Court Rules Vaccines Don't Cause Autism

Special court says no link between autism and vaccines

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Court Rules Vaccines Don’t Cause Autism

Is that enough to quell parents’ fears?

-Julie Ryan Evans

In the ongoing, emotional debate about the potential link between autism and vaccines, a special court yesterday found there is no link.

The ruling was made by a court consisting of “special masters” who in 2007 began studying the cases of three families who filed a claim and were seeking compensation from The Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. In the course of their study they considered 5,000 pages of testimony from experts and 939 medical articles.

“I feel deep sympathy and admiration for the Cedillo family,” Special Master George L. Hastings Jr. wrote in his ruling about one of the families. “And I have no doubt that the families of countless other autistic children, families that cope every day with the tremendous challenges of caring for autistic children, are similarly deserving of sympathy and admiration. However, I must decide this case not on sentiment, but by analyzing the evidence. In this case the evidence advanced by the petitioners has fallen far short of demonstrating such a link.”

As a parent who has spent countless hours agonizing over whether to vaccinate, whether to delay vaccinations or to just do them and hope for the best, I’d like to say that the ruling makes me more comfortable vaccinating my children. But sadly it doesn’t … not fully anyway.

There’s too much still unknown about this mysterious disease – too many smart, dedicated parents and physicians who say otherwise. Too many who have seen firsthand their children slip away from them after a vaccine.

Some experts say it’s just a coincidence, and that because the shots are given at the same time that autism’s first signs rear themselves, there only appears to be a link. But mothers’ instincts are incredibly strong … and to take a chance of losing your child in the world of autism, to have your life ripped apart by the often-disabling disorder by something that could possibly prevented, how do you make that leap?

My husband and I do, in fact, make the leap with our children, and it’s one of the hardest things to do. The fear and dread I have after each and every shot is overwhelming as I watch and wait for any behavioral changes, any sign of trauma. Thankfully, for us there haven’t been any at this point.

We choose to vaccinate because we believe the threat of the diseases children could encounter without the vaccines outweighs the other risks – that’s how I get in my car and drive my children to the doctor, sit them down on that crinkly white paper and hold their arms still with the chance in my mind that the shot they’re getting could lead to autism. But my belief is only my belief because I have to make a choice, not because I feel confident in it.

I asked Kim Stagliano, an amazing woman, writer and mother who is raising three daughters with autism, what she thought of today’s ruling. Here was her response:

As an autism advocate, I hear from parents whose children have been vaccine injured far too often. Last year, a court ruled that vaccinations contributed to the onset of Hannah Poling’s autism. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of cases are quietly settled.

Vaccinations are not subject to product liability lawsuits like other products and even or drugs. They are protected, and lawsuits go into “special courts.” Vaccination is public health policy, meaning it is based on large groups not individuals. And while certainly we want to protect “the herd” and no one wants deadly diseases for their children, including me, when it’s your “baby calf” who develops a seizure disorder, stops talking and suddenly requires a lifetime of care, protection takes on a different meaning.

Different, indeed.

So, while this ruling may offer some reassurance, and it’s great to see autism and its causes getting the scrutiny they deserve, it’s certainly not the final word we’ll hear on the subject. It still doesn’t take away the close-your-eyes-and-just-jump element, and it doesn’t offer any guarantees.

In the meantime though, it will give parents some more information to tip the scales one way or another in such a weighty decision.

I just hope it’s right …

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0 thoughts on “Court Rules Vaccines Don't Cause Autism

  1. Hi, Julie. I’d like to remind your readers that last year another court awarded a judgement to the Poling family stating that Hannah’s vaccinations did contribute to her onset of autism. This subject is far from closed. I wish it were so. We’d all like to have full confidence in the vaccine program. But children and adults are injured by vaccines every day – Gardasil has over 10,000 adverse injury reports, 261 serious disabling events and 29 deaths since its launch in 2006. And reports are like rape stats – grossly under reported.

    Trust your instinct and read Dr. Bob Sears’ new book, “The Vaccination Book” for realistic options to make sure the vaccines you give your precious children are administered as safely as possible.


  2. How can this ruling make anyone feel safer?
    They ruled in this case that it has not been *proven by attorneys*. They said they did not prove their case. When they ruled in the Poling case the media was all over this and the headline was Vaccines did indeed cause Autism in this girl. When they found in favor of the Poling family so many people said “well these are just people not scientists”. But now the media is proclaiming that this is proof. I can bet there was no laboratory in the room where they were discussing and deliberating this decision.
    Our child was fully vaccinated, we agonized over his regression and believed it when we were told that there was no connection to vaccines and what was happening to him.
    Julie, you say that you agonized and took your kids anyway hoping for the best?
    We have become gamblers with our lives and the lives of our children.
    Our son lost his gamble.

  3. Fortunately for me, none of my children were injured by their childhood vaccinations. A woman I used to work with had a child that went from being happy, bright and personable to being wheelchair-bound, incoherent, unable to do any basic care for herself and basically the intellectual and physical progression equivalent of a newborn child. The fact that all of these symptoms started IMMEDIATELY after her shots was not lost on anyone who knew her, and the poor family went through appeal after appeal to get a judgment in their favour, not to “be paid for having a broken child” like I’ve actually heard people say, but to be able to pay for her extensive care and special equipment that will be necessary for her entire life, and no one has any idea how long that may be.
    I am so sick and tired of these drug companies monopolizing the industry, lying to the public and not having be be accountable for any of their bad acts. The makers of Gardasil should be ashamed of themselves, too! Lobbying to have their vaccine mandatory for girls under a certain age, charging upward of $400 per shot of a three-shot-series, and the thing, at best, MIGHT protect against three or four of the more than 70 different variations of the HPV that MIGHT cause cervical cancer! I had cervical cancer, but it wasn’t caused by an HPV, it’s hereditary in our family. Mights and ifs are not enough to make me shell out more than a GRAND for such a narrow spectrum of diseases.
    I’m so disgusted by them trying to make it mandatory!
    Sorry to write another book, I tend to do that when I feel so strongly about a topic like this…


  4. We also choose to vaccinate- I feel like the risks are too great not too but I too dread getting the vaccinations because part of me worries that something could happen. I struggle especially with the flu shot each year which our dr recommends our entire family have since my daughter has asthma…it is a hard decision but I feel like I have to trust our drs.

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