Saturday 27 April 2013

Andrew Wakefield - OVER but NOT out!

People who are pro vaccine seem to mention Andrew Wakefield during their first sentence of talking to you. They seem to be at great lengths to tell you that he was discredited, that he was struck off, that the Lancet publication was withdrawn, etc etc etc... We KNOW this.... WHO doesn't!?!?!?!?

BUT yes, he ran for the hills to America but he is over, yet he is not out.  This is far from the end of the story.

As you can watch here, he is pursuing a court case in Texas:

Also, he is aware of his name being dragged through the mud in connection with the Swansea/South Wales measles epidemic, so he is also speaking out about that too, here:

Recently, the Indepedent were so shocked that Andrew Wakefield is unrepentant, that they made his stance their front page, with the headline: "MMR scare doctor: this outbreak proves I was right" 

Lots of people were not happy (the source of the below paragraph is a later letter from the editor):
For some in the scientific community that was not enough: for them, our headline, “MMR scare doctor: this outbreak proves I was right”, should have made clear our contempt for him (many chose to ignore the lines underneath that said, prominently in red type, that “experts condemn Wakefield’s outburst”). And, by printing his statement from the website in full, they said we’d given him a platform to air his noxious views. 

As the Independent article gave Andrew Wakefield a voice, despite The Independent going at great pains to say they disagreed with him, it created a Twitter storm (which I totally missed) and the headline has been changed online to pacify the pro vaccine people, who are now happy with words like balderdash, in the new online headline, in the online Independent article here.

It was changed due to people like this << who wrote letters to the Editor, demanding that the headline be changed or the online article taken down.  The Indepedent bowed to pressure AND removed 700+ comments on that same article that included lots of comments, from anti vaxers who HAD experience of vaccine damage in their children.  Great that one side of the argument receives a voice while the other side is silenced.  It is clear why, you only have to read the Letter from the Editor.

In addition to the paragraph I quote above, the letter from the Editor goes on to say:
I got the feeling that no matter how much we’d made it clear we disagreed with him, it would not have sufficed: they want Wakefield silenced. That was one lesson – that by quoting him at all, we were triggering an explosion that admittedly caught us unawares (we thought we were protected by making plain our reservations about him). 
Yes, they do want him silenced, as they know that if he has a voice he will be heard.

That is the same reason that despite him being booked for many media talks in recent weeks, they were cancelled.  There has been a media blackout on talking to him, as The Independent article demonstrates all to well.

So, you wonder why anti-vax stuff is often underground and on conspiracy/alternative websites....? BECAUSE if the mainstream media tries to talk about it, even in this case to say that they disagree, they are flooded with complaints.  You have to tow the line and believe what you are told to believe don't you know?

Luckily there are some websites which strike a balance, like The Informed Parent.

Prior to the Independent article that caused the Twitter storm, there was another on 12th April 2013, where they also gave Andrew Wakefield a voice on his stance concerning single vaccines.

Liska x