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Wakefield to go in front of GMC panel

Dr Wakefield, the first to suggest a link between the MMR vaccine and autism, is to defend his case at the General Medical Council (GMC) today.

The GMC board will investigate allegations of serious professional misconduct for Dr Wakefield and two other practitioner colleagues.

Wakefield's paper in the Lancet journal in 1998 caused many to fear that the triple MMR vaccine was unsafe.

But today he will defend himself against allegations that his research was undertaken without proper ethical approval and children in his study were not treated in accordance with ethics committee standards.

It is also alleged that Dr Wakefield acted "dishonestly and irresponsibly" in failing to disclose details of his true patient study population.

The panel will look into whether Dr Wakefield advised solicitors acting for persons alleged to have suffered harm by the administration of the MMR vaccine.

The case is to be considered by a Fitness to Practise Panel which could remove Dr Wakefield's registration.


Your comments: (Terms and conditions apply)

"This is a case about professional ethics, not the MMR vaccine. Wakefield's "case" in this regard has already been heard - and he has "lost", with his theory comprehensively discredited and his coworkers disowning his research. Whether he will be found guilty of ethical misdemeanors remains to be seen, but his actions in paying children at his son's birthday party to take part in research, in taking money as an adviser in the legal cases against vaccines, his prompting of completely unnecessary and potentially dangerous tests like LPs and endoscopies on autism children hardly inspire confidence." - Deborah, Manchester

"5 children have died of measles in this area in the last few years. It is parents who believe vaccines are not necessary who put everyone else's children at risk." - Practice Nurse, Lancashire

"Whatever the mechanism, it is clear to many parents, such as ourselves, that all vaccines are capable of damaging some children. We had to stop our elder son from taking vaccines because he became progressively ill, so he never got to the MMR. We then discovered that my sister, who is extremely conservative, had done the same with her third son. We have an inherited problem absorbing vitamins and minerals, and vaccines tend to exacerbate it. Vaccines contain many strong ingredients that can damage a susceptible organism, including mercury and aluminium. We believe that it was the aluminium, which is deliberately included as an immune system irritant, that did the damage with our child. The trial of Dr. Wakefield is a political and commercial one. In a well-fed society, there is little need for vaccinations for diseases such as mumps, measles or rubella. Nobody is going to die. The deaths stopped in the 1960s, before the MMR vaccine was even introduced." - Tim Hewtson le Roux, Brough, Hull