Referral of Dr Peter Mansfield to the GMCBMJ 2001; 323 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.323.7309.356 (Published 18 August 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;323:356
Worcestershire Health Authority is wrong
- Azeem Majeed, senior lecturer in general practice (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- University College London, London WC1H 9EZ
The referral by Worcestershire Health Authority of Dr Peter Mansfield to the General Medical Council raises some important issues for doctors and patients. Dr Mansfield is a retired general practitioner who works with a charity (Desumo) that offers separate rubella, measles, and mumps vaccines to the children of parents who do not wish to have the combined MMR vaccine because of fears about its supposed side effects (principally, the alleged risk of autism).1 Dr Mansfield holds some unorthodox views about health and illness, which many doctors (including myself) will disagree with. I also disagree with his view that MMR is potentially unsafe. I believe that it is a safe and effective vaccine and that health professionals should encourage its use. Despite this, I believe that the health authority was wrong to refer Dr Mansfield to the GMC and that his referral sets a dangerous precedent.
What has happened in Worcestershire is that several hundred parents have decided that they do not want their children to have the combined MMR vaccine but still wish to have their children immunised and are willing for …