ article also claimed that Carmel Healthcare Ltd would succeed in marketing products and developing a replacement vaccine if "public confidence in the MMR vaccine was damaged".

      January 6, 2012 at 20:52 | Report abuse |
    • johnkeating

      Nathan, I think you're talking about the post-study consequences, which Wakefield could not have predicted. To be fair, he was encouraged by the concerned parents of the autistic children to pursue this course of investigation. So, in that sense, it was not his original intention to do so, except upon the urging of parents who were convinced of the link between MMR vaccines and autism.

      January 6, 2012 at 20:54 | Report abuse |
    • Kay

      Don't be so darned naive. The facts about this fraudulent study are readily available. I suggest you actually read them before assuming that the man had nothing to gain. No, let me correct myself...before assuming the man didn't *think* he had anything to gain.

      January 6, 2012 at 23:41 | Report abuse |
  13. Junius Gallio

    The issue is not with the size of the study–the issue is with the dishonesty with which he handled the data.

    January 6, 2012 at 20:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. johnkeating

    Until medicine is no longer run as a for-profit business, it will never be truly health-promoting. Materialism is not an incentive to promote wellness. You can't have it both ways, folks. If you want to promote wellness, you have to sacrifice profitability.

    January 6, 2012 at 20:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • kyle

      But the fame and money that goes to the scientists that develop cures and true health benefits outweighs the corporate need to silence the information. The problem is most health benefits are rarely purely beneficial.

      January 6, 2012 at 20:41 | Report abuse |
    • johnkeating

      The reason why allopathic medicine and pharmaceutical companies have not found very good cures is, they almost never do research on anything that cannot be patented. The vast majority of the medical research is focused on things that will yield a return profit. If they started researching cures that are inherently unpatentable, they will find a wealth of effective and safe cures in natural foods, herbs and alternative medicine. They have to expand their scope of research to include those things that are unprofitable and unpatentable.

      January 6, 2012 at 20:46 | Report abuse |
    • kyle

      Amazingly tons of research is done without the money or guidance of medical or pharmaceutical companies. Also how easy and cheap would the research be if all you had to do was order a cheap ton of the material from some 3rd world country. Your ignorance in this area is apparent along with your conspiracy beliefs. It's so sad that so many people believe the same nonsense as you.

      January 6, 2012 at 21:04 | Report abuse |
    • johnkeating

      Not mere 'conspiracy beliefs'. I happen to have first-hand long-term experience with a few, but very effective alternative medicine techniques. You'd be very surprised how effective they are. This proves to me how uninformed the mainstream [medical establishment] is. I even heard a story of how one physician told her patient that there is NO connection between what you eat and your health.

      January 6, 2012 at 21:16 | Report abuse |
    • Andrew

      A couple days before new years I went over to a friend's house who was holding a party cause he got back in town. He had been having a co-op term at a biomedical company doing research for various pathogens. The researchers at these biomedical companies really do work to try to come up with cures.

      What happens instead though is you have a critically under informed public. "Oh, they make money, they must be trying to maximise profits at all costs". You then ignore the multi-billion dollar natural or 'holistic' industry which has done wonders to lobby congress to get them removed from the FDA restrictions which require them to prove their products actually work. You can sell a 20$ bottle of homeopathic 'medicine' (see: water) or these silly 'miracle supplements' that they market cheaply, and behave no better than a placebo, best of all, they cost almost NOTHING to make, so it's pure profits.

      But drug companies aren't so lucky, they need to prove efficacy, hold multiple clinical trials, and actually pay people to do research or else their drug simply will never even appear on the market. Why do you THINK they're so damn expensive?

      No clearly it has to be "these evil drug companies are trying to maximise profits with their patented medicine, it clearly can't work", or the Wakefield of the world who manipulate data to paint a false crisis and then profit on the results. It's so strange, you people all feel that the anti-establishment will always behave so well, while the establishment will behave evilly. So if wakefield has the potential to profit, "he couldn't have known, he was just reporting facts" (Despite how questionable his study was), while if drug companies do it, it's part of an evil profit inducing plot.

      You should remember that the whole naturalistic industry does spend a lot of money to keep themselves from needing to prove their products work. You're talking about two different multi-billion dollar industries, except one of them has conned people into believing that they're 'the little guys'.

      January 6, 2012 at 21:33 | Report abuse |
    • Andrew

      johnkeating, I suggest you never underestimate the value of the placebo effect. Your reasoning is fundamentally unscientific. Consider
      "I've smoked a pack a day for 50 years and never gotten cancer, clearly smoking doesn't cause cancer!"

      Anecdotal evidence is NOT evidence. I seriously question how the education system failed to teach rational critical thinking in such stunning fashion.

