The Dr. Wakefield story in a nutshell
In 1998 Dr. Andrew Wakefield and and 12 other doctors published a paper that reported a possible connection between the MMR vaccine and autism. It was subsequently retracted by the Lancet and Dr. Wakefield and Dr. John Walker Smith were accused of fraud and lost their medical licenses. The retracted Wakefield Study is the one everyone points to in an effort to discredit people who don’t vaccinate and the one the establishment uses to claim that it was proven that there is no link between vaccines and autism.
Here’s what you need to know:
- What the media reports about the Wakefield Study
Some claimed the study was fraudulent. As a result, the paper was retracted by the Lancet journal and Dr. Wakefield lost his medical license. Vaccine proponents commonly claim that vaccine skeptics believe in this study and are therefore mistaken.
- John Walker-Smith – His insurance company paid his legal bills; fought the claims in 2012, was completely exonerated and regained his license.
- Andrew Wakefield – His insurance company would not cover the legal bills. He decided to focus his efforts on further research and education regarding vaccine safety.
- Brian Deer. Sunday Times, BMJ (British Medical Journal) – The journalist who exposed Dr. Walekfeld. Evidence of conflicts of interest surfaces.
- The Lancet, in an editorial, admits finding no research fraud in Wakefield study, essentially exonerating Wakefield of the original charges. The editors of the Lancet, after reviewing the allegations against the doctors and the responses by the senior doctors in the study concluded that allegations of research misconduct were unfounded but that funding disclosures should have been made regarding funding and parallel related work. (There was no allegation of falsification of data as discussed by the BMJ.) The paper was retracted based on those non-disclosures. See A Statement by the Editors of the Lancet.
- Who is Dr. Andrew Wakefield by Mary Holland, J
- L’affaire Wakefield: Shades of Dreyfus & BMJ’s Descent into Tabloid Science
- How the case against Andrew Wakefield was concocted
- Why We Cannot Believe Brian Deer About Andrew Wakefield
- Brian Deer and The GMC
- Witch Hunt Reporter Brian Deer gets Worst Person in World on Olbermann
* Merck is one of the leading vaccine manufacturers and holds the only patent on the MMR vaccine)
Feature image – “Andrew Wakefield with Justyna Socha Warsaw 2019” by Bladość is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.