Italian Child’s Autism the Result of MMR Vaccination

by duncanr

The MMR vaccine protects against measles, mumps, and rubella (aka german measles). It was introduced in the 1970s to replace the three separate vaccinations previously the norm to protect against these diseases.

It’s effectiveness is not in question. There are, however, claims that it may play a causal role in the development of autism in children

The original claim of a link between the MMR vaccination and autism was made in 1998 by Andrew Wakefield in an ‘iffy’ piece of research – later discredited

Wakefield’s research was found by the General Medical Council to have been “dishonest”,[31] and The Lancet fully retracted the original paper.[32] The research was declared fraudulent in 2011 by the British Medical Journal.[33] Several subsequent peer-reviewed studies have failed to show any association between the vaccine and autism.[34] (Wikipedia)

Despite Wakefield’s ‘evidence’ being discredited, many parents (and some doctors too) still believe that the MMR vaccination plays a causal role in the development of autism. Both sides in the debate point to studies that support their own position

Those who believe there is a link between the MMR vaccine and autism will be encouraged in this belief by a recent court ruling in Italy, in which a family were awarded financial compensation by a judge after the Italian Health Ministry ruled that their child’s autism was the result of an MMR injection

This ruling may well re-ignite the argument between supporters and opponents of the MMR vaccine


10 Comments to “Italian Child’s Autism the Result of MMR Vaccination”

  1. thanks to allesklar for the link to this story !


  2. Well a friend of mine has 2 girls who are now 15 & 17. Each born perfectly normal and became autistic after the MMR vaccination. They were, at that time, the only family in Australia with 2 autistic girls. “On the record”, the doctors said we don’t know. “Off the record” the doctors said … MMR, it’s rare, especially in girls but both you and yr husband carry a gene that set it off after vaccination. My friend does support vaccination but always said if she were to have another child, they obviously wouldn’t vaccinate.


  3. Duncan, I support the vaccine. However, the public needs to understand something about drugs and vaccines: Scientists and physicians are not aware of all possible side effects. Why? They don’t have complete data on where else in the body the drug or vaccine reacts or how it reacts. Thalidomide is an excellent example of that.

    Now, about Andrew Wakefield… his study violated patient’s rights. He conducted spinal taps on children without the consent of their parents and what not. He also manipulated the data. Therefore, his study has no merit. That is not to say that a scientific link between Autism and the MMR vaccine cannot be found. If a proper study is done and the data supports that conclusion, then the scientific community should certainly accept it.

    Science says not to reject a hypothesis without testing it. So, I won’t be quick to reject or accept this link until an ethical, efficient study is done to test it.


  4. The ‘medical establishment’ have a dishonourable history of ignoring and sometimes ‘discrediting’ research which challenges the status quo.

    Compare Drs Barry Marshall and Robin Warren whose low-cost, drug-free treatment for peptic ulcer was ignored and disparaged by the establishment for 15 years, finally gaining general acceptance, but only after some relevant drug patents expired in 1994.

    Wikipedia is a great resource, but it is vulnerable to manipulation from interest groups. The Wikipedia entry you have quoted cites 146 sources, and has had 500 revisions since Feb 2010. One might wonder who has the time and energy (and probably money?) to devote to such a large PR campaign on this issue.

    The UK General Medical Council has disbarred Dr Wakefield, and ruled that he had conflicts of interest. In the context of the multi-billion dollar vaccine industry, one might well ask whether the GMC has its own conflicts.

    In an interview with Dr Mercola Dr Wakefield makes several disturbing allegations concerning behind the scenes machinations of the medical establishment, government, and vaccine industry.

    “…the government had done a deal with the manufacturers of one of the vaccines, Smith Kline Beecham to indemnify them against litigation. Now, why would they do that? What was the purpose of that?”. Apparently the Smith-Kline vaccine was initially approved in the UK on the basis that a different vaccine had tested safe, then withdrawn from use in the ‘first world’ following outbreaks of meningitis, but still exported for use in ‘third world’ countries.
    (Transcript available here)

    I am sure we have not seen the last of this sorry saga, and if Dr Wakefield is eventually vindicated, the implications are quite horrifying.


    • “The ‘medical establishment’ have a…”

      Of course, science has a history of “ignoring and… discrediting research…”, but good data, good science eventually wins and gets accepted. As for Wakefield, once accused of unethical conduct it’s hard to gain credibility. This is why I hope another study will be done by someone else who doesn’t have any conflicts of interest and can carry out the research with ethical procedures. Needless to say, a goal of a study done on the autism and MMR vaccine link, should also be to identify people for which this vaccine could cause such a side effect.

      If the science community (barring people who have a conflict of interest) try to “cover-up” or tone-down findings, it’s probably because they don’t want the masses to be scared and keep their children from being vaccinated at all. There is a risk with all drugs and vaccines. Then, the question is – are you willing to die from a disease or suffer from complications of the medicine? It’s a “chose your poison” situation.

      “…the implications are quite horrifying.”

      Indeed, allesklar, it is and it’s not just this vaccine; it’s the slew of other drugs and vaccines that are approved. Drugs and vaccines are approved based on their efficacy and therapeutic potential, not on the severity of possible side effects.The government is not proactive about cases like this post pointed out. So, be wary.


      • @nerdychingu “He conducted spinal taps on children without the consent of their parents and what not.”

        Dr Wakefield specifically rejects that allegation:
        “DW: Well, that was the beginning of the media attention. In 2004, I suddenly got this contact from a freelance journalist Brian Deer working on behalf of the Sunday Times making a whole series of allegations against my colleagues and I.
        In his opinion, these children did not need investigation, in his opinion, these children did not need a colonoscopy or a lumbar puncture or these other investigations that my clinical colleagues had deemed, they most certainly did need.
        DM: And he had no formal medical training.
        DW: None at all.”

        As part of the same proceedings eminent physician Professor John Walker-Smith was also found guilty of misconduct by the GMC, and stuck of the registers. That decision has now been overturned in the courts.

        To me Dr Wakefield’s account has the ring of truth, and raises serious questions about the medical establishment’s impartiality and integrity.


        • You can call me Icicle or Eunice or whatever new name you come up…

          I’m not ‘saying’ those procedures and tests aren’t necessary. All I’m ‘saying’ is that there is an ethical way to do them. His studies may raise serious questions, but I don’t agree with his means. Scientists can manipulate data to suit their purpose. I’ve read some of the parents’ accounts of what happened to their child. That’s why I think Wakefield is an asshole. Just saying…

          I’ll ‘tell’ you the same thing I tell my little sister – “You won’t change my mind and I won’t change yours.”


  5. We often rely on ethical reporting to form our opinions of people such as Wakefield. And we trust that the authorities charged with overseeing ethical standards are themselves impartial and disinterested.
    In the light of the current Leveson Inquiry, it is interesting that Brian Deer of the Murdoch Press has been prominent amongst those leading the charge against Dr Wakefield, and also had a pivotal role in the GMC proceedings.
    Also interesting that many of those parents directly affected are very supportive of Wakefield, judging by their comments on the ‘Age of Autism’ website.
    It will be interesting indeed if the fallout from the recent exoneration of Professor Walker-Smith eventually vindicates Wakefield and exposes a web of deceit concocted against him:


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