Andrew Wakefield: why ain't he in choky?

I’m sure you’ve all heard by now that the brilliant researcher behind the vaccine/autism link was making it all up in order to defraud woo-friendly parents and the UK National Health Service, among others.

The blood of several hundred children in the UK who died of measles as a result of lowered immunization rates is on his hands.

So far, there doesn’t appear to be a criminal investigation taking place in the UK. Should there be?

If I were Goddess of the Universe, there would be (and it would have started years ago). Alas, however, I am not in charge of the things that really matter - making alcohol calorie-free (and without the hangover), speeding up Season Two of the Walking Dead, and putting this evil bastard in prison for murder where he belongs.

You would have to demonstrate that he actually broke some laws.

I like to think it’s on the hands of the stupid no-vax parents of their peers, actually.

While a rebound in measles cases in the U.K. can be attributed to the fear raised by Wakefield’s sloppy and deceptive “investigation”, the “several hundred” deaths from measles figure is inaccurate.

“In England and Wales, there were 1,217 cases of confirmed measles between January and the end of November 2008, the highest for 13 years. There has also been the first measles related death since 1992, in 2006. Poor uptake of MMR followed controversy surrounding the vaccination and an unproven link with autism.
Other European countries with endemic measles include Romania, Germany, Switzerland and Italy. Between 2006-7, there were 12,132 confirmed cases of measles across Europe.7 Most were in unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated children but almost a fifth were aged 20 years or older. Seven measles-related deaths were recorded over the same time period. This makes WHO’s target for elimination of measles in the European region by 2010 seem doubtful.8
In the US measles has been eradicated since 2002.”

There was a considerable drop-off in measles cases in 2009 in the U.K. with some rebound during the latter part of 2010.

Even a limited number of deaths (and unnecessary suffering of thousands) due to a vaccine-preventable disease is too many. Wakefield arguably does have blood on his hands, as do the antivaxers who trumpeted his research. Whether any of this falls under criminal law in the U.K., I don’t know. It would be good to see some of these people sued by parents of children injured because they didn’t get the MMR.

Fraud is a crime.

Andrew Wakefield is a douche, but I’d put the blame solely on the media that totally ignored all the evidence that MMR vaccines are safe while fanning the flames of anti-vax hysteria to sell more papers and whatnot.

No politician could get elected, in Britain or elsewhere, by taking a stand against killing people due to quackery. Britain is worse than some places in this regard but hardly alone.

A few murdered children just isn’t a problem and doesn’t concern the state. They save their law-enforcement apparatus for serious things like labeling the weight of bananas in pounds.

Nobody has to take a stand. The Serious Fraud Office and Scotland Yard can investigate things without the PM’s say-so.

What are they supposed to label them in, schillings?

Please expand on this, do.

Kilograms. Condescending Robot is referring to a fairly pointless anti-metrication protest of a few years ago.

I’d really much rather he didn’t, myself.



I thought that was the pokey.

Depends on the size of your roomie.

Where did you find that slang, guv’nor? Did you grow up as a street urchin in a Dickens novel or a 1930s movie?

Note: Googling “choky” also leads one to a Hungarian porn star named Choky Ice.

What’s the British term for whooooosh?

I grew up as a narrative device in a PG Wodehouse novel, actually.

What about civil action, if he can’t be prosecuted for a crime? Could any of the parents who’s kids died or got sick file a suit? Or possibly ask the crown to have him drawn and quartered and the parts fed to rabid space weasels?