Vaccines Don’t Cause Autism
The ongoing vaccines-cause-autism debate has taken a new turn recently. There’s really little left to be debated, since the scientific evidence has overwhelmingly disproven a link (check out this report to start), but the controversy is being kept alive by money issues.
Under a 1986 law, parents can bring children thought to be injured by vaccines into a special program of the federal Court of Claims. It can be extremely costly to get autistic children the medical, psychiatric and educational services they need, and many parents are seeking help through lawsuits. About 5,000 parents of autism spectrum children have sued in federal court to get compensation for damage they say was caused by vaccines. The first rulings on those hearings aren’t expected until this spring.
But a few dozen of these cases have slipped into the U.S. District Courts, and the first major decision, which surfaced recently, indicates that judges aren’t buying the testimony of scientists who believe in a link.
Meanwhile, an important new study from California has driven another nail into this undying corpse. The study showed that while thimerosal—the mercury-containing preservative many parents blame for causing autism—has been nearly eliminated from pediatric vaccines in California, the numbers of kids diagnosed with the disease keep rising.