Vax-Autism Papers Re-examined

A US-based group reviews the records of discredited researcher Andrew Wakefield to reassess whether he knowingly misrepresented results.

Nov 10, 2011
Edyta Zielinska

mumpsWIKIMEDIA COMMONS, CDC, BARBARA RICE

A group called whistleblowers.org has obtained the records of Andrew Wakefield regarding his work on autism and vaccination in order to assess whether he committed fraud by misrepresenting his research findings, or whether the discrepancies in the records were due to negligence.

Although the idea that autism is connected to the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine has been thoroughly discredited by a number large-scale clinical trials, the question of whether Wakefield knowingly misled the public, thus committing research fraud, is still being questioned, Nature reported.

Leading the reassessment is David Lewis, a whistleblower and former environmental protection agency (EPA) microbiologist who, in a letter sent to the British Medical Journal, argued that Wakefield did not commit fraud. His appraisal of the newly released documents could influence the outcome of an investigation into charges of fraud and data manipulation by the University College London, which took over the hospital division where Wakefield worked, although the institution has yet to begin its work on the matter.