Andrew Wakefield & MMR: how a worldwide health scare was launched from London

Dr Andrew Wakefield,
in his own words:

"We are in the midst of an international epidemic. Those responsible for investigating and dealing with this epidemic have failed. Among the reasons for this failure is the fact that they are faced with the prospect that they themselves may be responsible for the epidemic.

"Therefore, in their efforts to exonerate themselves they are an impediment to progress. I believe that public health officials know there is a problem; they are, however, willing to deny the problem and accept the loss of an unknown number of children on the basis that the success of public health policy - mandatory vaccination - by necessity involves sacrifice.

"Neither I, nor my colleagues subscribe to the belief that any child is expendable. History has encountered and dealt with such beliefs.

"You, the parent's and children, are the source of the inspiration and strength for our endeav-ours; our quest for truth through science - a science that is compassionate, uncomprom-ising and uncompromised.

"I do not mean to stir you to mutiny, but be assured that armed with this science it is in your power to force this issue, in your pediatricians office, in Congress, in the Law Courts.

"Keep faith with your instincts. They have served you well."

Andrew Wakefield, April 21, 2002, "Power of One Idea" rally, Washington DC.


"I did not disclose to the Lancet that a minority of the 12 children in the 1998 Lancet report were also part of a quite separate study that was funded in part by the Legal Aid Board. It is the Lancet's opinion but not mine that such a disclosure should have been made since it may have been perceived as a conflict of interest. This is despite that fact that the funding was provided for a separate scientific study. It needs to be made clear that the funds from the Legal Aid Board were not used for the 1998 Lancet study, and therefore I perceived that no financial conflict of interest existed."

Andrew Wakefield, statement published on worldwide web, February 2004.


"As far as Ethical Practices Committee approval is concerned, this was sought as soon as it became apparent that the children with autism who were undergoing appropriate medical investigation for their clinical symptoms actually had an inflammatory intestinal

Andrew Wakefield, letter to Brian Deer, 12 February 2004.


"Each child who became a subject of the LAB Pilot Study was necessarily a client of Dawbarns (although not necessarily a potential litigant). That is because it was Dawbarns who knew which of their client children were in receipt of legal aid, and notified [Dr Wakefield] which of these children had, by their guardians or parents, told Dawbarns that they had been referred to Professor Walker-Smith and/or RFH for investi-gation of their symptoms."

Andrew Wakefield, reply to Channel 4, 19 December 2005.


"Almost 6 years have passed since AJW disclosed in a letter published in The Lancet that he was undertaking a pilot study on behalf of the Legal Aid Board (later to become the Legal Services Commission)."

Andrew Wakefield, letter to The Lancet, 17 April 2004.


"No vaccine or anything resembling a vaccine was ever designed, developed or tested by me or by any of my colleagues at the Royal Free Hospital; it has never been my aim or intention to design, produce or promote a vaccine to compete with MMR ...

"The reference to the possible use of TF to protect children against measles infection – the thrust of the Sunday Times’ conspiracy theory – was put in as an afterthought in the patent."

Andrew Wakefield, statement published on worldwide web, November 2004.


"The money that I received was, after tax and out of pocket expenses, donated to an initiative to create a new center, in the first instance at the Royal Free Hospital, for the care of autistic children and those with bowel disease. This was unsuccesful at the Royal Free but ultimately succeeded in the US. This intention was made clear, in writing, to senior members of the medical school."

Andrew Wakefield, email concerning expert fees, 22 December 2006.


A further index of documents - on the Royal Free hospital - is available to view at this website.

Contact Brian Deer

In February 1998, research by Andrew Wakefield and 12 other doctors from the Royal Free hospital, London, was published in the Lancet medical journal, linking the triple measles, mumps and rubella vaccine - MMR - with autism. This triggered a worldwide scare, and falls in children's immunizations. Six years later, Brian Deer investigated for The Sunday Times and Channel 4 TV, and exposed the truth | This page is source material from Deer's award-winning investigation

Investigation concluded: This page no longer updates   Page last modified: May 13, 2011

Brian Deer's investigation into Andrew Wakefield's fraudulent MMR-autism research
INTRODUCTION: Summary of Brian Deer's published findings
Doctors knew research parents were MMR litigants - Sunday Times
MMR doctor given legal aid thousands - Sunday Times
Key dates in Andrew Wakefield's paid-for attack on MMR - Sunday Times
Uptake statistics show the effects of Andrew Wakefield's campaign
Wakefield abandons Channel 4 libel claim, and agrees to pay costs
UK General Medical Council announces its case against Wakefield
Statutory tribunal finds Wakefield dishonest, unethical and callous
Lancet retracts Wakefield paper after Sunday Times investigation

