Brian Deer launches new attack on Dr Andrew WakefieldJournalist Brian Deer uses the pages of today's British Medical Journal to launch his latest attack on the work of Dr Andrew Wakefield. Not content with having reported Dr Wakefield to the UK General Medical Council, with the probable outcome that he will shortly be struck off the medical register, Mr Deer uses his four page feature to question the existence of "autistic enterocolitis", the term coined by Dr Wakefield for a new bowel condition associated with autistic regression. Brian Deer only concerns himself with the 1998 Lancet paper that has been the subject of so much controversy. In essence he suggests that Dr Wakefield altered the pathology results of the children's gut samples in order to create a disease entity to support the parents' legal action against the MMR vaccine manufacturers. I do not intend to attempt to counter Mr Deer's extraordinary and convoluted arguments here, but I do wish to point out that he has completely missed the wood for the trees.
Mr Deer has ignored the results of independent researchers over three continents that have corroborated the presence of gastrointestinal inflammation in patients suffering form autistic spectrum disorders.
Mr Deer may - sadly - have succeeded in destroying the reputation of a good and conscientious doctor and scientist.
He cannot suppress the truth.
Added 15 April 2010