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Tim Ellis

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Waking Up From the Wakefield Nightmare

Posted: 02/03/10 06:17 PM ET

Yesterday, February 2nd 2010, respected medical journal The Lancet came to the long-overdue conclusion that a "study" which included a sample size far below what is needed for accurate experimentation - selected not at random but rather by a man with a vested interest in the outcome of the "study" - was flawed, and should be retracted. In their own words: ""It has become clear that several elements of the 1998 paper by Wakefield et al. are incorrect, contrary to the findings of an earlier investigation. In particular, the claims in the original paper that children were 'consecutively referred' and that investigations were 'approved' by the local ethics committee have been proven to be false. Therefore we fully retract this paper from the published record." [1]

This certainly does explain why not even a single one of dozens of studies has managed to replicate "Doctor" Wakefield's "study" results.[2] Well, that and the fact the these other studies didn't include massive financial payouts from lawyers interested in proving precisely what Wakefield claimed to have found. [3] Funny how that works. Wakefield appears to be a firm disciple of Phillip Morris science - money may not buy happiness, but throw in an unethical scientist or two and it sure can get you a nice biased study result.

Let's look at that Lancet quote again, shall we? "In particular, the claims in the original paper that children were 'consecutively referred' and that investigations were 'approved' by the local ethics committee have been proven to be false." Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe there's a word for claims that people make which are then proven false - lies.

There are any number of words for the people who make them.

One more time, just so nobody misses the point here - Andrew Wakefield lied to you. He lied, and because of his lies, children are dead. [4]

Let's be clear - science works. You fly in airplanes because we understand lift. You watch television because we understand electromagnetism. And you live in a small-pox free world because we understand germ theory and vaccination. This understanding is a direct result of the scientific method being applied rigorously and openly. This scientific methodology unequivocally gets the job done - and if you don't believe me, turn your computer off and make your response to this article by casting a spell over a clear pond. Go ahead, I'll wait.

I applaud The Lancet for retracting this flawed article by this flawed, unlicensed, and discredited man. I only hope that we can now, finally, begin to undo the damage that Wakefield and his ilk have inflicted on the world.

Don't let your kids be Andrew Wakefield's next victims.

 

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