Andrew Wakefield's 1996 contract with lawyers, which lay behind his research claims
KEY PAGE: undisclosed payments behind the worldwide vaccine scare
Ask the experts: extraordinary Who's Who of critics
1996 Proposal to Legal Aid Board already spoke of "new syndrome"
MP3 audio: Walker-Smith reacts to legal contract, Feb 2004
MP3 audio: Lawyer Richard Barr on Andrew Wakefield's contract
MP3 audio: Lancet editor Richard Horton reads Wakefield email
Mystery cluster of MMR-autism claims at start of Wakefield research
Two versions of Wakefield's 1998 Lancet paper are compared

Molecular tests in Andrew Wakefield's Royal Free lab that found no measles virus
KEY PAGE: 1996 protocol names Chadwick and Bruce for measles tests
Foundation of Andrew Wakefield's theory rebutted in his own lab
1998 protocol report omits negative results by Chadwick and Bruce
Second Wakefield paper [on measles] retracted - but only in court
Test for measles virus methods found not to be "more sensitive"
High Court makes order over John O'Leary data mystery - Sunday Times

Ethics committee sidelined over invasive tests, claimed to be "clinically indicated"

KEY PAGE: Comparison of authorised study with published Lancet paper
Ethics committee member asks how children would benefit
Royal College of Physicians defines medical research
Informed consent form stipulates research project
Andrew Wakefield's indications for colonoscopy
Evan Harris on the ethics of Royal Free research
GMC disciplinary inquiry to hear a list of allegations - Sunday Times

Andrew Wakefield launched panic while filing for patents on a vaccine and products
KEY PAGE: First Wakefield MMR patent application was for vaccine
Medical school and Wakefield filed for anti-MMR products
How Andrew Wakefield dreamt of pregnant goats
Andrew Wakefield claimed a possible "complete cure" for autism
Discontinued fringe journal is source of MMR-autism claims
Transfer factor guru Hugh Fudenberg ruled unfit to prescribe
Autism pills were planned to be tested without placebo safeguard

Andrew Wakefield v Channel 4 Television Corporation, 20-20 Productions & Brian Deer
KEY PAGE: What Dispatches programme said about MMR scare doctor
Judgment 1: "Gagging writ" manoeuvres fail in High Court
Press Gazette coverage of High Court application hearing
BMJ reports on Channel 4 High Court application hearing
Judgment 2: Wakefield ordered to produce children's records
Judgment 3: Wakefield ordered to hand over GMC documents
BMJ reports on judge's order for Wakefield to hand over documents
Wakefield abandons Channel 4 libel claim, and agrees to pay costs
Press Association reports on abandoned libel claim
Three press reports on abandoned libel action against Channel 4
Website vindicated as Wakefield abandons second libel claim
Protestations founder as third libel claim is abandoned
Previous stay order agreed with The Sunday Times
Andrew Wakefield pays Brian Deer compensation for abandoned lawsuit

Miscellaneous relevant pages (also check the Royal Free link at the foot of this page)
KEY PAGE: Wakefield ally Carol Stott exposes herself as a crank
How Andrew Wakefield through Abel Hadden declined to be interviewed
All-in-the-family Panorama passes over discovery about Wakefield
Why UK MMR-autism lawsuit failed - by personal injury lawyers
Andrew Wakefield buys blood at a children's birthday party
Ask the experts: Dr Mark Geier on DTP vaccine in the 1980s
Brian Deer wins new award for MMR investigation
How a spurious health scare brought an old killer back - Sunday Times
After 14 years, the first British child dies of measles - Sunday Times
Victims of the scare: parents of children with ASDs
Judgment: Sad moment for families as lawsuit hopes draw to a close
Judge releases analyses of O'Leary data as litigation moves to US

US activity: International Child Development Resource Center and later appearances
KEY PAGE: Krigsman refuses request to review basis for colonoscopies
Krigsman resignation thwarts effort to check children's records
Arthur Krigsman is cross-examined in federal court
Wakefield joins Bradstreet's Florida autism business
Wakefield lends reputation to ICDRC unproven products operation
Brian Deer in BMJ over retraction of Geier claims
America resists effort to export Britain's scare

Clinical and research issues related to the triple vaccine-autism scare launched in 1998

KEY PAGE: Vital research is surrounded by variation
Things the Wakefield team knew about lymphoid hyperplasia
Bowel symptoms recognised in autism before MMR
Professor Trisha Greenhalgh writes about 1998 Lancet paper

Statements of reply to Brian Deer's investigations from Andrew Wakefield and others
KEY PAGE: Wakefield February 12 2004 statement to The Sunday Times
February 2004 public statement by Andrew Wakefield
Statement by Andrew Wakefield issued through the Lancet
Statement by Professor John Walker-Smith issued through the Lancet
Statement by Dr Simon Murch issued through the Lancet
Statement by Lancet editor Dr Richard Horton
Statement issued by Andrew Wakefield through Carol Stott website
Letter from Wakefield responds to Lancet retraction
Wakefield replies through lawyers a year after TV investigation
Wakefield statement to the Press Complaints Commission

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