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In 1998 Dr. Andrew Wakefield led a team that published a paper in the Lancet journal that proposed a link between the MMR vaccin - Essay Example

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In 1998 Dr. Andrew Wakefield led a team that published a paper in the Lancet journal that proposed a link between the MMR vaccin

Another critical factor behind the success and acclamation of this research is the role played by media in getting his research socially accepted in the masses. It is argued that media gave undue coverage to Dr. Wakefield’s research and his research vetted by a well-acclaimed peer-reviewed journal enhanced the damages that could have been caused by this study otherwise. It was also found that political pressures and several conflicts of interests along with ethical conditions remained unaddressed and unnoticed during the research. Where Dr. Wakefield can be accused of being unprofessional according to medical codes of conducts, media is required to be blamed equally for causing a damage that has endangered the wellbeing of children worldwide. Dr. Wakefield’s research employed rigorous tools and methodologies for which no proper ethical approval was obtained for invasive procedures on children (Emanuel, Abdoler and Stunkel, 2008). On the other hand, it was found that Dr. Wakefield had exchanged funds with the lawyers of children’s parents that were made part of the research. The research further employed references of other studies that were conducted by either the coauthors of the same research or his friends (Holton, Weberling, Clarke and Smith, 2012). Where autism is a disorder for which little information is present regarding its causative agents and cures, a theory supporting the idea that it is caused by MMR vaccination made many parents believe that prevention from vaccination can benefit their child despite having contradictory evidences in the rates of epidemiological increases after this research. The research was later on criticized by other independent studies which raised questions on the effectiveness of Dr. Wakefield’s work. Presence of a reputable medical journal The Lancet and other media bodies providing coverage to this research further aggravated the situation. Medical journal are usually used by medical practitioners, researchers and educationists in the same field. However, vetting of Dr. Wakefield’s article by a medical journal allowed journalists and other media channels to disseminate information to local people. As a result, parents refused to provide vaccination to their children in large parts of the world with reported epidemics in UK, US, Austria, Italy and Switzerland (Smith, Ellenberg, Bell, and Rubin, 2008). It is further important to note that where vaccination is a prevention strategy, it is relatively less costly as compared to actual treatment for the diseases (Anderberg, Chevalier and Wadsworth, 2008). Failure to incur such expenses by government and parents due to limited insurance coverage and Medicare facilities increases the risks of affecting a child’s wellbeing. Dr. Wakefield’s research was contested in the last few years and part of it was retracted in 2004 with more than half of the authors withdrawing their interpretations from the research. This retraction was followed by a rigorous investigation by medical authorities, license seizure of Dr. Andrew Wakefield and retraction of the whole research in 2010. There were quite a few studies that provided evidences contradictory to the findings of Wakefield’s research (Miller and Reynonds, 2009). A research conducted by Stefano and Chen (2001, 831) asserted that although the percentage of reported autism onsets has increased greatly in the children as the percentage of ...Show more


Dr. Wakefield’s Research & Role played by Media Course ID Date MMR Controversy has been named as one of the most damaging frauds in the history of medical sciences in the last century. The controversy involves presentation of false facts and manipulated medical research by Dr…
Author : robelbridgette
In 1998 Dr. Andrew Wakefield led a team that published a paper in the Lancet journal that proposed a link between the MMR vaccin essay example
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