This story just goes from bad to worse.
Of course the study was unethical, he did lumbar punctures and colonoscopies on the poor sprogs just to prove his theory. But that is not the point.
When his paper, which had 12 case studies, was published do you know what happened? Next to nothing. The media did'nt care.
Only a year or two later when he republished a "review", and a cynic might suggest, when the media were having a slow week, did it take off!
There was the feeding frenzy of reporting in papers and on the news. But the real damage was not done by the study which the vast majority of the great unwashed will never read and would not understand even if they did. The real damage was done by the exciting headlines with time lapsed footage of a sprog kicking off in their living room behind a bullet list of "concerns". The damage was done by "concerned minor celebs" giving their comment. If carol vorderman nigella lawson and cherie blair are all worried then there must be something to it right? These are the people the public listen to!
And then of course there were all the ridiculously high power studies which proved that there was no link. Which the media almost without exception studiously ignored.
And now they have wrung every last drop out of scaring us that the MMR will turn little tommy into damien from the omen, they've found a new horse to ride, the demonic creepy doctor who experimented on children to fool us all and end the world! Mwoa ha ha ha etc.
Got the golden eggs, now its goose for dinner.
But make no mistake. Wakefield's study was one of a huge raft of dodgy research which comes out every year. It was the media who turned it from a minor crap paper in a journal unknown to the public into a scare which cost lives.
And what drives the media? We do.
So by all means lets burn Andrew wakefield at the stake. But lets not lose sight of what ACTUALLY happened. Because when we do (and most will) we guarentee it will happen again.
It just will. Because we're all stupid.