Integrity is Lost in Wakefield

Hypothesis testing and the outcome, all part of the scientific process, shows integrity whether positive OR negative. In the Wakefield study, he focused his attention on 12 children who had been referred to for GI problems. Dr. Wakefield had already been toying with the idea of a connection between bowel problems and the MMR vaccine. At the same time Dr. Wakefield was paid to find out if children who had already had the MMR vaccine and a corresponding decline had a case. Some of these children were in both studies. That in itself is called "conflict of interest." Dr. Wakefield did admit that more research was needed but that he insisted on the MMR being administered individually rather than the 3-in-1 jab. Today, this study has been retracted as an elaborate fraud with Dr. Wakefield vehemently denying such an accusation. The British medical journal BMJ, which published the results of its investigation, concluded Dr. Andrew Wakefield misrepresented or altered the medical histories of all 12 of the patients whose cases formed the basis of the 1998 study - and that there was "no doubt" Wakefield was responsible. The journalist who wrote the BMJ articles said Thursday he believes Wakefield should face criminal charges.

Is this an example of a doctor who wanted recognition and to be the pariah in the medical community for autism OR is this an example of Big Pharma winning out and going on a witch hunt?

Because of this article, I have personally witnessed the attitude toward vaccinations shift from lifesaving to poison even so far as one parent telling me that she would not vaccinate her three children because it was wrong and if I did the same I was a bad parent. Tell that to the parents of the infants, babies, and children who have died since 1998 when Dr. Wakefield's study appeared.

In the prevaccination era, pertussis (ie, whooping cough) was a leading cause of infant death. The number of cases reported had decreased by more than 99% from the 1930s to the 1980s. However, because of many local outbreaks, the number cases reported in the United States increased by more than 2300% between 1976 and 2005, when the recent peak of 25,616 cases were reported.1 The disease is still a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in infants younger than 2 years. Pertussis should be included in the differential diagnosis of protracted cough with cyanosis or vomiting, persistent rhinorrhea, and marked lymphocytosis. (link)

In the prevaccination era, pertussis caused more than 270,000 cases and nearly 10,000 deaths annually. This rate reached a low of 4 reported deaths in the United States in 1982 and has recently risen to an average of about 25 deaths annually, with 39 being reported in 2005.

It's not so much that if you don't vaccinate your child that your child will die. It's that you are now taking advantage of herd immunity. You are taking advantage of a scenerio where most follow the rules and thus pertussis was on the decline. You are saying, "I don't have to vaccinate my child because pertussis isn't here." It is here. You are helping to carry it along. I am grateful for the recent push to booster dTaP in the adult community.

MMR was the focus of the study, though. I did cringe as both my children received the MMR and watched them like a hawk for the next six months wondering if "the light bulb would turn off suddenly." It did not. I do feel relieved that I don't have to worry about mumps. Mumps is back, folks. Ask those who are deaf now how THEY feel about those parents that will not vaccinate their children.

Read this post from back in May. Exactly. I couldn't have written it any better.

Please, for the love of God, stop putting our children at risk. Vaccinate your children. I truly believe that those that don't are negligent.

Stroke and Prozac

Shivers, Zaps, and Shocks... Part Two