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English doctor's report linking vaccine and autism is deemed a "fraud"

This month the well-respected British Medical Journal (BMJ) published what USA Today called a "scathing" 3-part investigation into the 1998 study that purportedly linked vaccines and autism. BMJ termed the study, now thoroughly discredited by scientists and extensive research, an "elaborate fraud" perpetrated by British doctor Andrew Wakefield.  Since 1998, scientists have conducted more than a dozen studies, involving hundreds of thousands of subjects, and have thoroughly debunked the claims which led many parents to avoid inoculations and which created an unwarranted underlying distrust of vaccination safety.

The Journal Lancet, which originally published Wakefield's study, retracted it last year in response to the overwhelming data repudiating the study and Wakefield's inability to support his findings.  Wakefield was also found guilty of serious professional misconduct and lost his license to practice medicine in England.

To conduct the discredited study, Wakefield was reportedly paid $675,000 by an attorney hoping to sue vaccine makers, and BMJ reported that he falsified data to support his false conclusions that the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine contributed to the development of autism.  In response to the now-thoroughly discredited study, some forty percent of American parents have delayed or declined vaccination for their children; many of these parents have no memory of the diseases that once terrified their grandparents' generation.

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