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Researcher Who Tied Vaccine to Autism Acted 'Dishonestly,' Brits Rule

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The researcher whose discredited study suggested that the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine was linked with autism and bowel disorders in children acted "dishonestly and irresponsibly" and with "callous disregard" for the children in the study, say British medical authorities.

The ruling was issued Jan. 28 by the General Medical Council, which will now decide whether to revoke Andrew Wakefield's medical license, Time reported.

Wakefield's findings about the MMR vaccine, published in 1998 in The Lancet, caused a public health panic that led parents to question the safety of having their children vaccinated. His study has since been refuted and the MMR vaccine found to be safe.

On Tuesday, The Lancet editors said they "fully retract this paper from the published record."

When he conducted his MMR study, Wakefield was a gastroenterologist at London's Royal Free Hospital. He now heads an autism research center in Austin, Texas.

Wakefield said the General Medical Council's ruling was "unfounded and unjust," and added that he had "no regrets" about his MMR research, Time reported.

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