The General Medical Council (GMC) of the United Kingdom has cleared the medical flack surrounding one of Dr. Andrew Wakefield’s medical colleagues, Professor John Walker-Smith, and recanted their censure against him. In a press release dated March 7, 2012, GMC cleared Walker-Smith by overturning its decision of “guilty of serious professional misconduct.” Even the judge ruled that the hearings were a farce—wow!
In view of that happening, I asked Dr. Wakefield, “What’s the difference between medical practice and medical research AND whether procedures performed on children were clinically necessary?” Dr. Wakefield answered, “Medical (clinical) practice is for the benefit of the individual patient whereas research is conducted to improve knowledge and hopefully provide future benefits to sufferers generally. The procedures performed on the Lancet children were deemed clinically necessary by the clinical team caring for those children.”
Doctor’s answer prompted me to ask, “Why is that seemingly so important to the GMC?” to which Dr. Wakefield said, “What appears to have been important to the GMC was obtaining convictions in spite of the evidence.” After considering that, I could not help but ask, “Isn’t it within a medical doctor’s jurisdiction to perform tests needed to determine cause?” Doctor’s reply was absolutely brilliant and something the GMC probably doesn’t want to consider, “Yes, and it could be considered clinical malpractice not to have done so.”
Embellishing upon Doctor’s last comment, I found myself asking, “What’s exploratory surgery about? It’s done often in the USA when physicians are stumped. Should they be punished for doing it?” Consider his candid remark, “I interpret this term as meaning, for example, a diagnostic laparotomy to explore the abdomen when other tests have failed to find the source of a patient’s symptoms. As long as the obvious tests have been done and are negative or do not provide an adequate explanation, then it is appropriate.”
Normally I would have asked if that were applicable in the issue that got him struck from the register, but since he’s brought a lawsuit regarding the issue, I felt it best not to go there. But I was inquisitive enough to ask, “Do you know the status of Dr. Simon Murch?” And his answer just about floored me, “I believe he is working as an academic pediatric gastroenterologist in the UK.” Oh! Say I, hmmm. If Professor Walker-Smith and Dr. Murch seem to be back in the good graces of the GMC, why not Dr. Wakefield, I thought.
So I asked, “Why do you think the GMC reinstated Dr. Walker-Smith? The fact that he is retired, does that have anything to do with it, e.g., he won’t be practicing because of his age even though he’s cleared to do so?” Dr. Wakefield then said, “The GMC had no choice but to reinstate him in view of the fact that Judge Mitting quashed their deeply flawed decision.” Now, I wish I knew more about the British legal system and the GMC, in particular, because if what Dr. Wakefield says is the real reason—and I have no reason to doubt it—then the next logical step would be to reinstate Dr. Wakefield. Something smells rather fishy about this entire Wakefield saga, in my opinion, and I wish the GMC would make right its apparent position regarding all physicians it struck from the register during this most disturbing of medical fiascos, in my opinion.
In spite of what I may think, I had to ask, “What can you say to MDs and researchers who feel you were on the right track regarding the MMR vaccine/autism/gut link, but don’t know what to do about following through to publication that may end in sanctions against them?” His answer was “typical golden Wakefield,” “Decide why you chose the profession you did, do your job without compromise in the best interests of the patients, or pack up and get out.” Gulp! And swallow hard, but that’s what a dedicated professional should do. There’s a saying that goes something like this, “Lay down the cheese and see how many mice will come.” In medical research the cheese often is money or grants, while the mice are the ever-anxious-to-please researchers.
As a result of what may be regarded as having to remove some stale “egg on its face” as a result of striking from the register eminent physicians, I understand that the GMC is planning some significant reforms to its fitness practice review. So, I asked Dr. Wakefield what reform suggestions he would give GMC after having been through its bullying mill. His answer could not have been more succinct: “This is a very big question. They need to operate entirely free from government pressures and conflicts of interest,” to which I only could add, applause, applause, and applause.
A few of the parents of the “Lancet” children showed up for the GMC’s decision on Professor Walker-Smith. To see a short YouTube of their remarks, please click on http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=u55MNglDkos .
