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Family To Receive $1.5M+ In Vaccine-Autism Award

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the welcome-to-a-jury-of-your-peers dept.

Medicine 594

An anonymous reader, quoting from CBS News, writes "'The first court award in a vaccine-autism claim is a big one. CBS News has learned the family of Hannah Poling will receive more than $1.5 million for her life care, lost earnings, and pain and suffering for the first year alone. In addition to the first year, the family will receive more than $500,000 per year to pay for Hannah's care. Those familiar with the case believe the compensation could easily amount to $20 million over the child's lifetime. ... In acknowledging Hannah's injuries, the government said vaccines aggravated an unknown mitochondrial disorder Hannah had which didn't 'cause' her autism, but 'resulted' in it. It's unknown how many other children have similar undiagnosed mitochondrial disorders. All other autism 'test cases' have been defeated at trial. Approximately 4,800 are awaiting disposition in federal vaccine court.' How did this happen when all the scientific data points otherwise?"

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594 comments

What? (5, Insightful)

Ssherby (1429933) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543286)

Is it April Fools day already?

Re:What? (5, Informative)

Kilrah_il (1692978) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543528)

The parent was modded troll, but sadly he has a point. The only research [wikipedia.org] linking MMR vaccines to Autism (or Autistic-like symptoms) was proven a fake, while countless studies have shown that there is no link (correction: no link was shown. I know the difference). Yet, now we have the government admiting that the vaccine resulted in what happened to the girl.
The girl had a mithochondrial disease. Although unspecified, many of them cause encephalopathy that can be aggrevated due to many causes. If she had not been given the vaccine, the same would have happened a week/month/a few month later due to the common cold/gatroenteritis/ear infection/ whatever. To say that without the vaccine she would have been fine to this day is naive at best and deceptive at worst.

So yes, it sounds like a bad April Fools story. Sadly enough, it ain't.

Re:What? (5, Interesting)

Ssherby (1429933) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543600)

Thanks for the vindication.

But unfortunately a few anti-vaccine Nazi types with mod points burning holes in their pockets came tearing through this comment thread not long after I posted that.

When I first read this and I thought almost immediately about April Fools stories on /. primarily because an estimated 20 million award seems punitive and excessively so. And who is being punished here? You and I and everyone else who had nothing to do with this.

While I feel sorry for this girl and her family, it is not my fault this happened. And I cannot see how providing care for this girl could possibly cost this kind of money. It would have made more sense to have a reasonable pain and suffering award up front, plus some reasonable standard of living allowance annually, plus the government picking up the tab on all related medical costs. Somehow I doubt the total of which would come anywhere near 20 million

Re:What? (0, Offtopic)

Kilrah_il (1692978) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543660)

Sorry to be unsupportive, but only you are punished for this. I'm from Israel, we have our own different fuckups :)

Re:What? (5, Funny)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543708)

Hare dare you question Jenny McCarthy! She has been a playboy model **AND** squirted out a child, so she is clearly far more qualified in the field of science, research, and analysis than any of us!

vaccines (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33543290)

who knows what shit's in there? read the insert and warnings before you get injected if you must get vaccinated. don't blindly follow the doctors orders, chances are with a few minutes of research you are smarter than your doctor. you are reading slashdot right?

Re:vaccines (0, Troll)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543440)

chances are with a few minutes of research you are smarter than your doctor.

Can't be difficult, just look at their handwriting. A five year old can do better.

Re:vaccines (5, Insightful)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543484)

who knows what shit's in there?

Anyone who can be irked to actually research it. These things are highly scrutinized by countless people during their development process. You might not understand it, but that doesn't mean you should try to burn it for being a witch.

Re:vaccines (5, Insightful)

Kilrah_il (1692978) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543562)

Hey, there are stuff in there with many letters and more than 3 syllables. Many of them contain Duhydrogen monooxide [wikipedia.org], which is a known "bad stuff". Anything with that many letters must be bad.

Oh, and on a more serious note:

chances are with a few minutes of research you are smarter than your doctor...

