I hold the concept of vigorous scientific process in very high esteem. There is also great and pressing need for regulation within medicine.
But I feel uneasy about the case of Dr Andrew Wakefield. (see BBC here)
Here the scientific peer review and examination appears to be one sided and vindictive.
It may well be that Andrew Wakefield is wrong but the level of vilification that has been heaped upon him does not feel right. While he certainly did demotivate parents from accepting the MMR for their children, he did also encourage the use the triple separate vaccine.
It was the government who deliberately banned access to separate vaccines. The only reason for this ban can be one of purient petty finance and an evil defence of their position.
There has been a continued implied suggestion (though never followed through) that Wakefield's research was purely motivated by money. This is, to put it kindly, patently and obviously wrong. To me it feels more like slanderous propaganda.
Wakefield may well be wrong. His findings may well be incorrect. But all honest and capable scientists deserve to be heard, even if their words go against the current accepted opinion.
We used to burn heretics at the stake.
Striking them off the medical register because they offend the government and “settled science” is just as medieval