Reflections on investigating Wakefield

Forgotten victims

6 April 2010

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 That case was withdrawn, but in saying that this was because the lawyer for the parents “couldn’t make the case” he may have unwittingly misled readers into believing that there was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 In fact, the lawyers expressed their disappointment that legal aid had been withdrawn by the LSC, making it impossible for them to continue.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: None declared

Competing interests: None declared

John A Dodge, Hon Prof of Child Health, University of Wales Swansea

Singleton Hospital, Swansea SA2 8QA

Click to like: