MMR Vaccination and Autism Essay

MMR Vaccination and Autism Essay

Original question :MMR Vaccination and Autism In September, 1999 in The Lancet, Volume 354, issue 9182, pp. 949-950, A. J. Wakefield published an article titled \”MMR vaccination and autism.\” In this article he presented what he claimed was evidence of a link between the increased incidence of autism and MMR vaccinations. This article became the source of controversy for many years, and eventually The Lancet retracted the article in 2010. Original retracted Wakefield article 1998-1.pdfPreview the document Prior to this retraction the majority of the original listed authors asked for their names to be removed from the article. It had surfaced that at best the research was very sloppy or at worst was falsified. Answer the following questions in an academic, thoughtful manner being sure to cite your resources. Wikipedia may not be used as a citation but you may use the resources listed there as a starting point. Respond to two classmates for maximum credit. Critique the peer post in a thoughtful and academic fashion, citing your resources. Keep this discussion academic. Imagine you are practicing just after the initial article was published. What parts of the article would you question and why? Please compare the study to Nursing\’s Code of Ethics and assess for compliance as part of your response. How would you respond to parents who refuse vaccines because they are afraid their child may become autistic? peer response: An article published in 1998 by A. J. Wakefield specified the correlation of autism and the MMR vaccine; this was later retracted in 2010. MMR Vaccination and Autism Essay. Imagining myself as a practicing RN at the time of the publication, many questions would come to mind. First and foremost, children are a vulnerable population for a research study. Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) are allowed to approve studies with children when minimal risk is present, a potential benefit to the child is present, or when the experimental treatments are similar to usual care (Gray, 2017). Not only is this a vulnerable population, but the sample size is limited. Nonprobability and convenience sampling were demonstrated within this research study as a select amount of children were chosen for the research. Nonprobability sampling refers to a sample that is not representative to the target population. Convenience sampling includes subjects that are in the right place at the right time (Grove, 2017). Wakefield included 12 children into his research study. Specifically, 12 children who presented to a paediatric gastroenterology unit. Out of those 12 children, 11 were boys. The study is confusing as it jumps from gastroenterology workups including blood work, urine, endoscopies to neuro/psych workups including magnetic-resonance imaging (MRI), electroencephalography (EEG), and lumbar punctures (LPs) (Wakefield et al., 1998). After reviewing the Nursing Code of Ethics, multiple provisions come to mind when reading the retraced article discussed above. Compliance was questioned as the patient’s right to self-determination was at risk. Patients (even children) have a legal right to determine what can be done with and to their own person, as well as, weighing the benefits and burdens. Children are a patient population that needs to be protected (“Code of ethics for nurses with interpretive statements,” 2015). Patients within this study had to undergo several sedation procedures: imaging (MRI/EEG), lumbar punctures, and endoscopies. All of these exams are very stressful to children and are likely to cause a burden on the parents involved. Patients and parents have the right to withdraw or decline participation at any time, something that was not stated within the study, leading the readers to believe this was not disclosed. Education is a large part of an APRN/RN role. MMR Vaccination and Autism Essay. Vaccinations are always a hot topic of debate and discussion due to the fear of autism. My response to parents who refuse vaccines because they are afraid their child may become autistic would be to refer to the CDC and do their own research. Vaccinations help prevent communicable disease. Medical professionals can provide all the academic material to parents; however, it is ultimately their decision to vaccinate their child. However, according to the CDC, studies show there is no link between receiving vaccinations to autism spectrum disorder (“Autism and Vaccines,” 2020). Provide a thoughtful, academic and cited response to the post to this student to achieve maximum credit

Wakefield’s article linking the MMR vaccine and autism is flawed both ethically and scientifically. The paper is a small case series and researchers used only twelve children.  Such a small sample size could have generated results that were fairly low in reliability and such a sample could not have generated adequate data to connect the MMR vaccine to autism. According to Sharma et al (2020), estimating sample size is important in scientific research to enhance the researcher accurately draw generalization of the results. Too small sample sizes fail to produce reliable and conclusive results. Also, authors depended on parental beliefs and recall, with the authors reporting that the parents of eight out of the twelve children linked their loss of acquired skills, entailing language, with the MMR vaccination. The authors concluded that possible environmental triggers, that is the MMR vaccine, were lined to the onset of both developmental regression and gastrointestinal disease.


Ethical practices and guidance aim to lessen possible exploitation and ensure the welfare and rights of minors in research. So, a major ethical consideration in a research study involving minors is the degree of risk to which the minors might be exposed. Researchers should not utilize forms of research procedures that might harm the minor either psychologically or physically (Ferdousi, 2015).  Wakefield and colleagues acted unethically by performing invasive tests on the children. The study did not have a control group which is an essential part of numerous research designs. A control group permits

Nurses are usually the ones involved in the administration of vaccines to children and thus take up the crucial role of parents about vaccines’ safety vaccines and their lifesaving functions.  Parents and patients often rely on health care professionals for information about vaccines. Thus, it is important for nurses to understand the attitudes of parents towards vaccines and communicate with, them how important vaccines are (Miller et al, 2021). MMR Vaccination and Autism Essay.



Ferdousi, N. (2015). Children as Research Subjects: The Ethical Issues. Bangladesh Journal of Bioethics, 6(1), 6-10. DOI: 10.3329/bioethics.v6i1.24398

Miller, E. R., Shimabukuro, T. T., Hibbs, B. F.,  Moro, P. L., Broder, K. R., & Vellozi, C. (2025). Vaccine Safety Resources for Nurses: The CDC supports nurses in promoting vaccination. American Journal of Nursing, 115(8), 55-58. doi: 10.1097/

Sharma, S. K., Mugdal, S. K., Thakur, K., & Gaur, R. (2020). How to calculate sample size for observational and experimental nursing research studies. National Journal of Physiology, Pharmacy and Pharmacology, 10(1), 1-8. doi: 10.5455/njppp.2020.10.0930717102019 . MMR Vaccination and Autism Essay.