complaint regarding the UK's General Medical Council (GMC) judgment (28 January 2010) concerning And

Dr. Andrew J. Wakefield's findings of gastrointestinal pathologies in a subgroup of children with autism are very important. His persecution by the GMC is akin to the persecution of Semmelweis.

To: General Medical Council
      United Kingdom

Fr: Jaquelyn McCandless, M.D., and co-signers

Re: The Inquisition of Doctors Wakefield, Murch, and Walker-Smith

As a US board-certified psychiatrist and specialist in treating children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, I want to register a complaint regarding the UK's General Medical Council (GMC) judgment (28 January 2010) concerning Andrew J. Wakefield, M.D., and two colleagues.  As with Semmelweis and puerperal fever, history will show that Dr. Wakefield should have been exonerated, apologized to, and thanked for his original evaluations and findings in autistic children.

Since 1998, the findings reported and discussed in Wakefield et al 1998 (5) have been replicated and expanded. For instance, a newly published study by U.S. gastroenterologist Dr. Arthur Krigsman et al (1) corroborates Wakefield%u2019s findings of lymphoid hyperplasia in a subgroup of autistic children. Similar findings by another group have been presented as a conference abstract (2) and are soon to be submitted for publication.

I, numerous medical colleagues who are trying to help suffering autistic children, various researchers, and many parents of autistic children believe that the GMC has focused on trivial matters as a way (i) to deflect justified criticism of the vaccination program and, as a direct result, (ii) to turn attention away from the GMC's complicity in ignoring a subgroup of severely suffering children injured by vaccinations (eg, 3-4).

Importantly, none of the parents whose child participated in the original Wakefield et al study (5) has filed a complaint against Dr. Wakefield.  Instead, numerous parents support Dr. Wakefield and his research and attest to the fact that they have been ignored or criticized for implying that vaccines may have been involved in their children%u2019s severe gastrointestinal disorders and autism.

Clinicians repeatedly hear case histories of children whose parents describe their child's adverse reactions to the MMR vaccines, including regression and the onset of significant and persistent gut problems. Clinicians who listen to these parents and evaluate their children have no doubt of the significance of Dr. Wakefield%u2019s findings for this subgroup of autistic children. 

The GMC stands in irrational denial of Dr. Wakefield's now replicated findings and thereby stands in denial of appropriate treatment for children affected with pathologies which Wakefield's and other researchers' studies have elucidated (eg, 5-9) .  While the GMC ignores voluminous anecdotal reports from parents of children who regressed into autism, the GMC portrays Dr. Wakefield's 1998 paper as causing a turning away from the MMR and reports one or two children dying of measles, while neglecting to mention the thousands of children in the same time period who became afflicted with autism.  I daresay if you asked any large group of parents which they would choose - regressive autism or a bout of measles - do you believe anyone would choose autism? 

In their 1998 paper, Dr. Wakefield and coauthors made clear that they "did not prove an association between measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination" and autism. Instead, they described an association between chronic enterocolitis and autistic-like brain function and clearly stated that more research is necessary (5).

I affirm my appreciation of the research by Dr. Wakefield and his colleagues and believe his persecution by the GMC arises because calling attention to subgroups who have been injured by vaccinations inappropriate for some children stands as an act of heresy amid the strident orthodoxy of contemporary vaccination policy and related profits for patent-holders and makers of vaccines.

Jaquelyn McCandless, M.D. & co-signers


1. Clinical Presentation and Histologic Findings at Ileocolonoscopy in Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder and Chronic Gastrointestinal Symptoms
Arthur Krigsman et al.
Autism Insights 2010:2 1-11

2. Another study raises questions over MMR
Emily Cook, Daily Mail, in Montreal
03 June 2006

3. Hepatitis B triple series vaccine and developmental disability in US children aged 1-9 years
 Gallagher C, Goodman M. Toxicol Environ Chem 2008 90(5):997-1008.

4. Hepatitis B vaccination of male neonates and autism
[conference abstract]
CM Gallagher, MS Goodman
Annals of Epidemiology, p659
Vol. 19, No. 9 Abstracts (ACE) September 2009: 651%u2013680

5. Ileal-lymphoid-nodular hyperplasia, non-specific colitis, and pervasive developmental disorder in children.
Wakefield AJ, Murch SH, Anthony A, Linnell J, Casson DM, Malik M, Berelowitz M, Dhillon AP, Thomson MA, Harvey P, Valentine A, Davies SE, Walker-Smith JA.
Lancet. 1998 Feb 28;351(9103):637-41.

6. Enterocolitis in children with developmental disorders.
Wakefield AJ, Anthony A, Murch SH, Thomson M, Montgomery SM, Davies S, O'Leary
JJ, Berelowitz M, Walker-Smith JA.
Am J Gastroenterol. 2000 Sep;95(9):2285-95.

7. Colonic CD8 and gamma delta T-cell infiltration with epithelial damage in children with autism.
Furlano RI, Anthony A, Day R, Brown A, McGarvey L, Thomson MA, Davies SE, Berelowitz M, Forbes A, Wakefield AJ, Walker-Smith JA, Murch SH.
J Pediatr. 2001 Mar;138(3):366-72.

8. The significance of ileo-colonic lymphoid nodular hyperplasia in children with autistic spectrum disorder.
Wakefield AJ, Ashwood P, Limb K, Anthony A.
Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2005 Aug;17(8):827-36.

9. Immune activation of peripheral blood and mucosal CD3 lymphocyte cytokine profiles in children with autism and gastrointestinal symptoms.
Ashwood P, Wakefield AJ.
J Neuroimmunol. 2006 Apr;173(1-2):126-34.
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