Wakefield's Latest Tent Mission on the Doctrine of Autism
Parents shared "Stories of Hope and Success". Wakefield was supported by other speakers who offered their own transformative treatment modalities.
So these mavericks continue to circulate, paddling in the same scientific shallows, attending the same conferences and boasting connections with the same research institutes. They travel the world quoting each other in circular support, reinforcing a fringe belief in unproven interventions for autism and propagating the mistaken view that ordinary doctors are cowed by mysterious vested interests (pharmaceutical companies?) into not doing their best for children with autism.At some point, it would be gracious if Wakefield acknowledged the harm that he has done to public health in the UK. The indefatigable Kevin Leitch has made his usual wise comments but some of the others are a little dispiriting in their unwavering support for Wakefield and his discredited claims. Nonetheless, it is refreshing to read coverage of Wakefield that is not hagiographic.
Their harmful agenda is, regrettably, assisted by newspapers with acres of space to fill, who delight in feeding the middle-class paranoia over perfect parenting...
There is nothing wrong with a scientist pursuing a hunch, and everything right about parents wanting to do the best for their child. There is nothing even particularly sinister about Dr Wakefield gambling his reputation on an instinct. But there is something depressing beyond belief about a scientist who refuses to recant in the face of overwhelming opposing evidence.