Antivaccine nonsense Autism Complementary and alternative medicine Medicine Quackery

Send a message to Andrew Wakefield

Kevin Leitch informs me that DAN/ARI are asking people to leave a message for Andrew Wakefield.

Yes, that Andrew Wakefield, the man who almost single-handedly started a scare over the MMR vaccine, the man who was paid by lawyers and was either so clueless, careless, and/or dishonest (take your pick) that the lab where he did his research where he “found” measles RNA sequences in the guts of autistic children didn’t do even the most basic controls to eliminate false positives.

Not surprisingly, essentially all the messages are nauseatingly supportive and full of praise. Here’s a sample:

Thank you for sticking to your beliefs, for your energy and your resilience in the face of adversity.

I, and I am sure of it, many other French parents, wish you the very best for things going on!

Françoise Ayzac

You are a brave and dedicated physician. If only more medical professionals were as willing as you were in tnose early days to listen to parents and realize these children were dealing with serious gastrointestinal issues which related to their autism. You were willing to look for the truth and stand by it. Thank you for your integrity and sacrifice.

Brooke Potthast
Arlington, VA

My family and I cannot thank you enough for what you have done for the autism community. I cannot believe what the medical community is doing to you. But you must now there are lots of us in the United States believe in you, and support you. You are not alone. My son would never have progressed the way he has if it wasn’t for you and other doctors who speak up when they see something is wrong and should be questioned. I don’t know if you are a spiritual or religious person. But I have thanked God many times for your tenacity and strength. I pray that you prevail. What we would do without you, I don’t want to imagine it. God Bless to you and your family.

Pam Thompson
Mission Viejo, Calif. USA

There aren’t enough words to thank you for advocating for our children in spite of what that has cost you. You are a hero of the true sense. We will forever be grateful for what you have done.

In our hearts forever,

Julie Obradovic
Homer Glen, IL USA

You get the idea. I quite like Kev’s message to Dr. Wakefield myself, but fear that it will never see the light of day. Nonetheless, I composed something along similar lines:

Dr. Wakefield:

Now that the scientific evidence over the last 8-9 years has run conclusively counter to your claim that the measles in the MMR vaccine somehow contributes to the development of autism and that Dr. Bustin at the Autism Omnibus trial showed very convincingly that your finding of measles DNA sequences in biopsy specimens from the guts of autistic children is virtually certainly a false positive due to shoddy research technique, including failure to do adequate negative controls and contamination by plasmid sequences used to do positive controls, will you finally retract your findings and say that you were mistaken? Will you finally admit how much responsibility that you bear for the recent resurgence of measles in the U.K., a resurgence which is directly attributable to the decrease in the rates of completing the full set of MMR injections fueled by fears that you yourself had a large role in stoking?

Will you finally own up to your legacy and try to make amends?

I realize these will probably never see the light of day, but, even so, I encourage my readers to go to the DAN/ARI webpage and leave comments of their own. This can be done either here or here. If no negative comments show up by Tuesday or so, we’ll know that only the glowing, sycophantic messages are being allowed through.

Indeed, because I strongly suspect that no critical messages will go through, I’m asking anyone who leaves a message for Dr. Wakefield as a result of reading this to leave a copy of their message in the comments here. I’ll publish all messages, even the ones I disagree with, as long as there’s no profanity or personal abuse.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

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