Special Court Says Vaccines Are Not To Blame for Autism

“It’s a great day for science, it’s a great day for America’s children when the court rules in favor of science.”—Dr. Paul Offit on yesterday’s special court ruling.

Yesterday, we posted about the Times of London story about Andrew Wakefield’s manipulation of research to show a link between vaccines and autism. Later, a special court ruled against three families with children with autism seeking compensation from the federal vaccine-injury fund.

From the New York Times:

In the three 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 and rubella vaccine, or its combination with 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 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 M.M.R. vaccine can contribute to causing either autism or gastrointestinal dysfunction….”

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

Paul Offit’s Autism False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure examines the ways in which some doctors and researchers have led families with autistic children astray and diverted time and resources away from better understanding the causes of and possible cures for autism.

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