High Court overturns GMC's ruling in Dr. Walker-Smith’s MMR research case

High Court overturns GMC's ruling in Dr. Walker-Smith’s MMR research caseDr. John Walker-Smith secured a dramatic victory against General Medical Council's `fitness to practise' panel yesterday when the High Court ruled that the decision to strike him off over the MMR controversial research was not lawful.

Seventy-five-year-old Prof. Walker-Smith and Dr. Andrew Wakefield, who had led the research, had been found guilty of professional misconduct after the duo was accused of participating in the controversial research without ethical approval.

The controversial research had triggered a scare around the globe by claiming that there was a link among the MMR vaccine, bowel disease and autism.

In May 2010, both Dr. Walker-Smith and Dr. Wakefield lost their licences to practice.

But, Dr. Walker-Smith kept on denying allegations that he had taken part in the research under the pretext of carrying out clinical examinations and treatment of young patients.

He claimed the examinations and treatments were essential for the purposes of diagnosis and treatment, and that they were not for the research project.

Overturning the General Medical Council's ruling, Mr. Justice Mitting said, "The panel's determination cannot stand. I therefore quash it."

Prof. Walker-Smith said that he was extremely pleased with the outcome of his appeal.

The General Medical Council said it was already preparing some key changes to its disciplinary hearings.