Dr. Wakefield Sues BMJ, Editor and Journalist
Curt Linderman Sr.
January 10 2012. Dr. Andrew Wakefield, MB.,BS.,FRCS., the doctor at the forefront of the vaccine/autism debate, has recently made the bold move of suing for libel, a number of his detractors. Specifically, the British Medical Journal, Fiona Godlee, Editor in Chief of the BMJ and Journalist Brian Deer. This all stems from articles printed by Deer and Godlee in the BMJ on January 5th 2011.
Deer’s article entitled; How the case against the MMR vaccine was fixed, (1) and Godlee’s article entitled; Wakefield’s article linking MMR vaccine to autism was fraudulent, (2) are the two articles published by the BMJ that Dr. Wakefield believes played a role in destroying his reputation.
The pseudo-science/ pro-vaccine bloggers as well as many of the reporters in the main stream media believe this might just be a long row to hoe. First there is the fact that Dr. Wakefield has filed the case (3) in Texas and the BMJ, Godlee and Deer are citizens of the U.K. Another problem could be the fact that many might speculate that Wakefield’s reputation had already been destroyed as a result of the General Medical Council removing his license to practice. When the articles in question were printed however, Dr. Wakefield was a resident of Texas.
Texas’ recent anti-SLAPP laws are believed by some to present yet another possible problem (4). The “Citizens Participation Act” (HB 2973), provides protections for individuals targeted with strategic lawsuits against public participation or anti-SLAPP for short. These lawsuits, often filed against bloggers and journalists are usually brought in retaliation for an article in which the reporter or blogger believes they exercised their right to freedom of expression in conveying the information.
If the venue is allowed to remain in Texas, these other issues will be remedied in the discovery phase of the case. This is the part where Dr. Wakefield will be able to present to the jury, the collusion between the British Government, the BMJ, Deer and the pharmaceutical industry in their concerted effort to destroy his reputation and save their vaccine agenda. In a statement, the BMJ and Deer said that they stood by the articles and had instructed their lawyers to defend the claim vigorously (5).
While Dr. Wakefield’s original paper and the other events leading up to the GMC hearings specifically targeted the MMR vaccine, were the public to learn the truth about the lack of science regarding the MMR vaccine, the entire protocol would have been damaged, perhaps irreparably.
I believe this case will be most gratifying given that this will be a jury trial. A panel of Dr. Wakefield’s peers will be able to hear the evidence in this case, something the U.K. government, the BMJ, Godlee and Deer, I can conclude, do not want to happen. Being the parent of a vaccine injured child diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder myself, and knowing countless other parents whose children were injured by the MMR and suffered the subsequent bowel disease discussed in Wakefield’s original paper, the cover-up regarding Dr. Wakefield’s findings have been nothing short of criminal in my humble opinion. The GMC hearing that caused Wakefield to lose his license was the longest medical hearing in U’K. history and was deliberated upon, not by a jury of thinking individuals looking at the facts, but rather by those that many feel, had a stake in the outcome defending the vaccine protocol.
Given the United Kingdom’s track record regarding the MMR vaccine, this should be of great concern to the government and the medical industrial complex. From October 1988 to September 1992, the UK government knowingly allowed a dangerous version of the MMR vaccine to be injected into its children (6). The MMR vaccine in question contained the Urabe strain of the measles virus. Papers obtained by the Freedom of Information Act show that UK officials knew that there were problems with this particular vaccine in America, Sweden and Canada prior to authorizing it for use on their citizens. This Urabe containing MMR vaccine caused many encephalitis-type conditions, including meningitis and the British government’s health officials had to go so far as to relieve the manufacturer from all liability before they would sell the vaccine to the U.K.
Add to this the issue of Brian Deer’s boss, the proprietor of the Sunday Times and London Times newspapers, James Murdoch, sits on the board of MMR manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline and it is not such a large stretch to believe that the discovery stage of this case will be very interesting, to say the least.