      January 6, 2012 at 21:35 | Report abuse |
    • johnkeating

      The 'placebo effect' shows how little medicine and science knows of the mind-body connection. Your average citizen does not have access to a scientific laboratory to be able to scientifically prove anything, so naturally, they will rely on personal experience and accounts of others and come to their own conclusions. You're right, personal accounts and subjective experience does not necessarily prove anything, but suggests a pattern based on repeating elements that an individual can extrapolate to predict something else. The scientific proof comes later. When something is threatening your life or the life of your loved ones, you don't reflect on whether the threat is 'scientifically provable'.

      January 6, 2012 at 21:54 | Report abuse |
    • Andrew

      Except the scientific proof has never come to show a link. The ONLY author who maintains a link is Wakefield. So either Wakefield is victim to an elaborate scientific and government conspiracy to lie, or he has manipulated data. I'm likely to go with the latter.

      January 6, 2012 at 22:30 | Report abuse |
    • johnkeating

      Remember the British term 'limeys'? It's what they call sailors, and they call them that because British sailors used to suffer from scurvy, which they discovered that they could cure simply by regular consumption of citrus (such as lime). They discovered this through trial, error and correction. This is the kind of medical discoveries and practice, we need more of.

      January 6, 2012 at 22:38 | Report abuse |
    • johnkeating

      If you look at business, which are considered the most successful businesses? Street drugs and the tobacco company. Why? Because they make a product that is so addictive that it creates insatiable demand from its consumers. So other businesses try to emulate these companies and try to create a product/service that is very dependency-forming of its consumers. This is why allopathic medicine operates the way that it does today.

      January 6, 2012 at 22:46 | Report abuse |
    • johnkeating

      Andrew, you talk about the 'multi-billion dollar holistic industry' lobbying Congress, but you have no idea how much more wealthy and powerful the AMA is in terms of its political/lobbying power. And I doubt this 'multi-billion holistic industry' is as organized as the AMA, Pharmaceutical companies and FDA combined.

      January 6, 2012 at 23:00 | Report abuse |
  15. johnkeating

    And I would say the same for science. Science is never pure science unless it is freed from materialistic/profitability concerns. The only pure science is driven by curiosity and the desire to share the findings with humanity.

    January 6, 2012 at 20:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JeramieH

      The warm afterglow of a successful paper publication doesn't buy lab supplies, it doesn't pay for lab personnel, and it doesn't buy lab equipment. It doesn't even put food on the scientist's table or pay his mortgage.

      January 6, 2012 at 21:01 | Report abuse |
    • johnkeating

      Correct, Jeramie. You see why scientists cannot follow their studies objectively and report without bias. It's because they're always trying to please whoever is lining their pockets and putting food on their tables. They're not truly scientists, they're slaves-for-hire.

      January 6, 2012 at 21:07 | Report abuse |
    • JeramieH

      Okay, so what does a scientist do when his research requires access to multi-million dollar lab equipment? Deliver pizza on the weekends to save up for it?

      January 6, 2012 at 21:10 | Report abuse |
    • Dustl

      johnkeating,
      While I would maybe agree with you in spirit, or at least in the vain of romanticizing the ideal scientist like that of an artist motivated by the compulsion to create (in this case discover), your idealization is unfortunately not practical and perhaps even untrue. JeramieH made some of the obvious points. But take or instance, the Space Race – it was motivated by the Cold War. Also, a lot of important scientific discoveries happened by accident in the course of trying to attempt something else for commercial gain. The scientist who wants to do something to radically better humanity does so with the Nobel Peace Prize and the notion of becoming rich in his fantasies.

      January 6, 2012 at 22:13 | Report abuse |
    • johnkeating

      Jeramie, Dustl, I'm just to identify a problem, not trying to present a solution to the problem. I guess a change of paradigm has to occur, such as the curtailing of capitalism in some way, I don't know. I think of people like Nikola Tesla as being pure scientists. His genius was noticed early and that's why the U.S. military and government hired him. Of course, Tesla didn't really want to murder others. He actually wanted to prevent violence and war, so he was conflicted. When he tried to provide free [electric] energy to all people, his plans were sabotaged by JP Morgan. This is the precarious path that the true scientist/humanitarian walks on. Perhaps in a future world, there will be no such thing as money or poverty...

      January 6, 2012 at 22:24 | Report abuse |
  16. Wakefield is a menace

    Andrew Wakefield deserves prison time or worse. He has no doubt directly caused the death of children by publishing his made up garbage. Unfortunately, there are still some ignorant parents who won't vaccinate their kids because of this cretin.

    January 6, 2012 at 20:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. anonymous

    Not one bit of remorse or shame. If there's a layer of hell that houses scammers and charlatans like this man, I hope he burns in the layer worse than that one.

