So in the last video, we talked
about how many, many studies have been done that show that
there were no links between MMR vaccine and autism. And in fact, other studies have
been done to kind of pick apart all of the individual
parts of the mechanism that the Wakefield
study laid out– that there is no link between
vaccine and gut inflammation, there's no link between gut
inflammation and autism. And so at this point, people
are pretty convinced that there really is no link between
MMR vaccine and autism. But many families
and a lot of parents still believe this myth. And so people wondered about
this initial Wakefield study– how the results even came about.

Now, an interesting
thing happened in 2004. And this is a very unusual
thing for a research study of any sort. But basically, 10 of
the authors– remember, there are 13 authors
on this study. 10 of them actually
retracted, and said, you know, our conclusions
were not appropriate. And we're going to retract. So three of the authors did not. But the fact that 10 of
them actually retracted was really striking and kind
of raised a lot of eyebrows. Why in the world would people
retract their initial study? So that same year, because
of this very odd thing to have happened, a guy
by the name of Brian Deer, who was a reporter–
he was actually working for a British newspaper,
investigative journalist– began his investigation. He actually started
looking into this stuff.

And Brian Deer is a guy
that had been kind of well known for investigations
in the past. He had investigated the
pharmaceutical industry and other kind of
powerful organizations. And he thought that he would
take on this Wakefield study and really get to
the bottom of it, understand where these
results came from. And what he found was really
shocking in a lot of ways. Turns out back in
1996, about two years before the Wakefield
study, a group of lawyers who were actually hoping to sue
the MMR vaccine manufacturers, they decided to pay Wakefield
a large sum of money.

So they paid Wakefield
thousands and thousands of pounds, which is converted
to even more US dollars, to actually carry
out this study. So they paid him directly. And this money was not
used for the patients, because the patients were part
of the National Health Service and got their care through that. This was actually money
given directly to Wakefield. So this is obviously a
huge conflict of interest, and this is not something that
Wakefield had ever told anyone.

He didn't mention this when
he published this study. And another thing
that actually came out was that a year
later, in 1997, it turned out that Wakefield
actually had filed a patent. So Wakefield had placed a patent
on a vaccine, of all things. So Wakefield had a
patent on a vaccine that would have competed
with the MMR vaccine. It was kind of an
alternative MMR vaccine. And so again, this is a
major conflict of interest. Because if he's doing
a study on one vaccine and showing that it's not a
great vaccine, that it causes autism, then obviously that
sets him up very nicely to actually put out his
own alternative version of the vaccine. So these are two huge
conflicts of interest that he did not mention when
he was publishing his study. Now let me make a bit
of space on this canvas, and we'll get into
what happened next.

It turns out, between the
years of 2007 and 2010– so for about 2 and 1/2 years,
there was an investigation. And this was done by the
General Medical Council. So this group is actually both
doctors and community members. And they actually review any
sort of unethical behavior done by a doctor and make a decision
about whether that person can go back and practice medicine. So this GMC group, they
reviewed all the documents that Brian Deer had investigated
and other information they had kind of dug up themselves. And they basically found
a number of things. They found that he was being
dishonest, first of all.

And you might be
thinking, well, obviously he was being dishonest
about some things. He didn't mention his
financial interests. That was a second issue. They said that he had a few
opportunities to mention them. Beyond just
publishing the paper, he had also gone to
meetings and conferences. And repeatedly, he
had kind of lied about his financial interests. They said that he
was negligent– that he had actually
done, specifically, things to autistic
children in his study that were medically
negligent, inappropriate. And finally, that
he was unskilled. And specifically, what I mean is
that he was not a pediatrician. He was a general physician–
surgeon, specifically– and that he really didn't have
any business working on kids. So with the first
point, dishonesty, let me just go back to
that briefly and give you a little bit more detail. They found that he had
actually picked his patients. He had found them
not randomly as they came into the hospital,
which is what he had said, but that the lawyers that
he was working with actually put him in touch
with patients that were very interested in suing
the MMR vaccine manufacturer.

And obviously, if you
have a group that's ready to sue another group,
then that's not random. And maybe there's some bias
in what they're going to say. He also didn't get any ethical
clearance from the hospital. So he had said that the ethical
board had cleared everything that he was doing,
but that wasn't true. Now, with his
financial interests, he actually– in addition to
having that patent on a vaccine, he also had a company
that sold something called "transfer factor." And this product was
basically marketed to people that were
looking for an alternative to the MMR vaccine. So of course, if you can
make the vaccine look really bad or unsafe, then your
company selling an alternative is going to do really well. Now, on the
negligence point, this is actually really unfortunate. He, among other
things– and so I'm just going to pick out
one of the things they mentioned– he performed
three lumbar punctures on kids that did not need them. Now, think about that. Three lumbar punctures. This is a needle in
the back, and you're getting fluid that kind
of bathes the brain.

You're doing this
procedure on kids that just didn't need the
procedure done at all. And so this is obviously
completely inappropriate. And finally, he, as I
said, was unskilled. He was not a pediatrician. And he should not have been
making clinical decisions about pediatric patients. That was obviously
something that you need skill and training
to do, and he never received any of that.

So they actually looked
at all this evidence, and they said that
they were going to remove him from
the medical registry. So based on all this
evidence, they actually removed him from the
medical registry. And once you're removed from
a medical registry in one country, it becomes
very, very hard to work in any other country. And so he effectively was now
unable to practice medicine or even surgery, which is what
he was trained to do, anywhere in the world. So when all this
information kind of came out, just a
few days after he was removed from the
medical registry, The Lancet actually decided that
they would remove the article, or retract the article.

So now The Lancet, the medical
journal he had published it in, the initial Wakefield study,
retracted it completely. And finally, one question kind
of lingered in many people's minds, in my mind as
well, is that even if you accept all this, that
he kind of dishonestly found these patients and had
a financial interest and was negligent,
it seems so strange that 12 children had
gut inflammation.

Now, that just seems like
a very odd thing to find. And it makes you wonder
whether there was something to his study in the first place. Well, it turned
out that finally, in 2011– which is very,
very recent, actually– that the hospital
records were released. So hospital records on these
patients were released. And it turned out that the
pathologists that had actually looked at these kids'
intestines had said and written down something very different
from what he reported. So basically, there was
this huge disconnect between the hospital records and
what he reported in his study.

So this Wakefield
study, essentially, did not reflect reality. For example, some of these
kids had completely normal intestines. And yet, in his
study he reported that they had inflammation. Other times, parents
reported symptoms at a certain time point. But because that didn't
fit with his overall idea, he changed the dates. So between changing dates and
changing what the hospital records say about inflammation,
it became very clear that basically this entire
thing was fabricated. So going back to
the beginning, where we had this one study
on 12 children that showed this link between
vaccine and autism, we've come a long way. I mean, now this study's
been completely discredited because he's
essentially been shown to have lied at
different points.

And also, many other
studies have kind of looked at this link,
or this connection, and shown that there really
is no link between vaccines and autism. The one problem that remains
is that a lot of families and parents still
believe this autism myth. And that leads them
to not vaccinate, and it creates a
lot of confusion about the real cause of autism..



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here