Bad Scientist

As a follow-up to the post about Ben Goldcare’s troubles with LBC radio, here is news of an apparent case of scientific fraud:

Confidential medical documents and interviews with witnesses have established that Andrew Wakefield manipulated patients’ data, which triggered fears that the MMR triple vaccine to protect against measles, mumps and rubella was linked to the condition.

The research was published in February 1998 in an article in The Lancet medical journal. It claimed that the families of eight out of 12 children attending a routine clinic at the hospital had blamed MMR for their autism, and said that problems came on within days of the jab. The team also claimed to have discovered a new inflammatory bowel disease underlying the children’s conditions.

However, our investigation, confirmed by evidence presented to the General Medical Council (GMC), reveals that: In most of the 12 cases, the children’s ailments as described in The Lancet were different from their hospital and GP records. Although the research paper claimed that problems came on within days of the jab, in only one case did medical records suggest this was true, and in many of the cases medical concerns had been raised before the children were vaccinated.

A modern day Piltdown man?

David T adds:

If true, this is certainly one of the greatest scientific scandals of modern time.

Piltdown Man doesn’t begin to describe it. That fraud at least might have been a practical joke. And, although it resulted in lies being written into science text books, this fraud has had a very concrete result for the many many children, vaccinated with single shots, when a compound shot would have sufficed, and the many more who were not vaccinated at all.

If you look at the Google adverts in the side bar of this article, you will see how profiteers are playing on the misplaced fears of parents, whipped up by Wakefield. That is a disgrace.

The real question is whether – if this is true – Wakefield himself was guilty of fraud, or whether there is some innocent explanation for this evidence.