In a big blow to parents who believe vaccines caused their children's autism, a special court ruled Thursday that the shots are not to blame.The plaintiffs had to prove that it was more likely than not that the autism symptoms in the children were directly related to a combination of the measles-mumps-rubella shots and other shots that at the time carried a mercury-containing preservative called thimerosal.
The judges in the cases said the evidence was overwhelmingly contrary to the parents' claims — and backed years of science that found no risk.
"It was abundantly clear that petitioners' theories of causation were speculative and unpersuasive," the court concluded in one of a trio of cases ruled on Thursday.
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The ruling was anxiously awaited by health authorities and families who began presenting evidence in June 2007. More than 5,500 claims have been filed by families seeking compensation through the government's Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. The claims are reviewed by special masters serving on the U.S. Court of Claims.
They could not.
This comes on the heels of exposing Andrew Wakefield as a fraud. It was his bogus study claiming a link between vaccines and autism that started us on this destructive path, which has caused untold injuries and costs as a result of people choosing not to seek vaccinations for easily and wholly preventable communicable diseases. He fudged the data and created causality where none existed by claiming that children in his exceedingly small study suffered ill-effects following vaccination when several of the children were already exhibiting developmental disabilities prior to vaccination.
Meanwhile, we continue learning that autism has both genetic and non-genetic causes and that the increased awareness and evolving definitions autism is responsible for the increased rate of diagnosis. There is no one single genetic marker for autism, which makes figuring out treatments and possible cures all the more difficult.
Also, Kaiser Permanente has been sued in a class action by parents of autistic children to demand treatment.
The suit says that Kaiser Permanente’s Kaiser Foundation Health Plan pays for speech, occupational and physical therapy, but not when the individual is diagnosed with autism. The plaintiffs, who are the parents of children with autism, say the insurer told them that their children’s needs are educational and should be handled by their school districts.