Some bloggers and mainstream media took as gospel, as decided fact, the allegations made against Dr. Andrew Wakefield by journalist Brian Deer in the Sunday Times (UK) last month. The article ran the week prior to the Vaccine Court's omnibus ruling in three cases involving allegations that vaccines caused autism and only 24 hours after Dr Wakefield claims he was informed of the story allegations. As reported by David Kirby at the Huffington Post, Dr. Wakefield has now filed a formal complaint against Mr Deer with the UK Press C0mplaints Commission. It should be must reading especially for those who accepted as decided facts the allegations made in the article.
Dr. Wakefield deals with the allegations in very specific, documented detail. As a lawyer who is regularly concerned with issues of fairness, proper notice and due process I am disgusted that a story such as Mr Deer's would run only 24 hours after giving notice to the person against whom the allegations are made. To make it worse the allegations were made against a person involved in a proceeding involving the same matters, a proceeding in which the journalist who wrote the article has been a key participant.
Some bloggers and mainstream journalists who accused Dr. Wakefield of data manipulation based on Mr. Deer's article may want to read Dr. Wakefield's complaint against Mr. Deer. They might also want to consider extending an apology to Dr. Wakefield.