Omnibus Autism Proceeding closing statements: thimerosal

7 Jun

While the vaccine hearing is not entirely concluded, apparently the portion where the public can listen in by phone, or download the audio, is over. There will be a little more testimony in July from some experts for the government who couldn’t make it in May, and the petitioners will probably have some of their experts back to try to rebut what those experts have to say.

For this blog entry I have transcribed the of the end of Mr. Powers’ closing argument for the parents’ lawyers (the Petitioners Steering Committee, aka PSC) and all of Mr. Matanoski’s closing argument made on May 30th, Day 15 (the relevant audio clip is found here.) My take on Mr. Powers closing remarks summing up the case the PSC had made for the mercury parents’ side was that he spent perhaps most of it whining about how mean the Dept. of Justice lawyers were (!) and explaining how rules of discovery are applied in civil court (which is apart from how discovery is handled in vaccine court.) I don’t remember him making any big points on how his experts were right, but maybe I missed them.

Where my transcription begins, Mr. Powers had just been explaining that they expected more science to come in that would be supporting their side and that they’d be sending it to the Special Masters and to the DoJ lawyers hot off the press, apparently. Considering the kind of stuff that the PSC has presented at the last minute previously(several times) I wouldn’t think that what they see as being in the pipeline would have any weight to it. What’s bizarre, in my opinion, is that the PSC has been saying that the science that supports their position was being finished up and would be “in” any minute now, for about the past 4 or 5 years.

Mr. Powers: … The petitioners will do everything that we can to bring that information to the Special Masters, to share it with the respondent, but ultimately with the idea that litigation strategy in this program is really not what should be driving the consideration of the science but ultimately,again the unique position of the respondent here reflecting the responsible of the mission to keep up to date consider the science, protect public health, consider the science and and apply it in a way that’s gunna provide the best information to the three of you in deciding the general issues and the specific issues in all of these cases. Thank you.

Special Master Campbell-Smith (?): Mr. Matanoski.

Mr. Matanoski: Thank you ma’am. In putting together my closing remarks, though the time that we have is brief, I would feel it would be tremendously an error on my part not to acknowledge the families that were involved here, Mead and King family. probably the most poignant moments in this trial was hearing the … testimony of Mylinda King and George Mead discussing William and Jordan. We thank them for their participation. Certainly our hearts go out to them and to all the families that have autistic children. We may be litigating one side of this issue but we certainly have tremendous respect and admiration for all of them.

You have a threshold matter before you that’s a scientific matter, however, that you must address.
And obviously a scientific question necessarily turns on scientific evidence and there are certain legal standards that must be applied in this courtroom and every courtroom to how you handle scientific evidence, indeed what can even be considered reliable scientific evidence. The supreme court has spoken: it’s evidence that must be tested, subject to publication and peer review. It’s evidence that has general acceptance in the scientific community.

On the PSC side of the ledger of the evidence you have not heard that yet, you’ve heard speculation– pure and simple.

What you’ve heard in terms of comments from Mr. Powers this morning suggests that that evidence as far as the petitioners are concerned, the PSC is concerned, is still not available. He talks about the dynamics of science, and ongoing studies, which in some ways may imply a lack of evidence, scientific evidence that is available to the PSC, at this point, to prevail.

Now the PSC’s case started with a curious approach they put on evidence, or put on testimony, that was designed to undermine evidence against their claim. That was the testimony of Dr. Greenland, but Dr. Greenland’s testimony and his whole postulate depended on a supposition. The supposition was that the petitioners would prove to you a case that their mechanism applied to clearly regressive cases only.

Now you’ve heard from Dr. Deth and his hypothesis, who said that it did not apply only to clearly regressive cases.

You heard this morning from Kinsbourne who said that he hasn’t even looked to see if his hypothesis would have any application to non-regressive cases. So he can’t even address whether his hypothesis is only limited to clearly regressive cases.

All of the abundant epidemiological evidence that has addressed the precise matter that is whether thimerosal containing vaccines can cause autism or are associated with autism is back on the table. It never was off. Dr. Greenland’s supposition is in error.

If you follow the mechanisms proposed by the PSC here to their logical conclusions they fail to show that thimerosal containing vaccines are the cause, They propose that inorganic mercury is the causative agent. Inorganic mercury is not specific to childhood vaccines, it’s in what we eat, it’s in the air we breathe. It may be, if we have poor dental health, it may be in the fillings in our mouth.
They fail to specify how much inorganic mercury is necessary to cause autism
their experts consistently refused to say, in fact when they did say they essentially said, any amount.
They’ve pushed the threshold down so that any exposure to inorganic mercury could be a potential cause for autism.
They’ve described causal mechanisms that are so general that they apply to virtually every disease and to every case of autism.

Oxidative stress is seen in conjunction with almost every disease. You even see it after trotting or jogging you even get it after you bang your thumb … hammering in a nail.

Neuroinflammation is seen in a variety of neurological diseases including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease for example.

