Thursday, January 28, 2010

GMC ruling on Andrew Wakefield in and a reminder why MMR is important

The General Medical Council (GMC) announced its ruling (ETA link, hat tip to Kev) on the "Fitness to Practise" case of Dr. Andrew Wakefield today. They state that Wakefield "failed in his duties as a responsible consultant" and showed a "callous disregard" for the suffering of children involved in his research (as quoted from The Guardian). Undoubtedly, we will see more analyses and interpretations of this ruling in the days to come, so I wanted to take the opportunity to remind readers why it is important that children do not get measles:

In 2006, there was a measles outbreak in Nordrhein Westfalen, with a total of 1700 reported cases. Two toddlers died of encephalitis/MIBE at the time. Last year, a 4 year old girl, Michaela, who had caught measles at the age of 4 months in that outbreak, came down with SSPE. She has been in a wake coma since the Summer and no one knows how long it will be until she dies. The other two SSPE victims we blogged about have been in this state since 2005/6.

1700 cases, 3 dead/dying children...

Michaela in December 2009 (source: Bild Zeitung)


  1. One of my blogging habits is to collate pro and con posts on a particular issue.

    One reason to do is that each blog has its own set of commenters and often the comments reveal aspects of the issue previously not considered elsewhere.

    Today's issue is the UK's General Medical Council's ruling on Andrew Wakefield.

    I've included this post in the list.

    The list can be found at

  2. I just found a mail from Thoughtful House's Director of Operations Anyssa Ryland, pointing to their own statement regarding the GMC ruling. You can read that here:

    It is a nice mail - so check out their statement. While they predict that the charges will be recognised as wrong, my prediction would be that they'll have a new director of research in the foreseeable future.

  3. Rumour has it that my prediction from 2 weeks ago is right and Andrew Wakefield resigned from Thoughtful House - no confirmation from them, though: