Medical Journal Says Autism Study Was a 'Fraud' - Wall Street Journal An influential but now-discredited study that provoked fears around the world that childhood vaccinations caused autism was based largely on falsified data, according to an article and editorial published Wednesday in the British Medical Journal. The article, by journalist Brian Deer, found that important details of the cases of each of 12 children reported in the original study either misrepresented or altered the actual experiences of the children, the journal said. "In no single case could the medical records be fully reconciled with the descriptions, diagnoses, or histories published in the journal," the editorial said. It called the study "an elaborate fraud." The original article, by British doctor Andrew Wakefield and other researchers, was published in the highly regarded journal The Lancet in 1998. The study concluded that the measles, mumps and rubella vaccinea mainstay of public-health disease prevention efforts around the worldwas linked to autism and gastrointestinal disorders.