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.

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we still save the night sky?

Join the Discussion

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

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we still save the night sky?

Video

The Faces of #BlackLivesMatter

Scenes from a recent protest in New York City

Video

Desegregated, Yet Unequal

A short documentary about the legacy of Boston busing

Video

Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Life

The Supreme Court justice talks gender equality and marriage.

Video

Social Media: The Video Game

What if the validation of your peers could "level up" your life?

Video

The Pentagon's $1.5 Trillion Mistake

The F-35 fighter jet was supposed to do everything. Instead, it can barely do anything.

More in Business

Just In