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Medicine Science

Famous British Autism Study an 'Elaborate Fraud' 813

Charliemopps writes "An investigation published by the British medical journal BMJ concludes the study's author, Dr. Andrew Wakefield, misrepresented or altered the medical histories of all 12 of the patients whose cases formed the basis of the 1998 study — and that there was 'no doubt' Wakefield was responsible."
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Famous British Autism Study an 'Elaborate Fraud'

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  • by bluefoxlucid ( 723572 ) on Thursday January 06, 2011 @11:15AM (#34776462) Homepage Journal
    Out-linking is awesome and from a business sense brings more eyeballs wanting quality. Today's business model is cult following and bullshit.
  • by whoda ( 569082 ) on Thursday January 06, 2011 @11:21AM (#34776536) Homepage

    http://www.generationrescure.org/ [generationrescure.org] already has it's rebuttal, including a NEW study which shows a link between Hepatitis-B shots and a 3 times higher risk of autism.

    When will they stop?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 06, 2011 @11:44AM (#34776932)

    Is it reasonable to expect that now that there would be a sizable sample size of "non-immunized" kids, that a study to compare the rates of autism between the two groups will be done?
    Who would you trust to conduct and publish the results? Big Pharma, AMA ?

  • by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportland&yahoo,com> on Thursday January 06, 2011 @11:49AM (#34776996) Homepage Journal

    You can blame Oprah for that. She is directly responsible for giving a platform to this nonsense.

    She is an accomplice. Because of her platform, children are dead.

  • by Virtucon ( 127420 ) on Thursday January 06, 2011 @12:03PM (#34777198)

    I've heard the parents of Autistic kids ranting about how vaccines caused their kids' condition. That's fine and we should allow people to raise their children as they see fit but within the moral bounds of society. We also can't legislate morality no matter how hard we try. That means if a kid will get polio because he doesn't have the vaccine or represents a health risk to others by spreading a disease, then that child needs to be quarantined. Anybody remember Leper Colonies?

    I'm not trying to be cruel here but we still have people on this planet who believe that the Earth is flat, that man didn't land on the Moon and that Sarah Palin is a worthy political candidate for the Presidency. Why? Because we don't have a vaccine for stupidity yet.

      Let the lemmings go off the cliffs because nothing we do or say will change their minds. Jenny McCarthy included.

  • by interval1066 ( 668936 ) on Thursday January 06, 2011 @12:11PM (#34777334) Homepage Journal
    I don't believe she is purposely being a bitch, but this is why we don't have ordinary people practicing medicine, and priests teaching anthropology, or use the Bible as textbook on history.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 06, 2011 @12:17PM (#34777426)

    Of course there's a lot of money there. Why else would the fossil fuel companies spend millions to support the ludicrous climate change denial industry. You can ask similar questions about tobacco, chemicals, asbestos, etc. And if you read the excellent (albeit very depressing) book Merchants of Doubt, you'll see some of the same names appear over and over in these attempts to spread lies and cover up science.

  • by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Thursday January 06, 2011 @12:18PM (#34777448)

    Sadly, there's a lot of money in junk science.

    Sadly, there's even bigger money in Big Pharma.

    Big Pharma doesn't primarily harm people by putting dangerous additives in their products. They primarily harm people by lobbying the US Congress to make it illegal to buy the same drug from Canada for 1/3 the price.

  • by anyGould ( 1295481 ) on Thursday January 06, 2011 @12:28PM (#34777604)

    It's easy for even the most balanced parents to go a bit unhinged under the mountain of screaming noise that says "BUT WHAT IF IT HAPPENED?!?!? HOW WOULD YOU EVER LIVE WITH YOURSELF?!??!?"

    We're trying hard to raise our kid with a solid sense of self-preservation and street-smarts, but it's a constant fight with relatives, friends, and anyone else who buys into the "YOU MUST PROTECT YOUR CHILD FROM EVERYTHING" mantra. (I'm trying to figure out how the world is less safe now that your kid can have a cell phone and be reachable at any moment - when I grew up you were expected to be completely unreachable for hours at a time. Just be back inside before the street lights turned on...)

  • by DavidTC ( 10147 ) <slas45dxsvadiv...vadiv@@@neverbox...com> on Thursday January 06, 2011 @01:03PM (#34778342) Homepage

    Yes, it was dumb to use thimerosal. It's an yet another example of our medical industry trimming every last dime. There's not really a lot of reason to use preservatives at all...we're not selling them at the damn grocery store. Keep them refrigerated, produce them somewhat local.

    OTOH, it was also dumb to propose that as a reason for autism. We know what mercury poisoning looks like (Think 'mad as a hatter'...that's mercury poisoning), and that ain't it.

    Mercury's not good for you, heavy metals aren't good for you, but it's rather incomprehensible it would cause autism...for one thing, autism is on the rise, whereas heavy metal exposure has gone dramatically down since the 1960s and we invented the EPA and actually stopped poisoning ourselves. Yes, there were less diagnoses of autism back then, perhaps much much less, but statistically, if early heavy metals exposure caused autism, something like a tenth of people over 70 would have autism, and I think we'd notice that now even if we hadn't diagnosed them back then.

    Hell, back then, children were eating lead paint chips off the wall and touching mercury in science class.

    For the nay-sayers, no, I don't eat tuna or other high-mercury fish, either, for the same reason. And, IAAN (I am a neuroscientist).

    I have to wonder how many of those people who blamed it on mercury with no evidence, and distributed things blaming it on mercury, continued to eat fish, and one serving of fish can give you more mercury than an entire line of childhood vaccines could even hypothetically do. I wonder how many of these crackpots were fish and chicken vegetarians, and thus their kids had more fish and more mercury than normal children who also ate cow and pig and whatnot.

    I wonder how many of them, after years of being 'sure' it was the mercury in vaccines, because mercury was an evil evil evil thing, now worry about mercury since it's been removed from vaccines. Although a lot of the anti-vaccine people don't even appear to know that.

  • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Thursday January 06, 2011 @06:38PM (#34783970)

    Hell, removal of perfectly safe asbestos these days actually requires a team of hazmat workers, following hazmat procedures.

    Here's my story relating to that. We were renovating a building built in the early 1900s and tore out the floor tiles from a room and threw them away them in our dumpster. The driver from our trash company came to pick up the dumpster, saw the tiles, and refused to take the dumpster. He said those types of tiles frequently have asbestos and the trash company wasn't legally licensed to deal with it.

    So I took one of the tiles out of the trash, and sent it to a lab to have it analyzed. The tile wasn't asbestos, the adhesive didn't have asbestos, but it did have a fireproofing layer in between them which had asbestos. The refuse company wouldn't touch it, so we had to hire a full-blown asbestos removal company to deal with it. For $12,000 they tented the entrance to the building in plastic, taped up all the windows, and set up filtered fans to create back-pressure so any airborne asbestos would be caught by the filters. A dozen guys dressed in full hazmat suits and masks went in, broke up the floor tiles with sledgehammers, and carried out the pieces in double-wrapped heavy-duty plastic bags. Overall they carted out a couple hundred pounds of tile, and probably two dumpster-loads of plastic, tape, and used hazmat suits.

    All for asbestos which was literally sealed between rock and glue. The whole thing struck me as a huge over-reaction to the scope of the problem. If the stuff was dangerous enough to warrant that level of precaution, everyone who was alive during the years when it was widely used should've died of lung cancer while they were young.

"We don't care. We don't have to. We're the Phone Company."