Prof John Walker-Smith tells high court he was denied a fair hearing before he was struck off by the General Medical Council
Many are looking to this appeal for vindication of Mr. Wakefield and his theories on MMR being linked to and causal in autism. Prof. Walker-Smith’s attorney appears to have made a rather clear statement to the contrary:
Miller said it had been important that the disciplinary panel “separate out research from the clinical medicine – but that was a task that appeared to be beyond them”.
The judge asked Miller whether the alleged link between MMR and the vaccine “has now been utterly disproved” in the opinion of “respectable medical opinion”.
Miller said that was “exactly” the position.
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Having trouble not smiling.
I wonder if this will affect Wakefield's attack on Deer and Godlee. Probably not but I thought that Wakers could hardly be put in a worse light when something like this comes along.
"Separate out research from the clinical medicine" - does that mean separate Wakefield from Walker-Smith? Is Professor Walker-Smith going to distance himself from Wakefield in this appeal? That's what I'm wondering.
Sure does sound like it. If he can make the case that his research and records were not tainted and responsible for or connected with Wakefield's fraud, he may gain ground.
Anne. You have missed the point. The vital distinction made quite clear in this High Court Appeal, is that the treatment of the very sick children by Prof Walker Smith and his team using colonoscopies and lumbar punctures was routine procedure with all the necessary ethical permissions being given, agreed to by the parents, it was not, as claimed by the prosecuting counsel at the GMC hearing, done for Research purposes, but was normal practice and out of very necessary clinical need. The panel at the GMC were made to understand, by the prosecuting counsel, that the treatment was done as a sinister procedure for unethical purposes i.e.utterly twisting the facts to suit their own political will.
Wakefield never said that the MMR vaccine directly caused autism. He said it appeared to cause gut problems that, possibly, could lead to autism, but that this hypothesis needed more research to find out what was happening. In other words there was a link, that was all he said. But that was enough to bring the wrath of God i.e. the UK government in the shape of the Public Health dept. down upon him.
Prof Walker Smith was the clinical practitioner and as such was already distanced from Dr Wakefield who was and is a researcher.