Originally Posted by prosciencemum
And a comment about some fact checks on the the start of this thread. Dr Fitzpatrick has indeed previously offered to debate Mr Wakefield, and has repeated this offer following Mr Wakefields challenge to debate "any serious challenger". Mr Wakefield has declined.
In Dr Fitzpatricks words:
Prosciencemum, do you see how Dr. Fitzpatrick has packed his article with innuendo and, well, propaganda?
1) "It is true that Dr Wakefield’s claim of a link between MMR and autism triggered the panic which resulted in a 10 to 15 per cent fall in the uptake of the vaccine, with the result that localised outbreaks of measles are now occurring around Britain."
Please note that Dr. Fitzpatrick provides absolutely no proof of this, and does not mention that uptake rates of MMR are at an all-time record, and that more ADULTS have received boosters than ever before as well.
2) "Some authorities – including the distinguished US childhood immunisation specialist Paul Offit – are proposing that the government should introduce measures of compulsion to raise MMR uptake and prevent further measles outbreaks."
2 problems with this. First of all, Paul Offit is described as "distinguished US childhood immunisation specialst, while Wakefield is later described as restricting his company to " sympathetic parents, anti-vaccination activists and promoters of quack autism therapies." Never mind that what Dr. Fitzpatrick terms "quack autism therapies" in large part entails a gluten-free/casein-free diet and nutritional supplements which are entirely appropriate for children with Crohn's disease, inflammatory bowel disorder, or celiac disease--which most of the autistic children with bowel disorders have. I guess Dr. Fitzpatrick is one of those doctors who insist that autistic children in severe intestinal pain act that way "because they are autistic."
Second of all, there is no mention of the fact that most of the parents who refuse the MMR have been asking for single-use measles vaccines--which is what Wakefield has been recommending all along, and these were available until 6 months after the Lancet paper was published. The official reason given for yanking the single-dose measles vaccine? "It would hamper the MMR program."
3) "But these judgments [US Dept of Health and Human Services ADMITTING and compensating cases of MMR-induced autism] confirm only the preparedness of courts to make settlements in defiance of scientific evidence."
Prosciencemum, shouldn't Dr. Fitzpatrick offer some PROOF here that HHS defied scientific evidence here? My understanding, based on previous court cases, is that HHS goes to all possible lengths to disprove any and all vaccine-autism links. I have seen no evidence anywhere that HHS declared that they were defying scientific evidence in admitting and compensating these cases. As a scientist, isn't Dr. Fitzpatrick overstepping his bounds with his statement? Doesn't his statement actually constitute an assertion of facts not in evidence?
4) "Another new departure is Dr Wakefield’s offer to debate the MMR controversy ‘live, in public, and televised’ with ‘any serious challenger’. No doubt this reflects his concern to attract publicity for his new venture into reality TV with his British business partners from his new base in Texas."
Again, we have Dr. Fitzpatrick presenting as fact something that not only is pure conjecture on his part (how can he speak to what Wakefield's concern are), but is phrased with the obvious intent of painting Wakefield in a bad light (demeaning the efforts of the families who share on video their autistic children's improvement from treatment of their medical issues as "reality TV").
5) Any journalist who is suspected to be critical is either refused access by his PR representatives or referred to his lawyers.
Well, come on, we see exactly the same thing everywhere Paul Offit lectures. People have been complaining for years now that they are not allowed to ask questions about vaccine safety in his lectures, or that their questions are snubbed, laughed at--and never really answered. Jake Crosby (who has a diagnosis of Aspergers's) has been trying for years to get Offit to answer direct questions. He has posted video footage of Offit sneering at his questions, refusing to directly answer them, lying in answer--and having him removed, calling him a stalker! Offit recently spoke at University of Wisconsin--and local parents' request to hold a debate, to be able to give their side of things, or even to ask Offit questions, were all denied.
I do not see where Dr. Fitzpatrick has repeated his previous offer to debate Dr. Wakefield (which previous offer was in the middle of Wakefield's GMC trial; obviously, Wakefield's counsel would not have permitted such a debate, and I suspect the GMC would not have allowed it either). All he says is "Are you ready for a debate now, Andrew Wakefield?" Sure, that IMPLIES, a challenge--but when you come right down to it, he is not saying, "yes, I accept YOUR challenge and will debate you." Remember, WAKEFIELD issued the challenge. FItzpatrick is phrasing it in a way that suggests that he is trying to look like the challenger. Why didn't he just say, "yes, Andy, I accept your challenge--let's go at it?"
And where ANYWHERE is there proof that Wakefield "declined" or even responded to Fitzpatrick's "are you ready for debate?" Has he even seen it? Was a separate message in any way sent to Wakefield?
Come on, prosciencemum. Be scientific here. Be objective. Be fair. You have to hold BOTH sides to the same standards.
If your child had reacted to vaccines with seizures and an obvious slide into bowel disorders and autism following vaccination, what would you do? Would you listen to "experts" who insist that what you've seen with your own eyes is not true? How would you feel about scientists--whose specialty had NOTHING whatsoever to do with the human body--insisting that they know more about your child's physical reactions than you do, simply because they have a PhD in "science?"
Would you obediently acquiesce to the obvious superiority of someone trained in "the scientific method?" Would you join the witch hunt against the only doctor brave/stupid enough to take on the pharmaceutical industry?
Or would you look at both sides, conclude there are problems on both sides, but base your assessment on your own experience--which happens to match that of thousands of other mothers, who were likewise reprimanded by "experts" who have either never treated/seen/had an autistic child with a history of vaccine reactions, seizures, and bowel disorders?
If you were told by a doctor that HIS autistic child never had a vaccine reaction, seizure, or bowel disorder, would you assume that your child's medically documented vaccine reactions, seizures, and celiac disease had absolutely nothing to do with his autism, even if treating them resulted in astounding reversals of autistic behaviors? Or would you assume that maybe there is more than one kind of autism, and Doctor-My-Child-Had-No-Reaction-To-Vaccines has no right to speak for autistic children who DID have such reactions?
Is it really such a stretch for you, as a scientist, to say, "hey--the 'other side' actually has a point, and it's not helping matters for 'my side' to mock and denigrate them when we haven't walked in their shoes?"