This blog is a way of sharing the information and resources that have helped me to recover my son Roo from an Autism Spectrum Disorder. What I have learned is to view our symptoms as the results of underlying biological cause, which can be identified and healed. I say "our symptoms" because I also have a neuro-immune disorder called Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.

And, of course, I am not a doctor (although I have been known to impersonate one while doing imaginative play with my son)- this is just our story and information that has been helpful or interesting to us. I hope it is helpful and interesting to you!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Rupert Murdoch and the GMC Hearing of Dr Wakefield

As new information is coming to light about criminal activity on the part of Rupert Murdoch's media empire, many are wanting to revisit the accusations that were made against Dr Wakefield and the subsequent hearing by the GMC.  Every one of those accusations was brought by one person, Brian Deer, who worked for Murdoch's Sunday Times of London.  In an odd turn of events, Brian Deer brought the charges against Dr Wakefield and then covered the hearing that followed as if he were an impartial observer.  This article, published in a local news source, lays out the doubts raised about the role of both Brian Deer and Murdoch himself in this episode quite well.  The BBC has run several stories with more information on the scope of the scandal and here and here.   The second article mentions how allegations in this scandal have spread to include The Sunday Times of London.

To those who have followed this case it is no surprise that foul pay may have been involved on the part of the Sunday Times.  This story resurfaced earlier this year, when the journal that had published Dr Wakefield's 1998 paper in which he presented his findings about the new digestive disease found in children with autism called Lymphoid Nodular Hyperplasia and suggested that more research be done to investigate a possible link with the MMR vaccination, was retracted.  The retraction was based on claims from Brian Deer that the medical records of the children from the 1998 paper had been altered.  He claimed to have these records in his possession at his apartment.  However, he never had legal access to those records, and no one ever corroborated his claims as no one else had access either.  Dr Wakefield and the parents of the children (who do have access legally) were able to explain the supposed anomalies.  There was a bit of an outcry in England as to how he had gotten ahold of those records illegally, and why questions about that were deleted from the BMJ website.  There seemed to be no awareness of this controversy in media reports that appeared here in the US.

To find out more about Brian Deer, who he is, and how he conducted the "research" that led to his accusations against Dr Wakefield, I highly suggest watching the film Selective Hearing.  This film was made by the parents of The Lancet 12 (the 12 children whose cases were presented in the 1998 Lancet paper).  Here is that film: