53 Facts About Andrew Wakefield


Andrew Jeremy Wakefield was born on September 3,1956 and is a British anti-vaccine activist, former physician, and discredited academic who was struck off the medical register for his involvement in The Lancet MMR autism fraud, a 1998 study that falsely claimed a link between the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine and autism.


Andrew Wakefield was a surgeon on the liver transplant programme at the Royal Free Hospital in London and became senior lecturer and honorary consultant in experimental gastroenterology at the Royal Free and University College School of Medicine.


Andrew Wakefield resigned from his positions there in 2001, "by mutual agreement", then moved to the United States.


In 2004, Wakefield co-founded and began working at the Thoughtful House research center in Austin, Texas, serving as executive director there until February 2010, when he resigned in the wake of findings against him by the British General Medical Council.


Andrew Wakefield published his 1998 paper on autism in the prestigious medical journal The Lancet, claiming to have identified a novel form of enterocolitis linked to autism.


Andrew Wakefield reportedly stood to earn up to $43 million per year selling test kits.


In 2010, the GMC found that Andrew Wakefield had been dishonest in his research, had acted against his patients' best interests and mistreated developmentally delayed children, and had "failed in his duties as a responsible consultant".


Three months later, Andrew Wakefield was struck off the UK medical register, in part for his deliberate falsification of research published in The Lancet, and was barred from practising medicine in the UK.


Andrew Wakefield has continued to defend his research and conclusions, saying there was no fraud, hoax or profit motive.


In 2016, Andrew Wakefield directed the anti-vaccination film Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe.


Andrew Wakefield was born in 1956; his father was a neurologist and his mother was a general practitioner.


Andrew Wakefield became a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1985.


Andrew Wakefield continued his studies of small intestine transplantation under a Wellcome Trust travelling fellowship at University of Toronto in Canada.


In 1993, Andrew Wakefield attracted professional attention when he published reports in which he concluded that measles virus might cause Crohn's disease; and two years later he published a paper in The Lancet proposing a link between the measles vaccine and Crohn's disease.


In 1996, Andrew Wakefield turned his attention to researching possible connections between the MMR vaccine and autism.


At the time of his MMR research study, Andrew Wakefield was senior lecturer and honorary consultant in experimental gastroenterology at the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine.


Andrew Wakefield resigned in 2001, by "mutual agreement and was made a fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists", and moved to the US in 2001.


Andrew Wakefield was reportedly asked to leave the Royal Free Hospital after refusing a request to validate his 1998 Lancet paper with a controlled study.


Andrew Wakefield is barred from practising as a physician in the UK, and is not licensed in the US.


Andrew Wakefield has a son with autism-like symptoms that she believes were caused by the MMR vaccine.


Andrew Wakefield has set up the non-profit Strategic Autism Initiative to commission studies into the condition, and is currently listed as a director of a company called Medical Interventions for Autism and another called the Autism Media Channel.


On 28 February 1998, Andrew Wakefield was the lead author of a study of twelve children with autism that was published in The Lancet.


Andrew Wakefield continued to conduct clinical research in the United States after leaving the Royal Free Hospital in December 2001.


Andrew Wakefield joined a controversial American researcher, Jeff Bradstreet, at the International Child Development Resource Center, to conduct further studies on the possible relationship between the MMR vaccine and autism.


In 2004, Andrew Wakefield began working at the Thoughtful House research center in Austin, Texas.


Andrew Wakefield served as executive director of Thoughtful House until February 2010, when he resigned in the wake of findings against him by the British General Medical Council.


In February 2004, the controversy resurfaced when Andrew Wakefield was accused of a conflict of interest.


In November 2004, Channel 4 broadcast a one-hour Dispatches investigation by reporter Brian Deer; the Toronto Star said Deer had "produced documentary evidence that Andrew Wakefield applied for a patent on a single-jab measles vaccine before his campaign against the MMR vaccine, raising questions about his motives".


Andrew Wakefield's data was questioned; a former graduate student, who appeared in Deer's programme, later testified that Andrew Wakefield ignored laboratory data that conflicted with his hypothesis.


Reviews in the medical literature have found no link between the MMR vaccine and autism or with bowel disease, which Andrew Wakefield called "autistic enterocolitis".


Andrew Wakefield denied the charges; on 28 January 2010, the GMC ruled against Andrew Wakefield on all issues, stating that he had "failed in his duties as a responsible consultant", acted against the interests of his patients, and "dishonestly and irresponsibly" in his controversial research.


Andrew Wakefield argued that he had been unfairly treated by the medical and scientific establishment.


In February 2009, The Sunday Times reported that a further investigation by the newspaper had revealed that Andrew Wakefield "changed and misreported results in his research, creating the appearance of a possible link with autism", citing evidence obtained by the newspaper from medical records and interviews with witnesses, and supported by evidence presented to the GMC.


The British Medical Journal editorial concluded that Andrew Wakefield's paper was an "elaborate fraud".


In May 2010, The American Journal of Gastroenterology retracted a paper of Andrew Wakefield's that used data from the 12 patients of the article in The Lancet.


WebMD reported that Andrew Wakefield said he was the victim of "a ruthless, pragmatic attempt to crush any attempt to investigate valid vaccine safety concerns".


Andrew Wakefield says that Deer is a "hit man who was brought in to take [him] down" and that other scientists have simply taken Deer at his word.


In January 2012, Andrew Wakefield filed a defamation lawsuit in Texas state court against Deer, Fiona Godlee, and the BMJ for false accusations of fraud, seeking a jury trial in Travis County.


Andrew Wakefield's ruling was upheld on appeal in September 2014 and Wakefield was ordered to pay all parties' costs.


The judges said that Deer's investigation of Andrew Wakefield was a "tremendous righting of a wrong".


Andrew Wakefield's continued claims that the vaccine is harmful have contributed to a climate of distrust of all vaccines and the reemergence of other previously controlled diseases.


Since Dr Andrew Wakefield's study was released in 1998, many parents have been convinced the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine could lead to autism.


In 2011, Andrew Wakefield was at the top of the list of the worst doctors of 2011 in Medscape's list of "Physicians of the Year: Best and Worst".


The court relied heavily on Andrew Wakefield's discredited Lancet paper and largely ignored the scientific evidence presented to it.


In February 2015, Andrew Wakefield denied that he bore any responsibility for the measles epidemic that started at Disneyland.


Andrew Wakefield reaffirmed his discredited belief that "MMR contributes to the current autism epidemic".


Andrew Wakefield was scheduled to testify before the Oregon Senate Health Care Committee on 9 March 2015, in opposition to Senate Bill 442, "a bill that would eliminate nonmedical exemptions from Oregon's school immunization law".


The chairman of the committee then canceled the meeting "after it became clear that" Andrew Wakefield planned to testify.


Andrew Wakefield denied that her decision had anything to do with Wakefield's plans.


On 24 April 2015, Andrew Wakefield received two standing ovations from the students at Life Chiropractic College West when he told them to oppose Senate Bill 277, a bill that proposes elimination of non-medical vaccine exemptions.


Andrew Wakefield had previously been a featured speaker at a 2014 "California Jam" gathering of chiropractors, as well as a 2015 "California Jam" seminar, with continuing education credits, sponsored by Life Chiropractic College West.


On 3 July 2015, Andrew Wakefield participated in a protest held in Santa Monica, California, against SB 277, a recently enacted bill which removed the personal belief exemption to school vaccine requirements in California state law.


In 2016, Andrew Wakefield directed the anti-vaccination propaganda film Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe.