Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Supreme Court and the Autism Vaccine Litigation
Although the doctor who did the study that said there was a link between mercury in vaccines and autism later was found to have "made it all up," there are thousands of parents who are convinced that the vaccine they were forced to get for their children are linked to their subsequent regression into autism. And the doctor is still saying the statistics were not manipulated and it was a good study.
Although we participated in the autism vaccine litigation for Joey, I am undecided as to how I feel about this decision. Justin and my mother firmly believe that Joey was showing signs of autism before he got his MMR vaccine. I remember it differently. The question, in our case, is does it really matter? I don't know that Joey is ever going to require the special care that children with more severe cases of autism will require over their lifetimes.
I do find it very interesting that the two dissenting opinions to the final decision made by the Supreme Court were made by the only two women judges on the panel. I don't know if there is any meaning to that, but I find it interesting.
This decision was based on the case of Hannah Bruesewitz, who developed a severe seizure disorder after receiving her DPT vaccine and will need a lifetime of care. Lower courts had agreed that the disorder was a direct result of the vaccine, but the government needs to protect the vaccine manufacturers. Hence, they send the parents back to the kangaroo court which claims to "investigate" the claim before roundly denying that the vaccine was responsible. I think my problem with this decision is the fact that no "objective" court ever gets to see the evidence. A person who believes they have been injured by a vaccine must go before the government's own watchdogs to ask for compensation and they are well paid to find against the plaintiff. The Supreme Court has made sure, with the decision in the link above, that civil courts will never be able to objectively listen to the evidence and make an informed judgment in these matters.
Do I think Joey has autism because of his MMR vaccination? I don't know what to think. I remember him regressing after he got the shot. That could have been a coincidence. It could have been. But was it? There's really no way to ever know, but I am outnumbered by the other members of my family who keep telling me to let it go.
I think my problem with vaccines is that the government is now requiring that we vaccinate the hell out of our children. They require somewhere in the range of 65 shots between birth and the time they enter kindergarten. Can anyone honestly tell me that we aren't putting an awful lot of toxins into little tiny bodies with underdeveloped immune systems? Yes, vaccines save lives. Obviously. We wiped out polio and small pox with vaccines and that's a good thing. But requiring parents to get their children shots for every single disease in the world...is that a good idea? Doesn't this just make for stronger diseases that are more antibiotic and treatment resistant?
I've gotten the shots that were required. But the flu shot every year? No. When they offered Joey a booster on his chicken pox vaccine, I again said no. Same with the meningitis shot. It's just too much into an already damaged central nervous system. I weigh the benefits and the risks and decide, especially for Joey, that it probably just isn't necessary for him. Since they do not know what causes autism, then I am not going to risk further injury to whatever part of his brain is damaged already or was tripped genetically to cause the autism.
Anyway, it's an interesting question and I certainly don't have the answer. If you are interested in what the Supreme Court had to say, click on the link.