Vaccine Study Not Just Bad Science but Fraud, Says the British Medical Journal

The BMJ's article on Andrew Wakefield's study linking autism to the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine certainly makes fascinating, if sickening, reading.  Literally sickening.  If the author is correct, Wakefield deliberately falsified data in order to enrich himself from parents looking to bring a lawsuit.  Thanks in part to this now-discredited study, a lot of parents refuse to vaccinate their children--and as a result, diseases like pertussis are on the rise.  About thirty people a year now die from this preventable disease in the United States alone, a disproportionate number of them infants too young to vaccinate.


I cannot fathom what might drive someone to do something like this.  We're primed to look for pecuniary motives in corporate malfeasance, but this was an academic, a doctor, working in conjunction with an attorney.  If the allegations are true, they've managed to kill more people than Ted Bundy and John Wayne Gacy put together.
Presented by

Megan McArdle is a columnist at Bloomberg View and a former senior editor at The Atlantic. Her new book is The Up Side of Down.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Business

Just In