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Monday, May 20, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Autism Not Linked to Vaccines, Court Rules

(CN) - Parents of autistic children failed to prove that the disorder was caused by a mercury-derived compound in childhood vaccines, a special court ruled Friday in three test cases.

Three special masters of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims said there wasn't enough evidence linking childhood vaccines to autism. The so-called "vaccine court" took on three cases testing the legal theories of thousands of parents of autistic children who have blamed the disorder on vaccines.

"Petitioners' theory of vaccine-related causation is scientifically unsupportable," Special Master Patricia Campbell-Smith wrote in the case of William P. Mead, whose parents, George and Victoria Mead, filed one of the lawsuits.

Special Master George Hastings Jr. came to a similar conclusion in the case of parents Frank and Mylinda King.

"After studying the extensive evidence in this case for many months, I am convinced that the opinions provided by the petitioners' experts in this case, advising the King family that there is a causal connection between thimerosal-containing vaccines and Jordan's autism, have been quite wrong," Hastings wrote (original emphasis).

In the final case, Special Master Denise Vowell said parents Timothy and Maria Dwyer "have not demonstrated by a preponderance of evidence that Colin's condition was either caused by or significantly aggravated by his vaccinations."

The vaccines contained thimerosal, a mercury-derived compound that was removed from infant vaccines in 1999.

Most medical experts, including the Institute of Medicine and the American Academy of Pediatrics, reject the theory that vaccines can cause autism.

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