    January 6, 2012 at 21:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. RM

    I have no doubt the ill-informed will crucify me for my statements, but here goes: There is a huge division of thinking between people who have those with autism in their lives and those who do not. For thousands of parents of children with autism, they 100% believe shots at least exacerbated the onset of autism. I can tell you from personal experience that my child was a normally developing baby, when she received her flu shot. She developed a fever, stopped talking and making any eye contact IMMEDIATELY afterwards. I sat down with her doctor to ask about this shot – what it contained. I asked if there was mercury in it (this was a year before the mercury-free shots were available). She stated that there was a trace amount. The doctor then proceeded to take an actual shot out of the package and read the insert. Her exact words were, after looking it over, "Oh, wait, there is an identifiable amount of mercury in the shot." People are focusing, in my opinion, too much on the MMRs and not enough on the flu shots. Of course, someone who comes out against a gestapo such and the AMA, etc. will be utterly destroyed. The implications of damage caused by these "preventative" tools are staggering – from lawsuits to new insurance coverage regulations. Go ahead all you nay-sayers, but my experience has been felt by thousands and thousands of other parents, sisters, brothers, uncles, aunts, grandparents, and friends.

    January 6, 2012 at 21:01 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JeramieH

      Nice anecdote. When you have double-blind, placebo-controlled results designed to limit bias, let me know.

      There's reasons why we design studies this way, ya know.

      January 6, 2012 at 21:04 | Report abuse |
    • johnkeating

      Empirical observations are what inspire new research. In this case, we're not talking about a single account, but many which say similar things. That is what makes personal accounts so valuable. Just because something cannot, or has not yet been scientifically proven, does not mean the phenomenon does not exist. Many mainstream scientists and skeptics make the mistake of making this illogical assumption. What science does not know far outweighs what is current known.

      January 6, 2012 at 21:11 | Report abuse |
    • Panacea

      RM, I'm sorry about your situation. But the issue of thimerosol in vaccines has been extensively studied and no connection shown. Ditto the vaccines themselves.

      Current thought is the problem develops in utero, but does not become apparent until much later. The vaccine "connection" is coincidental.

      Oh, and btw, I have Asperger's Syndrome . . . a high functioning part of the autism spectrum disorder. I don't blame vaccines. I don't blame anything. It is what it is.

      January 6, 2012 at 21:19 | Report abuse |
    • Andrew

      johnkeating, many people say similar things about alien abductions to. That doesn't make the claims more valid or empirically supported.

      January 6, 2012 at 21:36 | Report abuse |
    • johnkeating

      Mercury is a known neurotoxin. This is known because of observations made in 18th and 19th century Britain of workers who worked in hat factories which used mercury to produce felt. Over time their bodies were increasingly exposed to mercury and caused some workers to develop dementia. This is where the phrase 'mad as a hatter' came from. Now, what level of contamination is necessary to cause neural damage is still debated, but in any case, it's best to avoid it altogether, and it also makes perfect sense that infants who have the least body mass would be the ones most vulnerable to its destructive effects.

      January 6, 2012 at 22:02 | Report abuse |
    • Steve P

      Thimersal has never been shown to have any link to autism and is no longer in vaccines as a preservative. Hyperbole and mass hysteria.

      January 6, 2012 at 22:56 | Report abuse |
    • Steve P

      Thankfully observation does lead to research which, in the case of thimersal, has never been shown to have a deleterious effect in any scientific study. Again, hyperbole and mass hysteria.

      January 6, 2012 at 22:59 | Report abuse |
    • KD

      I have a child with autism, and I do not for one second believe that a vaccination of any kind caused it.
      My son has never had a flu shot. Ever... He's had the mist, but never a flu shot.

      January 7, 2012 at 00:43 | Report abuse |
    • JeramieH

      > Mercury is a known neurotoxin

      And chlorine is a deadly gas, but absolutely safe when combined with sodium to produce table salt. Funny how elements behave completely differently when chemically bound to something else? That's something you learn in first semester chemistry.

      January 7, 2012 at 01:37 | Report abuse |
  19. Mike A

    Vaccines are such a massive scam that any doctor or even politician (look at what happened to Michele Bachmann just briefly mentioning encountering a woman who's daughter had bad side effects from the HPV vaccine) gets hammered by the so called experts, who are really just Big Pharma shills. I suppose anyone on this thread who believes vaccines are beneficial and harmless also believes mercury fillings for teeth are fine, diet (aspartame) pop is healthy and sodium fluoride in your water (which is pure toxic poison run-off from the phosphate fertilizer industry) is helping your enamel? Wakefield is a hero and should be commended for coming out against this disgusting industry. Think it's all good?... Do a search for Maurice Hilleman SV40 – he was a Merck researcher who got caught on audio tape admitting that millions of people received vaccinations contaminated with leukemia and cancer viruses. Wake up people!

