The special "vaccine court" ruled yesterday, in three separate cases, each of which was testing a different strategy for claiming that vaccines cause autism, that there was no evidence that vaccines caused autism in any of the cases. The judges rule against the notion that MMR vaccine causes autism, and against the notion that thimerosal used as a preservative in vaccines causes autism, and against the notion that some combination of vaccines and thimerosal causes autism.
I just wanted to quote one of the judges, George Hastings. Not only did he rule that the vaccine-autism hypothesis was "very wrong," but he also wrote:
"Unfortunately, the Cedillos have been misled by physicians who are guilty, in my view, of gross medical misjudgment."I'd like to think that any doctor who is telling parents that vaccines might cause autism would read this and then look again at the scientific evidence. One more quote from Judge Hastings:
"...the evidence was overwhelmingly contrary to the petitioners’ contentions. The expert witnesses presented by the respondent were far better qualified, far more experienced, and far more persuasive than the petitioners’ experts, concerning most of the key points. The numerous medical studies concerning these issues, performed by medical scientists worldwide, have come down strongly against the petitioners’ contentions. Considering all of the evidence, I found that the petitioners have failed to demonstrate that thimerosal-containing vaccines can contribute to causing immune dysfunction, or that the MMR vaccine can contribute to causing either autism or gastrointestinal dysfunction."I hope that these cases, and the publicity today, will reassure many parents that they needn't worry when giving vaccines to their children. The far greater worry is that previously-controlled diseases such as measles will make a comeback, as is already happening.
For more details on the recent ruling and other analysis, I recommend the Holford Watch blog here, and Steven Novella's Neurologica blog entry, here. A good explanation of the vaccine court is here.