You might be smarter than your doctor, but I assure you that even after an hour of intensive googling, he is better informed than you are in medicine. Yes, you should not blindly do whatever the doctor says - you should ask questions, ask for a second/third/... opinion, research for yourself, etc. But to think that after a few minutes' research you would be more knowledgeable than him is a bit insulting.

Re:vaccines (3, Insightful)

Duncan J Murray (1678632) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543672)

chances are with a few minutes of research you are smarter than your doctor...

A little bit of knowledge can be a dangerous thing...

Now you know (5, Insightful)

tsotha (720379) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543296)

If you ever wondered why drug companies would rather work on yet another allergy medication instead of vaccines with a much bigger potential to help people, well, look no further.

Re:Now you know (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33543336)

Because there is money to earn in allergy medication; and barely anything (except to recover production costs) in government regulated vaccines?

Re:Now you know (5, Interesting)

phantomcircuit (938963) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543362)

Manufactures of vaccines are granted immunity from lawsuit. The money for this will come out of tax payers pockets. Incidentally it means that nobody involved had any benefit to fight paying these people.

Re:Now you know (4, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543480)

Nope. It's because you need allergy medication every day of your life. Vaccines are (mostly) single-use.

One more time... ...with feeling... (0, Redundant)

Ssherby (1429933) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543302)

Say it again...

more than $1.5 million dollars for her life care; lost earnings; and pain and suffering for the first year alone. In addition to the first year, the family will receive more than $500,000 per year to pay for Hannah's care. Those familiar with the case believe the compensation could easily amount to $20 million over the child's lifetime.

Re:One more time... ...with feeling... (1)

WarJolt (990309) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543346)

Seems like copy and paste can sometimes do more harm than good. Seems like copy and paste can sometimes do more harm than good.

Re:One more time... ...with feeling... (1)

Ssherby (1429933) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543412)

Yes, but a simple re-read of your post before submitting it should alleviate this kind of error from appearing in the main post. It seems some /. contributors are too lazy for that step though.

Re:One more time... ...with feeling... (2, Funny)

Ssherby (1429933) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543630)

Oh the irony!

I got moderated as redundant. By the Department of Redundancy Department no doubt.

I got moderated as redundant. By the Department of Redundancy Department no doubt.

How ironic is that?

Re:One more time... ...with feeling... (1)

Kilrah_il (1692978) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543680)

You know what is ironic? That you use "ironic" when something is not ironic and your sig is:

You keep using that word.
I do not think it means what you think it means.

Pointing out a redundency and being singled out as redundant yourself is either unfitting (if your view is in fact insightful) or deserving (if someone thinks that it was so obvious, that your post was not needed).

P.S. I know a case can be made to this being in fact irony. In that case, my post is ironic, but I will go with the conservative view of irony for the purpose of this comment.

Dear Federal Government, (5, Insightful)

mdenham (747985) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543304)

My doctorb has proof that I have a previously unknown mitochondrial disorder that does not cause, but results in, a deep-seated need to receive large quantities of money.

$2.2 billion dollars would be appreciated as compensation.

Really? (1)

ohiovr (1859814) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543308)

Does this mean the mystery about the cause of autism is solved?

who decided to make the award? (0, Flamebait)

dltaylor (7510) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543340)

I don't see any identification of the fecal encephalitis case(s) that made the award.

Did the plaintiff's lawyers search for the dimwittedest court in the USofA?

Previous condition (5, Insightful)

Epeeist (2682) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543348)

As was noted in the article, the girl had an underlying condition which the vaccine aggravated. It was a very specific case.

This does not validate the views of the anti-vaccination brigade.

Re:Previous condition (5, Insightful)

WarJolt (990309) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543372)

Don't be so sure. Think about it. Without a test your child too may have a rare mitochondrial disorder. Without a study no one knows how prevalent the disorder might be. When it comes to parents even vaccines that have a higher chance of saving a life than causing autism become something to worry about.

