General research paper
British general research paper who became an anti-vaccine activist.
After the publication of the paper, other researchers were unable to reproduce Wakefield’s findings or confirm his hypothesis of an association between the MMR vaccine and autism, or autism and gastrointestinal disease. On 28 January 2010, a five-member statutory tribunal of the GMC found three dozen charges proved, including four counts of dishonesty and 12 counts involving the abuse of developmentally delayed children. The panel ruled that Wakefield had «failed in his duties as a responsible consultant», acted general research paper against the interests of his patients, and «dishonestly and irresponsibly» in his published research. In January 2011, an editorial accompanying an article by Brian Deer in BMJ described Wakefield’s work as an «elaborate fraud». Wakefield became a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1985. At the University of Toronto from 1986 to 1989, he was part of a team that studied tissue rejection problems with small intestine transplantation, using animal models.
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Back in the UK, he worked on the liver transplant programme at the Royal Free Hospital in London. Kessick ran a group called Allergy Induced Autism. In 1996, Wakefield turned his attention to researching possible connections between the MMR vaccine and autism. Wakefield subsequently helped establish and served as the executive director of Thoughtful House Center for Children, which studies autism in Austin, Texas, where, according to The Times, he «continued to promote the theory of a link between the MMR vaccine and autism, despite admitting it was ‘not proved’. Wakefield is barred from practising as a physician in the UK, and is not licensed in the US.
Wakefield has set up the non-profit Strategic Autism Initiative to commission studies into the condition and is currently listed as a director of a company called Medical Interventions for Autism and another called the Autism Media Channel. On 28 February 1998, Wakefield was the lead author of a study of twelve children with autism that was published in The Lancet. The study proposed a new syndrome called autistic enterocolitis, and raised the possibility of a link between a novel form of bowel disease, autism, and the MMR vaccine. These possible triggers were reported as MMR in eight cases, and measles infection in one.
The paper was instantly controversial, leading to widespread publicity in the UK and the convening of a special panel of the UK’s Medical Research Council the following month. Although the paper said that no causal connection had been proven, before it was published, Wakefield made statements at a press conference and in a video news release issued by the hospital, calling for suspension of the triple MMR vaccine until more research could be done. Wakefield continued conducting clinical research in the United States after leaving the Royal Free Hospital in December 2001. He joined a controversial American researcher, Jeff Bradstreet, at the International Child Development Resource Center, to conduct further studies on the possible relationship between the MMR vaccine and autism. In 2004, Wakefield started work at the Thoughtful House research center in Austin, Texas.
Wakefield served as Executive Director of Thoughtful House until February 2010, when he resigned in the wake of findings against him by the British General Medical Council. In February 2004, the controversy resurfaced when Wakefield was accused of a conflict of interest. Twenty-four hours before the 2004 Sunday Times report by Deer, The Lancet’s editor Richard Horton responded to the investigation in a public statement, describing Wakefield’s research as «fatally flawed» and said he believed the paper would have been rejected as biased if the peer reviewers had been aware of Wakefield’s conflict of interest. We identified associated gastrointestinal disease and developmental regression in a group of previously normal children, which was generally associated in time with possible environmental triggers. However the possibility of such a link was raised, and consequent events have had major implications for public health.
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