SafeMinds' Response to Autism Omnibus Court Decision
Posted Feb 12 2009 12:00am
Managing Editor's Note: Below is a response from our sponsor SafeMinds.
Washington, D.C. - February 12, 2009 - Autism advocacy organization SafeMinds regrets today's ruling by the U.S Court of Federal Claims against three families who argued that vaccination contributed to their child's autism. The denial of reasonable compensation to families was based on inadequate vaccine safety science available to the court. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is the defendant in vaccine injury cases and is also responsible for carrying out the very vaccine safety research that should be integral to court decisions. This conflict of interest means the deck is stacked against families when they enter "vaccine court" and is yet one more reason for parents to doubt the integrity of the National Immunization Program.
"The government has its thumb on the scales of justice," said Jim Moody, director of SafeMinds and an advisor to the Petitioners Steering Committee of the U.S Federal Court of Claims. "The Vaccine Injury Compensation Act passed by Congress in 1986 gave immunity to vaccine manufacturers and removed the incentive to create safer products. Meanwhile, the law only gives the illusion that parents will have their day in court. The process is dysfunctional and many families will not see justice done."