Saturday, March 13, 2010

Court Rulings Find No Link Between Vaccines and Autism

Rolling back the anti-vaccine crowd is going to take lots of time and effort, particularly because they are insistent that there is a link between autism and vaccines that simply isn't supported by the science.

Three judges came to the same conclusion after hearing cases in the Omnibus Autism Proceeding, which is a consolidated proceeding to handle cases where individuals claim that vaccines caused autism:
The three rulings are the second step in the Omnibus Autism Proceeding begun in 2002 in the United States Court of Federal Claims. The proceeding combines the cases of 5,000 families with autistic children seeking compensation from the federal vaccine injury fund, which comes from a 75-cent tax on every dose of vaccine.

Families of children hurt by vaccines — for example, who suffer fatal allergic reactions — are paid from it but are unable to sue the vaccine manufacturer. The fund has never accepted that vaccines cause autism; the omnibus proceeding, with nine test cases based on three different theories, was begun in 2002.

The antivaccine groups also lost the first three cases, which were decided in February 2009 by the same three judges, known as special masters. All three rulings were upheld on their first appeals.

Defenders of vaccines said they were pleased by Friday’s decision, while opponents were dismissive, saying they would never get a fair ruling from the omnibus arrangement.

In the three cases brought against the government, by the parents of Jordan King, Colin R. Dwyer and William Mead, all three special masters used strong language in dismissing the expert evidence from the families’ lawyers.
It would come as no surprise that the anti-vaxxers are dismissive, particularly when the science simply doesn't support their position and the key paper that underpinned their theory was thoroughly repudiated as junk science.

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