Andrew Wakefield: Fraud – The Facts

Over on the “Stop the Australian Vaccination Network” (AVN) Facebook page, this got thrown up; a 15-page comic looking at the epic fraud by Andrew Wakefield, the money he gained from it, the money he stood to gain, and the implicit media and politicians who had their heads so far up their arses they literally had shit for brains.

Darryl Cunningham has put together a brilliantly illustrated book with an interesting use of real media in the comic that brings the comic down to earth – perhaps long enough for you to realize the sobering fact that children have died because of the personal greed of Andrew Wakefield and Richard Barr.

Perhaps long enough to realize that it didn’t just affect the children of the parents who were too scared to vaccinate because they believed the misinformation from Andrew Wakefield, Richard Barr, Jim Carrey, and Jenny McCarthey; it affects EVERYONE.

So, check out “The Facts in the Case of Dr. Andrew Wakefield“:

Darryl Cunningham Investigates

The final page really makes the same point as I, and others have been wanting for a long time:

Informed Journalism.

Chiropractic “Doctor” tries to validate their treatment for Autism

Autism is a often claimed by Chiropractic practitioners as something they can treat through spinal manipulations; and while there is no robust evidence for this, nothing stops them from trying to make up conclusions about research papers.

Case in point is below, where an Autism Research who presented a hypothesis caught wind of a Chiropractor using his research to validate his Chiropractic Treatments.

I’m famous. Well, sort of. Earlier this week, one of my colleagues sent me a link to a YouTube video in which chiropractic doctor David Sullivan discusses one of my papers on autism and how it influences his “evidence based practice”.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=loJP3TFavQA

Our paper was called “The temporal binding deficit hypothesis of autism” and came out in the journal Development and Psychopathology nine years ago (now there’s a scary thought). In it we suggested that autism might be caused, at least in part, by a reduced interaction between different brain regions.

We didn’t show anything; there was no evidence, no data; we had an idea and ran with it. As it happens, there have since been a number of studies suggesting that autistic brains on the whole are less well-connected than your average brain.

Different studies find that different neural pathways are disconnected. Some studies even suggest heightened connectivity. And while there’s lots of evidence for abnormal brain oscillations, look more closely and the actual pattern of abnormality isn’t very consistent. Another big problem is that evidence for abnormal brain connectivity has been found for umpteen other disorders that are quite different to autism. And there’s a fairly compelling counter-argument that anomalous brain connections might be a consequence of autism rather than its cause.

Last time I checked, autism wasn’t considered to be a form of back problem. Sullivan doesn’t provide any evidence that chiropractic is a suitable treatment. He doesn’t explain how it might be beneficial, even in theory. More to the point, he doesn’t elaborate on how the insights gained from our paper are at all relevant to his practice.

From: Cracking the enigma: Autism, temporal-binding, and … Chiropractic

Wakefield Supports Vaccines

“My opinion, again, is that the monovalent, the single vaccines, measles, mumps and rubella, are likely in this context to be safer than the polyvalent vaccine.”

– Andrew Wakefield, Twenty Twenty Television

I found the quote to be quite a far way away from what is preached by the no-vaccination lobby group like the Australian Vaccination Network (Anti-Vaccination Network), who still refuses to place this health warning issued by the Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC):

More on the Australian Vaccination Network Warning:

http://www.hccc.nsw.gov.au/Publications/Media-Releases/PUBLIC-WARNING-/default.aspx

PUBLIC WARNING ABOUT THE AUSTRALIAN VACCINATION NETWORK (AVN)

26 July 2010

by the Health Care Complaints Commission under section 94A of the Health Care Complaints Act 1993 

The Health Care Complaints Commission has investigated two complaints about the Australian Vaccination Network (AVN), a non-profit organisation registered in New South Wales that provides information about vaccination. The complaints alleged that the AVN provides incorrect and misleading information about vaccination.

The Commission’s investigation of the complaints focussed on the material presented by the AVN on its website http://www.avn.org.au.

The Commission’s investigation established that the AVN website:

 

  • provides information that is solely anti-vaccination
  • contains information that is incorrect and misleading
  • quotes selectively from research to suggest that vaccination may be dangerous.

