Association Applauds Exoneration of John Walker-Smith in
physician cleared of false charges
made by UK’s General Medical Council
– The National Autism Association (NAA) joins parents around
the world in congratulating Professor John Walker-Smith in
the decision handed down today in England’s High Court,
reversing a 2010 ruling by the UK’s General Medical Council
(GMC) which revoked the medical licenses of both
Walker-Smith and Andrew Wakefield.
Today’s highly anticipated result of Walker-Smith’s appeal
included a complete overturn of the GMC’s decision to revoke
his medical license.
and Dr. Wakefield were among 13 co-authors of a case series
reported in the British journal, The Lancet, in 1998,
which identified a novel inflammatory bowel disease in
children diagnosed with autism. The association between
autism and bowel disease has been repeatedly confirmed by
including a 2010 consensus report published in
the Lancet paper did not state that the MMR vaccine
caused either inflammatory bowel disease or autism in the 12
children in the case series, the authors did note that seven
of the children had received the MMR vaccine and that
further investigation of a possible link to autism was
warranted. “From the mere suggestion that a vaccine could
have a potential link with adverse outcomes, a war was waged
against these distinguished physicians and researchers,”
said NAA Executive Director and parent Lori McIlwain. “No
one questions that adverse vaccine events do occur in
susceptible individuals, yet those who investigate these
events on behalf of sick children are subjected to the
harshest scrutiny and punishment.”
case of Dr. Wakefield, being stripped of his license to
practice medicine led to his move to the U.S.
Unlike Prof. Walker-Smith who received funding for the
appeal through his insurance carrier, Dr. Wakefield has been
unable to appeal the GMC decision against him.
However, Dr. Wakefield has filed a defamation suit against
Brian Deer and the British Medical Journal whose
allegations of fraud were the basis of the GMC inquiry.
statement issued earlier today, UK advocacy organization
Justice Awareness and Basic Support (JABS) said that the
High Court’s decision found that:
The children reported
in the 1998 Lancet paper were very ill and did warrant
serious clinical investigation and the investigations
conducted were entirely appropriate for the children's
The allegations of
fraud based on this misconstruction, propagated by
journalist Brian Deer, politician Evan Harris, the
Murdoch press and the British Medical Journal (and
rubberstamped by the GMC) are therefore also unfounded.
Parents and autism
organizations are hopeful that the exoneration of Prof.
Walker-Smith will pave the way for more open investigation
of the potential role of vaccines in the development of
autism and other serious health concerns. “Today’s decision
is a win not only for Dr. Walker-Smith, but for all families
affected by autism,” said Ms. McIlwain. “Physicians and
researchers must be free to explore all avenues towards
causation and treatment without fear of reprisals if we are
to truly make a difference for our children.
more information on autism, visit
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