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Anti-vaccine Crusader Andrew Wakefield Loses Medical License

By Sierra Black |

Finally. British doctor Andrew Wakefield, whose questionable research into a link between autism and vaccination began a tidal wave of anti-vaccine sentiment in the U.S and Britain, has lost his medical license.

Wakefield’s research on autistic children and the MMR vaccine was the first published work to draw a connection between the vaccine and the disorder. Later researchers have been unable to replicate his results. Earlier this year, the Lancet retracted his papers. Shortly thereafter, he was censured by Britain’s leading medical body.

Today, he’s lost is license to practice medicine in Britain.

Wakefield described the ruling against him as “a little bump in the road”. That’s probably because it’s been a long time since he made his living practicing medicine in Britain.

He lives in Texas now, where he’s a prominent activist in the anti-vaccine movement. The medical establishment may have kicked him to curb, but he’ll always have Jenny McCarthy.

Wakefield’s controversial research claimed a link between the MMR vaccine and autism, and suggested that giving the vaccines to children separately instead of as a mixed dose. He’s losing his license because his research violated ethics rules about the treatment of children as research subjects. He’s also been cited for hiding his financial conflicts of interest; Wakefield was being paid huge sums by lawyers hoping to file a class action lawsuit against vaccine manufacturers.

For a quick pictorial history of the Wakefield case, check out this 15-page cartoon story.

To parents who believe his theories, Wakefield is a saint. To those who believe in science, he’s an obstacle to research of real value for children with autistic spectrum disorders. Personally, I’m celebrating this move by the British General Medical Council. Hopefully being stripped of credentials will make Wakefield seem less authoritative to those who’ve been listening to him, and we can move the resources on autism research back to real avenues of inquiry.

Photo: AP file photo

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About Sierra Black

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Sierra Black

Sierra Black lives, writes and raises her kids in the Boston area. She loves irreverence, hates housework and wants to be a writer and mom when she grows up. Read bio and latest posts → Read Sierra's latest posts →

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6 thoughts on “Anti-vaccine Crusader Andrew Wakefield Loses Medical License

  1. Manjari says:

    I like the cartoon – thanks!

  2. Samantha says:

    Oh I fervently hope so – although it is so disheartening to hear that he was given a spot on the Today show.

    There aren’t two scientific sides to this issue. Wakefield’s theory (that the measles vaccine triggers a inflammation of the bowel that somehow jumps the blood brain barrier to result in autism) was shown to be wrong. He (and others) still believe this theory to be true in the absence of any evidence. Thus at this point this is a religious belief for him, not a scientific one.

  3. Samantha says:

    Sorry – I had to add – that cartoon is fantastic.

  4. [...] is being done, and the real bad news is that with all the headlines, we still don’t know much. (Although we do know that  Dr. Andrew Wakefield, whose “research” supposedly linked th… None of the reported studies did much more than give researchers a lead on where to look [...]

  5. [...] Andrew Wakefield, who provided much of the research against the vaccine makers, lost his UK medical license last month, and held several conflicts of interest of his [...]

  6. Jen says:

    Samantha you don’t have a kiddo with autism. Here is some info for you! Your digestive track is connected to your brain immune system blood. If I had all day to describe the mind body relationship I would. Did you know giving a blood type 0 the injectable form of polio is very dangerous bet not. Anyway your comments are silly uneducated. Sounds like you believe everything bill gates has to say . What Jenny ‘s done is awesome I thank her for her info it’s helped our son that’s all that matters to me. Moving forward.

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