On this basis, the Commission recommended to the AVN that it should include a statement in a prominent position on its website to the following effect:

 

  • The AVN’s purpose is to provide information against vaccination, in order to balance what it believes is the substantial amount of pro-vaccination information available elsewhere.
  • The information provided by the AVN should not be read as medical advice.
  • The decision about whether or not to vaccinate should be made in consultation with a health care provider.

The Commission recognises that it is important for there to be debate on the issue of vaccination. However, the AVN provides information that is inaccurate and misleading.

The AVN’s failure to include a notice on its website of the nature recommended by the Commission may result in members of the public making improperly informed decisions about whether or not to vaccinate, and therefore poses a risk to public health and safety.

Further Information

For further information, contact Mr Kim Swan, the Executive Officer of the Health Care Complaints Commission, on 9219 7483 or send an email to media@hccc.nsw.gov.au.

An Autism-Spectrum Quotient Questionnarie

20110419-143032.jpg

Located at Wired the article uses a Psychometric test published by Psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen and his colleagues back in 2001.

I figured it was going to be interesting to see what my result was after answering the 50 questions.

Quite honestly, it was a bit of a surprise that my Autism-Spectrum Quotient wasn’t higher, even just slightly — even more surprising was that I scored higher than my girlfriend (<3)!

During the initial trials of the questionnaire, the average score in the control group was 16.4. Men tended to score slightly higher (about 17) than women (about 15).

The authors caution that the questionnaire it is not intended to be diagnostic. Anyone who obtains a high score and is suffering some distress should seek professional medical advice before jumping to any conclusions; after all — many who score above 32 and even meet the diagnostic criteria for mild autism or Asperger’s report no difficulty functioning in their everyday lives.

Of the adults diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders who took the test, 80% of them scored 32 or more. In comparison, only 2% of the control group score as high, or higher.

If you’re wondering, further research indicated that the questionnaire could be used for screening in clinical practice. Scores less than 26 indicating that a diagnosis of Asperger syndrome can effectively be ruled out.

Continue reading →

To Brian Wilshire Re: Wakefield and the MMR Vaccine

Hi Brian,

Further to last night about MMR and Wakefield, this was featured last night on ABC:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJZAVxjMf1E&

In the Wikipedia Article about Dr. Andrew Wakefield:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Wakefield

I bring attention to one of the final paragraphs:

“Wakefield claims that Deer is a “hit man who was brought in to take [him] down” and that other scientists have simply taken Deer at his word. While on Anderson Cooper 360°, claiming he hadn’t read the BMJ articles yet, he denied their validity and denied that Deer had interviewed the families of the children in the study. He also urged viewers to read his book, Callous Disregard, which he claimed would explain why he was being targeted, to which Anderson Cooper replied: “But, sir, if you’re lying, then your book is also a lie. If your study is a lie, your book is a lie.”[84]

Deer responded to Wakefield’s charge that he was a “hit man” by challenging Wakefield to sue him for libel:

“If it is true that Andrew Wakefield is not guilty as charged, he has the remedy of bringing a libel action against myself, the Sunday Times of London, against the medical journal here, and he would be the richest man in America.”[85]

He also noted that Wakefield has previously sued him and lost.[53][85]

The biggest problem with the claim that MMR is a cause of Autism is that there is no evidence of such, and – as Dr. Rachie pointed out, 13 years of investigation hasn’t found it.

That’s 13 years of research WASTED.

The Lancet would have published the paper due to the implications of the claimed findings by Wakefield; after being discredited as a poor example of ethical research, the Lancet retracted the paper – and rightly so.

Regardless of Wakefield’s financial findings, his paper was wrong because it was intentionally flawed. It wasn’t wrong because of a conspiracy, not because of politics, not because of his personal motives or intended incentives, but because repeated attempts by researchers worldwide show time after time that his research was both ethically immoral and methodically erroneous.

Thanks for the extra time given on the radio with my alternate view [from your programs] 🙂

Brian Wilshire is a Radio Host for the Macquarie Network’s 2GB873 (Sydney) & MTR1377 (Melbourne).