Next week Dr Andrew Wakefield and two of his colleagues from the Royal Free Hospital face the General Medical Council. Wakefield has been accused of acting " dishonestly" when he presented a piece of work to the Lancet which suggested that the triple MMR jab was responsible for the increase in diagnosed autism and inflammatory bowel disorder.
And, as if by magic, today's Observer contains a leak from a Cambridge University study led by the UK's leading specialist on autism, Professor Simon Baron-Cohen. But what will no doubt hearten those like "Mad" Melanie Phillips, are the comments from two of the team, Dr. Carol Stott and and her colleague Dr Fiona Scott.
What is important to note about this research is that it has yet to be published. As usual the medical journalists, like the author of the Observer piece, have not seen complete study. It is not possible to make any assertion that there are, as the headline reports any "questions over the triple jab".
So back to Dr. Stott. She is one of the two members of the committee who believe, according to the Observer piece, there is a link between the MMR jab and autism:
"the MMR jab which babies receive at 12 to 15 months, might be partly to blame. Dr. Fiona Scott and Dr. Carol Stott both say it could be a factor in small numbers of children."
Professor Baron-Cohen does not agree!
Stott is no stranger to the MMR "controversy".
Back in 2004, she had an exchange of e-mails with Brian Deer, the Sunday Times' journalist who has spent many years investigating the anti MMR brigade. These e-mails resulted in a complaint to Stott's professional body, the British Psychological Society (BPS). Brian Deer has published the emails and the correspondence on his website here.
What is clear from Stott's letter to the BPS is that, like Dr Wakefield she was employed by the Claimant's solicitors in the failed UK MMR Autism Litigation. She has followed Dr. Wakefield to his Thought House Center for Children Bee Caves Road, Austin Texas.
Dr. Fiona Scott's name was linked to that of Dr. Stott. They were partners in the "Cambridge Psychometrics and Autism Practice", and according to Deer
"Their website indicates that Stott and Scott make money evaluating autistic children and advising parents. They stress "substantial experience in medico-legal and educational-legal expert witness work, " and built their business with taxpayers' money from a failed legal attack on MMR backed by Andrew Wakefield.'"
I'm surprised the Observer piece did not point out the links that Dr Stott has with Wakefield at "Thoughtful House"; the links between Dr. Fiona Scott and Dr. Stott in the MMR Autism UK Litigation and the Cambridge Psychometrics and Autism Practice.
According to the UK Legal Services Commission ( formerly the Legal Aid Board), payments of £439,000 were authorised to Dr Andrew Wakefield, £100,000 to Dr Carol Stott and just over £27,000 to Dr Fiona Scott in the MMR Autism UK litigation.