7 comments to “U.S. Agrees to Pay $1.5 Million in Landmark Vaccine-Autism Case”

  1. dave

    “The vast majority of these claimants aren’t saying, “Don’t vaccinate your kids.” That’s not it at all. They’re contending too many at one time presents a high risk to those who have genetic predispositions. Since the early 1980s, the number of vaccines recommended have vastly increased. Look no further than the Homeland Security Act where a provision was written into that bill allowing for pharmaceutical companies to be “liable free” from lawsuits. Yes, this was just one more catastrophic blunder made by the Bush administration and Republican controlled Congress.”

    Wasn’t that provision passed by a democratic congress or just under Clinton? I hear everyone lately blaming Bush for the current housing crisis, glass steagall act and numerous other Clinton and/or Democrats screw-ups.

    I also love how the left screamed murder when the Bush administration( as well as almost every Dem congressman, which the left loves to purposefully forget) passed that wiretapping bs and NOW OBAMA is proposing to VASTLY Expand the program to include the ENTIRE fing Internet, every social site and Blackberry communication and there isn’t a peep from any Liberal media outlet or from any so-called Liberal voters. Unreal!

  2. Andrew

    The question was asked about what has changed in the last couple decades to see an increase in autism. The answer is actually quite simple. The major reasion for the increase is that the definition of autism was broadened. Studies have been done which used the same diagnostic criteria for both modern populations and past ones, and they have found that doing so virtually wipes out the increase in autism cases.

    Increased surveillance is the other major factor; even teachers and daycare providers are being trained to recognize the symptoms these days. It is statistically more likely for a child to be diganosed if a neighbor has been (because parents are familiar with the signs), and wealthier families are more likely to have a child diagnosed with it as well (because they’re more likely to seek medical help than the poor). These two factors (increased surveillance and a broadening of the definition) can mostly, or even wholly account for the increased numbers of autism cases.

    Thimerosal was the supposed boogeyman for the anti-vaccination movement. I say was because it has been shown fairly conclusively not to be a cause for autism; dozens of studies repeatedly showing no link as well as the fact that it was removed from all childhood vaccines almost a decade ago yet autism rates haven’t dropped as a result (which it should have if it was even a partial cause).

    The major result of the modern anti-vaccination movement has not been a decline in autism or even constructive research toward a cure/treatment; it has just been to cause a drop in the vaccination rates which has led to diseases like measles and pertussis becoming endemic again in the UK, and it has even started to spread to the US. People forget that these diseases have very serious complications and can even lead to death (yes, even in first world countries).

    Some will quote the number of people infected and determine odds of infection from that, but they don’t take into account who is getting infected, and there is good reason for that. It is no accident that all these outbreaks in California and the east coast are centered in unvaccinated communities, and the odds will just keep climbing as more parents choose not to vaccinate their children.

  3. P.J. Gaffney

    I have a younger brother who has severe autism, while I suffer from Asperger’s Syndrome. After I was administered the DTP shot, my immune system became very weak. Classic signs of autism appeared: hyperactivity, toe walking, severe gastrointestinal problems, and had to be placed on liquids for a year. This is just one story. Hannah’s story is symbolic that the jury is out.

    After extensive research into David Kirby’s “Evidence of Harm” and speaking with world-renowned vaccination and genetic researchers, Thimerosal is unnecessary in all vaccines except the Japanese encephalitis vaccine. Why did the small publication I had this article published in spark complete denial from the National Immunization Coalition’s Director? These are the consequences we all face when government officials and big corporations are so closely connected. Look at who runs some of these hen houses. The FDA is a classic example. The number of inspections by the FDA have exponentially reduced since the 1950s. The problem isn’t oversight; it’s the lack of oversight and acquiesence to corporate interests that continue governing the masses.

    The vast majority of these claimants aren’t saying, “Don’t vaccinate your kids.” That’s not it at all. They’re contending too many at one time presents a high risk to those who have genetic predispositions. Since the early 1980s, the number of vaccines recommended have vastly increased. Look no further than the Homeland Security Act where a provision was written into that bill allowing for pharmaceutical companies to be “liable free” from lawsuits. Yes, this was just one more catastrophic blunder made by the Bush administration and Republican controlled Congress.

