Bill slams Government experts over MMR jabs

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					                                                                                                                THE SUNDAY POST/ October 26, 2008           9

   Angry grandad drags
   top docs before GMC
 Bill slams Government
 experts over MMR jabs
                                By Janet Boyle

     SCOTS grandad has                     Bill Welsh suggested, “It’s the

A     reported 11 of the
country’s leading doctors
                                           components of the individual vaccines,
                                           not just the triple formula.
                                             “We believe there is a sub-group of
                                           children susceptible to developing
to the General Medical                     autism from the vaccines. We’re not
Council because he                         saying all will.”
claims they failed                           Andrew Wakefield’s report hit front
                                           pages and caused panic among
children over the MMR                      parents. Many of those with autistic
vaccine.                                   children felt he was the first doctor to
                                           take their problems seriously.
  Bill Welsh, whose grandson
Luke Payton (13) is autistic, is           Flawed
claiming England’s Chief                     Many boycotted the MMR vaccine             ■ Bill and grandson Luke, who at the age of 13 still can’t speak.
Medical Officer Liam                       and a rise in infectious childhood
Donaldson, his predecessor,                diseases followed. However, Dr
Scots Professor Kenneth                    Wakefield’s fellow authors published a
Calman, and others were                    partial retraction of the article in 2004
                                           and The Lancet described the research
negligent in the procedures                as “fatally flawed”.
introducing and running the                  Dr Wakefield was reported to the
programme.                                 GMC, accused of suppressing data and
  Sir Liam is principal adviser to         acting “dishonestly and irresponsibly”
the UK Government on health                in failing to disclose how patients were
matters.                                   recruited for the study. His case is
                                           ongoing and resumes on November 3.
Damaged                                      Life for the Welsh family also
                                           continues, as they work to provide care
   Bill also claimed they failed to        for Luke.
address the medical needs of children        “We first noticed a difference in him
he believes were damaged by the triple     shortly after he was vaccinated as an
vaccine.                                   infant,” Bill said. “He became
   “Not all the safety checks were made    withdrawn and the little cheerful boy
in running this vaccine,” he said, “and    we once knew disappeared.
when children developed autism and
                                             “It was as though he had totally
the bowel problems that accompany it
                                           switched off to us and was
they were neglected and denied proper
                                           concentrating on his own world.
                                             “Bowel problems followed and he
   “Many were just dismissed as having
                                           seemed to be miserable at times.
a syndrome and that’s unforgivable
                                           Today, at 13, he is still unable to speak
                                           and attends a school for children with
   Mr Welsh, from Glasgow, heads the       special educational needs.
Autism Treatment Trust charity, which
offers help to families with autistic        “He loves music and we get out to do
children.                                  a bit of cycling and try to help achieve
                                           his potential, but we firmly believe we
   “More than 300 Scots parents have       lost much of Luke the day he was
come forward for help and we employ        vaccinated. Sadly, like many families of
a doctor and scientist to treat the        autistic children, we fear for his future.
medical effects of autism.
                                             “We’re all shocked and angered that
   “Some of these parents have had to      so little effort has gone into
fight for decent medical care for their    researching why there has been this
children. Some tell us the bowel           huge increase in autism.
problems are dismissed as autism so
they flounder about, desperate for
treatment.                                 Risk
   “We hold our medical leaders to           “So many parents report huge
account for this.”                         changes in their infants after
   Bill believes a rise in autism in       vaccination. Should we not be
children from one in 2500 in the 1980s     identifying children at risk from autism
to one in 88 today may be directly         from vaccination?”
linked to the vaccination.                   A spokesman for the GMC said,
   “Autism may be better diagnosed but     “We cannot comment on either
that alone can’t account for the huge      Mr Welsh’s complaint or the ongoing
increase,” he said.                        case of Dr Wakefield.”
   “Isn’t it time the Government carried     The Scottish Government issued a
out some research into why so many         statement saying, “The combined MMR
children now suffer from autism? Both      vaccine has been used for nearly
candidates in the US election have         30 years, with more than 500 million
promised to do this.”                      doses given in over 100 countries.
   The controversy was sparked by a          “Current evidence shows no proven
1998 report by Dr Andrew Wakefield         scientific link between autism and the
and some of his colleagues in medical      combined MMR vaccine.”
journal The Lancet in which he linked        Dr Wakefield has relaunched his
12 children suffering from the             career in America where he’s opened a
developmental disorder to MMR              new clinic in Texas funded by the
injections.                                parents of autistic children.
   Some Scots children who were              Supporters include actor Jim Carrey
inoculated with separate vaccines          and girl country band The Dixie
also went on to develop autism but         Chicks.