With all the attacks against de-licensed British doctor Andrew Wakefield by the scavengers of the media, one thing that gets lost is the fact that the findings on which the retraction of his paper and revocation of his medical license were based have been completely overturned. Wakefield is now looking to get his medical license back that the UK’s General Medical Council had taken from him over five years ago.
When faced with the fact that the findings used to justify the retraction were effectively disproved, the ombudsman of The Lancet – the journal that retracted Wakefield’s paper – Dr. Malcolm Molyneux admitted:
The retraction then mentions the enrolment [sic] procedure and ethical clearance, but implies that there remain other elements on which the decision was based.
The only accurate way to interpret Molyneux’s answer is that he tacitly acknowledges that the findings specifically mentioned to justify the paper’s retraction were overturned, but does not want to do anything about it or even revise the journal’s retraction statement. When pressed on what those “other elements” were that justified the paper’s retraction, Molyneux did not respond further.
Now that Andrew Wakefield is screening a film on the government’s cover-up of vaccines causing autism at the Tribeca Film Festival, I only wish he would include the unwarranted retraction of his paper in his Tribeca bio. I have been quite disappointed in Wakefield – from saying he insists on GMC’s witch trial against him and his colleagues to giving an interview with the pharma-conspiring New York Times, he has truly proven himself to be clueless about how to handle the scavengers’ attacks on him. Look at how pathetic his Tribeca film bio is:
Andrew Wakefield, MB.BS., is an academic gastroenterologist who practiced medicine at the Royal Free in the U.K. publishing over 140 scientific papers. In 1995, he was contacted by parents of autistic children with stomach issues; he learned that these conditions often occurred immediately following an MMR vaccine. In pursuit of this possible link, Dr. Wakefield led an initial study of twelve children with both stomach and developmental issues. The report, published in The Lancet, would catapult Wakefield into becoming one of the most controversial figures in the history of medicine. Vaxxed: From Cover-up to Controversy is his second film.
This is what it should really say:
Andrew Wakefield, MB.BS., is an academic gastroenterologist who practiced medicine at the Royal Free in the U.K. publishing over 140 scientific papers. In 1995, he was contacted by parents of autistic children with stomach issues; he learned that these conditions often occurred immediately following an MMR vaccine. His initial study of these children was retracted by The Lancet and his medical license was revoked because of disproved disciplinary findings that have now been completely overturned on appeal. Vaxxed: From Cover-up to Controversy is his second film.
Wakefield tells Autism Investigated that he is trying to get his medical license back, which is all the more appropriate now that the findings against him have been completely overturned by his colleague’s appeal. Yet he has never commented on whether he will even make a public statement about it. He most certainly should, especially now that his documentary on the CDC whistleblower story that he hijacked is being screened at Tribeca.
Update: Tribeca Film Festival pulled the documentary: “The Festival doesn’t seek to avoid or shy away from controversy. However, we have concerns with certain things in this film that we feel prevent us from presenting it in the Festival program. We have decided to remove it from our schedule.”
Footage from the film includes surreptitious recordings of Dr. William Thompson’s voice leaked by Wakefield as well as a silhouetted actor posing as Dr. Thompson.
Addendum: Last January, Autism Investigated sent the following question to the General Medical Council: “How do you justify keeping Dr. Andrew Wakefield de-licensed when all your findings against him have been overturned on appeal by his colleague, Prof. John Walker-Smith?”
The GMC replied with a signed letter that did not address the findings themselves, but did conclude: “a doctor can apply for restoration to the register in certain circumstances. We would then consider the doctor’s application, along with any further supporting evidence they provide, and determine whether to grant restoration to the register.”
More than five years has elapsed since Dr. Wakefield’s erasure, making him eligible to apply. Once he does, the GMC will have to consider his application along with “any further supporting evidence” he provides.