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Court Ruling. No link between Vax's and Autism

Posted by on Feb. 12, 2009 at 7:42 PM
  • 12 Replies

According to the NY Times courts ruled today that there is no link between vaccines, specifically MMR and Autism. Interesting? Do you buy it? What are your thoughts on this ruling?

February 13, 2009

Court Says Vaccine Not to Blame for Autism

In a blow to the movement arguing that vaccines lead to autism, a special court ruled Thursday against three families seeking compensation from the federal vaccine-injury fund.

Both sides in the debate have been awaiting decisions in these test cases since hearings began in 2007; more than 5,000 similar claims have been filed with the fund.

In the three separate cases, each decided by a judge called a special master, the court found that the families had not shown that their children’s autism was brought on by substances in the vaccines — either the measles virus in the measles/mumps/rubella vaccine or thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative that was used in most childhood vaccines until 2001.

In a case pitting the family of Michelle Cedillo, a severely autistic child, against the federal Department of Health and Human Services, the judge ruled that the Cedillos had “failed to demonstrate that thimerosal-containing vaccines can contribute to causing immune dysfunction, or that the MMR vaccine can contribute to causing either autism or gastrointestinal dysfunction.”

In his strongly worded decision, the special master, George L. Hastings Jr., ruled that the government’s expert witnesses were “far better qualified, far more experienced and far more persuasive” than the Cedillos’. Although the family had to show only that the preponderance of evidence was on their side, the judge ruled that it was “not a close case” because the evidence was “overwhelmingly contrary” to their argument.

While expressing “deep sympathy and admiration” for the family, he ruled that they were “misled by physicians who are guilty, in my view, of gross medical misjudgment.”

The other two special masters, Denise Vowell and Patricia Campbell-Smith, rendered similar decisions in cases involving two other children, William Yates Hazlehurst and Colten Snyder.

The judges considered 5,000 pages of testimony from experts and 939 medical articles.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs have indicated they will appeal.

Pediatricians and government agencies welcomed the rulings.

“Hopefully, the determination by the special masters will help reassure parents that vaccines do not cause autism,” the Health and Human Services Department said in a statement.

Dr. Michael T. Brady, a pediatrician in Columbus, Ohio, who is a spokesman for the American Academy of Pediatrics, said the academy was “obviously very satisfied” with the rulings and hoped that they would mean that pediatricians would meet less resistance from parents over vaccinating children.

Dr. Paul A. Offit, a vaccine researcher and author of “Autism’s False Prophets,” a book attacking anti-vaccine groups, said it was “a great day for America’s children when the court rules for science.”

In contrast, J. B. Handley, the founder of Generation Rescue, which blames vaccines for autism, said the decision not to compensate the Cedillos was “an incomprehensible injustice.”

The rulings were “salt in the wounds, albeit not unexpected by a community used to being stepped on,” he said, adding: “The good news is that this now allows families to pursue their claims in a normal court, in front of a jury. Stay tuned.”

Autism Speaks, which finances autism research and has sharp divisions among founding members on the vaccine question, said the rulings “do not mitigate the need for further scientific investigation.”

The fund was created in 1988 to compensate children hurt by vaccines without the need for lawsuits against vaccine-makers; a tax on all vaccines goes into it.

No one disputes that in rare cases, vaccines can cause shock, brain inflammation and death, especially in children with allergies or compromised immune systems. The law recognizes specified side effects for each vaccine; autism is not among them. It allows parents to make claims for other side effects, but sets specific criteria they must meet to show that vaccines were to blame.

Last March, in a settlement reached in the compensation court, the federal government did concede that a young girl with autism had been damaged by vaccines. But the government and other experts said the case was not a precedent because the girl, Hannah Poling, had a number of unusual conditions that might have contributed to her disorder.

Dr. Brady, the pediatrics academy spokesman, noted that vaccine opponents had proposed other theories for an autism effect, like blaming the aluminum salt additives used in the vaccines or the number of shots children get at once. He said he would “not be surprised if lawyers for parents would look for a different wrinkle in future cases.”

my-heart-belongs-to3

by on Feb. 12, 2009 at 7:42 PM
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Replies (1-10):
KairisMama
by Ruby Member on Feb. 12, 2009 at 7:45 PM

I NEVER thought there was a link between the two. It always sounded a bit out there to me. This ruling makes sense.

Kairi snowgirl

cookieisaSAHM
by on Feb. 12, 2009 at 7:46 PM

i agree. I am tired of all of the radical claims that vaxs cause autism. I vax my child and will continue to do so. This ruling sounds right to me.

Quoting KairisMama:

I NEVER thought there was a link between the two. It always sounded a bit out there to me. This ruling makes sense.


JenE1098
by on Feb. 12, 2009 at 7:47 PM

There was never a concrete link between vax's and autism.  I just read the other day the dr who first said that vax cause autism just admitted that he lied!!!  Wonder if his admission had anything to do w/these rulings? 

              ~Jennifer


   happy valentine      having chocolate

raine.arnesen
by on Feb. 12, 2009 at 7:49 PM

There is a correlation between the MMR and autism, it's just wether or not there was a genetic predisposition for autism or not. There is no evidence saying the vaccine alone caused it though, which is why they still say it's not. There is also a correlation between premature birth (as well as other things like lack of vitamin D) and autism I'll post links with this info...but people will always wonder if it had anything to do with autism because of it...even if it might not have. Until they find out what actually causes autism there will always be these specualtions!

milmiracle
by on Feb. 12, 2009 at 7:51 PM

I never believed it to begin w/ so it's not really news to me. 

JenE1098
by on Feb. 12, 2009 at 7:55 PM

Here's one article about the doctor lieing, manipulating findings....
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/health/article5683671.ece 

              ~Jennifer


   happy valentine      having chocolate

me-n-mygirls
by Shontell on Feb. 12, 2009 at 7:56 PM


Quoting KairisMama:

I NEVER thought there was a link between the two. It always sounded a bit out there to me. This ruling makes sense.


agreed me too

~~~Shontell~~~

gjcarr003
by on Feb. 12, 2009 at 7:57 PM

I never believed it.  A child is either born with the gene or their not.  Vaxing or not vaxing isn't going to change their genetic make up.


Mom2LiamNMolly
by on Feb. 12, 2009 at 9:05 PM

I tend to agree that there is no connection... I think that some parents are so desperate for something/someone to blame for their Child's Autism that they grasp straws being put out there by people like Jenny McCarthy. What we need to do is to find out a true reason that Autism has gone up to 1/150 kids...

my-heart-belongs-to3

lily0163E
by on Feb. 12, 2009 at 9:09 PM

I wouldn't say its such a radical claim considering how much damage mercury can do to one's body. I know adults with heavy metal toxicity. I would not say that mercury is safe. I don't know if there is a link, but if there is we will never hear about it because profit is the bottom line.

Quoting cookieisaSAHM:

i agree. I am tired of all of the radical claims that vaxs cause autism. I vax my child and will continue to do so. This ruling sounds right to me.

Quoting KairisMama:

I NEVER thought there was a link between the two. It always sounded a bit out there to me. This ruling makes sense.

 


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