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Andrew Wakefield
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    (1957- )
    Born in United Kingdom
    Authored a report in the medical journal 'The Lancet' claiming a connection between the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine and autism (1998)
    Wrote 'Callous Disregard: Autism and Vaccines: The Truth Behind a Tragedy' (2010)
    Although the 'Lancet' paper conceded that a causal connection between the vaccine and autism had not been proven, he immediately held a press conference to demand suspension of the MMR vaccine.
    He had received over £400,000 from lawyers who had filed suits against MMR vaccine manufacturers.
    He had taken out a patent on a single-jab measles vaccine before launching his campaign against the triple-jab MMR vaccine.
    The editor of 'The Lancet' said Wakefield's paper would never have been published if they had known of his conflicts of interest.
    He tried to suppress investigations of him by suing reporter Brian Deer and Channel 4 for libel.
    His medical license in Britain was revoked for conducting studies without approval from an ethics review board and subjecting autistic children to unnecessary invasive procedures such as colonoscopies and spinal taps (2010).
    An investigation by the British Medical Journal found that he had fraudulently altered the medical histories of the patients he studied to get his Lancet results (2011).
    Thanks to the anti-vaccine hysteria he generated, immunization rates in Britain dropped from 92% to 73%.
    Britain saw its first deaths from measles in 14 years while mumps reached epidemic levels in 2005.
    Before moving into research, he was a transplant surgeon and was named a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons (1985).
    His libel suit was withdrawn and he was ordered to pay the defendants' legal costs (2006).
    Even after the fraud revelations, Jenny McCarthy stood by him. (Okay, this is less 'Why Andrew Wakefield may not be annoying' and more 'Why you should not get medical advice from someone who made more appearances in Playboy than the New England Journal of Medicine.')

Credit: C. Fishel

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