I wrote a couple of months ago about the controversy over vaccines and whether they cause autism. That controversy was started in large part by Dr. Andrew Wakefield, whose study has since been retracted from the medical journal where it was first published and who has lost his medical license in the last year.
Today, CNN reports:
A now-retracted British study that linked autism to childhood vaccines was an “elaborate fraud” that has done long-lasting damage to public health, a leading medical publication reported Wednesday.
An investigation published by the British medical journal BMJ concludes the study’s author, Dr. Andrew Wakefield, misrepresented or altered the medical histories of all 12 of the patients whose cases formed the basis of the 1998 study — and that there was “no doubt” Wakefield was responsible.
This isn’t a surprise but it is good to get to the bottom of what happened. If the accusations are true that Wakefield falsified results in order to make money, he is a loathsome human being. Because of him, children have fallen ill because their parents were afraid to vaccinate them, and families coping with autism were given false hope that vaccines might be to blame. When will money stop being such a powerful incentive to do harm to others?