December 7, 2011
Andrew Wakefield - Unethical Research
Ethics are custom to every day living. Recognizing ethics in his or her research is vital. “The goal of ethics in research is to ensure that no one is harmed or suffers adverse consequences from research activities” (Cooper & Schindler, 2011, Chapter 2, Ethics in Business Research). Andrew Wakefield, a British doctor, was accused of acting unethically during his 1998 research report, the Lancet. The General Medical Council (GMC) ruled that Wakefield was dishonest and irresponsible during his research and he had a complete disregard for the children in his study. His behavior caused fear in parents, fewer children received their vaccines, and some diseases began to rise in countries. Wakefield’s inappropriate research has affected and endangered society. The scandal over the Wakefield research is still strong in Britain and the United States. Andrew Wakefield was a gastroenterologist at London’s Royal Free Hospital. In 1998, Wakefield published a research paper, called the Lancet in a medical journal. The Lancet claimed that the three-in-one measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine was connected with autism and bowel disorders in children (Harrell, 2010). Wakefield research involved 12 children who were in the care of Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead. No other researcher has been able to duplicate Wakefield’s findings and an investigation began on the scandal his claims caused. Brain Deer, from Sunday Times, investigated Wakefield research and he revealed financial conflicts of interest, misconduct, and unnecessary medical procedures on the children in Wakefield’s study (Braindeer.com, 2011). Wakefield also performed tests without the approval of the Royal Frees ethics committee. Wakefield was one named a bright doctor and come from a family of doctors. However, the investigation into his research has branded...