Justice Late Is Better Than None At All

The AP has an article titled Britain bans doctor who linked autism to vaccine.

This is great news! My first question is why it took Britain so long to make such a move. My second concern is that he will just come back over here where he is worshiped by idiots like McCarthy and her ilk. And my third concern is people will still worship him and continue to avoid getting their children properly vaccinated, causing suffering and even death for innocent kids everywhere.

LONDON — The doctor whose research linking autism and the vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella influenced millions of parents to refuse the shot for their children was banned Monday from practicing medicine in his native Britain.

Dr. Andrew Wakefield's 1998 study was discredited — but vaccination rates have never fully recovered and he continues to enjoy a vocal following, helped in the U.S. by endorsements from celebrities like Jim Carrey and Jenny McCarthy.

"That is Andrew Wakefield's legacy," said Paul Offit, chief of infectious diseases at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "The hospitalizations and deaths of children from measles who could have easily avoided the disease."

Wakefield's discredited theories had a tremendous impact in the U.S., Offit said, adding: "He gave heft to the notion that vaccines in general cause autism."

In Britain, Wakefield's research led to a huge decline in the number of children receiving the MMR vaccine: from 95 percent in 1995 — enough to prevent measles outbreaks — to 50 percent in parts of London in the early 2000s. Rates have begun to recover, though not enough to prevent outbreaks. In 2006, a 13-year-old boy became the first person to die from measles in Britain in 14 years.

"The false suggestion of a link between autism and the MMR vaccine has done untold damage to the UK vaccination program," said Terence Stephenson, president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. "Overwhelming scientific evidence shows that it is safe."

On Monday, Britain's General Medical Council, which licenses and oversees doctors, found Wakefield guilty of serious professional misconduct and stripped him of the right to practice medicine in the U.K. Wakefield said he plans to appeal the ruling, which takes effect within 28 days.

The council was acting on a finding in January that Wakefield and two other doctors showed a "callous disregard" for the children in their study, published in 1998 in the medical journal Lancet. The medical body said Wakefield took blood samples from children at his son's birthday party, paying them 5 pounds (about $7.20) each and later joked about the incident.

The study has since been widely rejected. From 1998-2004, studies in journals including the Lancet, the New England Journal of Medicine, Pediatrics and BMJ published papers showing no link between autism and the measles vaccine.

Wakefield moved to the U.S. in 2004 and set up an autism research center in Austin, Texas, where he gained a wide following despite being unlicensed as a doctor there and facing skepticism from the medical community. He quit earlier this year.

Offit said he doubted Britain's decision to strip the 53-year-old Wakefield of his medical license would convince many parents that vaccines are safe.

"He's become almost like a Christ-like figure and it doesn't matter that science has proven him wrong," Offit said. "He is a hero for parents who think no one else is listening to them."

In Monday's ruling, the medical council said Wakefield abused his position as a doctor and "brought the medical profession into disrepute."

At the time of his study, Wakefield was working as a gastroenterologist at London's Royal Free Hospital and did not have approval for the research. The study suggested autistic children had a bowel disease and raised the possibility of a link between autism and vaccines. He had also been paid to advise lawyers representing parents who believed their children had been hurt by the MMR vaccine.

Ten of the study's authors later renounced its conclusions and it was retracted by the Lancet in February.

At least a dozen British medical associations, including the Royal College of Physicians, the Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust have issued statements verifying the safety of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine.

This verdict is not about (the measles) vaccine," said Adam Finn, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Bristol Medical School. "We all now know that the vaccine is remarkably safe and enormously effective... We badly need to put this right for the sake of our own children and children worldwide."


  1. No, it's not justice, and no, it's not right. It's a grievous miscarriage of justice, and it's downright atrocious.

    What are you setting a standard for here? Be careful of your studies, if your study is found to come to wrong conclusions you're going to be banned? It's ridiculous, whether or not you agree with the study! It's nothing but the dark ages all over again, the same as when the UK banned the one doctor who dared give a study that marijuana isn't bad. Nothing but censorship at it's finest.

    He wasn't even the only author of the study, and he reclaimed it. This is nothing but a witch hunt. And it's not acceptable. There is absolutely no reason for him to be banned, and blaming him for the faults of others is absolutely ridiculous.

  2. He wasn't banned for having a study that turned out to be wrong. He was found to have conducted the study unethically. He used children inappropriately, I think without their parents' approval, from what I can tell.
    Ten of the other authors of the study renounced the conclusions later. But that's also not why he is being banned. The article clearly says it's because he was unethical in his research.

  3. I was glad to see this, and wish it hadn't taken so long to get him banned. It was a dreadful worry to us when it was time to have our son inoculated - as it would be to any parent - but we (sensibly) listened to our own doctor instead.