Re:Previous condition (2)

TheLink (130905) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543698)

The big difference between the mass-vaccines and normal medication is:

Mass vaccine:
1) You are not sick when you get it
2) "Everyone" gets it, very high percentages of the population in some cases.
3) So some "corner case" might get affected.

Other medication/treatment:
1) You are sick when you get it
2) Only those who are sick with the appropriate disease are supposed to get it.
3) Many of the "corner cases" might have died of something else before they got to this stage, or their mutant immune system is such that they rarely get sick except from pesky vaccines ;).

So there is actually a higher chance that the vaccine could make you worse off than you were before you got it. In contrast normal medication is more likely to make you better than worse (at least that's what those trials and studies are supposed to prove first ;) ).

As a result the safety considerations of the two are not the same.

For example: say in a study or a trial of a few thousand people, only 1% had problems and treatment had to be withdrawn for them, and it worked for 25%. This would be extremely good results for a drug for liver cancer. But terrible for a mass vaccine.

Another example: peanuts are generally recognized as safe, but if you forced all children to consume peanuts as part of a mass health program, even just once, there would certainly be problems and even fatalities.

So while I do think much of the noise about vaccines is much like that "WiFi is giving me/my children" problems, it's ridiculous to say it's so safe.

It certainly can't be 100% safe, and using the safety standards of "normal medicine/treatment" may not be good enough. You'd have to apply the percentage of potential adverse reactions and fatalities, to millions of people who weren't sick in the first place, then ask, is it worth it?

And it's not just the active ingredient of the vaccine. How about the preservatives and other components of the "productized" vaccine? People can claim thimerosal is safe, but I'm not personally confident that giving it to millions wouldn't cause problems with a few hundreds - there are all sorts of people out there. Many metabolize/"flush" things differently.

Re:Previous condition (0, Troll)

Fantastic Lad (198284) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543384)

This does not validate the views of the anti-vaccination brigade.

I wonder how often and loudly you'll need to repeat that in order for it to maintain its buffering effect against reality...

-FL

Re:Previous condition (5, Insightful)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543470)

This does not validate the views of the anti-vaccination brigade.

I wonder how often and loudly you'll need to repeat that in order for it to maintain its buffering effect against reality...

-FL

I have no idea what your comment means, but it's modded insightful so I have to respond. The reality is that the diseases that vaccinations prevent are far more horrible than you can imagine, probably because you've grown up in a world without them. Parents who do not vaccinate their children are irresponsible. They are blind to what these diseases do because when they grew up the diseases barely existed in countries with vaccination (if at all). By not vaccinating your children you not only risk their lives but you risk the lives of countless others. The reasoning behind the choices of not to vaccinate are largely based on pseudoscience and absurd.

Re:Previous condition (3, Interesting)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543514)

He's not doubting that this doesn't vindicate the vaccine conspiracy theorists ideas. He's saying that no matter how correct you are, these nuts will still point to this as a reason why they should be given money as well.

Re:Previous condition (3, Insightful)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543522)

If that is the case, then I apologise to the OP. I still maintain that those against immunisation/vaccination are irresponsible, though.

Re:Previous condition (-1, Redundant)

dwywit (1109409) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543632)

Well, your statement is couched in terms of the absolute, so I'll reply in the same way.

I'm 48, born and grew up in Australia, and I was not vaccinated against measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, or whooping cough. I received oral polio vaccine, I've had the odd tetanus vaccine in response to the usual but infrequent puncture injuries, I received a smallpox vaccination and yellow fever vaccination prior to travelling overseas in 1974, I've definately had full-blown wild-caught measles, mumps, and chicken pox in my childhood, and I'm still here. My children aren't vaccinated (12 and 8 respectively), and they're slender, highly active kids - the older was swim club champion last year. Actually, I can't fatten them up - I cook nearly all their food, and they don't often leave much on the plate.

It's got more to do with healthy lives and healthy immune systems than vaccines.

