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Callous Disregard: Autism and Vaccines: The Truth Behind a Tragedy Hardcover – May 24, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing (May 24, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616081694
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616081690
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 6.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #787,038 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“I'm so glad Andy Wakefield finally has the chance to tell his story. . . . For hundreds of thousands of parents around the world, myself included, Andy Wakefield is a symbol of strength and conviction that all parents of children with autism can use to fight for truth and the best lives possible for their kids.” (Jenny McCarthy, from her foreword)

“As a mother of a boy who regressed into autism immediately following his MMR vaccination, I welcome this book unreservedly . . . Whatever your thoughts on the issue, if you read nothing else at all on the vaccine-autism debate, this has to be the most crucial book you read.” (Polly Tommey, editor of The Autism File)

“Andrew Wakefield has been subjected to extraordinary criticism and condemnation from professional colleagues and the wider community since he first questioned the safety of the MMR vaccine. In this book he answers his critics—powerfully and comprehensively—and sets the record straight. It is essential reading for anyone wanting to know the truth behind the MMR debate and the politics of vaccination policy.” (Dr. Richard Halvorsen, author of The Truth about Vaccines)

“Meeting Dr. Andy Wakefield changed our lives and . . . we are forever grateful. His wise and measured advice about vaccinations helped us dodge a bullet . . . Our fourth son [had] multiple allergies and repeated infections . . . We now fully realize [he] would have been a victim of immune overload had we followed the regular vaccine schedule. . . . [He] is [now] bright and healthy . . . This book provides a terrifying insight into what has been happening behind the scenes as efforts redouble to silence Dr. Wakefield . . . It is a wake-up call to those who think [he] is anything other than a modern day hero fighting for all of our children.” (Robert Rodriguez and Elizabeth Avellan, Troublemaker Studios, Austin, Texas)

“Dr. Wakefield sets the record straight. It was not he who showed callous disregard towards vulnerable, sick children with autism. It was the British medical establishment, the General Medical Council, the media and the pharmaceutical industry that threw the children under the bus to protect the vaccine program. This is a book for everyone who cares about our future.” (Mary Holland, Esq., co-founder, Elizabeth Birt Center for Autism Law and Advocacy)

About the Author

Andrew J. Wakefield, MB, BS, FRCS, FRCPath, is an academic gastroenterologist. He received his medical degree from St. Mary’s Hospital Medical School (part of the University of London) in 1981, and pursued a career in gastrointestinal surgery with a particular interest in inflammatory bowel disease. He has published over 130 original scientific articles, book chapters, and invited scientific commentaries. He and his wife, Carmel, live in Austin, Texas, and have four children: James, Sam, Imogen, and Corin.

Jenny McCarthy is a world-renowned autism activist, mother, and bestselling author. She splits her time between Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, and California. Her books include Belly Laughs, Baby Laughs, Life Laughs, Mother Warriors, Healing and Preventing Autism, and Louder Than Words.

Customer Reviews

Very well written and logically laid out.
Daniel P. Leprohon
Poorly argued theories, way too much reliance on his own beliefs which have been overturned by a few different large-scale multi-center trials.
J. Graham
Dr. Andrew Wakefield and his colleagues clearly NEVER said that the MMR was the cause of these children's autism.
Phoenix Mom

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

80 of 109 people found the following review helpful By AmazonGrace on May 2, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Coming only recently to the polarized cross-roads of vaccine safety and autism, I had heard the names of Jenny McCarthy and Andrew Wakefield spoken in the most derisive of terms. Wow, I thought, who are these people that prompt such a strong reaction? I kept hearing that there was no link between vaccines and autism, that "they" had proven it years ago and totally discredited the man who published a study showing a relationship between a vaccine and autism.

Who the hell are "they"??? and how did a peer-reviewed study on autism and vaccines get published and then retracted? So I bought the book.

Andrew Wakefield's story is fascinating. Dr. Wakefield has scores of citations and cross-references to back up every claim and assertion he makes. His writing style is fun to read, with the occasional little bit of dry Brit humor that made me go back and read it twice to enjoy the snarky joke. Towards the middle of the book the writing was a bit of a slog to read, but I was glad I powered through that chapter as it gave good context and gravity to the last third of the book.

