Thursday, March 18, 2010
Are We Satisfied?
Many, many parents of children with Autism believe that an additive in childhood immunizations caused or had a negative influence on the development of their children’s Autism. Over the last several years, there have been many heated debates on the subject. Doctors repeatedly tried to reassure parents that the immunizations did not cause Autism and that the children were at extreme risk by not getting the shots.
Parents had circumstantial evidence – their children were fine before the shots – afterwards they watched their children slowly regress and turn their focus inward. The circumstantial evidence has often been quite compelling.
But on Friday, March 13th, A special federal court ruled that the vaccine additive thimerosal does not cause autism. The ruling, which came in three separate cases, follows a parallel ruling in 2009 that autism is not caused by the combination of thimerosal with the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine.
The Wall Street Journal published an editorial that hailed the ruling that dismisses allegations of a link between the shots and the subsequent development of Autism. Here is a small section of that editorial:
The rulings follow the same court’s judgment last year against claims that measles-mumps-rubella shots in combination with other thimerosal-containing vaccines cause autism. And they reinforce many comprehensive scientific studies, including one from the Institute of Medicine, that have ruled out any causal link.
Autism is a frightening diagnosis that puts enormous burdens on families, but blaming vaccines without evidence only harms other families who might be frightened enough not to immunize their children. The fate of children with autism would be far better served if the activists who have devoted their resources to lawsuits would support research to discover its true causes, and to helping those children realize their full human potential.
I have to wonder if any of the folks on the editorial staff have children with Autism, and if not, I wonder if their opinions would be different if they did.
How do you feel? I do worry about parents not immunizing their children, but some of the circumstantial evidence I have seen and read about is compelling. Should there be more studies, or should we all put this immunization/Autism link to rest and concentrate on research as the WSJ editorial suggests?