Andrew Wakefield

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Person.png Andrew Wakefield   C-SPAN IMDB NNDBRdf-icon.png
(doctor, activist)
Andrew Wakefield.jpg
Nationality British
Alma mater Eton School, St Mary's Hospital Medical School
Interests vaccines

Dr. Andrew Wakefield was a gastroenterologist until he was struck off the UK medical register by the General Medical Council for unethical behaviour, misconduct and fraud after a 1998 paper which he lead authored and was published in The Lancet suggested that a possible link existed between the MMR vaccine and autism. He has since become an anti-vaccine activist.


In 1998 he was the lead author of a paper published in The Lancet which claimed that there was a link between the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism and bowel disease.[1][2]


Wakefield's paper attracted sharp criticism from some parts of the medical establishment. The Lancet fully retracted Wakefield's paper in February 2010.[3]

Brian Deer

Natural News reports that James Murdoch hired Brian Deer to write a criticism of Dr. Wakefield in The Sunday Times]], which "created a firestorm in London that ignited another vaccine promoter, Dr. Fiona Godlee, who happens to be the editor in chief for the British Journal of Medicine (BMJ). She propagated Deer's lies officially."[4]

Striking off

On 28 January 2010, a five-member statutory tribunal of the GMC found three dozen charges proved, including four counts of dishonesty and 12 counts involving the abuse of developmentally delayed children.[5]

As of 2019 Wikipedia referred to it as "fraudulent" and stated that no peer reviewed study has been published which replicated his results.[6]

Counter claim

In an internet radio interview, Wakefield said the BMJ series "was utter nonsense" and denied "that he used the cases of the 12 children in his study to promote his business venture". Although Deer is funded by The Sunday Times and Channel 4, he has filed financial disclosure forms and denies receiving any funding from the pharmaceutical industry, which Wakefield says is paying him.

Wakefield's supporters claim that his critics are motivated by the financial interests of vaccine companies and big pharma[7] while his critics state that he has behaved unethically and fraudulently.

2012 Lawsuit

In January 2012, Wakefield filed a defamation lawsuit in Texas state court against Deer, Fiona Godlee, and the BMJ for false accusations of fraud, seeking a jury trial in Travis County. The filing identified Wakefield as a resident of Austin,[8][9] and cited the "Texas Long-Arm Statute" as justification for initiating the proceeding in Texas. The BMJ responded that it stood by its reports and would "defend the claim vigorously".[10][11] In August 2012 District Court Judge Amy Meachum dismissed Wakefield's suit.[12][13] Her ruling was upheld on appeal in September 2014 and Wakefield was ordered to pay all parties' costs.[14][15]

Other whistleblowers

At least two whistleblowers in the US have testified that they believe testimony of a vaccine-autism link had been suppressed; in 2014, a CDC researcher, Dr. William Thompson admitted that "my coauthors and I omitted statistically significant information in our 2004 article published in the journal Pediatrics" and in September 2018 Dr. Andrew Zimmerman stated that his research had lead him to believe that vaccines could cause autism in some cases, and that this had been ignored by the US vaccine courts which had continued to cite his earlier research findings that they could not.


  1. "GMC LRMP". Retrieved 31 May 2014.

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  2. "" (pdf). Retrieved 31 May 2014.

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  5. Deer, Brian. "General Medical Council, Fitness to Practise Panel Hearing, 28 January 2010, Andrew Wakefield, John Walker-Smith & Simon Murch" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 13 December 2010. Retrieved 6 January 2011.

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  8. "Doctor who did autism research in Austin sues medical journal, writers". Austin American-Statesman. 6 January 2012. Archived from the original on 11 September 2012. Retrieved 26 April 2013.

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  9. "Wakefield v. British Medical Journal, Deer, Godlee (Travis County, Texas, 3 Jan 2012)" (PDF). Retrieved 26 April 2013.

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  10. John Gever (6 January 2012). "Doctor Who Claimed Vaccine-Autism Link Sues Critics". Retrieved 26 April 2013.

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  11. Ian Sample, science correspondent (5 January 2012). "Andrew Wakefield sues BMJ for claiming MMR study was fraudulent". London: Guardian. Retrieved 26 April 2013.

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  12. "201st District Court of Travis County, Texas, Order" (PDF). 3 August 2012. Retrieved 3 August 2012.

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  13. "Wakefield, former autism researcher, can't sue for defamation in Texas, judge says". 3 August 2012. Archived from the original on 5 August 2012. Retrieved 3 August 2012.

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  14. "Court: Andrew Wakefield, autism researcher, cannot sue in Texas". 19 September 2014. Retrieved 20 September 2014.

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  15. "Texas Court of Appeals, 3rd district, at Austin". 19 September 2014. Retrieved 20 September 2014.

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