Scientist Behaving Abominably: Updated

Most people would recognise that Dr. Andrew Wakefield is an unethical user of autistic children and their parents but now it is official.

MMR doctor Andrew Wakefield 'abused his position of trust'

The doctor who first claimed that the MMR vaccine could cause autism has been found guilty of a series of misconduct charges, that include putting children through painful and unnecessary tests, a disciplinary hearing has ruled today.

Dr Andrew Wakefield showed "a callous disregard" for the suffering of children and "abused his position of trust" as a doctor in carrying out a study which sparked the biggest vaccine scare in a generation and has been blamed for the resurgence of measles in Britain, the General Medical Council (GMC) found.

He was also found to have brought the medical profession "into disrepute" after he took blood samples from youngsters at his son’s birthday party in return for payments of £5 and failed to disclose vital conflicts of interest around his work - which has since been discredited.

You can see the entire 143 page document from Dr. Wakefield's hearing here (via Left Brain/Right Brain who asks "What were you expecting to happen?").

Some act as if Dr. Wakefield as a near god who saved their children from autism. I see him as a desperate, delusional, unethical person who should never be allowed near children again. Harsh words perhaps but having followed his rise to infamy and having read descriptions of what he has done to autistic children I think they apply. Dr. Wakefield and his followers are a threat to the public health and to the health and safety of autistic individuals. One can only hope that that message will finally get through to those who have been swayed by his deceptions.

Update:
For a round up of reactions, pro and con, plus links to background info see this post at I Speak of Dreams.

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