Award-winning investigative reporter Brian Deer reveals the shocking truth behind the rise of Andrew Wakefield ? the so-called father of the anti-vaccine movement.
In February 1998, a then-unknown British doctor, Andrew Wakefield, published an explosive scientific paper in a top medical journal, The Lancet. Researching twelve developmentally challenged children, he claimed to have found evidence that MMR, the lifesaving three-in-one vaccine against measles, mumps, and rubella, was causing a frightening ‘new syndrome’ of autism and bowel disease. As a result, a generation of young parents were terrified, and vaccination rates plummeted.
In The Doctor Who Fooled the World, Brian Deer cuts to the heart of the most damaging medical conspiracy of our time. The only journalist to crack Wakefield’s secrets, Deer explains how he gained legal access to patients’ records, uncovering the truth about their histories and diagnoses, His landmark fifteen-year inquiry saw Wakefield struck from the medical register, his research retracted, and his claims about MMR dubbed ‘an elaborate fraud’.
In this riveting detective story, Deer lays bare the rigged research, secret business schemes, and financial and commercial conflicts of interest that lay behind Wakefield’s original false claims — and the continuing smear campaigns that have aimed to keep the truth hidden.
Now resurrected in the United States, Wakefield dominates a broader international anti-vaccine campaign, exporting his claims everywhere. Alarmingly, widespread outbreaks of measles have returned to threaten children’s health. As before, the facts don’t fit the story, but that hasn’t got in the way of Wakefield’s new campaign.