    I encourage family members and friends of autistic individuals to continue researching this complex disorder. Several vaccination and genetic researchers have published numerous articles on the toxicity of Thimerosal. There is no denial that we have a long way to go. The consensus is autism is an environmental-genetic based disorder. I’ll part with this statistic. In 1987, 1 in 10,000 children were diagnosed with autism. Today, it’s 1 in 150 with signs the number of cases continues to rise. I think it’s extremely naive to think that the aforementioned facts listed aren’t connected in any way to triggering autism.

  4. Ben Tipton

    Who is JR McMillan. Nicely written and without judgement or blame just asking us all to question and think.

  5. J.R. McMillan

    Autism is caused by a combination of factors, like nearly every other ailment or disease. Genetic predisposition combined with a sufficient exposure to a single, severe trigger or an accumulation of exposures contributes to the incidence and severity of autism and its symptoms.

    Cancer, heart disease and diabetes all have significant genetic predisposition which mainstream medicine readily accepts. Heart disease typically results from a lifetime of poor diet and exercise choices, but a single viral infection can hasten both the onset and severity. Cancer typically results from a lifetime of poor diet and exercise choices, but a single viral infection can hasten both the onset and severity. Diabetes typically results from a lifetime of poor diet and exercise choices, but a single viral infection can hasten both the onset and severity.

    Why is it then so far fetched to posit that the neurological symptoms of autism are the result of an accumulation of toxic exposures (often in utero), genetic predisposition and a series of viral infections that hasten both the onset and severity?

    Yes, there are early signs of distress, but often not in terms of cognitive development — not yet. A family history of autoimmune and inflammatory disorders is common amongst children later diagnosed with autism. Part of the regression into autism is due to inadequate metabolism of certain proteins. Genetic celiac markers are also common amongst those children diagnosed with autism, as are family histories of Alzheimer’s (which researchers at Brown are working on having reclassified as Type III Diabetes following the discovery that the brain makes a unique and independent form of insulin to prevent accumulation of proteins in the gray matter that affects the creation and retrieval of memories).

    Also common are illnesses of the mucus membranes that predate regression — recurring ear infections, respiratory infections and strep throat. These are often treated with the generous use of oral antibiotics, thus killing off the probiotic bacteria required for proper metabolism. Also of note, more than 70% of our immune function is found in our digestive tracts. Not all children are born with the same level of probiotics either. Caesarian births are a statistically significant trend among children with autism — and the high rate of autism in Franklin County, Ohio (where I currently reside) is no coincidence considering the county leads the entire United States in the rate of c-section deliveries. (That’s what you get when malpractice insurers grease state elected officials.)

    You will find other histories of digestive disorders higher in the families with children on the autism spectrum — acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, tonsils, gall bladder and appendix removals. All of these are evidence of reduced levels of IgA, acidic digestive tract pH and lack of proper gut flora. These also are key contributors to food intolerances and allergies. Unmetabolized food that slips through a weaken intestinal wall into the bloodstream is misidentified by the lymphocytes as potentially pathogenic, thus creating the allergic reactions to food common among children with autism. All of these ailments, procedures and food concerns are on the rise and began their marked increase on the same timeline as autism in the mid 1980s.

    Which brings up the most important question. What has changes universally in the developed world to result in the increase in autism — as well as asthma, allergies, fibromyalgia, digestive disorders — in less than three decades?

    Do all of these kids drink from the same contaminated well? Do they all live downwind from a coal-fired power plant? What has changed more dramatically than anything else in a generation?

    Sadly, a lot of it does point to vaccines — the number, the age at which they are administered, the ingredients they contain and yes, the viruses themselves. Despite the popular mythology, Thimerosal is still used in vaccinations — specifically the seasonal flu shot and the separate H1N1 vaccine. Point of fact, since mercury in the form of Thimerosal was “removed” from the previous list of CDC recommended vaccinations, the addition of seasonal flu for expectant mothers and infants at least six months of age, a child starting kindergarten will receive more mercury exposure than before the widely publicized, but selective removal. Also worth noting, when California banned the use of Thimerosal for two years before the addition of the flu shots to the standard schedule, the diagnosis rate of autism did drop measurably.

