flu shot!I blogged just under a year ago that the prestigious Lancet retracted a study it had published in 1998, by Dr Andrew Wakefield, which laid the foundations for the anti-vaccine movement. CNN reports, though, that a BMJ investigation into that study has revealed it’s worse than being just bad science — it was an outright fraud (WebCite cached article):

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.

The study’s investigators pulled no punches:

“It’s one thing to have a bad study, a study full of error, and for the authors then to admit that they made errors,” Fiona Godlee, BMJ’s editor-in-chief, told CNN. “But in this case, we have a very different picture of what seems to be a deliberate attempt to create an impression that there was a link by falsifying the data.”

Wakefield, of course, isn’t having any of it, and is playing the martyr:

Speaking to CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360,” Wakefield said his work has been “grossly distorted” and that he was the target of “a ruthless, pragmatic attempt to crush any attempt to investigate valid vaccine safety concerns.”

My guess is that all the famous committed antivaxers — such as Jenny McCarthy, Bill Maher, Suzanne Somers, etc. — will side with Wakefield and his persecution complex. The evidence of Wakefield’s fraud that BMJ turned up, will mean nothing to any of them.

Photo credit: samantha celera, via Flickr.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

3 Responses to “Antivax Study An “Elaborate Fraud””
  1. [...] after the antivax movement has been demonstrated to be pseudomedicine, and after a number of outlets have formally retracted their prior involvement in [...]

  2. [...] one more nail in its coffin. (The most recent nail — and perhaps its final one — was a more recent finding that the study was fully fraudulent and not merely [...]

  3. [...] all they had to do was go to the WHO Web site and look (as I did)! Note, it’s not unusual for the proponents of pseudomedicine to lie, nor is it unusual for the media to refuse to call them on their lies. In fact, it seems to be [...]

  4.  
Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment. Login »