Andrew Wakefield, doctor who said MMR vaccine may cause autism, banned from practicing in Britain

British doctor Andrew Wakefield has lost the ability to practice medicine in the United Kingdom. The British General Medical Council ruled today that the doctor, who authored an infamous study in 1998 theorizing a potential link between the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism, had acted in a “dishonest”, “misleading” and “irresponsible” way. The ruling of professional misconduct comes the same day Wakefield’s new book is released.

“The panel has determined that Dr Wakefield’s name should be erased from the medical register,” the GMC said in a statement. “Dr Wakefield’s continued lack of insight as to his misconduct serve only to satisfy the panel that suspension is not sufficient and that his actions are incompatible with his continued registration as a medical practitioner,” it said.

The GMC found Wakefield guilty of serious professional misconduct in failing to release financial details of conflicts of interests related to his research, among other improprieties.  The GMC case centered around Wakefield’s research methods but did not investigate the legitimacy of Wakefield’s findings.

“Efforts to discredit and silence me through the GMC process have provided a screen to shield the government from exposure on the … MMR vaccine scandal,” Wakefield said.

In Wakefield’s new book, “Callous Disregard: Autism and Vaccines: The Truth Behind a Tragedy,” he describes the MMR vaccine controversy and defends himself against charges that he acted dishonestly and irresponsibly in conducting research.

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