    Our son was born caesarian. My wife has a family history of Alzheimer’s, early heart disease, and skin issues ultimately determined to be the result of undiagnosed celiac. My family has a history of diabetes, gall bladder and tonsil removals — and in recent years, digestive ailments that have kept pace with the ads for pretty colored pills on the evening news. I also happen to be Irish — with Ireland having the largest percentage of celiac diagnoses in the world. In fact, wheat was scarcely grown in Ireland until a couple hundred years ago, and today, potatoes remain the primary carbohydrate and rye and barley still being the primary grains. My ancestors knew wheat made them sick, so much so, they didn’t grow it.

    Our son had recurring ear infections, but never a fever — both signs of a weakened immune system. He had respiratory issues, often the undiagnosed inability to metabolize the milk protein casein. (Actually, most asthma is the result of chronic inflammation from an adverse casein reaction.) He was ultimately diagnosed with elevated IgE, increasing his inflammatory response and diminished IgA, limiting his ability to fight infections of the respiratory and digestive tract. We unknowingly fed him wheat and dairy, and he remained always a bit on the sick side.

    But he learned to walk, learned to talk — a little late, but no surprise given the recurring ear infections. Then he received his MMR on a Friday and he ran his first fever ever and cried inconsolably. We gave him Tylenol, at our then pediatrician’s suggestion. (Don’t even get me started on Tylenol’s suppression of healthy immune response and its demyelinating effects on the brain.) Within a day, he could no longer walk — just struggling to stand, then falling. By the end of the day he stopped talking entirely and didn’t speak again for a year. We were back in the pediatrician’s office Monday morning and assured this sometimes occurs with the MMR. He’ll be fine, we were told. By the end of the week he was covered in head to toe measles.

    Turns out even the CDC recognizes an IgA deficiency as a medical contraindication for live virus vaccines — like the MMR. The reason is that the reduced immune function doesn’t give you a head start on building antibodies, you just get the disease. Our then pediatrician must not have read the fine print on the CDC website, and to this day, the medical contraindication isn’t on the packaging either.

    Since our son’s regression into autism following his MMR, I’ve been diagnosed with thrombocytopenia an autoimmune disorder that occurs most commonly as a reaction to the measles. My platelets were fine until my late teens, but have been falling off ever since. Guess who was required to have a measles booster to go to college? Looking back to my brother’s diagnosis of Type I Diabetes at age three, guess who had a measles booster six weeks prior to his immune system attacking his pancreas and leaving him insulin dependent for life?

    That’s genetic predisposition — increased risk for an adverse reaction to vaccination. My brother and I had just eight vaccinations prior to kindergarten. If my children were fully vaccinated, they’d have had close to 40 before age five.

    Also little known, adverse drug reactions are the fourth leading cause of death in the US, behind only the results of heart disease, all cancers combined and motor vehicle fatalities. And the AMA and the manufacturers of Agent Orange, cigarettes and Vioxx all claimed those products were safe – for years, even after the bodies started piling up. Just this month, the FDA’s official response to the risk of heart attack or stroke after a year of using Avandia running an UNCONTESTED 1 in 60 was a change in language on the warning label. The agency charged with protecting American citizens from unsafe drugs accepts a casualty rate of 1 in 60 Avandia users having a heart attack or stroke within a year. Do you really think it’s a stretch that 1 in 100 kids diagnosed with autism is met with a shrug.

    For the sake of argument, what if Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for a widely distributed poison resulting in a neurological disorder affecting 1 in 100 American children? How much money would we spend as a nation pursuing the cause and treating those affected? Would we talk not only of the current impact, but also the long-term economic concerns of having 1% of the population debilitated and requiring government assistance for the rest of their lives? How about closer to one in 35 adult men not being fit to serve in the military and the national security implications that come with that number?

