2011-01-05 Doctor faked data linking autism to vaccines, British Medical Journal says

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The British Medical Journal on Wednesday accused a disgraced British doctor of committing an "elaborate fraud" by faking data in his studies linking vaccines with autism.

Andrew Wakefield's work convinced thousands of parents that vaccines are dangerous. Such fears have not only caused parents to skip vaccinating their children, which critics say has led to ongoing outbreaks of measles and mumps, but have forced costly reformulations of many vaccines.

The journal's editors said it was not possible that Wakefield made a mistake but must have faked the data for his study. It supported its position with a series of articles by a journalist who used medical records and interviews to show that Wakefield falsified data.