Since the publication of the 1998 article, Wakefield has left England and has set up an alternative research and treatment organization called Thoughtful House in Austin, Texas. On April 7, the GMC is scheduled to decide whether his ethical breaches constitute "serious professional misconduct" and if so, how Wakefield will be reprimanded or whether he will lose his license.
Regardless of the outcome, many vaccine efforts hope that this latest chapter in the debate over a connection between vaccines and autism will be the last.
"I think it is vital that the public and more importantly the press move past this issue," said Dr. Nancy Minshew, professor of psychiatry and neurology and director of the University of Pittsburgh's Autism Center of Excellence.
"It is time for a new script," she said. "In a time when scientists have discovered a prevention for ASD in infants and toddlers with the tuberous sclerosis gene, the public and press should be racing to understand how this came about and where the next discovery will come from."