Brit Doc's License Lifted in Vaccine Scare

LONDON, May 24 (UPI) — A British doctor who aroused widespread concerns about the MMR vaccine that ultimately were proved unfounded, has had his medical license lifted, officials say.

The Times of London reported Monday Dr. Andrew Wakefield has been removed from the country’s medical register after a three-year investigation resulted in a finding he was guilty of serious professional misconduct over “unethical” research that had wrongly linked the vaccines to bowel disease and autism.

The Times said parents are being advised it is “never too late” to have their children vaccinated against measles, mumps and rubella.

Surendra Kumar, head of the General Medical Council’s fitness to practice panel, said Wakefield, 53, had been “irresponsible,” “misleading” and “dishonest” in carrying out and presenting his study.

“The panel is profoundly concerned that Dr. Wakefield repeatedly breached fundamental principles of research medicine,” Kumar said. “It concluded that his actions in this area alone were sufficient to amount to serious professional misconduct.”

Wakefield failed to reveal he had been paid to carry out research on behalf of parents who suspected MMR could lead to autism, the council found.

One former colleague, John Walker-Smith, 73, also was found guilty of misconduct and removed from the medical register. A third physician, Simon Murch, was found not guilty.

The faulty study prompted hundreds of thousands of parents to boycott the vaccinations and a subsequent revival of measles cases in recent years, the Times said.

The Lancet, which had removed contested parts of the paper in 2004, subsequently retracted the article.

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