[img_assist|nid=190807|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=230|height=230]August 30 – A small but vocal group of activists who blame vaccines for causing autism were dealt a major set-back on Friday when a U.S. appeals court upheld a ruling that vaccines are not to blame for autism.
The litigants had claimed that the measles, mumps and rubella, or MMR, vaccine and the preservative thimerosal are responsible for causing autism in children.
The lower court, however, found that evidence for that assertion “is weak, contradictory and unpersuasive. Sadly, the petitioners in this litigation have been the victims of bad science conducted to support litigation rather than to advance medical and scientific understanding [of autism.]”
The appellate court in its ruling on Friday said “we have carefully reviewed the decision of the special master and we find that it is rationally supported by the evidence, well-articulated, and reasonable. We, therefore, affirm the denial of the [plaintiffs’] petition for compensation.”
For years, some activists and a small group of physicians have insisted that vaccines are to blame for a rise in autism cases. However, the lower court notes, “Unfortunately, the [plaintiffs] have been misled by physicians who are guilty, in my view, of gross medical misjudgment,” adding that this determination was “not a close case at all.”