And in the Vargas study every single autistic patient in that study had neuroinflammation: regressive, non-regressive, young and old alike. These are nonspecific causal mechanisms that are proposed to you. In the end you could just as easily conclude that a tuna sandwich or a dental filling could cause autism, as a childhood vaccine. And to flip it around you could just as easily consider that an 80 year old man who received a flu vaccine would get Alzheimers from it.

Mr. Powers commented about uh what I describe I guess is, or his description, of a smear campaign or heavy handed treatment of the petitioners experts. You take the witnesses as they come. Now perhaps there was an explanation and you’ve heard it for the events that transpired with his departure from the University of Toronto. But again you take the experts as they come. When Dr Deth and said that he is willing to come before you say that his hypothesis you should rely on it to make a finding of this import, even though he’s not willing to say to the scientific community that it’s acceptable without further testing, I think that bears consideration.

Dr. Kinsbourne when he sat in the witness chair, he put his credibility on the line. He’s coming before you saying, “Rely on me. Believe me, Trust me as an impartial scientist.” Because that’s how he’s coming to testify to you. You deserve to know whether he gets that kind of trust.
You know, he’s known to you, you’ve seen him here many times. If you go back and look at the cases that are currently active in front of the Special Masters’ office you’ll find that he’s retained or offered an expert opinion saying vaccines cause harm in over 30 cases. In the past year he’s authored one article in a medical journal. I think that tells you whether he’s coming to you as a witness who spends his time in the courtroom or as a, an impartial scientific expert witness who is adding some value to what your deliberations are from the point of view of reliable science.

And good science and reliable science comes from testing, publication, critical review, validation, verification of results. It’s performed by those who work in the fields, apply scientific method to their research.

The supreme court tells us that it can’t be untested hypotheses, as Dr. Deth has essentially described his causal mechanism.

And good science won’t be first revealed in the courtroom as Dr. Kinsbourne’s hypothesis is. But it’s going to see the light of day through critical discussions of the research among the scientists themselves.

It’s not reliable science, indeed it’s not any kind of science, to sit at your computer to take your last litigation driven report, run “find and replace”; find “measles vaccine” and replace it with “thimerosal containing vaccine.” A litigation driven contrivance such as that has no place in the courtroom. The supreme court has mandated that.

Now when the trial began, Mr. Powers described thimerosal containing vaccines as a relic of history.
Perhaps that was a reference to allowing some leeway, in what your evidentiary standards are, would be to (provide) some grading on the curve as to the science you would accept. In fact they’ve done to make this anything but a relic of history. The day that they said that they held a press conference to discuss the case. Their experts are here are telling you that trace amounts of mercury that are in vaccines, that the flu vaccine could be enough to cause autism.

Whether we like it or not, this issue before you is of great importance the issue before you, great attention has been drawn to it.
Just last week TIME magazine had vaccines and the safety of vaccines as a cover issue.
Many eyes are going to be turned to this court to see how you handle the scientific evidence before you and it’s not just the parents in front of you who have brought claims,
it’s for parents who haven’t brought claims who have autistic children and who are wondering if by getting them vaccinated they are somehow responsible for that condition,
it’s for scientists who work in relevant fields,
it’s from those who treat autism,
and it’s going to be viewed by parents who are wondering whether they should get their children vaccinated or not.

I’m going to be blunt at this very late hour and having brief remarks. Are you going to decide that question on the say-so of Dr. Deth and Dr. Kinsbourne, or you going to decide that question on the evidence given to you by witnesses like Dr. Catherine Lord, Dr. Eric Fombonne and professor Sir Michael Rutter.

Are you going to look at and consider the fact that every reputable … independent medical organization that has considered this issue the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the European Medicine Association, the World Health Organization, have all concluded that thimerosal containing vaccines do not cause autism.

Are you also going to consider that every court that has had to consider this claim before it, before you have considered it, in fact, has found that the claim is so lacking in merit that it should not even be presented to a jury.

Reliable scientific evidence at this point is all on one side of the ledger. Vaccines don’t cause autism. Thank you.

The audio clip:
http://static.boomp3.com/player.swf?song=bcjjum1boomp3.com

30 Responses to “Omnibus Autism Proceeding closing statements: thimerosal”

  1. Joseph June 7, 2008 at 04:55 #

    It’s not reliable science, indeed it’s not any kind of science, to sit at your computer to take your last litigation driven report, run “find and replace”; find “measles vaccine” and replace it with “thimerosal containing vaccine.” A litigation driven contrivance such as that has no place in the courtroom. The supreme court has mandated that.

    Did Kinsbourne actually do that? Hilarious. Haven’t these guys figured out by now that they can’t get away with these kinds of shenanigans?

  2. Ms. Clark June 7, 2008 at 05:32 #

    Yes, apparently Marcel Kinsbourne did exactly that. It came out in the cross examination of Kinsbourne. It’s bizarre. He originally wasnn’t going to be a witness in the thimerosal portion, if I recall, and he was added as a thimerosal-causes-neuroinflammation guy fairly recently.

