I suppose the possible replies will rely on Wakefield's own accounts; since Wakefield was found to be dishonest by the UK General Medical Council and the editors of the British Medical Journal accused him of scientific fraud (the hospital where Wakefield worked is now investigating that charge), I suppose we must trust Wakefield's thoroughly disinterested account of his actions. After all, Wakefield was the fellow who wrote: "“[T]he widespread use of MMR immunization is a major determinant of the apparent (now substantiated) increase in rates of autism.” [Pediatrics 2001; 107; e84]
Yeah. I suppose that the Institute of Medicine disagrees with Wakefield because everyone at the National Academy of Sciences is in the pocket of Big Pharma, but Wakefield was paid only the equivalent of about three-quarters of a million dollars for this work:
"The objective,” [Wakefield] and his retaining solicitor had written in the application to the legal board, “is to seek evidence which will be acceptable in a court of law of the causative connection between either the mumps, measles and rubella vaccine or the measles/rubella vaccine and certain conditions which have been reported with considerable frequency by families of children who are seeking compensation.” [BMJ 2011; 342]
Strong work, don't you think, to know what you will find BEFORE you have examined the first patient with what you expect to call a new syndrome?