Series final: Autism and vaccinations
The final in a three-part series exposing the fraudulent link between autism and vaccination is out today.
The three authors of a British Medical Journal editorial accompanying the final part argue that science is “our best way of knowing”, despite the numerous people and systems at fault for perpetuating the myth that the measles, mumps and rubella vaccination is linked to autism in children.
They say: “When work presented as science is shown to be corrupt, it not only discredits that work and its authors, but it also discredits science”.
Investigative journalist Brian Deer worked with the BMJ to expose the shortcomings not just of the former doctor accused of engineering his test results, but of a system with enough inbuilt biases and vested interests to allow it to happen.
Regarding the editorial’s statements on science, I would say that the case does not discredit science, but highlights the entrenched flaws of the humans who use it.
Let’s hope that research institutions, journals, and scientists across the world heed the BMJ’s call to arms:
Thirteen years later, we are only now beginning to understand the root causes of the multiple system failures involved in the Wakefield incident. We must strengthen our ability to investigate research adverse events.
We need to use the tools and techniques available to protect the safety of patients in the clinical realm to protect research subjects. We also need to rethink and reform our customs and culture.
The disastrous impact that Wakefield’s study has had on vaccine coverage, recrudescence of disease, public trust, and, most of all, science, requires that we do so in haste.
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