    January 6, 2012 at 21:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • anonymous

      Don't take off that tinfoil hat just yet.

      January 6, 2012 at 21:15 | Report abuse |
    • JeramieH

      Have a dose of smallpox and polio, and then we'll talk.

      January 6, 2012 at 21:16 | Report abuse |
    • kyle

      Really? My attending doctor in medical school is unable to walk due to polio, do you think hes getting paid under the table to espouse the gains of vaccines? You are an ignorant conspiracy nut and anyone who believes you is mentally handicapped.

      January 6, 2012 at 21:23 | Report abuse |
    • Nitro

      These arguments attacking Mike A and nothing he said sure are strong, convincing rebuttals. Once one person calls another person a name, I never listen to that other person again because name-calling trumps any argument or actual facts as far as I'm concerned, especially when I didn't want to believe that other person in the first place.

      January 6, 2012 at 23:20 | Report abuse |
    • Nitro

      These arguments attacking Mike A and nothing he said sure are strong, convincing rebuttals. Once one person calls another person a name, I never listen to that other person again because name-calling trumps any argument or actual facts as far as I'm concerned, especially when I didn't want to believe that other person in the first place

      January 6, 2012 at 23:22 | Report abuse |
    • Kay

      You 8do* realize the guy was talking about stuff from 60 years ago, don't you???

      January 6, 2012 at 23:55 | Report abuse |
    • Mike A

      JeramieH – if I want a dose of smallpox or polio, I'll go get a vaccine. But not in this lifetime.

      Kyle – Conspiracy? Are you telling me that the Elites and heads of large Corporations don't meet together and figure out how they can make more money? Do you believe that the medical industry makes more money when you're sick (especially chronically sick) or when you're healthy? Think hard about it. Look up "iatrogenic disease" – look a the NUMBERS!

      Kay – want something more recent?...even though that event affected 98 million people. How about the 1976 Swine Flu debacle. 1 person died from the flu, 300 died from the vaccine and MULTI-MILLIONS were paid out to people for THOUSANDS of "vaccine injuries" – eg: Guillain Barre Syndrome. Do a search for 60 Minutes 1976 Swine Flu – an absolute Big Pharma NIGHTMARE. You really believe these Multi-nationals care about YOUR HEALTH! Not bloody hardly.

      How about the HPV vaccine? Now they're giving it to BOYS – are people dumb? – boys don't have a cervix (but most importantly the vaccine has not proven to help AT ALL). Look at the CDC VAERS reports – over 20,000 adverse event reports, over 70 deaths. And the reporting percentage is suggested to be in the single digits – these numbers are probably much higher in reality.

      In my opinion, anyone saying vaccines are SAFE does not know how to READ.

      DO THE RESEARCH PEOPLE!

      January 7, 2012 at 12:19 | Report abuse |
    • Eeyore

      And anyone who claims that vaccines are more dangerous than the diseases they prevent doesn't know how to think.

      January 7, 2012 at 22:39 | Report abuse |
    • Eeyore

      I love it when some bozo thinks he's got the inside track on the truth, and yet is so dumb he thinks that the words "corporations" and "elites" are capitalized.

      Yeah, I'm gonna take Mike's word. He's a genius.

      January 7, 2012 at 22:41 | Report abuse |
    • Eeyore

      Whenever some idiot posts something like "wake up, people" or "do the research, people", it's a sure thing that a completely moronic piece of drivel will follow. Here, Mike, you dumb f* ck:Boys should be routinely vaccinated against the human papillomavirus or HPV in an effort to protect them from oral, anal and penile cancers, and to extend protection of girls from cervical cancer, U.S. vaccine advisers said on Tuesday.

      January 7, 2012 at 22:46 | Report abuse |
    • Mike A

      Yeah, I see you "Eeyore" all over everyone's comments with nothing but name calling. You have NOTHING of substance to offer and zero argument proving your opposite stance. It leads me to believe you are either a loser with nothing better to do than belittle people or paid to attack anti-vaccine statements. Either way, your posts are useless.

      January 8, 2012 at 12:11 | Report abuse |
    • Eeyore

      Oh, please, give it up, Mike. You are an uneducated, paranoid conspiracy theorist who wouldn't know a decent source for information if it walked up and sneezed in your face.

      Vaccines have been proven to be a huge boon to humans. There are risks everywhere in life. If you want to risk your kids' health and pretend you have a good reason, go right ahead. It's your funeral. Oh, wait. It's theirs, actually.

      January 8, 2012 at 12:23 | Report abuse |
  20. RM

    Rather rude you would use the word "anecdote", but perhaps you don't get out of your cage much.