    And why is there scarcely any talk about the Vaccine Injury Compensation Act that was rammed through Congress prior to the dramatic increase in the childhood vaccination schedule? For those who have never heard of it before, I’m not surprised. In 1986, Congress created a fourth system of courts. Everyone who watches Law and Order knows about the criminal courts. Everyone who watches Judge Judy and remembers old Judge Wapner knows about civil courts. Anyone left who watches NCIS, or JAG reruns knows about the military courts martial. But few know that there is a separate court system just for vaccine injury cases.

    That’s right, you can’t sue a vaccine manufacturer for autism or anything else. You have to sue the Secretary of Health and Human Services. The judge is paid entirely by a tax placed on every vaccination. There are limited rules of discovery, no juries and sealed verdicts. And if you think that stacks the deck against you, you’re damn right. To date, of the thousands of cases brought before the court, only three have been ruled in favor of children with autism. Statistically, that makes your odds far better of getting out of Guantanamo.

    What if Congress passed a law that you couldn’t sue any car company, created a separate system of courts and paid the judges through a same tax placed on every car? Same rules as the vaccine injury system: limited rules of discovery, no juries and sealed verdicts. Oh – and you have to sue the Secretary of Transportation. Sure there wouldn’t be anything suspicious there either.

    Among those discovery items you won’t find in the vaccine injury cases is the 262-page transcript of a closed meeting held at the Simpsonwood Retreat and Conference Center in Norcross, Georgia on June 7-8, 2000. A handful of representatives from the CDC, FDA, AMA, AAP, state health officials and the pharmaceutical industry got together to put to rest once and for all the link between vaccines and autism. The only problem was that the study of more than 100,000 children demonstrated there was a statistically valid increase – at which point the purpose of the meeting was shifted to how the data could be manipulated to cover it up. Robert Kennedy, Jr. wrote a lengthy piece on this meeting titled “Deadly Immunity” a few years ago, but anyone who would like an actual transcript of the meeting and the attendees may have it for the asking. (I’ve submitted it to WikiLeaks with the expectation I’ll never be allowed to fly again in the US.) Decide for yourselves if there is a coverup.

    There have been no double-blind studies between vaccinated and unvaccinated children and the rates of autism. The FDA won’t approve them, but they’ll recommend Gardasil for girls as young as nine, even though they’ve only tested it on fewer than 400 girls younger than 14. (Current number of immediate fatalities from Gardasilis at 28 in the US — meaning dead before they hit the floor, not counting those girls who lost all of the their hair or were paralyzed or died within weeks of “unrelated” undetermined illnesses. Tween girls die all the time for no reason, which probably has something to do with why so many Western countries have banned Gardasil.)

    But it’s still safe, right? The FDA approved it and the CDC recommends it and they tested in on 400 girls before recommending it to millions. I’m sure that preventing an already preventable form of cancer in someone else’s daughter was of great consolation to those who ended up burying their own.

    For those curious about how our son is doing, he’s doing great – but only because we are treating his underlying medical conditions that caused his autism.

    First, we found a pediatrician who not only understood that children with autism are medically ill, but who was more concerned about his individual health than sacrificing him for the sake of the herd.

    Second, we were unofficial participants in an unsanctioned trial using high doses of prednisone to combat the chronic inflammation resulting from measles infections in boys who regressed into autism. Almost all of the boys in the study made dramatic social and language improvements, despite some significant side effects. Our son doubled in weight in four months and didn’t grow an inch for 14 months. He was so amped up, he was down to two hours of sleep a night until we added a blood pressure med to keep his heart from exploding. Regular kidney and liver labs to head off any pending organ failure. Back hair, on a four year old. We turned off his adrenal gland almost entirely, thus making him dangerously fearless — no fight or flight response.

