Vaccination skeptic offers cash for proof that measles is a virus; Court orders him to pay 100,000 euros

By Updated at 2015-03-13 15:02:11 +0000


Four years ago, a German biologist who thinks the measles are psychosomatic announced on his website that he would pay 100,000 euros ($106,300) to anyone who could prove measles is a virus.

After Stefan Lanka made the offer, a German doctor named David Barden came forward with evidence from several different studies, but Lanka balked at paying, saying his information proved nothing. A court in Ravensburg decided it was solid information, and ordered Lanka to pay Barden the 100,000 euros he promised. Lanka plans to appeal, and is doubling down on his skepticism. "It is a psychosomatic illness," he told the German paper Suedkurier. "People become ill after traumatic separations."

A recent outbreak of measles in Germany has sparked a debate about whether vaccinations against the disease should be compulsory.

Measles is spreading in Germany and Europe as a whole, and the World Health Organization said it was "taken aback" by the 22,000 cases reported on the continent since 2014, the BBC reports. In February, an 18-month-old boy in Berlin died from the disease.