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U.S. court rules again against vaccine-autism claims

Posted in News by Skepdude on March 15, 2010


WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Vaccines that contain a mercury-based preservative called thimerosal cannot cause autism on their own, a special U.S. court ruled on Friday, dealing one more blow to parents seeking to blame vaccines for their children’s illness.

The special U.S. Court of Federal Claims ruled that vaccines could not have caused the autism of an Oregon boy, William Mead, ending his family’s quest for reimbursement.

“The Meads believe that thimerosal-containing vaccines caused William’s regressive autism. As explained below, the undersigned finds that the Meads have not presented a scientifically sound theory,” Special Master George Hastings, a former tax claims expert at the Department of Justice, wrote in his ruling.

In February 2009, the court ruled against three families who claimed vaccines caused their children’s autism, saying they had been “misled by physicians who are guilty, in my view, of gross medical misjudgment”.

The families sought payment under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, a no-fault system that has a $2.5 billion fund built up from a 75-cent-per-dose tax on vaccines.


2 Responses

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  1. red rabbit said, on March 16, 2010 at 11:11 PM

    Sometimes it feels like people are treating their kids as a winning lottery ticket.

    An uncharitable thought, I know. Frustration and disappointment, worries for the future- these are huge for parents of kids with autism.

    But the need to blame someone else, sometimes it seems to take over.

    • Skepdude said, on March 17, 2010 at 1:04 PM

      We want to be in control of our lives as much as possible, especially when our kids are involved. As a parent I can understand the urge to find answers, even if such answers don’t exist. An answer, any answer, at times makes you feel better than not knowing, and that’s I think what is going on with some parents of autistic children.

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