Court: No Link Between Autism and Vaccines
A federal appeals court has ruled that there’s no link between autism and childhood vaccines. Or, something like that:
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has just upheld lower court findings that reject a causal connection between childhood vaccines and the onset of autism.
The ruling came in Cedillo v. Secretary of Health and Human Services, which was the first of a series of test cases heard by special masters for the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in 2007. The claims court picked several such cases to test different theories of causation advanced in the roughly 5,000 cases alleging a link to autism filed under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986.
“We see no legal error in the standards applied by the special master” in determining there was no causal connection between the mercury-based preservative in the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine administered to Michelle Cedillo in 1995 and the autism and retardation symptoms she began to show afterward.The claims court upheld the special master’s findings last year, and the federal circuit decision today affirmed that ruling.
The pseudo-scientific belief that vaccines were tied to autism and other health problems has been around for a long time, causing untold parents to forgo immunizing their children. This, in turn, has led to the return of diseases that had been relegated to developing world status decades ago.
It’s bizarre to see a medical question resolved in court rather than by a group of medical experts. But this is America.