MMR doctor wins appeal case
Wednesday, 7 March 2012
A doctor won a court battle in London on Wednesday against being struck off over the measles, mumps and rubella controversy.
Professor John Walker-Smith, now retired, carried out research with Dr Andrew Wakefield claiming there was a link between autism and the combined jab for measles, mumps and rubella. The study caused a fall in vaccination rates but was later discredited.
The judge quashed a General Medical Council (GMC) finding of professional misconduct, the BBC reports.
Sitting in London's High Court, the judge Mr Justice Mitting called for changes in the way General Medical Council fitness to practise panel hearings are conducted in the future saying: "It would be a misfortune if this were to happen again." He quashed the finding of professional misconduct and the striking-off.
After the ruling, Walker-Smith said: "I am extremely pleased with the outcome of my appeal. There has been a great burden on me and my family since the allegations were first made in 2004 and throughout the hearing that ran from 2007 to 2010. I am relieved that this matter is now over."
In his written ruling, the judge made it clear the judgment was the end of the case, and the GMC did not intend to appeal.
His fight for his reputation was supported by parents of many children with autism and bowel disease seen by him at the Royal Free Hospital, north London, up to his retirement in 2001.