The Lancet Retracts Vaccination Article

The Lancet has retracted the article that provided the fuel for one of the most pernicious  and dangerous memes of the last ten years: that routine childhood vaccinations cause autism. The authors of the article were found to have falsified the evidence.

Unfortunately the damage this has caused is very hard to undo. Countless children were not immunized because of this article and the panic it generated. Thousands of parents will still believe it, and the retraction will form part of the “cover-up” that conspiracy theorists love.

Meanwhile, measles, rubella, and mumps, in case you needed reminding, are not trivial illnesses.

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  1. #1 by DreamingTree on Wednesday 03 February 2010 - 1730

    This is one of the major downfalls of the Internet. With a simple click, people can find whatever they want. It doesn’t have to be fact based. Sure, conspiracy theorists have always existed, but technology has helped their followers to reproduce faster than rabbits.

  2. #2 by JennJilks on Wednesday 03 February 2010 - 1844

    I think this is far bigger than just the internet.
    With access to medical libraries, many are doing research to help themselves, since some doctors will not give some patients tests results as simple as their blood pressure readings.

    The Lancet is a juried journal and as such should have been trustworthy for dweebs like me! THAT is cirminal.

    It really is the popular folks who have taken this and run with it.

  3. #3 by mog on Thursday 04 February 2010 - 1843

    Tabloid newspapers and people who prefer to get their medical advice from the media have made this into the scandal it was and is.

    Apart from the whole conflict of interest, ignoring ethics, subjecting children to unnecessary and painful tests, etc, etc this study would never have been statistically significant enough to make changes to practice. 12 subjects in total. All it could do should have been to point the way to further research, instead a reporter reported and the tabloid readers followed like the sheep they are.

    The other authors soon retracted the paper, Andrew Wakefield left the UK and now works in the USA. So plenty of people still believe what he says. Some of the tabloids in the UK are still making this man out to be a misunderstoof hero

    • #4 by torontoemerg on Friday 05 February 2010 - 1013

      “So plenty of people still believe what he says. Some of the tabloids in the UK are still making this man out to be a misunderstood hero”

      I think, sourly, are you really surprised?

      • #5 by mog on Friday 05 February 2010 - 1708

        No, not surprised. Exasperated more like. Not sure why you are thinking sourly though, was it me??

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