  3. Sullivan June 7, 2008 at 06:20 #

    I don’t think the Kinsbourne’s reports on on the docket for comparison.

    This is just pathetic.

  4. Ms. Clark June 7, 2008 at 06:47 #

    Doesn’t someone get to review how much expert witnesses get paid for preparing reports? I hope this doesn’t look good for Kinsbourne’s bottome line. The weird thing is that the DoJ had found that he’d been accused of billing for things he hadn’t done at the University of Toronto. He filed a grievance and they ended up not firing him, if I understood it correctly, but still…makes me wonder what had precipitated that inquiry.

  5. Kev June 7, 2008 at 07:53 #

    _”Are you also going to consider that every court that has had to consider this claim before it, before you have considered it, in fact, has found that the claim is so lacking in merit that it should not even be presented to a jury.”_

    Thats the sound of a knockout blow.

  6. Anne June 7, 2008 at 21:00 #

    I listened to Kinsbourne’s testimony once through while doing other things, so I could be wrong, but I *think* he testified that he didn’t draw any conclusions, but was only presenting a “proposal” or “model” of biological plausibility, which is all they have to prove. It just seemed kind of cynical to me.

    I think that Tom Powers, in his closing, was asking the special masters to allow the petitioners to put in evidence after the close of evidence, if they come up with any. Normally, this wouldn’t be allowed, but Powers is arguing that this is a special kind of proceeding that isn’t subject to the usual rules, which he refers to as “litigation strategy.” At the same time, he laments the lack of the usual rules when he complains about the examination relating to the credibility of the petitioners’ experts.

    I’m still trying to collect my thoughts about what happened, and how the petitioners were painted into a corner.

  7. Ms. Clark June 7, 2008 at 21:16 #

    As I understand it the evidence needs to meet the Daubert standard even if they don’t have a separate Daubert hearing (but I am really over my head with anything related to procedure and law). I suppose Kinsbourne’s hypothesis or framework (about glutamate excitotoxicity or something) would be taken under consideration if there was any evidence that it could even work. The neuroinflammation expert (Johnson) and the toxicologist (Brent) and the neuro-anatomy and autism expert (Kemper) and the grand-daddy of all autism experts (Sir Michael Rutter) and the mercury toxicity/autism embryologist (Rodier) and I can’t remember the other guy… as I remember, they all indicated that Kinsbourne’s hypothesis didn’t make sense. Johnson said (if I recall correctly) that there’s no evidence that any disease has some kind of constant low level glutamate-excitotoxicity that is enough to keep the neurons over excited, but not enough to kill those neurons. The other diseases with similar excitotoxicity are degenerative diseases that kill the patient.

    Anyway, Kinsbourne doesn’t have the relative expertise to be holding forth on that topic. He was shot down by real experts and besides that he’s saying that both measles infection in the brain and mercury do the same thing. The measles infection people shot down his version of measles and glutamate already.

    ??? Totally bizarre.

  8. Kev June 7, 2008 at 21:23 #

    _”As I understand it the evidence needs to meet the Daubert standard even if they don’t have a separate Daubert hearing (but I am really over my head with anything related to procedure and law).”_

    That was my take too. There’s a PDF on the OSP website somewhere that describes the Special Masters saying they won’t hold a pre-trial Duabert hearing to exclude testimony but that they will hold all presented testimony to a Daubert standard.

    I took that to mean they will exclude all testimony that doesn’t meet Daubert when doing their summing up.

  9. Anne June 7, 2008 at 22:19 #

    Because the special masters don’t have to exclude testimony from being presented to a jury, they have said they will use the Daubert standard in determining the weight of the scientific evidence presented.

    The petitioners are lucky that Daubert is being used, because the alternative would be something like the Frye test, which requires that the evidence be generally accepted in the relevant scientific community. That’s the test that Maryland state court judge Stuart Berger used to exclude Mark Geier’s testimony in the Blackwell v. Sigma Aldrich case. Daubert is more friendly to novel scientific evidence, but still imposes requirements for determining its reliability.

  10. Ms. Clark June 8, 2008 at 02:50 #

    I wonder if the worm eggs thing and the provoked urine lab tests thing, the toy hbot thing with the against-FDA-approval, dangerous use of oxygen concentrators thing (that Mumper referred to in her testimony without a trace of irony or anything) would get past a Daubert hearing. Hmmm. No. I don’t think so. And can someone tell me if it’s supposed to be something huge and heroic that someone would create a “bibliography” of supposedly relevant science? Tom Powers sounded to me like he thought Mumper ought to be canonized because she collected papers into a “bibliography” for reference by DAN! docs (chiropractors and nutritionists, too).

  11. Sullivan June 8, 2008 at 04:51 #

    And can someone tell me if it’s supposed to be something huge and heroic that someone would create a “bibliography” of supposedly relevant science?

