One of the most famous flawed studies ever conducted, Dr. Andrew Wakefield’s now-retracted 1998 paper that linked vaccines to autism has been found to be not a scientific error, but a deliberate lie. BMJ, a British medical journal, has just published its investigation of the matter and concluded that Dr. Wakefield purposely falsified his data. They report that he was contracted by lawyers determined to sue the vaccine manufacturers, regardless of scientific truth.
British authorities revoked Wakefield’s medical license back in May 2010, but the effects of his study persist on both sides of the Atlantic: Vaccination rates have hit record lows here in America, and measles rates have skyrocketed accordingly. It remains to be seen whether these new revelations about the Wakefield study will have any effect, or if they’ll be drowned out by the Jenny McCarthys of the world and their continuing campaign against childhood vaccination.
Retracted autism study an ‘elaborate fraud,’ British journal finds [CNN]