Thursday, January 06, 2011

Dr. Wakefield's "Deliberate Fraud"

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.

Doctor Behind Study Linking Vaccine to Autism Accused of 'Deliberate Fraud'

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.


Sage said...

I tend to withhold judgement in cases like this. If we follow the money, what riches will Wakefield get from this research? Compare that to losses PharmaPlus will experience if people stop vaccinating. They have much more to lose if he's right. So, hmmm, could the fraud charge be in itself fraudulent? Time might tell. But then again they might not.

I'm all for vaccinating, by the way, and if the article is accurate, then this is a travesty, but it reminds me of what happened to Franz Adlkofer. His research indicated serious problems with 3G cell phones affecting our DNA (ten times as much as 2G phones). Suddenly he was charged with fraud through a claim that an assistant fudged the numbers, his research actually destroyed, and his reputation ruined. Later the assistant claimed she did no such thing, and said nothing to the investigators who insist she confessed. It seems like the fraud claim was pure invention. We'll never know the real story, but who has more to gain from lying - Adklofer or Motorola? (Source - Devra Davis's Disconnect)

Doug S. said...

This New York Times op-ed piece from 2005 seems relevant:

anton said...

I would like to put forth the punishment I created for such criminals.

Every 30 days in prison, they would be injected with salmonella poisoning. It will take them about a week to get better. And then they get to think about their next "bout" for three weeks. I have had it twice. It is an unbelievable illness. In addition to the complete and painful disruption of the digestive system, one can be blinded as well.

He deserves it. So do others. I have a long list of candidates.

anna.x said...'re kidding! One doctor does one study with a small focus group and people stop having their children vaccinated because of it. Perhaps rather than promoting punishment for Dr. Wakefield, look deeper. What was the parents role in chosing to reject the societal norm of the vaccine in favor of a newly published study that was inconclusive and didn't have the volume of data to support the research?

Jeanette said...

It's been obvious that fraud was involved with that study, since its results were so conclusive, yet every other study has failed to back it up in the slightest.

I'm opposed to the death penalty, too... but only because of the slippery slope and because of the possibility of wrongful convictions. He definitely deserves to be executed, though society doesn't deserve to be stuck with the death penalty.

But he definitely deserves time in prison. And if he ends up dying of a fatal disease, I'm going to open a bottle of champagne.