Walker-Smith explains "high risk" tests on children with "hopeless prognosis"

This page is research from an investigation by Brian Deer for The Sunday Times of London and the UK's Channel 4 Television into a campaign linking the MMR children's vaccine with autism. | Go to part I: The Lancet scandal | Go to part II: The Wakefield factor

Confidential documents obtained by Brian Deer included papers relating to a battery of investigations on autistic children, carried out under sedation or general anaesthetic in the Royal Free hospital's paediatric gastroenterology department during 1996 and 1997. In this letter, the senior clinical investigator, Professor John Walker-Smith, acknowledges the "high risk" of the tests, and argues that the patients - many of whom he had not yet seen - had a "hopeless prognosis in relation to their cerebral disintegrative disorder"

Walker-Smith states: "I can confirm that children would have these investigations even if there were no trial". Oddly, however, after the first series of autistic kids, whose details were published in the Lancet and the journal Gut, upper endoscopies and lumbar punctures were suddenly discontinued, with hundreds more such children never being subjected to these allegedly clinically-indicated procedures, despite being admitted to the hospital with similar symptoms and histories

After being arraigned by the UK's General Medical Council in 2007, Walker-Smith changed his story, and claimed that no research was ever carried out

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