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Lecture 5

PSY 240 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: General Medical Council, Royal Free Hospital, Andrew WakefieldPremium

2 pages103 viewsFall 2017

Course Code
PSY 240
Nathan Singley

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Psychology 240 (Nathan Singley)
Yellow = Important Concepts Green = People Blue = Important Events/Works
Lecture 9/21/17: Academic Dishonesty
Andrew Wakefield
Wakefield and 11 co-authors release a publication in The Lancet (1998)
o Study of 12 children with autism, identifies new syndrome called autistic
o enterocolitis
o Wakefield expands that exposure to the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella)
vaccine directly caused the children to develop autistic behaviors, as well as
bowel disease
The Press Conference
Dr. Wakefield stated that as an urgent moral issue, the 3-in-1 MMR vaccine should be
suspended, and that vaccinations be delayed over a period of years
Following Wakefield’s refusal to release raw date or to conduct a controlled
replication of the study, Wakefield resigned from the Royal Free Hospital
Conflict of Interest
After failures of replication over several years, and identification of previously
undisclosed conflicts of interest, the majority of the papers co-authors withdraw
support for the findings
It was identified that Wakefield had received $674,000 in funding from a legal aid
fund for the purpose of supporting a lawsuit against vaccine manufacturers
o The lawsuit later failed
The American Movement
Circa 2001 Wakefield moves to the US and joins another controversial researcher at
the International Child Development Resource Center
Wakefield conducts further studies purportedly supporting the link between the MMR
vaccine, autism, and bowel disease there and at the Thoughtful House research center
in Austin, TX as Executive Director
Wakefield receives popular support from select organizations and celebrities
The British General Medical council investigates allegations of misconduct, fraud,
and undisclosed conflicts of interest regarding the original study and its now-
discredited claims (2010)
o Found that children with autism were subjected to unnecessary invasive
medical procedures (colonoscopies, lumbar punctures, etc.) and Wakefield
didn’t have approval from the parents and was found in fault by the IRB
The Lancet fully retracts the original publication
Wakefield is struck from the UK Medical Register, cannot practice again
Wakefield’s unpublished raw data identifies that the children in his study didn’t have
inflammatory bowel disease
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