So, when does Dr. Andrew Wakefield - and the lawyers who funded him - get arrested and put on trial?
WEDNESDAY, Jan. 5 (HealthDay News) -- An in-depth investigation just published in a prominent medical journal alleges that a decade-long effort to link childhood vaccinations with autism was really an elaborate hoax perpetuated by a British doctor who has since been banned from practicing medicine in that country.
These people, in their quest for money, probably killed orders of magnitude more people - mostly young children - than any mass murder working outside of government, and probably inflicted orders of magnitude more harm and suffering on children than any pedophile priest.
"We had a measles epidemic in Britain, a drop in immunization rates in [the United States]. I personally know of children who were brain-damaged as a consequence of their parents deferring immunization as a result of this concern," [said Dr. Max Wiznitzer, a child neurologist with Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital, University Hospitals Case Medical Center, in Cleveland]. At the same time, he said, "[autism] research monies were diverted to disprove a hypothesis that was never proven [in the first place] rather than invested in exploring issues that would be of benefit to the public and to children with the condition."
All for money.
If mass murders and pedophile priests are due any amount of moral outrage, Whitfield and his co-conspirators appear to be due many times more.
Now, this should be handled ultimately by means of a trial - evidence presented before an impartial jury competent to determine if the evidence actually does support this conclusion.
If such a group determines that they are guilty, then the next step should be for the state to inflict punishment proportional to the crime.
I tend not to be in favor of the death penalty, and I will not make an exception in this case. I fear that a society that cheers and celebrates the killing of others will raise a portion of its population with their aversion to killing so weakened that they find it easier to kill others. I am safer in a society where people have such an aversion to killing that they are averse, even, to capital punishment.
But I am not averse to criminal punishment, and on that measure if the accusations against Wakefield and his accomplices can be proved in a court of law, a measure of punishment appropriate to people proved to be orders of magnitude more of a threat to children than the worst child rapist should follow.