Friday, January 07, 2011

Is THIS the final nail in the coffin?

I received a call from my mother late last night about a report that Anderson Cooper was giving about a study linking vaccines and autism.  My feeling was "Oh oh, they found a connection", and I do not have cable in my new place, so I just went straight to my desktop and looked for a live broadcast on CNN's website.

It turns out, as most people interested in this topic know already, that the British Medical Journal has accused Dr. Andrew Wakefield of falsifying his results in a landmark study which he published in The Lancet in 1998 ("elaborate fraud" I believe is a direct quote").

I'll spare you most of the details, but if you want more information on this report, I recommend Buzztracker's list of news articles, where this story is currently dominating the autism category, and CNN's video page, where you just click on the health category on the left side of the screen, and roughly half of all videos on this topic are related to autism, although I recommend videos with Cooper in them, particularly ones where he puts Wakefield through the wringer, and shows the disgraced gastrointrologist (sp?) to be the pathetic little rat that he is.

This was the sort of thing I worked on for editorial content when I was still working at the Provincial Autism Centre.  The vaccine/autism issue was such a huge point of controversy for a long time, but by the time I left, the study in the Lancet had been retracted, and it had otherwise become a non-issue, replaced by a number of legitimate issues.  In the process, I had become something of a 'lay expert' (slight exaggeration, but I cannot think of better words) on the inner workings of science, having attended symposia largely having to do with the current state of autism research, and reading different opinions online, even ones hostile to mine.  It's the best one can do without any special talent for it, I suppose.

Also got around to changing the description (finally) at the top of this page, proudly proclaiming myself as an autistic man, and a graduate.


Anonymous said...

Hey - I really like your blog, I've been following it for a while.
quite liked this post: Wakerfield is an absolute disgrace to the medical profession.
His "studies" raised so much suspicion on vaccines that mothers refused to vaccinate their kids and to this day we're still dealing with the consequences.
I'm happy the GMC have FINALLY put it to rest. It's taken so long, I understand they had to investigate everything-though 12 years?

I hope this would reassure people now!

you mentioned you now identify as an autistic male, did not previously?

*it's gastroenterologist


Danny Melvin said...

Thank you Cello-in. Actually, I had 'outed' myself in previous posts, but I only recently added my condition to the description under the title, which I had not changed for a while. It said that I was a mature student, but I graduated in '09.

Anonymous said...

oh okay! sweet
What does it mean being autistic? How have you found life so far?
Please pardon my ignorance, but I just always wondered what meant to have autism.
I feel generally understanding one and another would make the world so much more peaceful. Just understanding and accepting we're all different.

I volunteered in a school for disabled children a few years ago, formally known as the Royal school for dead and communication disorders. Great school, founded by charity. Some of the mature kids were autistic. To be honest, it was of the best time i spent with the children. I never got to be with the the children that had autism, I wasn't "experienced" enough was the reason.

Here's the link to the school:

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