Parents told by internationally disgraced doctor Andrew Wakefield that their son's severe disability was the result of an MMR jab in the 1990s have lost their bid to stop him getting covid and flu vaccines after a Jersey Royal Court case.
The legal battle - which was heard privately in January by Commissioner Sir William Bailhache, sitting with Jurats Robert Christensen MBE and Gareth Hughes - was revealed in a judgment published this week.
According to the judgment, the islander - referred only to as 'B' - was unable to personally consent to having any vaccines or medical treatment due to his disabilities and so the Health Minister sought an order to ensure the man would be vaccinated against both covid-19 and flu.
However, B’s parents challenged the move, arguing that their son’s chronic neurological disease was the result of receiving the MMR jab as a baby – something which they had been told by Mr Wakefield, a disgraced academic and former doctor.
In 1998, Mr Wakefield published a study in the medical journal The Lancet, which has since been fully retracted, which falsely claimed causative links between the MMR vaccine, colitis and autism. The Royal Court explained in its judgment that the son was, in fact, "one of The 'Lancet Twelve', so named after the article in The Lancet which made those various claims in relation to the safety of the MMR vaccine in or about 1997."
Mr Wakefield's findings were debunked in a 2004 investigation in the Sunday Times. He was later found to have acted against his patients' best interests and was struck off the UK medical register around 2010.
However, the court heard that the parents still believed Mr Wakefield's claims in relation to their son.
The Health Minister argued that it would be in B's best interests to receive the jab - in part because it would improve his access to certain therapeutic treatments.
Hydrotherapy treatments were only available to those who have received their jabs, the Royal Court heard, and B was also "unable to receive" speech and language therapies because staff were forced to wear masks, meaning the man was "unable to read facial expressions".
Summing up, the court said it had "no doubt that the right best interests decision is that the first respondent be vaccinated against both covid-19 and influenza and we accept the general philosophy that boosters should be applied when medically appropriate because the protection which will be available to him once he has been vaccinated will wane with time, as will such immunity as he has as a result of suffering from covid in the summer of 2022.
"For these reasons we approve the application of the minister and make the order sought."
You can find more details about the case and the story of Andrew Wakefield in today's JEP... Click here or below to read...
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