MMR doctor struck from register
The doctor who first suggested a link between MMR vaccinations and autism is to be struck off the medical register.
Dr Wakefield still stands by his research
The General Medical Council found Dr Andrew Wakefield guilty of serious professional misconduct over the way he carried out his controversial research.
It follows a GMC ruling earlier this year that he had acted unethically.
Dr Wakefield, who is now based in the US, has consistently claimed the allegations are unfair. He now says he will appeal against the verdict.
His 1998 Lancet study caused vaccination rates to plummet, resulting in a rise in measles – but the findings were later discredited.
The GMC ruled in January Dr Wakefield had acted “dishonestly and irresponsibly” in conducting his research, but under its procedures the sanctions are made at a later date.
The case did not investigate whether Dr Wakefield’s findings were right or wrong, instead it focused on the methods of research.
During the two-and-a-half-year case, the longest in GMC history, he was accused of carrying out invasive tests on vulnerable children which were against their best interests.
The GMC also said Dr Wakefield, who was working at London’s Royal Free Hospital as a gastroenterologist at the time, did not have the ethical approval or relevant qualifications for such tests.
And the panel hearing the case took exception with the way he gathered blood samples. Dr Wakefield paid children £5 for the samples at his son’s birthday party.
It also said Dr Wakefield should have disclosed the fact that he had been paid to advise solicitors acting for parents who believed their children had been harmed by the MMR.