Dr. Andrew Wakefield’s 1998 study linking autism to childhood vaccines was a deliberate fraud, says the editor of the British Medical Journal.
“He should be sued by every family whose child got measles, mumps or rubella. Then he should be banished to a remote location with poor resources and terrible weather.”
~ Anonymous writer on SFGate.com
With nearly one in a hundred children affected by autism, millions of parents, caregivers, scientists and medical professionals struggle to understand, diagnose and treat the brain disorder. For 13 years, many believed research published in 1998 by Dr. Andrew Wakefield linking autism to childhood vaccines that the editor of the British Medical Journal, Dr. Fiona Godlee, now says was a “deliberate fraud.”
Dr. Wakefield’s debunked research may have hurt children throughout the world. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in all but five American states, 20 percent or more of children 19-35 months are not receiving vaccinations vital to protecting them from preventable diseases
“Perhaps as important as the scare’s effect on infectious disease,” said Dr. Godlee, “is the energy, emotion, and money that have been diverted away from efforts to understand the real causes of autism and how to help children and families who live with it.”
Parents of children diagnosed with autism, the general term used to describe a group of complex developmental brain disorders known as Pervasive Developmental Disorders, regularly face enormous challenges caring for their youngsters and sustaining the emotional and financial health of their own marriages and families.
Laura Shumaker, author of A Regular Guy: Growing up with Autism, invited readers of her 5 Minutes for Special Needs blog in the San Francisco Chronicle to share their thoughts:
“He should be sued by every family whose child got measles, mumps or rubella. Then he should be banished to a remote location with poor resources and terrible weather,” an anonymous poster wrote this morning.
Dr. John Grohol, CEO and founder of Psych Central, today urged parents to get their children vaccinated.
“Please, if for some reason you had been holding off getting your child the MMR vaccine, get your child vaccinated. There is no credible evidence linking this vaccine to autism,” Dr. Grohol said.