AKA Andrew Jeremy Wakefield
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Executive summary: Bogus study linked vaccines and autism
Bowel surgeon Andrew Wakefield was the lead author of a 1998 study, published in The Lancet, which seemed to suggest a link between the Measles-Mumps-Rubella vaccine (MMR), inflammatory bowel disease, and autism in children. Wakefield's media splash induced paranoia in some parents, leading to a critical drop in the number of British children vaccinated with MMR -- from 92% in 1996 to a dangerous low of 79% in 2004 -- and a parallel explosion in cases of measles -- from just 70 in 2001 to over 1,300 in 2009. Predictably, vaccination fears have spread to America, where even the winter flu shot is preceded by a wave of disinformation.
Suspicion of Wakefield began to mount in 2004 as other scientists were unable to reproduce Wakefield's results. An investigation by Brian Deer published in the Sunday Times questioned the methodology and medical ethics behind Wakefield's study, as well as exposing Wakefield's commercial interest in discrediting MMR -- he had filed a patent on a vaccine to replace it. As a result, 10 of the paper's original 13 authors withdrew their findings, and The Lancet formally retracted the paper. The UK General Medical Council opened an inquiry in 2007, and by 2010 pronounced their verdict: Wakefield had acted dishonestly, having misled The Lancet by fixing the data to suit his case. Wakefield was barred from the practice of medicine in the UK in May 2010 for scientific misconduct.
High School: King Edward's School, Bath, Somerset, England
Medical School: MD, St Mary's Hospital Medical School, London, England (1981)
Fellow: University of Toronto
Lecturer: Experimental Gasteroentology, Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine (1997-2001)
The Thoughtful House Centre for Children (Austin) Executive Director (2005-10)
Royal College of Surgeons Fellow (1985)
Royal College of Pathologists Fellow (2001)
International Child Development Resource Center
Author of books:
Callous Disregard: Autism and Vaccines: The Truth Behind a Tragedy (2010)
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