The MMR vaccine fiasco is of course the classic example of this;
How so? It seems, instead, to present a counter-argument. I would refer you to the comments of Richard Horton, of the Lancet. To wit:
"But there are fair questions to be asked about the style of government and expert response to claims about the safety of MMR. Three reactions have been discernable. First, there has been an appeal to evidence. The Department of Health's www.mmrthefacts.nhs.uk website contains a superb collection of materials designed to help parents make the “decision in your own time and on your own terms”. The difficulty is that in a post-BSE era, where government advice is no longer immediately taken on trust, the weight of accumulated evidence carries less force if it comes from government than it once did.
Second, public-health officials have disparaged as “poor science” evidence that appears to contradict their official message. This approach has a cost. The reason that today's retraction is partial and not total is that the discovery of a possible link between bowel disease and autism is a serious scientific idea, as recognised by the MRC,8 and one that deserves further investigation. Although dismissing the entire 1998 Lancet paper as poor science gives a clear and correct message to the public about the status of any claim regarding the safety of MMR, in scientific and clinical terms it is both wrong and damaging. The autism-bowel disease link was considered part of a series of physiological observations judged by the MRC to be “interesting and in principle worth investigating”. Subsequent research has yielded conflicting findings.13, 14 This work should be supported.
Third, there has been an effort to starve critics of legitimacy by refusing to engage them face-to-face."
there are still people acting on the assumption that the lies were true, and that's getting people killed.
There were no "lies", only misunderstandings, misinterpretations, and misrepresentations OUTSIDE of the scientific community, and a failure to disclose associations and funding on the part of ONE of the many researchers, which turned out to be irrelevant to any of the research conducted or findings reported.
Further, I think you would be as hard-pressed to show a direct causal link between any specific refusal of the MMR vaccine and any specific death as researchers have been to show a causal link between any specific vaccine and autistic enterocolitis.