Ask a group of parents their thoughts on vaccinating their children and you’re likely to get some who’d never go against doctor’s orders, and some who believe that childhood vaccines are somehow responsible for the rise in autism rates among children.  That latter belief is likely as a result of Dr. Andrew Wakefield who, in 1998, authored a study published in the British medical journal, The Lancet, which suggested a possible link between the MMR vaccine and autism.

In 2004, British investigative journalist Brian Deer, who’s known most for his reports on the drug industry, medicine and social issues for the Sunday Times of London, began investigating concerns over the MMR vaccine, as raised by Dr. Wakefield.  Deer’s investigation, in a series of reports between 2004 and 2010, led to the Lancet retracting the study’s findings, and prompted the longest-ever inquiry by the UK General Medical Council.

In January of 2010, The GMC judged Wakefield ‘callous, unethical and dishonest’ and on Monday of this week, stripped him from the UK medical register, thus revoking his license to practice in the UK.

The GMC also found Wakefield to have shown ‘a callous disregard” for the distress and pain he caused the children in his study.

“Callous Disregard” is the phrase Dr. Wakefield chose to use for the title of his new book, which claims to tell “the truth behind tragedy.”

During tonight’s show, I’ll spoke with both Dr. Wakefield and Brian Deer, although not together.  Wakefield actually filed filed a libel suit against Deer, but later withdrew the charges.

We got a news update from Ellen Ratner of the Talk Radio News Service.

To lighten things up a bit, we had a visit from John Fugelsang… and we’ll also dissectected some of President Obama’s press conference today which mostly dealt with the BP disaster.

And, to end the week, I’ll once again be guest hosting the Randi Rhodes Show tomorrow!  Listen live here (via the ustream feed), or from any of Randi’s affiliates tomorrow from 3-6pm ET.

And just because we could all use a smile right about now, enjoy the newest offering from the Raging Grannies: