Martha wrote:I'm not a fan of Patricia McKenna, but why do YOU think the link between the MMr vaccine and autism should be so summarily dismissed?
I, or should I say, I
don't think this claim was summarily
dismissed. Rather, it was comprehensively dismissed.
For more information, you can read here
Here's what happened.
Children were starting to show signs of developmental delay. For autism, these signs become much more obvious at around 18 months of age. Parents were wondering what happened to their children, who seemed so 'normal' before, and thought back to the MMR jab they'd had a few months earlier. Some of these children had reactions to the immunisation, having high temperatures or rashes. One wonders if the children had a reaction to a small controlled sample of the virus, how would their little bodies have coped with full-on infection.
So anyway, some parents conflated correlation with causation and postulated that the MMR was in some way connected to autism.
A London gut surgeon was working away on his theory that measles was linked to Crohns disease. When he wasn't getting anywhere with that theory, he used the opportunity to scope the guts of 12 children, introduced to him by a lawyer trying to put a case for a group of MMR vaccine litigants, and he decided to try for a new angle, linking measles, gut disease and autism in a brand new disease.
These children made up the majority of his subjects for the Lancet paper that set the whole fiasco in motion. The Lancet admitted years ago that they should never have published the paper, containing as it did, multiple flaws and omissions. Most of the authors cited on the paper have retracted their support for its findings too. Wakefield did not disclose that he had patented a new measles vaccine before writing the paper, which would only succeed and make him money if the MMR was no longer used.
Multiple epidemiology studies have shown no link between autism rates and MMR uptake. The MMR was taken out of service in Japan and autism diagnoses have remained unchanged.
What was most devastating though, was the evidence of the Autism Omnibus hearings in America last June. There, a class action of litigants suing the US government and claiming that their children were made autistic due to vaccines, heard the first test case regarding MMR 'causation'. Keep in mind that this was the best case the lawyers had on their books of thousands of claimants.
The verdict hasn't been delivered yet, but I followed the case closely. The claimants presented a very poor case, and the defendant's witnesses gave devastating testimony that has to have destroyed this theory entirely.
Nick Chadwick, who worked with Wakefield on the data for the original Lancet paper, testified that he told Wakefield, before publication, that what he thought was evidence of measles in biopsy samples, were all in fact false positives. Wakefield ignored this, Chadwick had his name removed from the paper, and Wakefield published anyway knowing full well the data were false.
Also at the trial, Stephen Bustin testified that the results from Wakefield's partner, John O'Leary in Ireland, were all contaminated. He had made multiple errors in his handling of the samples and in his analysis. His data had to be discounted too.
That is how I
know that the link between autism and MMR can be dismissed