Response to Godhumor (Reply #53)
Sat Jun 16, 2012, 10:52 PM
proverbialwisdom (4,950 posts)
62. BTW, certain pediatric gastroenterologists are unsung heroes in the battle to understand autism -
- if you look at the facts.
Professor John Walker Smith Exonerated in Autism MMR Case
Walker-Smith, with Allan Walker of Harvard Medical School, is widely regarded as the co-founder of paediatric gastroenterology as an independent field.
John Stone is UK Editor for Age of Autism.
Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology & Nutrition: November 1999 - Volume 29 - Issue 5 - p 14AArticles
A Tribute to Professor John Walker-Smith, ESPGHAN Editor 1995-2000
By Walker, W. Allan MD
With this issue of the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Professor John Walker-Smith retires as the ESPGHAN Editor, a position he has held with distinction since 1995. As the continuing NASPGN Editor, I wish to pay tribute to John for his many contributions to the journal over this period of time and his accomplishments in the field of pediatric gastroenterology in general. During his tenure as Editor, many successful innovations have started that (in my view) have raised the quality of the journal to a new level. In January of 1997, a photograph from an article in each issue was printed as part of a new cover design. Response from our readership was universally positive. During the next 2 years, a Clinical Quiz section was started and the abstract for original articles was changed in design to represent a complete summation of the article with key words and references enclosed. In a questionnaire to the NASPGN readership last year, these changes were approved by a large percentage of the respondents. John, with a strong interest in medical history, initiated a "Historic Notes" section that has informed our young readership of major events that have helped to shape our subspecialty. Recently, a "News and Views" section was started to inform our readership quickly of events worldwide that affect the care of children with gastrointestinal problems. John, it has been a genuine pleasure working with you and your Associate Editors, Alan Phillips, Simon Murch, Deirdre Kelly, and Ian Sanderson, although I have to claim some credit for Ian because he started as a NASPGN Associate Editor before moving back to the United Kingdom.
Recently, John informed me of his intent to retire from the Chair in Pediatric Gastroenterology at the Royal Free Hospital, University of London next September in order to spend more time with his beloved family and to pursue his passion for the history of medicine (he is already Society of Apothecaries Lecturer in Medical History at the University of London). With that news, I thought it would be an appropriate occasion to reflect on John Walker-Smith's contributions to the field of pediatric gastroenterology. John began his training in adult gastroenterology as a House Physician to Professor Chris Booth at Hammersmith Hospital in the United Kingdom after medical school and pediatric training in his native Australia in the early 1960s. With this clinical background, he continued his training as a Research Fellow in Gastroenterology at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney and with Professor Prader in Zurich, Switzerland. He then began his academic career in the Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children in Sydney, attaining a position of Staff Physician before returning to the United Kingdom to establish one of the most prestigious training programs in pediatric gastroenterology history at the Medical College of St. Bartholomew's Hospital and the London Hospital Medical College at Queen Elizabeth Hospital for Children in 1973.
From that time until the present, John has established himself as one of the premier, if not the premier, pediatric gastroenterologist in the world with a personal Chair in Pediatric Gastroenterology at St. Bartholomew's and, since 1995, at the Royal Free Hospital. His abilities as a clinician, clinical investigator, and educator through lectures, review articles, and textbooks have resulted in a worldwide following by former fellows, colleagues, and general pediatricians. Having been with John at meetings on numerous occasions around the world, I never cease to wonder at former fellows in the host country of the meeting wishing to spend time with their former mentor. John, you have contributed a great deal to the development and continued excellence of our field. We owe you a sincere debt of gratitude. We wish you well in your adventure as the Society of Apothecaries Lecturer in History of Medicine. Maybe we can convince you to write the definitive history of pediatric gastroenterology as a future assignment. With deep respect-
W. Allan Walker, MD
Senior Author of MMR Paper, John Walker-Smith, Wins Appeal
Written by The Canary Party
Wednesday, 07 March 2012 16:13
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Dr. Andrew Wakefield’s co-author on controversial Lancet “MMR paper” completely exonerated of all charges of professional misconduct
World renowned pediatric gastroenterologist Prof. John Walker-Smith won his appeal today against the United Kingdom’s General Medical Council regulatory board that had ruled against both him and Andrew Wakefield for their roles in the 1998 Lancet MMR paper, which raised questions about a link to autism. The complete victory means that Walker-Smith has been returned to the status of a fully licensed physician in the UK, although he had already retired in 2001 — six years before the GMC trial even began.
Justice John Mitting ruled on the appeal by Walker-Smith, saying that the GMC “panel’s determination cannot stand. I therefore quash it.” He said that its conclusions were based on “inadequate and superficial reasoning and, in a number of instances, a wrong conclusion.” The verdict restores Walker-Smith’s name to the medical register and his reputation to the medical community. This conclusion is not surprising, as the GMC trial had no actual complainants, no harm came to the children who were studied, and parents supported Walker-Smith and Wakefield through the trial, reporting that their children had medically benefited from the treatment they received at the Royal Free Hospital.
While John Walker-Smith received funding to appeal the GMC decision from his insurance carrier, his co-author Andrew Wakefield did not — and was therefore unable to mount an appeal in the high court. This year, however, Dr. Wakefield, who now conducts his research in the US, has filed a defamation lawsuit against Brian Deer, Fiona Godlee and the British Medical Journal for falsely accusing him of “fraud.” The suit is currently underway in Texas, where Wakefield now lives. The ruling today bodes well for Dr. Wakefield’s suit against Deer, on whose reporting the entire GMC hearing was based.
Today, almost 14 years after the paper was published, the high court determined that John Walker-Smith was innocent of the wrongdoing alleged by the GMC. Judge Mitting reported that the GMC, “on the basis of sensible instructions, does not invite me to remit it to a fresh Fitness to Practice panel for redetermination. The end result is that the finding of serious professional misconduct and the sanction of erasure are both quashed.”
More at link.
From the Editor: Joy
(I) received the following today from one of the Lancet families that has never been quoted before:
"As parents of one of the Lancet 12, we are overjoyed by the judgement. Professor Walker-Smith is totally and absolutely vindicated. There is no equivocation in the judgement. A truly honourable man receives justice. The activities of the GMC are more than criticised in the judgement. Who do they answer to?"
Dr. Andrew Wakefield's Libel Writ Against The British Medical Journal
Link from: http://www.ageofautism.com/2012/01/autism-parents-respond-to-dr-andrew-wakefields-libel-writ-against-the-british-medical-journal.html
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BTW, certain pediatric gastroenterologists are unsung heroes in the battle to understand autism -
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