    January 6, 2012 at 21:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JeramieH

      anecdote: a short account of a particular incident or event

      Yes, I can see how that's exceedingly rude.

      January 6, 2012 at 21:15 | Report abuse |
  21. JeramieH

    > What science does not know far outweighs what is current known

    Interesting fact, considering it's impossible (by definition) to compare the two. I could equally claim the opposite with equal validity.

    January 6, 2012 at 21:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • johnkeating

      Jeramie, I think it's obvious, just by observing that scientific knowledge is always growing and that the universe is still perceived as relatively infinite and not finite. Everytime we think we discovered it all, there's still more to explore. Allopathic medicine is not the final authority on health and wellness, because they do not yet know the totality of man's biological and energetic processes, much less the mind. For if they did, nobody would get sick. Today, more people are getting sick and having psychological problems than ever before in history.

      January 6, 2012 at 22:11 | Report abuse |
    • johnkeating

      One of the biggest problems with the allopathic school of thought is that they try to isolate some body part of system, instead of seeing the connectedness of all body parts and functions. You have a high degree of 'specialization' in allopathic medicine such gastroenterology, urology, cardiology, psychiatry, pathology, etc. These departments don't really talk to each other very much, and it's up to the generalist to often make the call as to which 'specialist' to refer a patient. There really isn't any medical doctor that treats the whole body and mind of a person. This is one of the weaknesses of the allopathic approach to health. They try to treat one part of the body and ignore the rest of the body.

      January 6, 2012 at 22:16 | Report abuse |
  22. RM

    You meant it in the derogatory manner an anecdote can be used as – a short or amusing story. Own it.

    January 6, 2012 at 21:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Panacea

      He did not. Stories such as yours are referred to as anecdotal evidence. They are not considered reliable sources of data in scientific study.

      January 6, 2012 at 21:20 | Report abuse |
    • JeramieH

      It's called anecdotal evidence, which you would know if you had studied for your critical thinking final exam.

      January 6, 2012 at 21:22 | Report abuse |
    • My name is Jonas

      RM, there is a much greater likelihood that autism is genetic rather than environmental. Was the inseminating sperm old?

      January 6, 2012 at 21:40 | Report abuse |
  23. RM

    BTW the polio vaccine is losing it's potency, so you may actually get to enjoy that little ride, too.

    January 6, 2012 at 21:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mike A

      Based on your asinine assertions, it comes as little surprise you have difficulty grasping science and fall back on anecdotes.

      January 6, 2012 at 21:43 | Report abuse |
    • Eeyore

      Based on your complete ignorance of facts,Mike, I will simply laugh at your craziness and pity your family and friends. They have a nut to deal with.

      January 7, 2012 at 22:43 | Report abuse |
  24. RM

    Panacea – assuming you have the ability to read between the lines, you'll catch the tone in which he wrote that.

    January 6, 2012 at 21:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Panacea

      There was no tone. You chose to be offended.

      January 7, 2012 at 10:07 | Report abuse |
  25. Spence

    This guy is responsible for the deaths of thousands of children that failed to get the MMR shot because their parents read this nonsense and refused to allow their kids to get it. This guy is a fraud. There is no meaningful support for the murderous claims in this study.

    January 6, 2012 at 21:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Darlene Buckingham

      Thousands of deaths due to mumps, measles and ruebella. Where are you getting your information? Many get sick but very few die. This is exaggeration of the truth. MErcury is a known neurotoxin – how many vaccines are children getting now? Not difficult to connect the dots.

      January 6, 2012 at 22:12 | Report abuse |
    • Steve P

      Darlene...my guess is that you know little about vaccines given the mercury comment.

      January 6, 2012 at 22:51 | Report abuse |
    • Kay

      Sorry, Darlene...but you should have done a wee bit of fact-checking before trying to pass your opinions off as facts. Had you done so, you'd have learned that about 450 children die every single day from measles. That's about 13,500 a month. Does that sound like "very few die" to you??? Or that "thousands" is too large a figure???

      And, of course, apparently you don't realize that MMR vaccines no longer contain mercury/thimerosol...and haven't for for than a decade. So how about *you* connect the dots? And admit that you didn't know what you were talking about when you posted here.

      January 7, 2012 at 00:08 | Report abuse |
  26. lewtwo

    Hey ExDoc ... truth hurts does it ??

    January 6, 2012 at 22:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Take it from me

    Let's hope Wakefield's lawsuit leads to real, uncensored, discussion on the merits (good or bad) of vaccines and immunizations.
    Don't be afraid of dialogue, good people, and question everything and everyone, even the self-proclaimed experts like Spence.

