Last year, Wakefield was found guilty by a British panel of acting unethically in his research. Shortly afterward, The Lancet, which originally published his findings, reviewed his study and issued a complete retraction. Wakefield was then stripped of his license to practice medicine, and earlier this year the BMJ (formerly known as the British Medical Journal) called his actions "deliberate fraud."
Wakefield's research has been questioned for years, and repeated large-scale studies have found no evidence of any link between vaccines and autism. Still, Wakefield, who recently met with members of the Somali community affected by this latest outbreak, remains a hero to a small group of conspiracy theorists, including model Jenny McCarthy, who insist that vaccines can cause autism.
Wakefield's actions have cost him his credibility, his medical license and his career. But the Minnesota children who remain hospitalized due to the unfounded fears Wakefield has spread may yet pay a much higher price.