Andrew Wakefield resigned from Thoughtful House?

I’m hearing this from multiple sources, who are forwarding me this message from the Yahoo! Thoughtful House Group:

Dr. Wakefield has resigned from Thoughtful House

The needs of the children we serve must always come first. All of us at Thoughtful House are grateful to Dr. Wakefield for the valuable work he has done here. We fully support his decision to leave Thoughtful House in order to make sure that the controversy surrounding the recent findings of the General Medical Council does not interfere with the important work that our dedicated team of clinicians and researchers is doing on behalf of children with autism and their families. All of us at Thoughtful House continue to fight every day for the recovery of children with developmental disorders. We will continue to do our very best to accomplish our mission by combining the most up-to-date treatments and important clinical research that will help to shape the understanding of these conditions that are affecting an ever-increasing number of children worldwide.

Responses are rolling in along these lines:

That is aweful! Amazing how hard the cover up of this true pandemic of rising autism is. I believe it is a matter if time before the powers that be get what’s coming for avoiding the reality of it all to save money in mass law suits for their wrong doings….just my opinion.

I wish Dr. Wakefield continued strength in his fight and to know so many stand behind him…..God Bless….

Interesting.

I don’t know anything about this (yet) other than this cryptic announcement, but I can speculate. I also note that there has not yet been a press release on the Thoughtful House website as of yet; so I’m not sure how reliable this information is.

First off, if it is true that Andrew Wakefield has resigned from Thoughtful House, I have to admit that I was totally wrong when I speculated earlier that the notoriety that Andrew Wakefield has garnered is not doing what I expected, namely driving more patients to Thoughtful House. As much as the lunatic fringe of the anti-vaccine movement in the form of Age of Autism and its spokescelebrities Jim Carrey and Jenny McCarthy cling to Wakefield, viewing him more than ever as a hero, my guess is that the staff at Thoughtful House are a bit less taken in by the cult of personality surrounding him. They need to make a living. Thus, one possibility is that Bryan Jepson and Arthur Krigsman pushed him out. They’re the ones actually seeing patients, after all, and Wakefield doesn’t even have a Texas medical license (nor is he likely ever to get one after the GMC ruling against him).

Even so, if Andrew Wakefield has resigned, it strikes me as odd. He is the face of Thoughtful House, and it is his fame that attracts patients. Few people have heard of Drs. Krigsman or Jepson, but everybody knows Wakefield, at least in the autism “biomed” circles. On the other hand, Wakefield’s notoriety due to the recent one-two punch of his having had an unfavorable ruling by the GMC followed by the retraction of his 1998 Lancet paper might have become a problem for Thoughtful House in that it might have brought unwanted attention from the Texas Medical Board and other local authorities. Although Wakefield is listed as “research staff,” it is very clear that it is primarily his ideas that drive the autism “biomed” woo that is dispensed to patients at Thoughtful House, and the NBC documentary last summer certainly made it look as though he was very much involved in patient care decision-making. Could it be that the Texas authorities have come sniffing around Thoughtful House? I don’t know, but I’d really like to know.

One final other possibility is that there is more information out there that is about to come to light. Perhaps more evidence of research misconduct related to his recent “monkey study,” animal research as unethical and incompetent as Wakefield’s MMR “research” from over a decade ago. I do have to wonder, though, what will be the fate of Laura Hewitson, who by carrying out Wakefield’s monkey study followed the Wakefield cult of personality and anti-vaccine pseudoscience straight out of a promising academic career at the University of Pittsburgh and into academic exile at Thoughtful House.

Whatever the reason for Wakefield’s resignation (if he has in fact resigned), it’s clear that he’s become, if you’ll excuse my appropriating a favorite term among anti-vaccine activists, toxic. Too toxic even for Thoughtful House, which may well have decided, if you’ll excuse me borrowing another favorite term among the autism “biomed” set, decided to chelate itself.

ADDENDUM: It looks as though it’s true. Wakers is toast. Andy Wakefield has been removed from the list of research staff at Thoughtful House.