By Dr. David Lewis
Well-known Whistleblower Calls for Withdrawal of British Medical Journal Article Alleging Fraud
AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — The Strategic Autism Initiative (SAI), an autism research foundation, reported today that an ongoing investigation into the allegations of fraud against Dr. Andrew Wakefield concerning a paper published inThe Lancet in February, 1998 is being conducted by an internationally respected scientist, Dr. David Lewis. Early results of his investigation, which were published on November 9, in The British Medical Journal (BMJ) and The Journal Nature, reveal thatThe Lancet paper in question accurately reported the results provided to Dr. Wakefield by the collaborating specialists at the Royal Free Hospital in London, contrary to the findings of a series of articles published by the BMJ in January 2011.
According to Dr. Lewis, “There was no fraud committed by Dr. Wakefield. The crux of the matter in Wakefield’s case, so far as research fraud is concerned, is whether Wakefield fabricated the diagnosis of non-specific colitis for 11 of the 12 Lancetchildren as claimed in Table 1. Drs. Paul Dhillon’s and Andrew Anthony’s grading sheets clearly show that Wakefield did not fabricate the diagnoses of non-specific colitis reported in the Lancet article.” In addition to his work as a scientist, Dr. Lewis directs the Research Misconduct Project of the National Whistleblower Center in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Wakefield, executive director of SAI, upon learning of these early results, said, “In a bid to justify their position, the BMJ claim now to have commissioned, and plan to publish, expert analyses rebutting these findings. But they miss the point. BMJ cannot accuse a professional of fraud and then claim that, ‘he just reported the findings he was given, but our new experts 13 years later say those findings were wrong.’
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