Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Questionable research removed from record as Lancet retracts publication

The British Medical Journal (BMJ) this month (January 5th) has published an article (the first of a special series) in which it outlines how a link between the measles, mumps & rubella vaccine and autism was artificially manufactured. A startling recap of how 'bogus data' has had an impact in the global perspective on vaccines and autism.

The article, by Brian Deer, a journalist, is titled "How the case against the MMR vaccine was fixed."

In 1998, Dr. Andrew Wakefield in the Lancet published his findings, based upon data from 12 patients, that there was an apparent link between the measles, mumps & rubella vaccine and the onset of behavioral symptoms.

In the decade following this publication, many parents decided not to vaccinate their children. It doesn't stretch the imagination that as a result, probably a number of children attracted the diseases unnecessarily, with who knows what results.

Flawed data, fabricated conclusions, severe allegations made against Dr. Wakefield. His original article in the Lancet was retracted by the Lancet February 2010, 12 years after the publication.

Of course, this is not the first time that fixed data is published, and it's likely not the last time. This case is so remarkable though, as it impacts the lives of so many children. Both from the side of unnecessarily worried parents making the choice not to vaccinate, but let's certainly not forget the parents of children with autism, desperately looking for a cause, something to blame, as is only natural. In this case, their position was openly and loudly pleaded by celebrity parents like Jenny McCarthy, who incidentally still supports the findings of Dr. Wakefield. Although it is somewhat understandable that someone does not want to let go of something to blame for such an unfair ordeal, I'm afraid it does more harm than good.

Perhaps needless to say, Dr. Wakefield also denies all allegations and stands by his findings.

However, currently 10 of the 12 original authors of the 1998 publication have retracted their support of the original study and its interpretation, the Lancet partially retracted in 2004 and after The General Medical Council ruled he had acted “dishonestly and irresponsibly” in doing his research, the Lancet completely retracted the article.

And therewith, they removed this questionable research and its conclusions from the records. With public voices still defending the discredited research, I doubt it will be the last we hear from it though.wow gold

No comments:

Post a Comment