    January 6, 2012 at 22:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Stephanie

      That lawsuits aims at the exact opposite, to censor the scientists who fight against the people who claim vaccines are useless and dangerous and instead offer alternatives that are truly dangerous. if they have a case against vaccines, why do they go to courts instead of publishing good research?

      January 6, 2012 at 22:22 | Report abuse |
    • Robrob

      Yep, his paper was repudiated and his reaction is not to do more science but to do more lawsuit?

      January 6, 2012 at 22:24 | Report abuse |
  28. Stephanie

    Q: When a so-called scientist attacks his detractors in court of law instead of validating his results, what does that say about him?
    A: He is a fraud

    January 6, 2012 at 22:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Robrob

    When he fails a peer review, what is a fraud's next step?

    Lawsuit!

    January 6, 2012 at 22:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Brandon

    When you are a fraud people seem to look down on you.

    January 6, 2012 at 22:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. ken

    Wakefield should be arrested for murder! How many kids died because the news media covered this corrupt researcher's lies?

    January 6, 2012 at 22:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. OrangeW3dge

    I hope that this won't be a reflection on all Texans, trying to get their own way by falsifying statements.

    January 6, 2012 at 22:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Take it from me

    An open, uncensored dialogue among all participants would be revealing. The public deserves to be in on it. Let's hear it.

    January 6, 2012 at 22:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Steve P

      Wakefield is a quack. He conducted the most ill-conceived study of all times and made conclusions that were not supported by his extremely limited data all in the name of vested interest. No argument to be had with him involved.

      January 6, 2012 at 22:53 | Report abuse |
  34. The Cat

    Oh.My.Dog!!! Really? This ridiculous LIAR and promoter of death to children should be arrested, charged and convicted to life without any chance of parole.

    January 6, 2012 at 22:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Autism never killed anyone

    I don't think a tenth of the children diagnosed with autism really have it. Maybe when polio makes a comeback in this country parents will relies how foolish they have been. All this hysteria about something that has never killed anyone.

    January 6, 2012 at 22:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Steve P

      Wakefield is a quack, but at the same time, I must assume you know nothing about pervasive developmental disorders based on your post. "I think"...nice anecdotal argument.

      January 6, 2012 at 22:52 | Report abuse |
  36. BA

    Wakefield suing Deer again??? He should have learned his lesson from the first time he did that and lost, paying a nice sum to the investigative journalist. And in plaintiff-friendly UK. He's just trying to scam his followers into giving him money so he can walk with it when the suit is dismissed. Hope the anti-SLAPP is invoked and he pays their expenses.

    January 6, 2012 at 22:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Manager

    Frankly, I do not know this man and I do not care what this man said or published. Whatever results he found, he published it through peer review. Well, anyone can argue his finding and develop method to show his finding was wrong. That's it.
    In my opiniong, vaccines are useless and destroy mental growth. That;s very simple.I can see from my own experience.

    January 6, 2012 at 22:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Steve P

      Actually, wrong on all counts.

      January 6, 2012 at 23:02 | Report abuse |
    • BA

      Don't let that tinfoil hat slip off manager, I've got my microwaves pointed at you.

      January 6, 2012 at 23:03 | Report abuse |
  38. So angry.

    Vacines save lives! Right now our city is having an outbreak of whooping cough....totally preventable....and a potential killer.Ever see a baby suffer with whooping cough?.....but thanks to this fraud, and others like him, some parents are chosing not to vacinate. Also that decision means that your unvaccinated child can infect someone elses baby still too young to have its vacination. Kids are dieing unnecesary deaths .

    January 6, 2012 at 23:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Steve P

    Quacks such as Wakefield and the people that profit from it, including Wakefield himself, are pathetic.

    January 6, 2012 at 23:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Nitro

    Most of you people are brainwashed fools.
    http://www.naturalnews.com/033425_BMJ_Andrew_Wakefield.html
    "Awareness changes all."

    January 6, 2012 at 23:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kay

      You take this "article" seriously??? Did you bother looking at the "sources"?

      January 7, 2012 at 00:12 | Report abuse |
    • Nitro

      Ha! - nice rebuttal. Really, I mean it. The sources are fine, the information is accurate and substantiated.

      January 7, 2012 at 11:34 | Report abuse |
    • Eeyore

      No, it isn't, Nitro. You can't cite any studies that support what you've chosen to believe is true.

      I don't really care. But don't pretend you're playing with a full deck, dear.

      January 7, 2012 at 23:31 | Report abuse |
    • Eeyore

      "Big Pharma, the FDA, AMA and other medical associations falsely accuse conscientious healers of crimes that they themselves routinely commit or cover up."

      Really, Nitro, any dufus who would call a publication making such a ridiculous statement reliable is either brain-dead or delusional.