Re:Previous condition (4, Insightful)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543664)

Well, your statement is couched in terms of the absolute, so I'll reply in the same way. [...] My children aren't vaccinated (12 and 8 respectively), and they're slender, highly active kids - the older was swim club champion last year. Actually, I can't fatten them up - I cook nearly all their food, and they don't often leave much on the plate.

It's got more to do with healthy lives and healthy immune systems than vaccines.

Well, I'll reply in the same way also. You're wrong. You're irresponsible. And it's parents like you who endanger the lives of others. Healthy lifestyle and healthy immune systems are more important than vaccines? Yes, they're important but they don't stop the disease, although they might help you recover from the disease (if the disease is actually recoverable from). You talk about healthy immune systems -- what do you actually think that immunisation does?

Re:Previous condition (2, Interesting)

Zironic (1112127) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543686)

Healthy lives and Vaccination doesn't have much to do with eachother, the thing is that there is a very high mortality rate among unvaccinated children because there exists a lot of easily vaccinated diseases that are dangerous, I'll let Pen and Teller illustrate.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfdZTZQvuCo [youtube.com]

Re:Previous condition (2, Insightful)

Duncan J Murray (1678632) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543688)

I would say you are enjoying the benefits of herd-immunity. You might not find life to be so rosy if everyone were to act in the same way.

Re:Previous condition (5, Informative)

bertok (226922) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543748)

It's called Herd Immunity [wikipedia.org]. While you and your children aren't well protected against the infections that moderns societies vaccinate against, everyone else is, providing indirect protection. The people around you aren't sick, so they can't pass on infection to you, even though you are vulnerable. You live in a country where the negative impact of you foregoing vaccination is minimised because everyone else did get vaccinated. Hardly a solid argument against vaccination.

Most vaccines don't provide total protection to any one individual anyway, so many people that think they are protected aren't, and get by, just like you, because of the immunity of the population as a whole. As long as enough people are immune, diseases won't spread. The problem is that some vaccines are only just barely effective enough to establish herd immunity. If enough people decide to forego vaccination, there could be a real problem. Diseases that have been nearly wiped out could make a comeback, imported by tourists or immigrants from the third world. Even people who been vaccinated might die or become paralysed by their thousands, because of a small, foolish minority of people like yourself.

I wonder if fear can be inherited? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33543574)

I wonder if whatever causes people to irrationally fear vaccines can be inherited? If so, that seems like exactly the sort of thing that will get selected against...

Re:Previous condition (1)

Kilrah_il (1692978) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543594)

Since the anti-vaccination groups have managed to maintain their belief in the face of scientific evidence, I am pretty sure they would look at this case as something that does validate their views, while continuing to ignore the evidence all around them.

Re:Previous condition (3, Insightful)

PrinceAshitaka (562972) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543648)

FTFA,

"The vaccine didn't cause the disorder, it resulted in it. "

I want to ask these parents, this judge, how many horrible deaths of young children from preventable deseases they are then liable for? The parents, lawyers and judge will not cause the deaths of these children, but thier actions certainly will result in the horrible deaths of children from preventable deseases.

Re:Previous condition (2, Insightful)

PrinceAshitaka (562972) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543658)

I have no problem with this family getting money to help thier child, my problem is the way it was done, it willnot be clear to many parents that this doesn't mean that vacconations cause autism.

Re:Previous condition (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543720)

This does not validate the views of the anti-vaccination brigade.

No, but they'll take it as such. They take discredited research, the fact that the research on their side is even being questioned at all (because you know that proves there's a conspiracy), and a former playboy model's testimony, and validate their beliefs with it. Naturally a court case somewhat in their favor is going to be even more "proofy" for them. Had it been against them, they merely would have used it as further proof there's a conspiracy.

bitter batter (-1, Troll)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543358)

Cue 100 bitter /. readers complaining because someone who is severely mentally disabled for life might have the benefit of some money to help support her. I deserve $20 million too - I'm healthy and wise but you all owe me because I'm a socially maladjusted geek and I want another iPod!!!