    Well, since she presented the Hornig study and seemed unaware of the Berman study which refutes Hornig…what is the bibliography all about? Is it a collection of papers to support their ideas that they already have?

    How many DAN! people are looking at that and thinking, “Gee, looks like the Holmes ‘Baby Haircut’ study is accepted science”.

  12. María Luján June 8, 2008 at 16:51 #

    there’s no evidence that any disease has some kind of constant low level glutamate-excitotoxicity that is enough to keep the neurons over excited, but not enough to kill those neurons

    What evidence of this was presented with the analysis of the most recent literature? There are many recent manuscripts with seve ral interesting findings related to glutamate, glutamate receptors, Ca effect in excitoxicity and many more in ASD and other ND conditions.

  13. Fred June 17, 2008 at 00:34 #

    That’s fair. Just tell one side of the story. Where is Tom Powers closing statement?

    It seems like the DOJ case rests on the idea that the proposed mechanism applies to regressive cases only. That sounds like a fairly weak argument, especially if you listen to the questions the Special Masters asked during the testimony.

  14. Ms. Clark June 17, 2008 at 00:51 #

    Tom Powers closing statement (the whole thing) is on audio, it’s on Day 15 of the omnibus autism hearing thimerosal portion.
    ftp://autism.uscfc.uscourts.gov/autism/thimerosal/audios/

    As I pointed out, much of Powers closing statement was taken up by him complaining about how mean the DoJ lawyers were to his witnesses. Poor Mr. Powers.

    As far as I can tell the written transcripts which have been in pdf form are overdue, they should be up on the Fed’s website soon. I hope.

  15. Anne June 17, 2008 at 02:06 #

    Fred: It’s the petitioners who are claiming that neuroinflamation or over-activation apply specifically to regressive autism, and that King and Williams have regressive autism. The petitioners contend that regressive autism is characterized by a period of normal, typical development for at least a year. You can hear all of that in Tom Powers’ opening statement here. That was the point of petitioners’ epidemiology expert, Dr. Greenland, coming up with the label “clearly regressive autism.”

    In that opening statement, Powers admits that some of their experts like Dr. Mumper are “pushing the envelope,” but that mainstream doctors shouldn’t look down on them because they are trying to help kids. He starts out his closing argument with that same theme.

  16. Nether-Lands June 17, 2008 at 06:59 #

    Fred,

    Have you been reading Kent H.’s version of the trial? If you want to stick to that organization, you’d do better with Ms. Holland. It’s a tougher read, and you have to do your own analysis, but she has some actual information.

    I only say this because Kent seems to be fixated on how the SM’s are responding and asking questions.

    The concentration on regression is due to the fact that the petitioners are relying heavily on this. They are stating that kids are ‘normal’ up to their first birthday and that something happens in the second year that causes a regression.

    They also did pulled a little surprise in their openening arguement with a declaration of ‘clearly’ regressive. Listen to the opening statements, it’s clearly something they brought up just then. The DoJ lawyers acted on this because they had to (since it was key to the PSC case). But also, it limits the case to the ‘clearly regressive’ cases.

    That almost certainly excluded A LOT of families who have been waiting years for their day in court. Many people thought, “My kid has autism, I think vaccines are the cause”. They filed their papers, and they waited. Now, they find it isn’t “My kid has autism” that is important, it is “my kid has clearly regressive autism.”

    So, anyone with medical records that show signs of delay, autism, head growth, etc., before 12 months just lost the Omnibus. They were sacrificed by the PSC to make the case.

    But, that is really a side show. A big side show since a lot of families just lost the Omnibus within the first 10 minutes of the opening statements, but a sideshow.

    The main arguments were that thimerosal causes neuroinflamation/microglial activation and this causes the symptoms of autism.

    To make this, they showed that mercury is toxic at some levels (not news). They showed that the Burbacher monkeys showed neuroinflamation. They showed studies that brains of dead autistics show glial cell activation.

    Key point–did they show that these cause autism or autistic symptoms? No. That is the key point that is missing, in my opinion. Did they link them to ‘regression’ in autism. No. Did they make a firm link to thimerosal? No. The link to mercury is tenuous at best, but it is based on inorganic mercury.

    For good measure, the respondents also killed the idea that autism is anything like mercury poisoning in presentation. They also took out the idea that autistics are “poor excretors”.

    The DoJ (respondents) got the best in the world to testify. Top people at the top of their game. Make no mistake, the qualifications of the experts makes a big difference. When someone like Lord, or Fombonne talk about autism, it holds a lot more weight than Dr. Mumper. Compare Brent, who actually treats people with mercury poisoning and is well published and respected talks about how he tests autistic kids who are ‘diagnosed’ with ‘heavy metal poisoning’ and says the tests and interpretations are bogus 100% of the time, with Dr. Aposhian who was stating that he has doesn’t treat people for mercury poisoning (he can’t, he can consult, but not treat), especially that he doesn’t treat autistic kids. Instead, Dr. Aposhian has heard people at DAN! conventions tell him that chelation helps. Whose testimony counts more? The guy who actually does the medicine for a living.

