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Wakefield leaves US clinic

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Andrew Wakefield has apparently left his job with the US autism clinic he helped to found.

Wakefield, the doctor whose research fuelled fears over a link between autism and the MMR vaccine, is no longer listed among the staff of Thoughtful House (shown right). A number of newspapers report that he left his role as executive director after a damning ruling from a panel convened by UK medical regulator the General Medical Council (GMC).

“We fully support his decision to leave in order to make sure the recent GMC findings did not interfere with the important work that our team of clinicians and researchers is doing on behalf of children with autism,” a statement from Thoughtful House says (Times, Guardian).

Last month a GMC panel found that Wakefield “abused [his] position of trust as a medical practitioner” and that his behaviour amounted to “dishonesty and misleading conduct”. A future meeting will decide whether he is guilty of professional misconduct and what, if any, sanctions should be applied in that case. (See: MMR doctor’s actions branded “dishonest and misleading”.)

After the ruling, a statement from Thoughtful House appeared to stand behind Wakefield, saying:

Thoughtful House is naturally disappointed by today’s report from the UK General Medical Council. A careful examination of the full record of the Council’s inquiry will show that the charges … are unfounded and unfair.

The Houston, Texas based institution also noted that Wakefield, “has been an integral part of the organization since its inception, particularly in the research program”.

Comments

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    Robin Nemeth said:

    I haven’t followed the Wakefield saga as closely as I have the thimerosal controversy here in the US. However it seems that the media is following the same pattern with Wakefield as they have with the mercury issue — that is, they pretend (in between pharmaceutical commercials)that there isn’t a sane person on the planet who supports him or his beliefs. This is not the case; in fact the parents of eight of the twelve children in the study that was retracted have publicly voiced their support for Wakefield. These parents were not allowed to testify at his GMC hearing and I for one am curious as to why, but you don’t ever seem to see the question asked by anyone in the main stream media. Not a single parent that I’m aware of has voiced concerns with Wakefield’s conduct. Instead, from parents, you see signs such as ‘Wakefield: guilty of helping our sick children.’

    Looks to me and many others like a witch hunt.

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