Vaccine-autism researcher should be prosecuted - CNN.comFinally, after 13 years of needless controversy, the British Medical Journal determined that Andrew Wakefield's vaccine-autism link constituted an "elaborate fraud."
Having already lost his medical license in the UK for unethical professional conduct, it is now time for him to be prosecuted.
In 1998, Wakefield conducted a small study with 12 children in which he reported finding a link between the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine and autism. However, it was recently revealed that Wakefield manufactured the vaccine-autism link by falsifying patient histories. Despite the British journal's accusations, Wakefield maintains he did not commit fraud.
As bad as that is, wasted time and money pale in comparison to the devastating personal consequences that occurred across the globe as a direct result of Wakefield's behavior. The marked decrease in vaccinations which occurred in the decade following his research literally cost people their lives. When parents refused to vaccinate their children, many of them contracted diseases such as measles and pertussis (whooping cough). Some of them died.
The reluctance of millions of people to accept the annual influenza vaccination also likely stems, at least in part, from the fallacious vaccine-autism link.
If any of you have seen any of the news regarding autism/vaccination protests over the last decade, you'll be as shocked by this as I am.
So where are all these people now? Obviously this scientist will be prosecuted for the amount of trouble he's caused, but what about all those thousands of little rats that helped perpetuate this myth? Watch them all scurry away back under the floorboards. By no means do I think they should all be prosecuted, when they've been misled in this way, but when you maintain such a stringent opinion (I'm talking about the violent protesters getting in people's faces and preventing them from vaccinating their children) based on scant evidence, at best, I think you should at the very least get publicly called out on it.