Something still bothers me. If Professor Walker-Smith has been exonerated, what’s happened with other physicians involved—since there were at least a dozen doctors at the Royal Free Hospital, not only Dr. Andrew Wakefield—who found the same results as Wakefield did. However, only three doctors were brought up on misconduct charges: Walker-Smith, Wakefield, and Dr. Simon Murch. It seems like games of professional bullying or pin the tail on some donkey transpired. Is a vaccine’s reputation more important than finding, revealing, and publicizing something new in medical research that can help or direct understanding about an apparently newly emerging health anomaly? Isn’t that what medical science is supposed to be about? Or, is it science according to Big Pharma and its minions where ever they may be: the UK or the USA?
For the record, let’s get the Wakefield story correct. Dr. Wakefield never said there was a definite link between vaccines and the MMR vaccination, only that there was a possible connection and reason for concern that ought to be investigated. Dr. Wakefield’s story reminds one of Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis’s tragic encounter when he suggested that physicians wash their hands after doing autopsies on women who died in child birth BEFORE going into the birthing wards and examining women in labor. Semmelweis cut childbirth fever deaths from 30 percent to about 3 percent in his wing of the hospital, yet his colleagues considered him a nut case. So, what do physicians do today, especially surgeons? Scrub and prepare for 10 to 20 minutes before surgery—isn’t that the routine? Oh the games grown men play, especially when high-stake money is involved, as with Big Pharma and its vaccines, in my opinion.
If the GMC is still holding on to its arrogant position that “There is now no respectable body of opinion which supports [Dr Wakefield’s] hypothesis, that MMR vaccine and autism/enterocolitis are causally linked,” may I respectfully inform the GMC that a study performed by a team of doctors at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, involved 275 children that confirmed Dr. Wakefield’s findings regarding bowel disease and the measles virus. Here are the results: 70 out of 82 children tested positive for the measles virus, but just not any ordinary measles virus.
One of the Wake Forest physicians, Dr. Stephen Walker, stated that their research pointed to a vaccine measles strain that was injected into the children and not a wild, natural strain of measles virus that normally transmits from child to child. Interesting? Here’s Dr. Walker’s remark, “Of the handful of results we have in so far, all are vaccine strain and none are wild measles.”
Perhaps the GMC isn’t up to date on reading the medical literature, or they would be hightailing it to overturn the unwarranted decision against Dr. Andrew Wakefield. If GMC had taken the time to do their ‘homework’ they would have found that the Wake Forest University study proves that in the gastro-intestinal tract of children diagnosed with autism, the vaccine measles virus was found in their gut. How did it get there, if not by vaccination, especially with the MMR vaccine? Infants and toddlers normally don’t drink measles-laced formula.
If the Wake Forest study is not enough, how about the 2001 study by Dr. John O’Leary, Professor of Pathology, done at the St. James Hospital and Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, that came up with the same findings as Wake Forest and Dr. Wakefield. Okay, we now have three confirming studies that can no longer be consider the ‘Wakefield hypothesis’.
The article “Persistent measles virus infection of the intestine: confirmation by immunogold electron microscopy,” by Lewin, Dhillon, Sim, Mazure, Pounder, and Wakefield  April 1995 still appears on PubMed Central’s web site at NIH. The last line of the Abstract for that article states:
This study provides the first direct confirmation of persistent measles virus infection of the intestine.
Something does not comport, and I hope you can follow this. Why would the U.S. National Institutes of Health still have Dr. Wakefield’s findings published as part of its medical library information IF those findings were not respectable? The PDF file of the article is available at this link http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1382498/ .
If the above is not sufficient for the GMC to rethink Dr. Wakefield’s unwarranted striking from the register with immediate reinstatement, then how about their studying the following:
- Elevated levels of measles antibodies in children with autism. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12849883
- Detection and sequencing of measles virus from peripheral mononuclear cells from patients with inflammatory bowel disease and autism. “The sequences obtained from the patients with ulcerative colitis and children with autism were consistent with being vaccine strains.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10759242
Perhaps the GMC’s significant reforms they anticipate introducing ought to include a statement of regret and an apology to all physicians affected by the apparent witch hunt or bullying tactics that transpired with regard to respectable men of medicine who were trying to move the ball farther down the court in the baffling world of childhood diseases that are emerging simultaneously with—or as a result of—the global vaccination mandates agenda.
Photo Credit: Pink Sherbert Photography