I’m tired of the canard about Dr. Andrew Wakefield being repeated in the news. . There was no study linking measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccines to autism to be discredited.
Dr. Wakefield, a gastroenterologist in London, had 12 patients who presented with both autism and severe bowel disease. In eight cases, the parents insisted the onset of symptoms occurred after the MMR shot. Dr. Wakefield and his team published in The Lancet a case series (not a study), mentioning the association, and recommended further study.
You can imagine this infuriated the manufacturer (SKB, now GSK). Two journalists published a series of inflammatory articles. As a result, 10 of his co-authors caved, making a “retraction of interpretation” (dissent can be a career-ender), but Dr. Wakefield and Professor John Walker Smith refused.
They were dragged before the General Medical Council and stripped of their licenses, with the parents noisily demonstrating support outside. Dr. Wakefield didn’t have the insurance to sue, but Professor Smith did, and he was fully exonerated., the British high court essentially calling the council incompetent. The career of a fine physician was destroyed, but he was a hero to the parents, for he healed their children.
Never miss a local story.
Gary M. Ogden