Wednesday, January 5, 2011

"Whoso shall offend one of these little ones..."

Every so often a story appears about some new research discovery, is sensationalized by the media, is subsequently discredited, and then turns out to have done a lot of damage. I'm reminded of all of the trouble, destroyed reputations, and damaged relationships  surrounding "recovered memory." Obviously, many parents, made aware of the "research" referred to below, and believing they were doing the best thing to protect their children, in fact did just the opposite. From CNN:
A now-retracted British study that linked autism to childhood vaccines was an "elaborate fraud" that has done long-lasting damage to public health, a leading medical publication reported Wednesday. ....

"It's one thing to have a bad study, a study full of error, and for the authors then to admit that they made errors," Fiona Godlee, BMJ's editor-in-chief, told CNN. "But in this case, we have a very different picture of what seems to be a deliberate attempt to create an impression that there was a link by falsifying the data." ....

The now-discredited paper panicked many parents and led to a sharp drop in the number of children getting the vaccine that prevents measles, mumps and rubella. ....

In the United States, more cases of measles were reported in 2008 than in any other year since 1997.... More than 90 percent of those infected had not been vaccinated or their vaccination status was unknown, the CDC reported. ....
Retracted autism study an 'elaborate fraud,' British journal finds - CNN.com