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Not The Doctor, Part 2

Two days ago, following my blog post about Andrew Wakefield and the GMC hearing, I received an email from Anissa Ryland, Director of Operations at Thoughtful House Centre for Children.

Here it is in full.

Dear Lewis-We saw your post about today’s UK General Medical Council ruling. We have posted new information on our website, and we encourage you to link to this page and direct readers to the site for more information.

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions.


Anissa Ryland
Director of Operations
Thoughtful House Center for Children

Thoughtful House is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to “fight […] for the recovery of children with developmental disorders through the unique combination of medical care, education, and research.” Its Executive Director is Andrew Wakefield. He founded the organisation in 2001. Its website is eager to point out that he has “absolutely not” been accused of any form of malpractice since then.

Anyway, the reason I found this email curious is because I didn’t mention Thoughtful House at all. And I can’t possibly speculate as to how the organisation’s being run. Its mission statement is a great one, its aims irrefutably brilliant. But it does not change the fact that Wakefield’s research was fundamentally flawed and extraordinarily suspicious.

Thoughtful House’s claim to be “disappointed” by the General Medical Council’s verdict. Their press release claims the charges against Wakefield et al are “unfounded and unfair” – an accusation strikes me as remarkably appropriate to be levelled their own 1996 research conclusions.

On the MMR vaccine, Thoughtful House’s stance is:

Thoughtful House supports a safety-first vaccination policy, and upholds the right of parents to choose what’s best for their children. We recommend that parents with questions or concerns about a particular vaccination should discuss it with their child’s doctor.

“Safety-first”? Absolutely! I’d totally agree! Although my interpretation of “safety-first” would be “to be safe, first vaccinate your child.” Come on.

And on the link between the vaccine and MMR?

No such link has been established, but research into a possible connection is ongoing.

Roll on 2012 to see which claims are made next.

But look. Ms Ryland, if you’re reading, I would love you to point me in the direction of some evidence that disproves the allegations made against Dr. Wakefield. I would love to know your organisation’s reasons for continuing to propogate this bizarre idea that there may be a causal link between MMR and autism. I’m no scientist, so I can only base my opinions on what I have manage to understand from the fair amount I’ve read on the topic. If I’m wrong, you’re going to have to really demonstrate why this is the case – because the public and professional evidence against Dr. Wakefield is remarkably strong, and at present I have no reason to disbelieve it.

But I did post your link. I’m a delight.


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