If you don't like it, get yourself a nationalised health service. I've had family members in the UK receive adverse neurological reactions to vaccines (nothing to do with autism) and a comparatively very small amount is paid directly because it's the health service's duty to look after sick people anyway.

Re:bitter batter (3, Insightful)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543448)

Way to find a way to stretch this into an attempt to start yet another healthcare flamewar on slashdot.

Personally, I think I'll abstain, and not take your very obvious bate. I'll continue finding this settlement flat out absurd, but for none of the strawman reasons you suggest. I do not deserve that kind of money for a bullshit 'medical accident', and neither do they.

Re:bitter batter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33543582)

bate? please look that word up in the dictionary.

Re:bitter batter (1)

16K Ram Pack (690082) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543454)

Cue 100 bitter /. readers complaining because someone who is severely mentally disabled for life might have the benefit of some money to help support her.

No-one's complaining about that. There's a difference between looking after those in need and backing down in a case about vaccines. I have no problem with a government supporting her. I have a problem with a government settling a lawsuit over the vaccines being the problem, and sealing it, rather than winning the vaccine case and then paying separately.

You know that Mad Mel in the Daily Mail will jump all over this case and the whole MMR bullshit will kick off again and children will suffer from diseases that the population used to have hive immunity from.

Re:bitter batter (1)

Kilrah_il (1692978) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543604)

I think you meant herd immunity [wikipedia.org] in the last sentence, but other then that I agree with you completely.

Re:bitter batter (1)

gringer (252588) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543666)

I think you meant herd immunity [wikipedia.org] in the last sentence, but other than that I agree with you completely.

FTFY

Legal outcomes include luck (5, Insightful)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543360)

> How did this happen .... ?

Every time you go to court, there will be a certain amount of randomness in the outcome, because the legal system isn't run by mathematical logic, it is run by humans (lawyers, judges, juries) and they are notoriously unpredictable.

Re:Legal outcomes include luck (5, Interesting)

phantomcircuit (938963) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543378)

They didn't sue the drug company. They sued in a special court where the payout comes from the tax payers.

They won because nobody had any incentive at all to fight them.

Re:Legal outcomes include luck (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33543406)

It's run by money, the lawyers aren't doing this out of a sense of justice, or some other misguided reason, they're doing it for money. If 500K USD is what it takes to take care of a child with that disease, any disease, then the government would have gone bankrupt a long time ago. They're in it for the money! Money! Money!

All scientific data?!? (1)

Joshua.Niland (1483917) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543364)

You are versed in all Scientific studies on the subject of Vaccination and Autisim?

Re:All scientific data?!? (5, Insightful)

Dahan (130247) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543374)

Yes--all of the ones that are published in peer-reviewed journals, at least.

Re:All scientific data?!? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33543390)

Yeah, slashdot, the "brains trust" (extreme sarcasm here) is familiar with immunology.

I'm out of here. Enjoy your cesspit.

Re:All scientific data?!? (4, Insightful)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543426)

That's not how you properly challenge that claim. This is a subject that a lot of people care about, and have spent a lot of time (failing) trying to find studies that support a connection between Autism and Vaccination. If you want to do it correctly, you find a peer reviewed study that 1) shows a connection, and 2) hasn't been already shown to be a crock of shit. The ball is in your court.

Go ahead, we're waiting...

Another great step backwards... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33543398)

I truly feel for people who have complications as the result of taking any medicine, but if you consider the vast numbers of people who receive vaccinations with no issues at all, the side-effect cases are extremely minute. Like everything else the American health care system ails from these days, all these successful lawsuits will do is push researchers and pharmaceutical companies to cease development and production of vaccinations as their insurance rates etc go up. Only when people have to see their child die from what would have been an easily prevented disease, or watch his/her body broken by something like polio, will they realize how much vaccines are needed and how f'ed up our lawsuit happy country has gotten.

Re:Another great step backwards... (1)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543434)

[...] all these successful lawsuits will do is push researchers and pharmaceutical companies to cease development and production of vaccinations as their insurance rates etc go up..