    But within days, his language returned, followed by eye contact and social interaction. He’s got a long way to go, but for a kid who was silent for a year following his MMR and regained only a handful of words after dropping wheat and dairy from his diet, that’s better than any of the autism “experts” at Children’s Hospital considered remotely possible. (Celiac since confirmed genetically, and no return of asthma symptoms since dropping dairy)

    The weight came off after tapering him down, and he’s caught up in height – growing nearly six inches in the year since. Still has a little shock of gray hair on his head from hitting him so hard, but the only residual effects are a continued expansion of expressive and receptive language. This month, we even got our first hints of sarcasm. Sure, he still has autism, but maybe not forever.

    Worth noting, the neurologist in Boston doing the unsanctioned study still can’t get a clinical trial approved and will likely have to go to Canada to do so.


    Because if you treat chronic inflammation due to measles reactions and significantly improve the symptoms of autism, everyone knows what caused it.

    So what should parents do about it? Become better equipped to make an informed decision about the health of your child.

    The comparison I like to make is between what causes autism and what causes an airplane to crash.

    Airlines and government safety regulators will assure you there is little way to tell, aside from routine aircraft maintenance, what makes a plane crash until after the fact. That’s only somewhat true — there are lots of variables, but there are also trends.

    Half of all plane crashes in the US occur during less than optimal weather conditions — not awful, just enough to increase stress in the cockpit. Also, about half of all crashes that occur do so when either the pilot or co-pilot has been up for at least 12 hours straight. Likewise, about half of US crashes that occur happen to take place when the pilot and co-pilot haven’t flown together before. And on top of that, about half of the time, either the pilot or co-pilot has never landed or taken off from that particular airport before.

    And that series of 50 percents adds up too — it’s cumulative. By this somewhat simplified math, if you fly on an aircraft in decent weather, with an alert pilot and co-pilot, who have flow together before and have taken off or landed at that particular airport before, that’s a half, of a half, of a half of a half. That makes the poor soul flying in so-so weather, with a weary pilot or co-pilot, who haven’t flown together and haven’t landed or taken off from a particular airport 16 times more likely to be involved in a plane crash.


    Again, it doesn’t mean they’re bad pilots or have a bad aircraft. Airplanes are a collection of complicated systems working together and an accumulation of stress has its consequences — not on every flight, but on enough to make a difference. In fact, plane crashes rarely happen like they are portrayed in films or on television. The average plane crash is the result of seven consecutive errors. A warning light goes off and a tired pilot misses it, or there is a breakdown in communication between two unfamiliar pilots as to who should be watching that particular gauge, or they are both just a little distracted trying to land in adverse weather or at an unfamiliar airport. That initial oversight, results in another problem, which may be dismissed as a sensor error having missed the first warning, and another and another until the stress and seemingly minor mistakes and oversights end in disaster.

    That’s what autism is — a series of seemingly minor mistakes and oversights compounded by additional stress resulting the failure of one or more complicated, interdependent systems.

    Some things you can’t control, like the weather — or genetic predisposition. It simply is what it is.

    However, what if you knew in advance how much sleep your pilots had, or how long they’d been awake, or whether they’d flown together before, or landed or taken off from your airport? Would it affect your choice of flights, knowing how important the answers to those basic questions are in reducing your statistical odds of being in a plane crash?

    You’re damn right, I would.

    Or would you just take the airlines and government regulators at their word — that all flights are equally safe and that all of those little preventable or avoidable conditions don’t really change your odds of predicting a plane crash?

    Four simple differences?
    Sixteen times more likely to crash?

    Parents who choose not to vaccinate, or selectively vaccinate their children do so with the best of intentions, but often with great ignorance. Parents who choose to vaccinate their children do so with the best of intentions, but often with great ignorance.

    Why not let all parents make more informed decisions by demanding more information prior to vaccination?

    Why can’t forward-thinking pediatricians develop a standard risk assessment survey for parent family histories? Look at the medical symptoms and conditions most common in children with autism — big stuff, like digestive issues, autoimmune disorders, degenerative neurological conditions, chronic inflammation. This could all be done prior to birth.

    Then test the child: IgA, IgE, C-Reactive Protein, Celiac. Caesarian births, fair hair, blue eyes and complexion traits like freckles and pale pigmentation all count against you.

    Based on both sets of results, parents make a decision not only on vaccination (when, whether and what), but also consider nursing versus formula and the eventual introduction or restriction of specific foods.

