Lancet retracts Wakefield paper

2 Feb

Following the judgment of the UK General Medical Council’s Fitness to Practise Panel on Jan 28, 2010, it has become clear that several elements of the 1998 paper by Wakefield et al1 are incorrect, contrary to the findings of an earlier investigation.2 In particular, the claims in the original paper that children were “consecutively referred” and that investigations were “approved” by the local ethics committee have been proven to be false. Therefore we fully retract this paper from the published record.


4 Responses to “Lancet retracts Wakefield paper”

  1. Sullivan February 2, 2010 at 17:10 #

    Years back, 10 of the authors retracted the conclusion. Now, the whole paper is retracted.

    I’d really like to know how many times this has ever happened in the history of The Lancet. My guess is that it is a very (VERY) rare event.

    Groups and individuals that continue to reference this paper will be showing themselves to be intellectually dishonest. I could compile a partial list of them now…Dr. Wakefield, Thoughtful House, Generation Rescue, TACA, the NAA…

    The Lancet did well to retract the paper now. If any of the story that Brian Deer wrote about are demonstrated to be true The Lancet would have been in the position of listing many more serious failings of the study.

    Dr. Wakefield should be grateful The Lancet moved so quickly.

  2. AutismNewsBeat February 2, 2010 at 17:11 #

    Well, that only took about five years.

  3. Liz Ditz February 2, 2010 at 18:19 #“>“>

    The retraction by The Lancet comes a day after a competing medical journal, BMJ, issued an embargoed commentary calling for The Lancet to formally retract the study. The commentary was to have been published on Wednesday.

    The BMJ commentary said once the study by British surgeon and medical researcher Andrew Wakefield and his colleagues appeared in 1998 in The Lancet, ”the arguments were considered by many to be proven and the ghastly social drama of the demon vaccine took on a life of its own.”

  4. Liz Ditz February 2, 2010 at 19:25 #

    I sometimes write a post that collates blog responses, both positive and negative, to a given issue.

    I’m keeping one now on responses to the Lancet retraction of the Wakefield’s paper.

    I’ve added your blog to the list.

    The post is at

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