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Author Topic: Should Wakefield have been struck off?  (Read 2065 times)

Offline imatfaal

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Should Wakefield have been struck off?
« on: 24/05/2010 14:18:00 »
Dear All

News today that Andrew Wakefield has been struck off. 
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/8695267.stm

Personally, I think he was misguided, sloppy, and unscientific; and that his campaign (so willingly aided and abetted by the press) has caused considerable suffering. 

But is it a good precedent to set? Can this sort of action have a chilling effect on radical and ground-breaking research? 

Matthew



 

Offline BenV

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Should Wakefield have been struck off?
« Reply #1 on: 24/05/2010 15:14:13 »
He wasn't struck off for the suggestion that MMR was related to autism.  He was struck off for multiple instances of "serious professional misconduct". 

It's easy to think that he's being punished for his claims, but that's far from the truth (though it may be the impression you will get from the media).  He abused his position, was dishonest and unneccesaryly ordered painful and invasive tests to be carried out on vulnerable children.  He was not granted the appropriate ethical clearance for this kind of research, and failed to disclose financial interests.  This was all before making any claims.

The GMC's determinations are given here:  http://www.gmc-uk.org/news/7115.asp

A few choice quotes:

"The Panel found that Dr Wakefield had a duty to disclose this information to the Legal Aid Board via Mr Barr. It was dishonest and misleading of him not to have done so. The Panel concluded that his intention to mislead the Legal Aid Board was sufficient on its own to amount to serious professional misconduct."

"The Panel also found that in respect of 25,000 of LAB monies, Dr Wakefield caused or permitted it to be used for purposes other than those for which he said it was needed and for which it had been granted. In doing so he was in breach of his duties in relation to the managing of, and accounting for, funds."

"With regard to nine of the eleven children ... considered by the Panel, it determined that Dr Wakefield caused research to be undertaken on them without Ethics Committee approval and thus without the ethical constraints that safeguard research...      ...the Panel has found that Dr Wakefield acted contrary to the clinical interests of each child. The Panel is profoundly concerned that Dr Wakefield repeatedly breached fundamental principles of research medicine. It concluded that his actions in this area alone were sufficient to amount to serious professional misconduct."

"The children described in the Lancet paper were admitted for research purposes under a programme of investigations for Project 172-96 and the purpose of the project was to investigate the postulated new syndrome following vaccination. In the paper, Dr Wakefield failed to state that this was the case and the Panel concluded that this was dishonest, in that his failure was intentional and that it was irresponsible. His conduct resulted in a misleading description of the patient population. This was a matter which was fundamental to the understanding of the study and the terms under which it was conducted."

"First, in a published letter in response to correspondents who had suggested that there had been biased selection of the Lancet children, Dr Wakefield stated that the children had been referred through the normal channels, a response which was dishonest and irresponsible. He provided an inaccurate statement which omitted relevant information when he knew that the description of the population in the study was being questioned by the scientific community."

"Dr Wakefield did not disclose matters which could legitimately give rise to a perception of a conflict of interest. He failed to disclose to the Ethics Committee and to the Editor of the Lancet his involvement in the MMR litigation and his receipt of funding from the Legal Aid Board. He also failed to disclose to the Editor of the Lancet his involvement as the inventor of a patent relating to a new vaccine for the elimination of the measles virus"

There's more, so feel free have a read.
 

Offline imatfaal

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Should Wakefield have been struck off?
« Reply #2 on: 24/05/2010 16:36:57 »
Thanks for link Ben - better informed now, had let my dislike of GMC allow me to jump to conclusions.  Its a very reasoned statement
 

Offline chris

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Should Wakefield have been struck off?
« Reply #3 on: 24/05/2010 22:56:40 »
Sound statement or not, I'm still not sure about the GMC. I give them over 400 every year and I've no idea what they spend it on or how this represents "value for money", but hey ho...
 

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Should Wakefield have been struck off?
« Reply #3 on: 24/05/2010 22:56:40 »

 

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