Most intriguing to me were the clear evidences of a smear campaign against him - the science of the study Dr. Wakefield contributed to was never called into question (there were 13 authors total in "The Paper"). The allegations against him and two other contributors had to do with ethics of prescribed diagnostic treatments and of funding. There was no charge that the science was wrong or in some way not factual.

Dr. Wakefield is a vocal advocate for vaccine use - but had the temerity to suggest that governments and pharmaceutical companies could do better regarding safety testing.
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180 of 252 people found the following review helpful By Phoenix Mom on June 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I had the pleasure of thanking Dr. Wakefield, for his work on behalf of injured children, myself at the 2008 Autism One Conference in Chicago. I looked forward to reading the book but having heard Dr. Wakefield speak and reading numerous articles on the issue, knew that there would be no surprises for me inside.

Before ordering the book, I carefully read many of the positive reviews but ALL of the negative reviews and the related comments because I wanted to see it through the eyes of both sides.

I need to preface that I have read the Lancet paper several times. The conclusion never changes for me no matter how many times I read it in light of the accusations against Dr. Wakefield. In the Discussion section of the paper there is this statement "We did not prove an association between measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine and the syndrome described" and the last paragraph of the study "We have identified a chronic enterocolitis in children that may be related to neuropsychiatric dysfunction. Inmost cases, onset of symptoms was after measles, mumps, and rubella immunisation. Further investigations are needed to examine this syndrome and its possible relation to this vaccine."

Dr. Andrew Wakefield and his colleagues clearly NEVER said that the MMR was the cause of these children's autism. After reading the book and the timeline of events, it is clear that procedures were followed to the letter to provide clinical care to some very sick children and the findings were reported in an effort to move the discussion forward to help the Lancet 12 children, the many children who were presenting with similar symptoms and open the discussions for research so that more children would not suffer unnecessarily.
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130 of 182 people found the following review helpful By Erik Gfesser VINE VOICE on August 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Especially since there exists significant controversy surrounding this book, as a reviewer my focus is to help the potential reader of this book understand the content rather than argue about matters that have little to nothing to do with the actual scope of this book. In reading some of the reviews here, as well as the great amount of comments that have been submitted in response to these reviews (especially shortly after book release), it is apparent that some have not actually read this book, and the reader of this review can rest assured that this reviewer has read the entire content (an action which is aligned with his consistent policy to do so prior to submitting any review).

In pursuing possible links between childhood vaccines, intestinal inflammation, and neurologic injury in children, these events concluded with Wakefield losing his position in the Department of Medicine at London's Royal Free Hospital as well as his license to practice medicine in the UK. Because of the complexity of the events leading up to these ends, it is difficult for any review of this size to give this book justice. The first chapter discusses the original paper written by physicians (among them Wakefield) at the Royal Free Hospital and subsequently published in "The Lancet" (the self-described "world's leading general medical journal and specialty journals in Oncology, Neurology and Infectious Diseases") in 1998 entitled "Ileal lymphoid nodular hyperplasia, non-specific colitis and pervasive developmental disorder in children".

This paper discussed "clinical findings in 12 children with an autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) occurring in association with a mild-to-moderate inflammation of the large intestine...accompanied by swelling of the lymph glands in the intestinal lining...
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More About the Author

Dr Andrew Wakefield, MB, BS, FRCS, FRCPath, is an academic gastroenterologist. He received his medical degree from St. Mary's Hospital Medical School (part of the University of London) in 1981, one of the third generation of his family to have studied medicine at that teaching hospital.


He pursued a career in gastrointestinal surgery with a particular interest in inflammatory bowel disease. He qualified as Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1985 and in 1996 was awarded a Wellcome Trust Traveling Fellowship to study small-intestinal transplantation in Toronto, Canada. He was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists in 2001. He has published over 130 original scientific articles, book chapters, and invited scientific commentaries.


In the pursuit of possible links between childhood vaccines, intestinal inflammation, and neurologic injury in children, Dr. Wakefield lost his job in the Department of Medicine at London's Royal Free Hospital, his country, his career, and his medical license.


He is married to Carmel, a physician and a classical radio presenter. They have four children, James, Sam, Imogen, and Corin, and a black mongrel called Bella.