Nobody was more surprised by the decisions in Cedillo, Hazlehurst, and Snyder than me. It wasn’t just that the decisions went against the theory of vaccines causing autism. I understood how controversial this claim was, and the proof which would probably be needed to sustain it.
What shocked me was the tone of the opinions, the vitriol against a position which sought to explain a disease which has confounded the medical establishment. These three public test cases in the Omnibus Autism Proceeding were supposed to give guidance regarding the nearly 5,000 cases filed in the Vaccine Court alleging autism and other neurological problems resulting from vaccinations. The decisions undercut all of those pending cases.
But away from the glare of media scrutiny the decisions made privately were much different. There was the government concession in the Poling case, in which the government doctors conceded that the nine shots Hannah Poling received in a single doctor’s visit reacted with an underlying mitochondrial disorder leading to her seizures and autism. Closely following that decision was the win in the Bailey Banks case in which the court found that a vaccine had caused that child’s Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD is often used interchangeably with autism) due to an encephalopathy.