    Carrey's an anti-vaxxer? Like I needed another reason to hate the man...

  4. Yeah... right. And I quote: "In Monday’s ruling, the medical council said Wakefield abused his position as a doctor and 'brought the medical profession into disrepute.'"

    It is quite clear they banned him because the wanted to discredit him in order to silence him. Their ruling statement shows it. The most he really is at fault for, is not performing a proper double blind test. They've basically given reason why his study should be discredited, and is used it to bar him. And I even quote from their statement...

    "the Panel was mindful at all times of the need for proportionality and the public interest which includes not only the protection of patients and the public at large"
    "It made findings of dishonesty in regard to his writing of a scientific paper that had major implications for public health"

    "'callous disregard' for the children" is a completely BS statement. In fact, one of the so called reasons to bar him was that he provided extra care for the children.

    The fact of the matter is, you don't ban doctors for one misdone and poorly run study. You ban them for long standing misconduct. Do you want to know why it took so long to get him banned? It was because they were waiting for him to mess up again, so that they actually had the proper needed excuse to do so. It didn't happen. And they just couldn't wait any longer to get there vendetta out of the way.

  5. @GM Nightmare
    Neece forgot to add that he was also banned for continuing propagating the results of his own studies (which are proven to be both unethical and wrong), thus endangering children within the population. But I'm not going to explain to you how vaccines work and why it is so damn important to keep as many people vaccinated as possible. Doctors all know that and willfully going against that is a discredit to the medical profession. Period.

    So your argument of 'providing extra care' doesn't stick, even how well meant it is. It is, pure sang, not a reason to ban him (as you've stated). But if this 'care' is based on faulty assumptions and endangering children, you should be kicked out of the profession. So to make this clear: It is not his wrong conclusions that got him banned, but his continued acting based on those wrong conclusions. This is what we call long standing misconduct (he started a clinic without proper licenses FFS!).

    I hope you get the picture now. The banning is more than justified.

  6. No, it's NOT more justified. As I even said, he has personally revoked his own study from back then, but that doesn't make it his only study. You act like I don't know how vaccines work, but I know how they work more than you, and I know this because you seem to think you actually know everything there is about how vaccines work. Newsflash, nobody knows why adjudicates actually work on the body. They just work, and people seem to accept that without knowing why they work. Pay very close attention that I said why, not how. Vaccines aren't perfect, and there is room for improvement, and I'm sick and tired of people acting like there is no room for improvement.

    But none of that, matters. It doesn't matter. Just because you don't go with the status quo, doesn't mean you're a discredit to the medical profession. That is such BS, you obviously don't understand medicine. The medicine world evolves, what is currently the best method won't be in ten years. If you're stuck thinking the old ways, it'll never improve.

    You make the same argument that is used against doctors who dare say drugs are safer than what society claims. Same argument that gets doctors who support marijuana lynched.

    It does not matter if the results of his study are taken to extreme. I want you to understand this, but all medical procedures have negative side-effects, even should vaccines cause low amounts of autism, it would actually be more beneficial to take it.

    And if you don't think any beneficial came from such things as the autism scare, you're dead wrong. Why? Because it pushed for vaccines to be better regulated and controlled.

    But that just doesn't matter, because the reaction to studies are not part of a doctors consideration. It DOESN'T MATTER how the population takes it. That doesn't reflect him. There is a big difference.

    The providing extra care was for children in his study. Next time read the context of what I'm saying. He didn't endanger children. Have you actually read the release or are you just going off the article above?

    His work was theoretical, and he made sure to claim such. He continued research into it, as he should have, because his study DIDN'T make any solid conclusions. A bad doctor would make such a claim and not put further work into it. I'm not sure where you got your clinic information, what actually happened was that he got a license for the study, but the study didn't exactly follow the outline given, so they considered the study unlicensed. Making an excuse basically, deviating from an outline doesn't sound as bad as doing the study without a license does it?

    Here's the big thing, pay attention because you remarked it to me. He was banned basically for causing the vaccine scare, and you consider that a justification. But he didn't cause it, his STUDY did. Because the world is a bunch of nitwits isn't justification to ban a doctor.

  7. autism has been around since before vaccines. They just did not know or call it autism back then. I don't think vaccines have anything to do with this condition

  8. Jim Carrey is (was?) dating Jenny -body count- McCarthy so he's right there backing her as an anti-vaxxer.

    It must have been very hard to make the decision to vaccinate your son, with all the false propaganda out there. I'm glad you listened to your doctor and did the right thing!

  9. Exactly, Cat Man! The only difference between back then and now is diagnosis, really. Autism is now seen as on a continuum, a spectrum disorder. So what used to be seen as something else or not seen as anything but "oddness" is now given the autism label. Asperger's syndrome falls in the spectrum of autism, for example.