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College investigates whether Wakefield was guilty of scientific fraud

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 29 March 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d2010
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

University College London (UCL) is investigating whether the claims about the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine made by Andrew Wakefield and colleagues were the result of scientific fraud.

The inquiry has been launched as a result of the investigation into Mr Wakefield and his colleagues, who at the time of the study were at the Royal Free Hospital and Medical School, by the journalist Brian Deer, published in the BMJ. The General Medical Council struck off Mr Wakefield and John Walker-Smith in May 2010 after a hearing lasting 217 days, concluding that Mr Wakefield was guilty of dishonesty and Mr Walker-Smith of ordering clinical investigations of children without clinical grounds or ethical approval (BMJ 2010;340:c2803, doi:10.1136/bmj.c2803).

Mr Deer’s investigation concluded that the February 1998 Lancet paper that triggered the MMR controversy was fraudulent, in that it had misrepresented the clinical records of the 12 …

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