    Consider Dr. Rodier who took apart the Bernard paper on how autism symptoms are like mercury poisoning symptoms. Dr. Rodier is possibly the only person in the world who is an expert on both autism and mercury poisoning and she says, in no uncertain terms, that Bernard et al. is bunk.

    There was some complaint by the PSC that they weren’t even relying on Bernard et al.. What does that tell us? That the DoJ is out to win the Omnibus and all the cases that may ever follow. They want the Special Masters to have enough information to write a decision that will be a reference for judges in civil cases to throw out thimerosal-autism cases whenever they show up, wherever they show up.

    The Omnibus is in serious trouble. The PSC seems to be playing to get even a few cases out of 5,000 to be considered to be close enough. They want a precident that will open the doors to civil cases.

    Make no mistake, the Special Masters need to do what’s right–if there is evidence of vaccine induced autism, those families need to be compensated. But, if these ‘test cases’ are a measure of the most clear examples of this harm, the Special Masters need to not only reject the claims, but write as clear and definitive decisions that they possibly can.

    The DoJ and HHS have brought some of the top experts in the world to the Court precisely so that the Special Masters can do this.

  17. Fred June 18, 2008 at 22:09 #

    I have listened to the transcript. My point was that Mr. Powers made several good points in his closing that are not reflected here.

    Anne, thanks for the explanation. I know what the petitioners are claiming- I am one of them. Jordan King is my son. I know firsthand that chelation helps him.

    I don’t know who Kent H is. Can you direct me to his comments on the trial?

    Nether-Lands: “They also took out the idea that autistics are “poor excretors”.”

    I don’t see where they did that.

    “The link to mercury is tenuous at best, but it is based on inorganic mercury.”

    I think the conversion of organic mercury to inorganic was explained well by Dr. Deth.

    I also believe that, since the Special Masters are going to be making this determination, it makes sense to look at the questions they are asking as a guide to their thought process.

    Most of discussion seems to ignore that the standard of proof in Vaccine Court is purposely different from other types of litigation.

  18. Ms. Clark June 18, 2008 at 22:31 #

    Kent H is Kent Heckenlively (that’s his real name, apparently) he blogs on the AoA blog. I bet you can find him by googling, “Kent Heckenlively.”

    I didn’t hear any good points made by Mr. Tom (poor me) Powers. Maybe you’d like to share what they were here.

    One thing I thought was interesting, was that your wife, Mrs. King was the most compelling of all the parents who testified. I mean she was the only one who struck me as being very honest and not trying to paint things about your son’s development as more extreme than they really were.

    But neither of the boys in this case had what seemed to me to be “clearly regressive” autism, if “clearly regressive” meant that they started out totally normal and then regressed dramatically shortly following a vaccine, or shortly following anything.

    They regressed, no doubt. But their regressions occurred over months and were not preceded by totally normal development…. or that’s what I got from the hearing.

    This is just my opinion, but I really hope you are not counting on a win here Mr. King, because I think the PSC did a perfectly lousy job of making the case that thimerosal could ever cause autism.

    As I have said elsewhere it would be like a parent giving his child a gallon of ice cream and a chocolate layer cake to eat every day and then trying to sue the school for making his child fat if the school gave the child a cookie once a month.

    The amount of inorganic mercury in a child’s brain at birth is already larger than what could get in there and stay in there from a vaccine, the amount of inorganic mercury that ends up in a child’s brain by age 3 from non-vaccine sources dwarfs the amount that might stay in the brain from vaccine sources.

    And then, so what? There’s no evidence that that much mercury can cause any disorder, much less autism. See: the Seychelloise and Faroese.

    Game over.

  19. Kev June 18, 2008 at 22:54 #

    Fred – I’m sorry you don’t think we’re ‘fair’. Personally, I don’t think its fair you’ve been duped into this whole debacle.

    I’m genuinely torn. As parent to an autistic child myself I know how hard it can be just to get good help. I’d love to see your son get a large amount of money. But then I’d love to see all kids with special needs get a large amount of money.

    We have to go by the science. Dr Deth’s science is not good. He got caught red-handed trying what could most charitably described as presenting misleading evidence.

    I’d also like to draw your attention to the testimony of Dr Brent – an _actual_ toxicology expert on chelation. He describes how provoked chelation tests are bogus:

    ….the justification for that chelation with regard to mercury comes from what you see in the right hand column where in both cases, 4 out of 5 provoked examples have been…uh…increase urine mercury. Well, you’re supposed to have increased urine mercury with provoked examples! Therefore there is absolutely no indication based here or anywhere else I saw in the medical records that suggest that there is any mercury effect in these children and therefore that was absolutely no reason to chelate them for any mercury related reason.

    (Emphasis his).

