Evidence of Harm. Mercury in Vaccines and the Autism Epidemic: Medical ControversyBMJ 2005; 330 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.330.7500.1154 (Published 12 May 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:1154
- Michael Fitzpatrick, general practitioner (Fitz@easynet.co.uk)
When Andrew Wakefield, the former Royal Free Hospital researcher who launched the scare about a link between the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism in Britain, claimed that he had learnt everything he knew about autism from parents, this sounded merely disingenuous. In David Kirby's case, unfortunately, it appears to be true: he seems to take at face value every claim made by campaigning parents in the United States who believe that vaccines containing the mercury based preservative thiomersal caused their children to become autistic.
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But parents may not be reliable guides. Kirby faithfully records one mother's account of how she brought her son from the United States to see Dr Wakefield at the Royal Free Hospital, which she described as an “old stone building, soot-coloured and depressing,” located “on Grays Inn Road in central London,” a site abandoned by the Royal Free some 30 years ago for a modernist tower block in Hampstead. Further descriptions of “halls filled with the …