Andrew Wakefield
Shame of doctor who broke basic trust

Above: Andrew Wakefield entertains a conference by warning a doctor that his confidence will be breached

MMR whistleblower threatened and betrayed

This extraordinary video captures Andrew Wakefield publicly threatening to expose a senior British health official who, thinking that Wakefield was concerned with vaccine safety issues, had risked his career and even possible criminal prosecution to confide in the now-disgraced former doctor over what were claimed to be mistakes at the department of health in London.

The whistleblower's story - of how two brands of the three-in-one measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR) were marketed in the UK (and worldwide) after having been withdrawn in Canada - was well known at the time Wakefield spoke. The original issues concerned complex risk-benefit calculations over whether a particular formulation of MMR's attenuated live-virus mumps component was associated with a too-high incidence of transient meningitis. Mumps is the greatest single cause of this brain inflammation, and two vaccine brands were were withdrawn in the UK in 1992 after government-funded research found them to cause more breatkthrough infections than a third brand, which remained in use.

What is most remarkable about the video above is how the official - a Scottish public health doctor who had talked to Wakefield in apparent good faith and in strict confidence - is goaded, belittled and, ultimately, betrayed. The reaction from those listening to Wakefield mirrors the response to his notorious "callous disregard" speech about buying blood from children, who he said cried, fainted and vomited. The audience is delighted.

The video below, meanwhile, edited from material widely published on the web, includes a smirking Wakefield betraying the whistleblower, and a confection of false claims with which the former trainee gut surgeon seeks to exonerate himself of research dishonesty and child abuse charges by alleging a fantastic conspiracy.

Above: Andrew Wakefield concocts a fantasy story to shrug off his professional ruin for research dishonesty

Following Brian Deer's award-winning Sunday Times investigation, in May 2010 Wakefield would be permanently banned from medical practice.

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