March 27, 2008
Dr. Andrew Wakefield and his colleagues, who are unjustly facing a fitness to practice hearing by the British General Medical Council (GMC), will now have the opportunity to defend themselves. Dr. Wakefield, a pioneer in autism research and treatment, begins his historic testimony today.
Dr. Wakefield is perhaps the most persecuted living physician. Wakefield’s findings were first published in The Lancet in 1998. The gastroenterologist and his colleagues described a unique pattern of bowel inflammation that developed in children who had regressed into autism soon after MMR vaccination. They believed the severe bowel disorder was part of a new disease—autistic enterocolitis. While the majority of his fellow researchers have recanted, Wakefield has stood by their original findings.
Wakefield also found particles of vaccine strain measles virus in the intestinal tissue of the majority of autistic children he examined. He began testing the theory that measles virus from MMR vaccine can colonize the bowel of susceptible children, producing inflammatory bowel disease, which then, via a disruption of the chemical balance in the body and the brain, leads to autism.
His findings caused a bitter and ongoing scientific dispute when he first raised the alarm over a link between the measles mumps, and rubella vaccine (MMR) and autism. He has been driven from his London research position and is now with Thoughtful House in Austin, Texas where he continues his research and work with autistic children.
Says Wakefield, “My opinion on MMR vaccine safety is shared by Dr. Jefferson, whose paper published in the journal Vaccine, stated, ‘The design and reporting of safety outcomes in MMR vaccine studies, both pre- and post-marketing, are largely inadequate’.”
Dr. Wakefield has since endured a relentless campaign of character assassination and professional shunning—even though his findings have since been reproduced by a number of other medical researchers around the world.
Following are links to the events now underway in the U.K. along with commentaries in support of Dr. Wakefield:
- Major autism groups support Dr. Andrew Wakefield.
- “The Seat of the Soul: The Origins of the Autism Epidemic“, By Dr. Andrew Wakefield, Presented at Carnegie Mellon University, November 17, 2005.
- “Vaccination Information & Choice Network” related links: Autism and Vaccine Dangers – MMR Vaccine.
- The Politics Behind the Wakefield Persecution.