Andrew Wakefield Has Never Been, and Never Will Be, Exonerated
Aug 05, 2016
Every Child By Two (now Vaccinate Your Family) is pleased to launch another article in our series featuring guest writer Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH, a retired epidemiologist who has worked in the areas of preventive medicine, infectious diseases, medical outcomes research,
and evidence-based clinical practice guidelines. Dr. Harrison volunteers his time to provide in-depth and expert analysis of articles which ultimately make false claims about the safety of vaccines.
Today we will feature Dr. Harrison’s latest commentary, Andrew Wakefield Has Never Been Exonerated: Justice Mitting’s Decision in the John Walker-Smith Case.
The executive summary is posted here on Shot of Prevention with links to the full article on Vaccinate Your Family’s website.
Andrew Wakefield is a prominent figure among those who fear that vaccines cause more harm than good. When the UK’s General Medical Council (GMC) revoked his medical license, as well as the license of Professor John Walker-Smith, a co-author on Wakefield’s 1998 paper, his supporters saw the decision as a political move to silence his criticism of vaccine safety and his claims that vaccines, the MMR in particular, played a causal role in the rise of autism and other childhood disabilities. Both Wakefield and Walker-Smith appealed the GMC decision; but Wakefield discontinued his appeal.
On March 7, 2012, Mr. Justice Mitting of the UK’s High Court of Justice published the Court’s decision in the Professor John Walker-Smith case, overturning the GMC decision. It did not take long for anti-vaccination websites to post articles referring to the Court’s decision, emphasizing that Walker-Smith and, by implication, Wakefield, had been exonerated.
This paper will show that Justice Mitting’s decision in no way exonerated Wakefield. And that even with regard to John Walker-Smith, the decision was based on a procedural error, not factual innocence. In addition, despite what anti-vaccinationists have written, Justice Mitting’s decision also made clear that he considered the research showing no relationship between the MMR vaccine and autism to be established science.
In conclusion, it is clear that Andrew Wakefield has not, and given the overwhelming evidence, will NEVER BE EXONERATED.
Read this article in full by clicking here.
This guest post was written by Alethea Mshar out of concern for her son Ben. A version of this post originally appeared on her blog Ben’s Writing, Running Mom. Like all parents, my child’s health...
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