A US Federal court designed to provide compensation to children injured from vaccines, has declared that evidence supporting an alleged causal link between autism and a mercury-containing preservative in vaccines is ‘scientifically unsupportable’.

Congress set up the special judicial forum, sometimes called the “vaccine court,” in 1986 to address claims over vaccine safety, following pressure from parents and anti-vaccine lobbies who insisted there was a link.

Three test cases brought before the court were to pave the way for a class action by thousands of parents of children affected by autism spectrum disorder (ASD), but after reviewing the cases it was deemed there was no convincing evidence.

The vaccines and autism theory was popularised by Dr Andrew Wakefield following the publishing of his 1998 Lancet paper, which has subsequently been retracted. Wakefield was the subject of the longest investigation in the history of the UK General Medical Council for misconduct surrounding research for this paper. The GMC found he had been “callous” irresponsible” and “dishonest”, was paid by lawyers to prove a link between vaccines and autism, had a patent submitted for his own single measles vaccine and conducted unnecessary and painful invasive procedures on children without the correct ethics approvals.

Another blow to his reputation came when his ‘monkey study’ paper, due to be published any day, was withdrawn from Neurotoxicology. This paper was lauded by the anti-vax movement, since it presented evidence for impaired neurological development in baby macaques given vaccines containing thimerosal – the mercury containing component.

It is expected that Wakefield’s work will never again be accepted for publication in any reputable scientific journal. A decision about his status as a doctor in the UK is expected to be made soon, but it is predicted he will be be struck off. He was recently pressured into resigning from his position as director of the alternative medicine clinic Thoughtful House in Texas.

The current status of Wakefield is unknown but his career is in tatters.

In the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, Special masters released more than 600 pages of findings none of which could find a convincing link between vaccination and autism.

Special Master Patricia Campbell-Smith said in her conclusion of test case one, William P. Mead, that the “Petitioners’ theory of vaccine-related causation is scientifically unsupportable.”

“In the absence of a sound medical theory causally connecting William’s received vaccines to his autistic condition, the undersigned cannot find the proposed sequence of cause and effect to be logical or temporally appropriate. Having failed to satisfy their burden of proof under the articulated legal standard, petitioners cannot prevail on their claim of vaccine-related causation.”

In the second test case, Special Master George L. Hastings Jr. wrote,

“After studying the extensive evidence in this case for many months, I am convinced that the opinions provided by the petitioners’ experts in this case, advising the King family that there is a causal connection between thimerosal-containing vaccines and Jordan’s autism, have been quite wrong.”

In the final test case, Special Master Denise K. Vowell wrote of Colin R. Dwyer, a minor, that his parents, Timothy and Maria Dwyer,

“have not demonstrated by a preponderance of the evidence that Colin’s condition was either caused or significantly aggravated by his vaccinations. Thus, they have failed to establish entitlement to compensation and the petition for compensation is therefore denied.”

As predicted, anti-vaccine lobbies are up in arms, claiming government conspiracy to protect the national vaccine programme.

Thimerosal was removed from all childhood vaccines, purely as a precautionary measure, in 1999.


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  • http://twitter.com/dreadpiratemick Mick

    They’re really accusing us of “blaming the victims”? What the heck?

  • Mark

    Must also add that the linked website is in the pockets of all the “natural health” providers.

  • Mark

    What do you think Maggie? :)

  • http://scepticsbook.com Maggie

    Do you have any peer reviewed science for your claim? Or just a link to a website?

  • Szilvia Szileczki

    Please, check this out below.
    03/14/10 – Breaking news: the “Autism Court” (the Vaccine Injury Compensation agency compensation administrators) deny any link between autism and mercury containing vaccines; and besides, says the govt, vaccines don’t contain much mercury anymore… NOT!
    Read General Bert and Dr Rima’s powerful Push Back news release on this latest govt outrage!
    http://www.healthfreedomusa.org/?p=4836

    From General Stubblebine: “I am confident the government will eventually have to admit this horrendous mistake which is condemning thousands of children to devastating injury.”

    From Dr. Rima: “The agency based its decision on outmoded and seriously flawed science… When environmental toxins are compounded by repeated toxic vaccine injections, assaulting the immune system again and again, these unfortunate children are the victims of medical abuse. We must focus on the victims, rather than blaming them as being somehow “defective”…”

  • Chris

    I don’t know. Here is a summary of the Autism Omnibus cases:
    http://neurodiversity.com/weblog/article/189/

    She also has information on some of the cases where damages were awarded.

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  • http://Www.David-driscoll.com David Driscoll

    Is this the same body that in a few test cases did award compensation to a few immuno-supressed kids (I remember hearing about it on The Skeptics Guide to the Universe). Because then the anti-vaxxers loved them !