      January 7, 2012 at 23:34 | Report abuse |
  41. Sambo X

    Phony azz craka! He beez lyin' 'bout his research n' shiit when he coulda jus read sum Afrikan medcal journals.

    January 6, 2012 at 23:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Stephen Daugherty

    I remembering looking at the headline on the mainsite, and wondering, "Is it Wakefield?"

    The trouble is, some dumb ideas get traction because people get emotionally invested in notions like "Autism is acquired, therefore not your fault" or "Pharmaceutical companies are bad actors, therefore we can't trust positive results", etc, and then when the evidence comes along and tells them there's not a connection, they go "cover up!"

    Here's the thing, though: in none of these cases does it matter what you or I believe. What matters is what's real, and nobody's been able to demonstrate that the cause and effect Wakefield theorized is real. Now I know it seems like a compelling theory to some, but we spent hundreds of years indulging crackpot ideas, mainly because people didn't test their ideas, but waged battles with other true believers who took different positions, instead.

    What science does is more than just raise questions, it helps settle those questions, in a feedback loop that helps verify the ideas that are right, and exposed the ideas that are wrong.

    Scientific evidence has exposed the Wakefield hypothesis as wrong, and thank God it did. The benefit of the scientific method is that you can go and seek more likely explanations, when the ones you start out with turn out wrong. Better yet, what is wrong often tells you about what is right, and in unexpected ways.

    If you truly want to discover the cause, or various causes of Autism Spectrum Disorders, you'll do things scientifically, because the alternative is engaging in never-ending scholarly wild goose chases, and even worse sometimes, engaging in counter productive behavior like avoiding vaccinations, which have a proven, positve track record.

    January 6, 2012 at 23:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. LG

    Yes, this 'person' has the deaths of hundreds of thousands of children on his hands. No doubt about it.

    And as for Tesla – he was HIRED, he was being paid MONEY. We don't live in a utopia and never will. I'm a former scientist.

    January 6, 2012 at 23:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • johnkeating

      Yes Tesla was paid sometimes, but invention was his passion and he followed it whether he was paid or not. He even tore up a royalty contract with Westinghouse to save it from bankruptcy. Because of his uncomparable genius, I think he had great autonomy and could write his own ticket. He didn't have to bow or cave into demands from any individual or organization. shrugs. I guess his case was pretty exceptional. If he wasn't the genius he was, he would have been much more vulnerable I guess.

      January 6, 2012 at 23:24 | Report abuse |
  44. johnkeating

    Some of you may be familiar, or not, of this phenomenon known as the 'Semmelweis reaction'. It's the incredulity of medical doctors upon hearing of some 'new' revolutionary medical fact. Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis was a 19th century Hungarian physician who pioneered antiseptic/sterilizing procedures in hospital environments, before the existence of bacteria were known and proven scientifically. When he noticed more patients dying after indirect contact with cadavers, he theorized that there must be some infectious element that must be transferred from cadaver to patient. When he tried to share his observations of this with his fellow medical doctor colleagues, he was met with great ridicule and hostility. The reacting doctors considered it positively demeaning to have to 'stoop' fo sterile procedures, as Semmelweis suggested. This is the same that that the medical establishment is reacting to Wakefield. Hence, the 'Semmelweis reaction' is happening again here.

    January 6, 2012 at 23:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Neeneko

      He rigged a study in order to push a product he was developing, then continued to push his results in order to sell his phoney cure to parents scared of 'big medice'. He discovered nothing other then how to scam money out of desperate parents.

      January 6, 2012 at 23:18 | Report abuse |
    • Nick

      John,
      The point you're making is negated by the fact that multiple other labs have tried to reproduce his results and have failed. They're not trying to discredit him without giving evidence to support their claims that he was fraudulent in the way he handled the data. If there was any other valid proof of a link between autism and vaccinations existed, then it would be a different story. At this point, with all the research and large scale studies done on the safety and efficacy of vaccinations, there is no reason to believe there is any causal link between vaccinations and autism.

      January 7, 2012 at 00:03 | Report abuse |
  45. Neeneko

    Wow.. the balls on this monster are impressive. How many millions has he made scamming people with his false 'cure' based off his 'study'. This person belongs in jail.. but sadly he has powerful supporters in the US...

    January 6, 2012 at 23:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Liberty Queen

    Hey CNN where the f**. K is my post?

    January 6, 2012 at 23:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • johnkeating

      I've had the same problem repeatedly. I don't know why. Might have to do with the choice of words or something...

      January 7, 2012 at 00:00 | Report abuse |
    • johnkeating

      Might be a some bug in the web programming here of some sort.

      January 7, 2012 at 00:09 | Report abuse |
    • Eeyore

      Yah, and it might be that yer posting manure, johnnyjumpupmyass.

