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MMR scandal doctor is struck off medical register

25th May 2010

A doctor who said he had discovered a link between the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism has been struck off the medical register.

The General Medical Council (GMC) found Dr Andrew Wakefield guilty of serious professional misconduct relating to the way he carried out his research.

His alleged findings – published in the Lancet in 1998 – caused the number of vaccinations in the UK to plummet and cases of measles to rise. His study was discredited later, with the GMC ruling in January this year that they believed he had acted “irresponsibly” by conducting tests for the study in the way he did.

During an investigation it was found Dr Wakefield paid his son’s friends at a children’s party for blood samples.

Panel chairman Dr Surendra Kumar said the doctor had “callously disregarded the pain and distress young children might suffer and behaved in a way which brought the profession into disrepute”.

A second doctor who helped Dr Wakefield with his research, Professor John Walker-Smith, was also found guilty of serious professional misconduct and struck off the medical register, although he retired ten years ago.

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