From Carmel Wakefield
What the viewing public were not told, and what I only found out three years
later was that in fact Adam Morrish, having apparently been exposed possible
measles as a child was then definitely given two doses of MMR including a
booster dose in 1990, but that his parents “intuition” was that the MMR “was not
a relevant factor in his condition”. Mr Morrish did however confirm that he had
not withheld the information from Sarah Barclay and the Panorama team. They had
simply chosen not to make any reference to that crucial fact and to leave the
public with the impression that this boy’s catastrophic condition “illustrated
the dangers of natural measles.”
When challenged with the fact that this key omission was both unprofessional and unscientific, Sarah Barclay simply twisted the letter of challenge to say that it would have been wrong to “state that Adam had got SSPE from the vaccine”. This had not been asked of her of course. The point was quite simply that this boy’s condition could well have been precipitated by the fact that he was given MMR and it was therefore wrong to neglect to give this information to the public in a programme, which was allegedly about parents’ choice.
Andy and I watched the documentary with a deepening sense of unease. The ending was compelling. The father of poor David Morrish told us about the perils of choice: He did not tell us about his son’s MMR.
 The Curious Case of Panorama’s Blind Reportage – SSPE, MMR and the limitations of Sarah ” Did his child ever have the MMR jab?” ” Well yes he did – when he was nine years old he was given the booster jab but I’m quite sure this has no connection to his developing SSPE. Quite sure – it’s a parent thing, you know. And the doctors agree”. A year later his sight had deteriorated significantly. Eighteen months later this was becoming SSPE. So I tracked down Sarah Barclay. “Did you know this? In a programme to discuss outcomes of the MMR jab can you not accept that this is profoundly significant evidence.” “Well, yes we did know this but our consultants agreed that it was not pertinent to the issue.” “And still could you not have been just a little bit objective in your coverage?” “I refuse to discuss this case any more”....As an investigative reporter she presents with great confidence that which she’s provided with and instructed she’s allowed to say. No more, no less and so easy to believe. Until you start to check even her basic assertions – after which it’s hard to believe a word she says. Which is, of course, where the whole BBC is these days.