The 1998 study linking the MMR vaccine to autism has been utterly debunked. So 13 years later, how many lives have been lost and how much money has been wasted treating the preventable illnesses that fear-mongering led to? Here are some answers.
Aside from the embarrassment, researchers know deceptions like the autism research fraud can have much larger consequences, both for the parents of autistic children and for the future of their studies. Says one prominent scientist: "It taints a lot of very good work that goes on."
Having an autistic child can present seemingly nonstop challenges for families. Among those are thousands of dollars spent in the hopes, fleeting as they may be, of finding a cure for the exasperating illness. And finding a qualified doctor can be a full-time job.