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January 2011



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 The Care of Health

Yesterday, 07:11 pm

Press Assoc.

The doctor at the centre of the MMR row “showed a callous disregard” for the suffering of children and subjected some youngsters to unnecessary tests, the General Medical Council (GMC) has ruled.

Dr Andrew Wakefield “abused his position of trust” as he researched a possible link between the MMR vaccine, bowel disease and autism, it said.

He also brought the medical profession “into disrepute” after he took blood samples from children at his son’s birthday party in return for £5 payments, the GMC found.

The doctor, who was not at the hearing but spoke outside the GMC offices minutes after the ruling, said he was “extremely disappointed” by the outcome of Thursday’s proceedings. He and two colleagues involved in the research, Professors John Walker-Smith and Simon Murch, face being struck off if they are found guilty of serious professional misconduct at a later date.

He said: “The allegations against me and against my colleagues are both unfounded and unjust – I repeat unfounded and unjust – and I invite anyone to examine the contents of these proceedings and come to their own conclusion.”

He went on: “It remains for me to thank the parents whose commitment and loyalty has been extraordinary. I want to reassure them that science will continue in earnest.”

Health experts said they hoped the ruling would boost MMR vaccination rates, which are currently below the level needed for widespread immunity.

Panel chairman Dr Surendra Kumar was heckled by distraught parents who support Dr Wakefield, now based in the US, as he delivered the verdicts in central London this afternoon. One woman shouted: “These doctors have not failed our children. You are outrageous.” She accused the GMC panel of being a “kangaroo court”.

The GMC ruled Dr Wakefield “failed in his duties as a responsible consultant” and went against the interests of children in his care in conducting research. He further acted dishonestly and was misleading and irresponsible in the way he described a study on children which was published in The Lancet medical journal in 1998.

The research sparked a massive drop in the number of children given the triple jab for measles, mumps and rubella.

Source:  http://uk.news.yahoo.com/21/20100128/tuk-mmr-row-doctor-abused-trust-gmc-6323e80.html

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