A couple of days ago Dr Andrew Wakefield issued a press release from Thoughtful House, the Texas clinic he founded, stating that the Press Complaints Commission has ordered the Sunday Times newspaper to remove Brian Deer’s stories about him from the newspaper’s website. “The PCC decision today appears to indicate there are questions about the accuracy of the Deer stories,” it says.
Back in February, the Sunday Times published an article by Brian Deer alleging that Wakefield had “changed and misreported results in his research” for his notorious Lancet paper, which linked MMR to autism. Wakefield is currently being investigated by the General Medical Council on charges of professional misconduct in connection with this paper.
In most of the 12 cases, the children’s ailments as described in The Lancet were different from their hospital and GP records. Although the research paper claimed that problems came on within days of the jab, in only one case did medical records suggest this was true, and in many of the cases medical concerns had been raised before the children were vaccinated. Hospital pathologists, looking for inflammatory bowel disease, reported in the majority of cases that the gut was normal. This was then reviewed and the Lancet paper showed them as abnormal.
Wakefield promptly complained to the PCC. As I said at the time,
…it doesn’t take a genius to work out that the PCC need do nothing with Wakefield’s complaint until the GMC have ruled and that won’t be for several months yet. The PCC are not even qualified to consider much of the information in Wakefield’s complaint and he damn well knows this. If they accept the complaint for investigation, they surely will be guided by the GMC. And if the GMC rules in Wakefield’s favour, then Wakefield will be vindicated, regardless of any complaint to the PCC.
The “interim order”, as Wakefield’s press release calls it, has delighted the anti-vax sycophants, as is evident from their comments on anti-vax blogs such as this one:
“A tiny bit of justice for Dr. Wakefield… I hope it’s a sign of brighter days ahead for him.”
“Brian Deer is a nasty piece of work and it’s about time he got his comeuppance.”
“Deer is a parasite. He will fall for lack of merit.”
etc, etc, etc ….
Unfortunately for them, no such ‘order’ was made. Until a complaint has been resolved one way or the other, how can the PCC “order” that an article be removed? It can’t and that’s another thing Wakefield damn well knows. His press release is just another bare-faced lie, one of a catalogue from him.
The latest post on LBRB includes the text of an email received from the PCC on this topic:
The PCC has considered the matter initially and has elected to stay its investigation until the conclusion of the GMC inquiry. It has reached no formal decision on the substance of the complaint and there is no published ruling on our website.
The Commission has asked that the paper remove the articles temporarily until the conclusion of the PCC investigation. This is without any admission of liability on the paper’s part.
So all that’s happened is that the PCC requested that the articles be temporarily removed. This is hardly surprising, given the seriousness of the allegations contained in them. No “order” has been made and there is no suggestion that the paper or Deer himself has behaved improperly.
How does Wakefield sleep at night?
It seems the Sunday Times is a bit pissed off with the lying toerag, Dr Wakefield. Having removed Brian Deer’s article of 8 February from its website presumably in response to the PCC request, they have now put it back up. Seems it’s not even a “tiny bit of justice” for Andy, after all.