A news conference today will confirm that autism/anti-vaccine groups have lost the scientific battle for the idea that vaccines cause autism as they turn to the legal battle instead.
…a new report in a New York law school journal, the Pace Environmental Law Review, could reignite the often-inflammatory debate over the issue. Based on a sampling of cases in which plaintiffs won settlements or awards in vaccine court, the authors found that many of the victims demonstrated evidence of autism – even though, perhaps as a legal tactic, their lawsuits emphasized other injuries.
Readers of this site might be forgiven for looking and yawning – here we go again. This is nothing but re-hash of already discussed material. But lets look at the main claim of this issue:
Of the 170 cases the report’s authors examined, 32, or 19 percent, provided documented evidence of autism or autism-like symptoms. The evidence in some cases included findings by the court that the children had autism, “autism-like symptoms” or “symptoms and behavior consistent with autism.” In other situations, third-party medical, educational or other court records confirmed an autistic disorder.
The report – at least in this news story – doesn’t seem to mention how many children were compensated for having autism. As we all kow ‘autism like symptoms’ or ‘symptoms and behavior consistent with autism.’ might be just that – but they are not autism. If they were I’m sure the court would’ve reported it.
And thats not all. Nobody seems to be giving an estimate for how many of these kids actual autism (not autism-like symptoms etc) was actually caused by an actual vaccine.
And thats *still* not all. One of the most problematic issues for this new ‘line of attack’ is this.
Daubert. This is the standard of science that should be used in legal cases. When Daubert is applied, the bottom line is that the best science must be applied. In _none_ of these cases was Daubert applied. In fact, in only one instance was Daubert applied – the Autism Omnibus hearings. And as we all know, they failed.
So here we have a fairly desperate roll of the dice. Eschewing science completely, the autism/anti-vaxxers have decided to turn their attention to the law. By muddying the legal waters, they are attempting to make it appear as if autism by any other name has been compensated in at least 19% of the cases they looked at.
The truth is, it hasn’t. The truth is that in no cases I can see has a case been established scientifically to show vaccines cause autism.