    _”Most of discussion seems to ignore that the standard of proof in Vaccine Court is purposely different from other types of litigation.”_

    Thats not quite true. It’s true that the vaccine court does not exclude any witness whereas a civil one would (if the expert was established to be incompetent) but Special Masters have already said they will be applying Daubert to the evidence itself. If Mr Powers has told you otherwise, he is simply wrong.

  20. Sullivan June 19, 2008 at 01:23 #

    Most of discussion seems to ignore that the standard of proof in Vaccine Court is purposely different from other types of litigation.

    And, yet, there still has to be proof. The major problem, as I see it, as there is nothing linking

    Also, evidence will be weighted by the expertise of the witnesses. Lord, Fombonne, Rodier, even Brent are a head taller than Aposhian, Mumper, Deth, etc.

    However, many cases which appear borderline have been ruled in the favor of the petitioners in the past. I think the Suel case is a good example, where a child with tuberous sclerosis was compensated for autism needs as a result of the acknowledged vaccine injury.

    The Court, and especially the Federal Circuit Court, has been working on the idea that to protect the vaccine program, it is better to err on the side of compensation. This keeps cases out of the civil courts and, not to gloss over an important detail, makes compensation easier for the recipients.

    But, the rules change a lot when you are talking about 5,000 kids with a whole lot of press coverage vs. one kid. Who ever heard of Suel or any of the other causes where people with autism were awarded damages by the Court?

    Compensating those cases improved the program by keeping the confidence level high.

    Compare that to compensating 5,000 families for autism related claims in the Omnibus. Already, there are fears of a reduction in vaccine uptake. Already, there are measurable drops in uptake. And that’s just with a few people pushing the idea that vaccines cause autism. What if the headlines of every newspaper someday in the future say, “Thousands compensated for autism as a vaccine injury. Tens of thousands more may be missed”.

    What will happen to the program then?

    Don’t get me wrong, it would be worse to deny the claims if they are valid. I don’t think the Court in any way would do that. When a lot of people were injured by DTP, it was proper to compensate as many as possible and change the vaccine program. That was the action that created a future with a greater, and justified, confidence in the vaccine schedule.

    But, this isn’t the DTP vaccine. This isn’t so clear that a table injury could be created. There are no clear indications of when or how ‘autism’ is generated from a vaccine. All questions put to the PSC witneses to define this were rebuffed. Same with the TCV+MMR=autism case.

    That says quite clearly: there is no clear mechanism for autism to be caused by vaccines.

    And that is what the Court needs. On a onesy-twosy basis, the Court can stretch the rules. When talking 5,000 cases, the Court needs clear guidance from the experts as to what exactly constitutes vaccine injury.

    Just saying, “this individual got a vaccine and is autistic” is not good enough. Just saying, “this child got a vaccine and later regressed” is better, but not good enough. It isn’t clear.

    And this doesn’t even tough on the fact that the proposed mechanism is not tied to thimerosal, but to inorganic mercury in the brain. Everyone is born with mercury in their body. Everyone builds up a greater store due to ingestion of food and water.

    Back to the main point, most of standards used in the past are for single cases brought before the Court. I don’t think they will, or should, apply the same standards to a single case as to the Omnibus.

  21. Ms. Clark June 19, 2008 at 02:59 #

    The DoJ’s expert witnesses included absolute giants in the field of autism, and besides them some seriously heavy hitters in the fields of oxidative stress, “neuroinflammation”, nutrition and toxicology. Why is it that the PSC didn’t put on ONE single toxicologist? Not even a bush league toxicologist? Or did I miss the testimony of the PSC’s toxicologist where he or she said that the mail order lab’s provoked urine heavy metals tests were compelling … and proved… something, anything.

    And it’s not like they just had these little weanie experts, they also had these little weanine experts lie on the witness stand. I think a pretty good case could be made that at least one of their witnesses deliberately manufactured data in the lab to support his testimony. Not to mention the absolutely weird inflating of credentials on the part of a few of the witnesses and Dr. Kinsbourne doing the “find and replace” feature on his first report implicating measles and using it to create his second report implicating mercury, so super easy. And the weird thing about Deth and creating a histogram from data from the duck brain paper that is 50 years old!

    If I were the Special Masters I’d be in a sort of mood, cranky-like, because I had been treated with such disrespect. Don’t forget the PSC lawyers turning their backs to the bench in Cedillo.

