Part K - Coming Events?
66. Recent and Coming Events - UK
- High Court proceedings (several hundred cases in class action).
- Scottish Parliament Health Committee currently considering calls for re-introduction of
single vaccines in Scotland. Debating in March.
- Susan Deacon, Scottish Health Minister, has said issue is "reserved matter",
ie power remains in Whitehall, but Scottish MPs at Westminster no longer cover health. So
Scottish democratic representation is in Edinburgh, but power is in London. Likely to
cause constitutional problem. Contact: Scottish Parliament, tel 0131 348 5786.
- House of Commons Health Committee Chairman, David Hinchliffe MP, says he still has
questions over MMR issue, serious concerns raised in own constituency, need to look for
answers, is to team up with members of Scottish Health Committee to further investigate
(report in D Express 21/1/01) Contact: Clerk to the Committee, Dr. John Benger, Committee
Office, via HoC switchboard 0207 219 3000
- £350,000 three-year study into GP records of several hundred autistic cases is now
being undertaken by Prof Andrew Hall at London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
Contact Prof Andy Hall, 0207 636 8636
- UK Department of Health and Medical Research Council jointly announced on 5th March 2001
that the DoH has asked the MRC to conduct a detailed review of the current state of
knowledge about autism and to suggest possible areas for further research development,
including obtaining a clear and comprehensive picture of what is currently known about the
incidence, prevalence and causes of autism, and how strong the evidence is which underpins
that knowledge. The review is to be chaired by Professor Eve Johnstone of the University
of Edinburgh and Royal Edinburgh Hospital, who is chair of the MRC Neurosciences and
Mental Health Board. The review meetings will take place Spring/Summer 2001, and report in
Autumn 2001. MRC contacts Dawn Duncan/Marion Irving 0207 637 6011.
- Medicines Control Agency has attempted to prevent single vaccines from being
administered, banning the importing of further supplies and threatening any GP who
administers single vaccines with prosecution for breaching laws on importation, sale or
supply of unlicensed vaccines
- Continuing fight by parents groups. Contacts: JABS, Jackie Fletcher, 01942 713565
email firstname.lastname@example.org , or AIA, Rosemary
Kessick, 01733 331771 email Rosie@Kessick.demon.co.uk
- In Dublin, the Health Committee of Dail is also considering issue. The Committee has
held hearings to consider the evidence, but has not heard evidence from key Royal Free
Hospital researchers. Over 80 written submissions have been received. Chairman Batt
OKeefe stated that a recommendation will be made to the Dail on the odds for/against
MMR. Contact: Batt OKeefe, Chairman of Committee, Joint Cttee on Health &
Children, Leinster House, Dublin email email@example.com
68. United States
- Congress has also ordered the Institute of Medicine (IoM) to investigate the autism/MMR
link, or identify another cause(s). The IoM is a division of the National Academy of
Sciences, whose members serve as advisers to Congress. The IoM met on 11/1/01, will meet
three times in 2001, will look at eight other vaccine-related safety concerns and make a
recommendation. Project funded by National Institutes of Health and Centre for Disease
69. "Just One More Question, Minister....."
Some sample questions for the media are offered here...
- (Q1) Does DoH/Minister/whoever accept that parents reports are consistent pattern?
- (Q2) why was autism rare a couple of decades ago but now very much more common?
- (Q3) why were most cases in the past of children who failed to develop in very
early infancy, whereas very many cases nowadays - when there is better recognition of
the condition (ie much less likely to be missed in infancy) are now of late-onset
autism, after normal infancy?
- (Q4) does DoH etc accept that alleged new syndrome involves slow degeneration
over many weeks/several months/many months, rather than acute event inside of three
or four week time-band vaccination?
- (Q5) does DoH etc accept that many late-onset autistic children have extreme multiple
food allergies, and that the onset of these coincided with the onset of their autism?
- (Q6) ditto question for bowel conditions
- (Q7) related question: does DoH etc accept that simultaneous or sequential onset of
gut/bowel/autism problems could be interlinked causationally?
- (Q8) is DoH monitoring autism numbers centrally?
- (Q9) are health authorities/Boards monitoring autism locally, to consistent degree?
- (Q10) is UK DoH aware of huge increase in autistic pupils in US, 1993-99 up from 12k to
53k? (DoH likes to quote that MMR is safely used in US)
- (Q11) what research has the DoH etc commissioned into possible causes (NOT
genetic susceptibility aspect) of autism, and what is £ value over how many years?
- (Q12) has DoH (or anyone in Government?) made any estimate of the national cost of
autism? (health, education, social services care, etc multiplied by numbers of cases
multiplied by years of life expectancy)?
- (Q13) was Medicines Division in disarray in 1988, year MMR was licensed? (see BSE
Inquiry evidence, Draft Factual Account 17, pp 31-33)
- (Q14) did the Taylor Miller North London study find that autism was increasing?
- (Q15) did the 1999 Committee on Safety of Medicines study include the admission
that "it was impossible to prove or refute the suggested association" ?
(it did, their exact words, page 12 para. 5.5 of the Study Teams report)
- (Q16) did the same study, whenever it found any other factor in the infancy of the 537
cases of autism it reviewed, ascribe the autism to that other factor, even when there is
no evidence to link autism to such other factors?
- (Q17) is it admitted that the Peltola (Finland) study only followed up 173 of the 1.8m
- (Q18) is it true that all these 173 cases were only those with acute
gastrointestinal or other problems (vomiting etc), not slow long-term degenerative
- (Q19) was the study designed to look at autism? (Peltola has publicly admitted it
- (Q20) would local paediatricians in Finland have connected autism with vaccination at
all at that time? (they certainly wouldnt, no-one had ever suggested it then, 15
- (Q21) are there members of the Committee on Safety of Medicines with declared personal
interests linking them to the manufacturers of MMR? (see earlier section)
- (Q22) does the DoH even admit to the concept of vaccine damage?
- (Q23) does DoH etc concede that long-term (six months plus) follow-up was not undertaken
of a sufficiently convincingly large sample (10,000-plus) children prior to MMR licensing,
and UK was in effect trusting to safety because MMR already widely used elsewhere, eg US?
(theyll never admit this, but keep trying)
- (Q24) is autism now recognised and recorded even as a potential adverse
reaction, nowadays, by the Medicines Control Agency as part of the Yellow Card warning
scheme? (very important question)
- (Q25) are doctors now asked to look out for degeneration as a potential adverse
consequence? Has there been any guidance on this?
- (Q26) will (Chief Medical Officer, whoever) resign if MMR children win in forthcoming UK
High Court cases?
MMR and Late-Onset Autism -(Autistic Enterocolitis) - A
Briefing Note by David Thrower