PARIS (AFP) – Medical journal The Lancet Tuesday withdrew a 1998 study linking autism with inoculation against three childhood illnesses, a paper that caused an uproar and an enduring backlash against vaccination.
The British journal said it was acting in the light of an ethics judgement last week by Britain's General Medical Council against Andrew Wakefield, the study's lead researcher.
"We fully retract this paper from the published record," The Lancet's editors said in a statement published online.
In 2004, 10 of the paper's 13 authors distanced themselves from part of the study, publishing what they called a "retraction of an interpretation."
In last Thursday's ruling, the General Medical Council attacked Wakefield for "unethical" research methods and for showing a "callous disregard" for the youngsters as he carried out tests.How about that? Twelve years of people refusing to inoculate their kids and a decade of research to prove the link, all for naught.
Behold the power of the pen. Pictured is disgraced doctor and author of the paper, Andrew Wakefield (R) and his wife Carmel. They are seen outside the General Medical Council in central London on January 28.