  22. Lin June 19, 2008 at 03:25 #

    Or…you could just follow this link and take a yittle looksie for yourself…hmmm…

    http://www.talkaboutcuringautism.org/jenny/dc-rally/green-our-vaccines-rally-recap.htm

  23. Lin June 19, 2008 at 03:32 #

    Sorry! Posted to wrong topic. I’ll have to do some catching up on this one…

  24. Marilyn Abdilla July 12, 2008 at 08:57 #

    First off, I must say reading thru these comments I sense alot of immature people ranting and raving as if they are experts in judging ANY court lawsuit case concerning vaccines and autism. No one can even speak or judge unless you have a child or family member that has been injured or harmed by vaccines.And YES, there have been many injured and harmed. To explain regression I can do that very well. Walk in my shoes.. you have given birth to a very normal baby, raised the baby and reached the 15 month old time for manadated vaccines AGAIN only to have your very normal baby flare up within hours screaming, high fever, swollen limbs red hot for days where in injection spot was and told this is normal from your doctor.. is a horrible experience. Yes, given vaccines in both arms and legs, one being the MMR. This baby NEVER talked again, ran in circles screaming, never picked up a toy, lost all eye contact, never knew his family members from a stranger, could not hold him, hug him or kiss him as he would start screaming…slept very little..so no one got any sleep..24/7 days year round, screamed all the time outside of house. That is severe regression. Plus many more horrible issues I didn’t mention. This baby is now going on 7 years old, wears diapers, does not talk and flaps his hands in front of his face and has to make strange sounds cause he can’t talk. That is regression. Tested many times..mercury high..measle virus (titers) Very high. And leaky gut..do you know what a leaky gut is? Do you know what caused the leaky gut? The answer is not hard to figure out. Can any of you answer why the mercury and measle virus (full dose) stayed in his body and was not excreted? If you can answer these questions than you should have been an expert witness for the government cause all they could say was “no link”. All cases are not severe I admit and some will be dismissed but there is a percentage of children that are suscepible to metal toxins and virus..proven. These children were not included in the research testing according to an expert from the government. So please, don’t judge the results of the cases unless you KNOW all facts and what has been hidden from the public.

  25. Kev July 12, 2008 at 09:15 #

    Marilyn, thats such a melange of utter rubbish I’m not sure where to start. But lets try.

    No one can even speak or judge unless you have a child or family member that has been injured or harmed by vaccines.

    Of course they can. Its not a subject that is the sole province of the petitioners for goodness sake. How do you think the Special masters are going to judge?

    To explain regression I can do that very well. Walk in my shoes.. you have given birth to a very normal baby, raised the baby and reached the 15 month old time for manadated vaccines AGAIN only to have your very normal baby flare up within hours screaming, high fever, swollen limbs red hot for days where in injection spot was and told this is normal from your doctor.. is a horrible experience. Yes, given vaccines in both arms and legs, one being the MMR. This baby NEVER talked again, ran in circles screaming, never picked up a toy, lost all eye contact, never knew his family members from a stranger, could not hold him, hug him or kiss him as he would start screaming…slept very little..so no one got any sleep..24/7 days year round, screamed all the time outside of house. That is severe regression

    Maybe. But lets recall the courtroom experience of the Cedillo’s. They were also positive their child had regressed. It turned out from their own home videos that she hadn’t. You’re a mum Marilyn, not a diagnostician. Thats not slighting you, I’m just saying there are subtle clues you were neither trained to notice, nor inclined to. There’s even an established psychological term for it: Recall Bias.

    And leaky gut..do you know what a leaky gut is? Do you know what caused the leaky gut? The answer is not hard to figure out.

    Unfortunately, the answer _is_ quite hard to figure out. Its not the MMR however. If you think it is, I suggest you read some more testimony from the Cedillo hearing.

    Can any of you answer why the mercury and measle virus (full dose) stayed in his body and was not excreted?

    Can you tell me (naming the doctor and lab you used) why you think it was?

    If you can answer these questions than you should have been an expert witness for the government cause all they could say was “no link”.

    I’m afraid thats far from the case. I’m not sure where you got that from but it is simply not true. The Respondent experts gave very good testimony. For example, this most recent case, Jeffery Brent gave very good and clear evidence about the toxicology of the Williams and Mead kids.

    …there is a percentage of children that are suscepible to metal toxins and virus..proven

    Which has what to do with autism exactly?

    So please, don’t judge the results of the cases unless you KNOW all facts and what has been hidden from the public.

    Whereas you of course know all the facts? I’m not impressed with conspiracy theory’s. I am impressed with science. And thats what these Omnibus cases will hopefully be decided upon.

