vaccines go to court for links to autism

vaccines go to court for links to autismfrom new york times: Lawyers began arguments on Monday in the first of several test cases that may help decide whether the government should pay millions of dollars to parents of autistic children.

Nearly 5,000 parents claim that vaccinations caused their children to become autistic, and many of their claims have been pending for five years. The hearing was held at the “federal vaccine court,” set up by Congress 20 years ago when a series of vaccine scares nearly crippled the industry.

Every major study and scientific organization examining this issue has found no link between vaccination and autism, but the parents and their advocates have persisted. Their frustration was evident in the opening statement of the parents’ lawyer, Thomas Powers of Portland, Ore.

“Numerous obstacles have been placed in the path of the petitioners seeking that fair and generous compensation that they are entitled to,” Mr. Powers said.