The Pathological Optimist
Directed by Miranda Bailey
Cold Iron Pictures
In 1998, Dr. Andrew Wakefield and his colleagues published a study looking at the possible connection between the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism. The study concluded that there appeared to be a correlation between that vaccine and autism but clearly stated that the study did not prove that any vaccine caused autism and that more research was needed.
It is hard to imagine why anyone would even notice this study, let alone get all lathered up about it, but the medical-pharmaceutical industry freaked out. Wakefield and his colleagues were sued for defamation and medical licenses were revoked. At least some of his colleagues were granted funds to defend themselves. They took their cases to court and won decisively. Wakefield was not fortunate enough to receive such money and so he remains guilty by reason of insufficient funds.
This video takes a personal look at Wakefield’s struggle to get the truth out. What I see in all this is a hypersensitive pharmaceutical industry overreacting to a minor preliminary study. This is the kind of behavior I would expect from a guilty party whose scam is in danger of exposure. Wakefield mentions a survey in Ohio which found that over 60 percent of parents believe there is a connection between vaccines and autism. He also observes that whether or not there is a link, the pharmaceutical industry is losing the PR battle, which may be the reason they have reacted so viciously. A lot of people seem to go along with the idea that any who dare to think differently than the majority of sheep and any who dare to think outside of the politically correct box must be demonized. Their character must be assassinated lest others be tempted to make the same heinous mistake. Brian Deer and other reporters have slithered out from obscurity to do just that.
Courts that have been persuaded to look at the case have found no evidence of fraud or wrongdoing. However, Wakefield has failed so far to convince Texas courts to consider the case, which hints at the influence that big pharma has on the court system. He is in this battle not so much for himself but for all the child victims who are being offered up on the altar of corporate greed. As the title of this film suggests, Wakefield is still optimistic that the truth will come out. I agree and the thumb is UP.
This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly magazine of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Fall 2018.