Mr Deer has drawn attention to the MMR litigation proceedings he
attended in 2003 prior to starting his assignment to investigate Dr
Wakefield. That case was withdrawn, but in saying that this was because
the lawyer for the parents “couldn’t make the case” he may have
unwittingly misled readers into believing that there was no case to be
made. In fact, the lawyers expressed their disappointment that legal aid
had been withdrawn by the LSC, making it impossible for them to continue.
They unsuccessfully appealed the legal aid decision a year later, in 2004.
I am sure he will agree that in addition to sparing a sympathetic thought
for Dr Wakefield’s two colleagues “left in the shadows” we should also
remember the parents of disabled children, who are the hidden victims
in this protracted tragedy.
Competing interests: No competing interests