Tuesday, February 02, 2010

The Wakefield saga continues

As my readers might be aware, Andrew Wakefield, the British doctor who almost single-handed started the MMR-scare, has been under a great deal of fire recently, with the UK General Medical Council finding that he "failed to act in interests of children" last week.

Now, the Lancet, which published Wakefield's original study, has retracted it.

Lancet accepts MMR study 'false'

The Lancet has been slow in retracting the study, but the GMC ruling against Wakefield appears to be the last straw.

The comment by the Lancet on the retraction states the following:

Following the judgment of the UK General Medical Council's Fitness to Practise Panel on Jan 28, 2010, it has become clear that several elements of the 1998 paper by Wakefield et al are incorrect, contrary to the findings of an earlier investigation. In particular, the claims in the original paper that children were "consecutively referred" and that investigations were "approved" by the local ethics committee have been proven to be false. Therefore we fully retract this paper from the published record.

Short, and too the point.

Wakefield's ordeal is not over yet. If one reads the GMC's report on their findings, it's clear that they are not done with Wakefield yet (emphasis added).

Having made the above findings of fact, the Panel went on to consider whether those facts found proved or admitted, were insufficient to amount to a finding of serious professional misconduct. The Panel concluded that these findings, which include those of dishonesty and misleading conduct, would not be insufficient to support a finding of serious professional misconduct.
In the next session, commencing 7 April 2010, the Panel, under Rule 28, will hear evidence to be adduced and submissions from prosecution counsel then Dr Wakefield’s own counsel as to whether the facts as found proved do amount to serious professional misconduct, and if so, what sanction, if any, should be imposed on his registration.

Page 55 of the GMC findings.

Personally, I am looking forward to the result of the 7 April 2010 panel, but I doubt Wakefield is.

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Anonymous Nescio said...

Shameful plug-alert:-)

You may be interested to learn that I have listed some additional information regarding the history of how this created the infectious disease promotion movement at

February 03, 2010 7:10 PM  
Anonymous Dan Buzzard said...

At last, a late victory is still a victory nonetheless. How ever I have no doubt that the anti-vaccine brigade will attribute the actions of the panel to Big Pharma.

February 11, 2010 2:04 PM  
Anonymous Nescio said...

Not sure if this is the correct spot, but you may be interested in the latest development: http://contusio-cordis.blogspot.com/2011/01/bmj-wakefield-is-fraud.html


January 06, 2011 9:04 PM  

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