June 2, 2010

Wakefield: Vaccines Cause...Something! Autism!

Yeah, autism, that's the ticket!

Slate covers a lot of old ground in their recap of the Dr. Andrew Wakefield MMR-causes-autism debacle: the unethical study methods, the unfounded conclusions, the study's retraction by the Lancet, the revocation of Wakefield's medical license in the UK.

But there's also something new, or at least new to me: before claiming that the MMR vaccine causes autism, Wakefield published several papers claiming the MMR vaccine caused Crohn's disease, a severe intestinal disorder. It was what he was doing when he patented his alternate measles vaccine and started taking money from a lawyer who wanted an expert witness to testify that the MMR vaccine had made his client's kid sick. With digestive problems or autism or whatever.

What's not new in the piece, of course, is how little all this professional discrediting seems to persuade Wakefield's dedicated vacctivist followers, especially in the US:

It is deeply troubling that Wakefield's new book rocketed into Amazon's list of best-selling parenting titles.
Though it'd be slightly less troubling if Slate didn't add their Amazon Associates ID to the link, giving them a kickback every time another MMR sucker is born:


Wakefield's First Try [slate via dt reader jjdaddy-o]

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