Friday, 17 February 2012

My email to Guardian corrections/clarifications re article on John Walker Smith on Monday

Dear Madam or Sir,
I refer to the article in Monday's Guardian "Doctor struck off over MMR controversy appeals against ruling":
The article at one points reads:
“The judge asked Miller whether the alleged link between MMR and the vaccine “has now been utterly disproved” in the opinion of “respectable medical opinion”.
Miller said that was “exactly” the position.
Asked whether that was also the case in relation to autism and some types of bowel disorder, Miller said: “There are still doubters and believers on that.”
MMR is a vaccine. Did the judge actually say that a link between one named vaccine and another (un-named but called 'the) vaccine has been 'utterly disproved'? And did Walker-Smith's QC say that was 'exactly' the position?
It is like saying the link between a named dog (let's call her Daisy) and another, un-named (but called 'the') dog, had been 'utterly disproved'.
Either the journalist has misquoted the judge and QC, in which case you should correct, or the judge and QC made these mistakes in court, in which case you should clarify. There may even be another explanation I have not thought of.
It makes a difference because Guardian Readers cannot know confidently what has been allegedly 'utterly disproved', or how these relate to what might have been said, by the judge and the QC, about autism and bowel disorder (as mentioned above).
There is already so much confusion and misinformation (not to mention ideology) inherent in the various discourses around the MMR vaccine. I believe it is the Guardian's duty to establish the correct quotes so as not to add to this woeful quagmire.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you require more information/clarification.
Best wishes
Angela Kennedy