  26. Marilyn Abdilla July 14, 2008 at 10:00 #

    This is for ‘Who am I’. Just to let you in on an e-mail I received just yesterday about the court cases from my attorney. July 3, 2008 three Special Master’s recorded and granted the DHHS their request to withdraw two expert’s report’s. Dr. Mangos (England) and Dr. Clarkson (N. Y.) Two world renowned toxicalogist’s who were the toxicalogist’s pillars underpinning the government’s claim that Thimerosal does not cause autism. Hmmmmm
    Special Master’s said they would not consider the Dr.’s reports at all in resolving the test cases. Court is still being conducted and these two doctor’s were to testify to the safety of Thimerosal in vaccines. Seems the doctor’s previous publication’s clearly document Thimerosal’s significant toxicity. Dr. Clarkson essentially declared the organic mercurial antiseptic’s including Thimerosal should be heavily restricted or withdrawn, “As the fact that mercury readily penetrates intact membranes and is highly toxic.” And..since the recent publication of studies proving a link between Thimerosal and autism, the current exodus of experts, who are willing to testify for the respondent DHHS claiming that Thimerosal does not cause autism, appears to be excalating. Wonder why their bowing out? Gee, we would have liked to have heard what they had to say. I heard the Cedillo case and also read it. Each case is different. She talks, my son lost all speech after the MMR. She doesn’t even ‘act’ like my son. Complete different case. She may have in earlier years as my son just turned 6 years old. Yes, we have very good doctor’s for my son. Dr. Jeff Bradstreet in Melbourne, FL. Any problems with that? Test’s for 4 1/2 years have been done repeatly to various labs across America and the last big test was sent to France. Utter rubbish??? Don’t think so..facts. Also, I didn’t say it was the MMR vaccine that caused the leaky gut. The MMR vaccine went thru the leaky gut into his body and brain. The damage was done by the Thimerosal before the MMR. Is it autism or is it mercury poisoning? Mercury poisoning has the same sysptoms of autism. Autism is a word, an umbrella, for various disorders. Regardless of what it’s called my son falls in the bracket of children who should never had Thimereosal to begin with causing the MMR to stay in his body causing further damage. Oh, yes I am a Mother and I also hold a very good position..a profession. But yes, the outcome of the court will tell all and I have a very good feeling about that. No doubt. With experts talking with fork tongue doesn’t look good.

  27. Kev July 14, 2008 at 11:12 #

    Just to let you in on an e-mail I received just yesterday about the court cases from my attorney.

    One of the bloggers here, blogged about it 2 days ago. Seems like your attorney is slow on the uptake.

    Two world renowned toxicalogist’s who were the toxicalogist’s pillars underpinning the government’s claim that Thimerosal does not cause autism.

    Hardly. They are two good toxicologists, but HHS have already used another excellent toxicologist (Jeffery Brent).

    Seems the doctor’s previous publication’s clearly document Thimerosal’s significant toxicity. Dr. Clarkson essentially declared the organic mercurial antiseptic’s including Thimerosal should be heavily restricted or withdrawn, “As the fact that mercury readily penetrates intact membranes and is highly toxic.”

    As it is, I’ve no idea (and neither have you) why they were withdrawn.

    And..since the recent publication of studies proving a link between Thimerosal and autism,

    Sorry? What? Which studies are these? You really shouldn’t listen to CoMed.

    the current exodus of experts, who are willing to testify for the respondent DHHS claiming that Thimerosal does not cause autism, appears to be excalating.

    I’m guessing you mean ‘escalating’? Which experts have asked to leave respondents recently? Certainly Clarkson and Magos did not. It was HHS who asked for their reports to be pulled.

    Gee, we would have liked to have heard what they had to say.

    Me too.

    I heard the Cedillo case and also read it. Each case is different. She talks, my son lost all speech after the MMR. She doesn’t even ‘act’ like my son. Complete different case.

    You do realise that Cedillo is one of the ‘test’ cases right? Her symptoms will be used to determine the causation theory for MMR/thiomersal.

    Yes, we have very good doctor’s for my son. Dr. Jeff Bradstreet in Melbourne, FL. Any problems with that?

    The man used to recommend exorcism for autism. Yeah, I have a bit of a problem with that.

    Test’s for 4 1/2 years have been done repeatly to various labs across America and the last big test was sent to France. Utter rubbish??? Don’t think so..facts.

    You’re referring to the Porphyrin lab tests sent to labCorp in France (the Nataf lab). Here’s the testimony of someone else about the Porphyrin tests:

    …the thing that is worrying us now is that we’ve not looked at a lot of control children and we’re starting to do that and finding that some normal children have abnormal Porphyrins too .

    Thats from the testimony of Elizabeth Mumper, she is the medical director for DAN/ARI and founder of the Rimland Centre. I’m guessing you know who she is.

    Is it autism or is it mercury poisoning? Mercury poisoning has the same sysptoms of autism.

    No, it doesn’t. A simple line up of symptoms reveals you to be wrong. And if further proof were needed, there is science on the issue as well.

    Oh, yes I am a Mother and I also hold a very good position..a profession.

    Well, great. Is that profession that of a medical diagnostician autism specialist?

  28. Patrick July 14, 2008 at 21:02 #

    By the way, (who am I) is a java scriptlet or the like by the respondents name, oh underinformed whoever. Perhaps it is not showing up properly in your browser, and good luck with the propaganda and testimonial based half truths!

  29. brian July 15, 2008 at 01:50 #

    I know only as much about litigation as Kent Heckenlively knows about biology, but it’s a reasonable guess that the respondents truncated their case because they’ve already proved their point: Why drag it out–and allow the petitioners to introduce even more speculation that will demand a response–rather than simply leave well enough alone?

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  1. Hot Summer Autism Topics - July 3, 2008

    […] 2007, the case of Michelle Cedillo was heard; the case of Hannah Poling was to be the second case; closing statements in the cases of William Mead and Jordan King were heard in June. All is not quiet in the vaccine […]

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