When the hell will money be stumped up for mental health?
One of the objects of Sense about Science, a charity of which I am an (unpaid) trustee, is to challenge the
sort of prejudices about immunisation promoted by Dr Jayne Donegan (Letters, October 18).
Colleagues who are confronted in the baby clinic, as I was recently, by parents equipped with a 27-page document downloaded from the internet, containing Dr Donegan's views, can now find the full judgment made by Mr Justice Sumner in the 2003 court case in which she was a (highly-paid) expert witness at www.immunisation.nhs.uk/newsitem.php?id=26.
The judge found that Dr Donegan used 'selective quotations' and 'unsubstantiated claims' and he upheld further criticisms that she was 'confused in her thinking, lacking logic, minimising the duration of a disease, making statements lacking valid facts, ignoring the facts, ignoring the conclusion of papers, making implications without any scientific validation, giving a superficial impression of a paper, not presenting the counter argument, quoting selectively from papers, and of providing in one instance no data and no facts to support her claim'. At the subsequent appeal, Lord Justice Sedley succinctly dismissed her case as 'junk science'. As we brace ourselves for the death and disability that are the inevitable result of an impending measles outbreak, it is shameful that a GP should provide support for the irrational and irresponsible campaign against MMR.
Dr Michael Fitzpatrick