The Skeptical Teacher

Musings of a science teacher & skeptic in an age of woo.

Vaccine Court Finds No Link to Autism

Posted by mattusmaximus on March 13, 2010

Breaking news just in from CNN – good news for science-based medicine and skeptics, bad news for alt-med, anti-vaccine nutwads like Jenny McCarthy. It’s interesting what happens when these issues are hashed out in a court where evidence & logical reasoning are required for argumentation, as opposed to the usual overly-emotional & irrational nonsense spouted by the anti-vaxxers in public.  Of course, just wait until they start moaning about how the vaccine court is part of the Big Pharma / Big Medicine / Big Government conspiracy, and that’s why they lost (and definitely not because they are deluded or driven by ideology – nah, couldn’t be that!)

What is the vaccine court?

The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program was established in 1988. Through the program, known as the “vaccine court,” people who believe they suffered injury as a result of compulsory childhood vaccines may petition the federal government for monetary damages. The claims are decided by the Office of Special Masters, a part of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

Here’s the article from CNN…

Vaccine Court Finds No Link to Autism

A federal court ruled Friday that the evidence supporting an alleged causal link between autism and a mercury-containing preservative in vaccines is unpersuasive, and that the families of children diagnosed with autism are not entitled to compensation.

Special masters of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims released more than 600 pages of findings after reviewing three test cases and finding all the claims wanting.

“Petitioners’ theory of vaccine-related causation is scientifically unsupportable,” wrote Special Master Patricia Campbell-Smith in her conclusion about William P. Mead, whose parents, George and Victoria Mead, had brought one of the suits.

“In the absence of a sound medical theory causally connecting William’s received vaccines to his autistic condition, the undersigned cannot find the proposed sequence of cause and effect to be logical or temporally appropriate. Having failed to satisfy their burden of proof under the articulated legal standard, petitioners cannot prevail on their claim of vaccine-related causation.”

Read more…

But if you think this is the final word on the subject, think again – also a recent related story from CNN…

Supreme Court accepts appeal over vaccine safety

Parents who say that a range of preventive vaccines given their young children can cause serious health problems will have their appeal heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The justices Monday agreed to decide whether drug makers can be sued outside a special judicial forum set up by Congress in 1986 to address specific claims about safety. The so-called vaccine court has handled such disputes and was designed to ensure a reliable, steady supply of the drugs by reducing the threat of lawsuits against pharmaceutical firms.

The questions in the latest case are whether such liability claims can proceed, if the vaccine-related injuries could have been avoided by better product design, and if federal officials had approved another, allegedly safer drug. Oral arguments in the dispute will be held in the fall.

Read more…

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2 Responses to “Vaccine Court Finds No Link to Autism”

  1. Kelley Lynch said

    Well, I see the jaded hearts of steel think they have all the answers. Vaccine Court is the same as worker’s comp and, regardless of your views on medicine (traditional or so-called alternative which pre-date so-called traditional), it is NOT the exclusive remedy for injury. Nothing that is hashed out in “court” is all that interesting unless you’re interested in truly deranged logic and circuitous thinking, hypocritical rationales, and the good old boys network. Of course, everyone is entitled to enjoy what charms their minds. Parents of children with injuries, possibly from vaccines, are not over-emotional and irrational. The courts are NOT the place to has out scientific findings – unless you believe I should sit around with a bunch of judges and come up with a medical regime that works personally for you – based on my hunches and what sounds logical and reasonable. Who knows if Big Pharma’s involved with Vaccine Court. Big Pharma is a problem and to say otherwise is absurd – unless, of course, you’re part of the culture promoting inconceivable drug abuse (prescription or otherwise) to the American people.

    And, of course, these parents can sue outside of Vaccine Court. Maybe Mommy government should fork over the evidence they have to the American people who paid for it so we don’t have to be insulted by a group of judges sitting in judgment of the “unknown” and truly irrational logic. The people footed the bill and government should hand over the evidence and stop the insanity.

    • mattusmaximus said

      Ah yes, when all else fails, the last vestige of the hardcore anti-vaccination ideologue (such as Kelley Lynch) is…

      conspiracy

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