Lancet retracts autism paper
London, February 2, 2010
The Lancet medical journal formally retracted a paper on Tuesday that caused a 12-year international battle over links between the three-in-one childhood vaccine MMR and autism.
The paper, published in 1998 and written by British doctor Andrew Wakefield, suggested the combined measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) shot might be linked to autism and bowel disease.
His assertion caused one of the biggest medical rows in a generation and led to a big fall in the number of vaccinations, prompting a worrying rise in cases of measles.
"It has become clear that several elements of the 1998 paper by Wakefield ... are incorrect," the internationally renowned scientific journal said in a statement.
A disciplinary panel of Britain's General Medical Council ruled last week that Wakefield had shown a "callous disregard" for the suffering of children and had brought the medical profession "into disrepute". - Reuters