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Royal Free doctors brought profession into disrepute, rules General Medical Council

PUBLISHED: 11:11 29 January 2010 | UPDATED: 16:43 07 September 2010

ROYAL Free doctors who suggested a link between autism and the MMR vaccination abused their position of trust and brought the medical profession into disrepute, the General Medical Council has ruled. The GMC panel found charges proven against Dr Andrew Wa

ROYAL Free doctors who suggested a link between autism and the MMR vaccination abused their position of trust and brought the medical profession into disrepute, the General Medical Council has ruled.

The GMC panel found charges proven against Dr Andrew Wakefield, Prof John Walker-Smith and Prof Simon Murch and said the evidence in each case would "not be insufficient" to make a finding of serious professional misconduct.

They are accused of blunders in research involving 12 boys between 1996 and 1998. They are alleged to have carried out invasive procedures at the Royal Free including colonoscopies and lumbar punctures on the autistic children without ethical approval.

All three will now face further hearings over the coming year before a decision is made.

Panel chairman Dr Surendra Kumar told them: "Having found these facts proved, the panel went on to consider whether your admissions and the panel's findings, taken collectively, would be insufficient to support a finding of serious professional misconduct.

"In your case it found that the facts would not be insufficient and therefore your case will proceed to the next stage."

For the full report read next week's Ham&High.


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