      January 8, 2012 at 20:58 | Report abuse |
  47. ReadTheWholeThing

    First, there are politics involved in every organization, including medicine and science. So don't kid yourself into believing that the BMJ might as well be God.

    Second, the BMJ said Wakefield's methods were flawed. They didn't say anything about the conclusions. In other words, the BMJ didn't say autism is NOT caused by the MMR vaccine. The BMJ said that the way Wakefield tried to prove it is wrong. Similarly, it would be wrong for me to say that "I know polio is caused by a virus BECAUSE God told me it is." Does that mean it's not caused by a virus? Obviously, that's a flawed assumption. You can laugh at the statement all you want, but until you prove that polio is not a virus (or alternatively that there is absolutely no link between the MMR vaccine and autism), you're just grasping at straws because you want to crucify someone you don't like or with whom you disagree.

    January 6, 2012 at 23:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Rod K

      You do realize that many studies have shown NO LINK BETWEEN MMR AND ASD?

      People that want to believe there is a link keep saying that it hasn't been disproven. We can't disprove that the aliens aren't controlling the rest of us to observe your responses to our actions, but that doesn't prove that they are.

      January 7, 2012 at 00:39 | Report abuse |
  48. Poodles

    I threw a rabbit into a blender once by mistake. Then I fed it to gerbils. Spooge everywhere!

    January 6, 2012 at 23:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. I have read the whole thing.

    If it was vacines that cause Autism, then why are children never vacinated still being diagnosed with Autism? Canadian researchers have proof that there is a gene for Autism and it is most likely heriditary. They also find that Autism and epilepsy are related. My nephew is Autistic, and this quacks fraudulant research angers me greatly, I find it dangerous and insulting.

    January 7, 2012 at 00:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • johnkeating

      Autism might be the result of some in-utero or post-birth physical trauma either from a physical injury or biological contamination, which stunted brain development or caused neural damage. I don't believe the cliched explanation of 'it's completely caused by genetics' at all. Something triggered it. It doesn't happen by itself.

      January 7, 2012 at 02:31 | Report abuse |
  50. Canuckistan2

    Another smear campaign..instead of Hans Blix the widley acclaimed and honest UN person put in charge of finding the dreaded WMD's in Iraq we have Dr Wakefield. Remeber Blix...his finding was there were no WMD's..then they proceeded to ruin his entire life with smears and lies. Same her..My wife has study autism for years and we are convinced it is directly related to the mass innoculation that is systematically destroying an entire generation. Look at the Amish..no vaccines and only 3 cases of autism and all 3 were vaccinated with MMR vaccine. Wake up people..who do you think pays for these supposed studies? You guessed it Big Pharma...Billions on the line here they cannot have people telling the truth!

    January 7, 2012 at 00:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • R.J.

      Please link your wife's double blind placebo controlled trial. I'll link several studies saying that vaccines and autism have no link whenever you want.

      January 7, 2012 at 00:18 | Report abuse |
    • Kay

      No...your wife hasn't "studied" autism for years. She's read some articles. And, no, the Amish do *not* have only 3 cases of autism. That's a bogus claim that Dan Olmstead made that has been totally debunked. But, hey, your wife probably took his unscientific "I went driving around Pennsylvania Dutch country and could only find 3 cases" as scientific fact. Yeesh.

      January 7, 2012 at 00:26 | Report abuse |
    • Canuckistan2

      My wife has 5 degrees and one is a PhD. Nice try people. Just be sheep. We have 3 healthy, smart and fit children none of which have been vaccinated and never will be. Good luck to you all. As for those claims it is genetic..who has the gene in your family? We have 2 autistic children in our immediate family and not one family member has been autistic. So explain to me this gene theory. When Big Pharma pays for studies it is sound and scientific, however when other doctors do studies they are all flawed and quacks. Big Pharma has never been wrong havethey..Thalidamide, Vioxx etc etc etc..thousands of drugs pulled after FDA approval. Anyway..believe what you want. I pray to god you do not end up with autistic kids.

      January 7, 2012 at 00:55 | Report abuse |
    • johnkeating

      Amen to that, Canuckistan2

      January 7, 2012 at 02:35 | Report abuse |
    • Eeyore

      "My wife has 5 degrees...blah..blah, blah"

      Yeah, and I'm the Queen of England.

      January 7, 2012 at 11:07 | Report abuse |
    • Eeyore

      Oh, and have your "wife with 5 degrees" explain genetics to you, you simple-minded dingbat.

      January 7, 2012 at 11:09 | Report abuse |
    • Eeyore

      "My wife has study autism". Do tell.

      You and Mike should get together. You're both goofballs.

      January 8, 2012 at 12:25 | Report abuse |
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