    So what, your kid misses the Hep-B. Are they going to be out engaging in unprotected sex or sharing needles with IV drug users anytime soon? (Most US children receive a Hep-B vaccination within the first 24 hours of life. By contrast in Scandinavia, all infants are tested for celiac within the first 24 hours.)

    The odds are different for different flights and different kids. Your kid’s risks may be lower than mine. Your comfortable level for adverse vaccine reactions may be higher than mine as well. You go ahead and fly, maybe I’ll wait and take the next one.

    So far as increased risks go for those who aren’t vaccinated, that number is hyped for the benefit of the pharmaceutical companies. The big hoopla over the rise in measles cases in the US made for a big headline, but the actual numbers tell a different tale.

    Yes, the number of cases doubled — from the mid 70s to between 140 and 150 in the entire US in 2008. (Depends on whose number you use, but they’re all pretty close.) That means that in a country of more than 300 million people, fewer than 150 contracted measles from a source other than an adverse vaccine reaction. (I know this because our son’s case didn’t count in 2006.)

    That makes your kid’s odds of contracting measles randomly less than 1 in 2 million. You are statistically more likely to drown in bathtub (1 in 685,000), be struck by lightning: (1 in 576,000) or even die in an airplane crash (1 in 354,319).

    Odds of autism: 1 in 100
    Odds of food allergies: 1 in 18
    Odds of asthma: 1 in 6

    When I was a kid, I didn’t know a single child with asthma or a food allergy. I’d never even heard of autism. Today, I have a child with all three and am hard-pressed to meet anyone who doesn’t know the child of a friend or family member who does as well.

    Sure, there are other causes and they are cumulative. The hormone mimicry of soy and plastics and fake hormones in milk and dairy, the herbicide otherwise known as Nutrasweet killing off our beneficial gut bacteria with the help of anti-bacterial soaps and antibiotics in our meats, the prevalence of industrial cleaners and construction off-gasing. It all adds up.

    But the biggest impact on a developing immune system is to challenge it too early with an increasingly aggressive vaccination schedule with the hope of preventing diseases far less likely and far more treatable than autism.

    Ask more questions. Make informed decisions for your child, but don’t be too quick to judge other parents who do the same for their children.

  6. Consider The Source.

    Hannah Poling isn’t an “autistic girl.”

    She doesn’t have autism. She has a mitochondrial disorder that manifests itself with symptoms similar to autism. The outbreak of those symptoms occurred 3 months after she was vaccinated (at age 19 months).The salient point is she doesn’t have autism. And her mitochondrial disease is genetic and not caused by mercury.

    Ergo, this case is NOT proof of autism being caused by vaccines.

    Here’s a balanced, factual article about the Poling case: http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1721109,00.html

    I followed a link here from a website, where a mother is concerned about immunizing her child from diseases THAT KILL CHILDREN because biased, poorly researched, inflammatory claptrap like this is scaring parents into making ill-informed dangerous medical decisions. You should be ashamed of yourself.

  7. Joe

    “Most experts say that credible studies have debunked a causal link (between autism and vaccines)”. Actually Patrick, if you go to pubmed (library of the National Institute of Health) and type in “autism and mercury” you will get references to 144 papers. All the papers that involve the generation of original data support the link. The papers that don’t are literature reviews that just regurgitate the same mainstream talking points. It’s hard to talk mercury without mentioning vaccines. Here’s why:

    200 ppb mercury = level in liquid the EPA classifies as hazardous waste based on toxicity characteristics.

    25,000 ppb mercury = Concentration of mercury in multi-dose, Hepatitis B vaccine vials, administered at birth from 1991-2001 in the U.S.

    50,000 ppb mercury = Concentration of mercury in multi-dose DTaP and Haemophilus B vaccine vials, administered 8 times in the 1990’s to children at 2, 4, 6, 12 and 18 months of age and currently “preservative” level mercury in multi-dose flu, H1N1, meningococcal and tetanus vaccines. This can be confirmed by simply analyzing the multi-dose vials.

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