Autism and Vaccines: Doctor Loses License
Written By Savvy Auntie Staff Writers
The BBC reports today that Britain's General Medical Council (GMC) revoked the medical license of Dr. Andrew Wakefield today, the man behind a controversial study that suggested the MMR vaccine causes autism in children.
The GMC is not revoking the license based on Dr. Wakefield's findings, but rather his unethical methods for conducting his research. Wakefield found his control subjects at his child's birthday party, rewarding them with about US$7.00 for drawing blood for his study. Dr. Wakefield was also discovered to have been working for the plaintiffs in a
UK class action suit arguing that the MMR vaccine caused
autism in their children. However, the GMC as well as the US government have discredited his findings of a causal link between the MMR vaccine and autism.
Dr. Wakefield, who conducted his research with just 12 children and published his findings in 1998 in the Lancet, a UK report, contends that his study still proves that the MMR vaccine causes autism. However, earlier this year, the Lancet retracted the paper, saying that Wakefield's research was 'irresponsible' and 'misleading.' The UK and American governments both contend that after many larger studies were conducted based on the same experiments, Wakefield's findings could not be recreated.
Because some parents have refused the MMR vaccines for their children, due to Dr. Wakefield's study, there has been a rise in the measles both here and across pond. The measles is a highly contagious and potentially fatal disease.
Published: May 24, 2010