British Medical Journal and Sunday Times author Brian Deer misrepresent facts in latest articles wrongly accusing Dr. Wakefield of altering clinical histories of autistic children
In a series of articles published in the UK Sunday Times and the British Medical Journal (BMJ), written by freelance journalist Brian Deer and BMJ editor Dr. Fiona Godlee (1), I am accused of altering the clinical histories and test results in autistic children in order to manufacture a novel disease – a disease described in The Lancet in 1998 that Brian Deer claims does not exist. I have documents that confirm beyond a shadow of a doubt that I did not falsify this data; that the finding of bowel disease in these children is real; and that these findings were accurately reported in The Lancet in 1998.
The first document (2) describes 7 of The Lancet children and was written by Professor John Walker-Smith in December 1996, 14 months before The Lancet paper was published. Professor Walker-Smith prepared this document in an exercise that, in his words, “was totally unrelated to Andy Wakefield” (3). The document was a report prepared for a scientific meeting, and was based upon Professor Walker-Smith’s own independent assessment of the children’s condition.
He was assisted by a senior pathologist and an expert in bowel disease, Dr. Dhillon, who reported on the microscopic findings in the children’s intestinal tissues. This independent analysis was conducted to a high level of scientific rigor, and are the precise findings reported in The Lancet.
These documents, including Professor Walker-Smith’s report; the transcript of his sworn testimony before the UK medical regulator (2), the General Medical Council (GMC), and the relevant sections of the statement of Dr. Dhillon to the GMC3; were available to Deer and the editors of the BMJ well in advance of their recent publication. (4) They knew, or should have known, that their allegations against me were false. It is clear that the BMJ acted recklessly by failing to check these facts adequately before making their false allegations.
On the basis of this evidence, the British Medical Journal must retract these articles, or face the consequences.
(1) Author of BMJ articles only
(4) Callous Disregard: Autism and Vaccines – The Truth Behind a Tragedy, published by Skyhorse Publishing in May 2010 and Wakefield’s complaint about Brian Deer to the UK’s Press Complaints Commission atwww.cryshame.org
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