Intended for healthcare professionals

Reviews Book

MMR: Science and Fiction. Exploring the Vaccine Crisis; MMR and Autism: What Parents Need to Know

BMJ 2004; 329 doi: (Published 28 October 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:1049

"The confusion": Richard Horton - a remarkably frank passage


"Indeed, the GMC seemed non-plussed by Reid's [John Reid, the Health
Secretary] intervention. The best their spokeswoman could say was: 'We are
concerned by these allegations and will be looking at what action, if any,
may be necessary.' In truth, they had not a clue where to begin. At a
dinner I attended on 23 February [the day after Brian Deer's Sunday Times
article], one medical regulator and I discussed the Wakefield case. He
seemed unsure of how the Council could play a useful part in resolving the
confusion." (Horton p.7)


"As we talked over coffee while the other dinner guests were
departing, he scribbled down some possible lines of investigation, and
passed me his card, suggesting that I contact him directly if anything
sprang to mind. He seemed keen to pursue Wakefield, especially given
ministerial interest. Here, was professionally led regulation of doctors
in action - notes exchanged over liqueurs in a beautifully pannelled room
of one of medicine's most venerable institutions [Horton does not say
which]." (Horton p.7-8)

Can anyone say whether this is a proper way to conduct science,
justice, or government?

Competing interests:
Parent of an autistic child

Competing interests: No competing interests

02 November 2004
John Stone
London N22