I doubt it. The financial reward far outweighs any increase in insurance costs or payouts. A few hundred million for these companies is a drop in the ocean.

Re:Another great step backwards... (4, Informative)

Kilrah_il (1692978) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543652)

Well apperently those sums can lump up to quite a fortune:

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services set up the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) in 1988 to compensate individuals and families of individuals injured by covered childhood vaccines. The VICP was adopted in response to a scare over the pertussis portion of the DPT vaccine. These claims were later generally discredited, but some U.S. lawsuits against vaccine makers won substantial awards; most makers ceased production, and the last remaining major manufacturer threatened to do so.

From: Vaccine court [wikipedia.org].
It seems, that if you open up the flood gate, you can get to the point where it is not financially possible to continue producing the vaccine. And then we have problems.

And another point, according to the above article, The VICP will compensate every case in which a condition listed in the Vaccine Injury Table is proven to have happened after a vaccine was given (by showing a casual connection). The table [hrsa.gov] does not list autism, so my question is: how did they get the claim to be accepted? I guess maybe it was by being regarded as encephalitis/encephalopathy and not autism, and it is only tauted as autism to draw headlines. So we may have another case of bad reporting? If any one has a link to the original ruling, it may be interesting to find out what is being compensated - encephalopathy or autism.

Re:Another great step backwards... (2, Interesting)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543476)

>>but if you consider the vast numbers of people who receive vaccinations with no issues at all, the side-effect cases are extremely minute

Are they? A friend of mine had her baby immunized, took it home, and then it went into seizures a few hours later. Nearly died.

The asked the doctor in the ER if it could have been caused by the vaccines. He said, "Not a chance, there's no evidence they cause seizures." And then promptly didn't file it as a possible complication from the vaccine.

Chicken. Egg.

Re:Another great step backwards... (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543508)

Because as we all know, mere one-time correlation is the strongest form of evidence.

Re:Another great step backwards... (1)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543638)

Of course the GP might be trolling us but a one time account of something that did not get logged and reported is way more interesting than a one time correlation. Even if previous studies find no connection between vaccines and autism, new cases should be investigated or at least logged, since tech advancement means every year we are exposed to new chemicals and waves on new frequencies. Corner cases can still give insights and a life has too high a price to be overlooked.

In the war between vaccination campaigns and people who don't want 'em the victims seem to be Safer vaccines.

Re:Another great step backwards... (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543656)

>>Of course the GP might be trolling us but a one time account of something that did not get logged and reported is way more interesting than a one time correlation.

Trolling? Her name is Amy, lives in San Diego, went to high school with me. She's not some mythical friend of a friend of a second cousin that someone's heard a story about.

But yeah, that's precisely my point. The pediatrician absolutely refused to entertain the notion that the vaccine could have caused the seizure, citing the lack of evidence as proof.

As I said: chicken and egg.

Re:Another great step backwards... (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543640)

>>Because as we all know, mere one-time correlation is the strongest form of evidence.

Because, as we all know, ignoring data is a great way to confirm presuppositions.

Re:Another great step backwards... (1)

jemmyw (624065) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543598)

Febrile seizures are caused by high temperatures in young children (under 5). Some immunizations can give children high temperatures afterwards. So there could be a chain of cause and effect there, but the vaccine didn't directly cause the seizure. Of course I don't know anything, just musing a possible. On another note, if it was a febrile seizure it wouldn't have caused the baby to nearly die, they're very scary for parents but not dangerous (my son has had a couple and I actually thought he had died).

Re:Another great step backwards... (2, Informative)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543646)

Interesting, but the kid's EEG was all over the place, which means that it wasn't a typical febrile seizure. It also lasted too long.

The pediatrician actually didn't know what was going on, only that it absolutely, positively, couldn't have been caused by the vaccine administered a few hours earlier.

Re:Another great step backwards... (3, Interesting)

Fumus (1258966) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543674)

Call me a bastard, but it would save the family $20 million if that child just died. Sure, helping a child without a leg, or allergic to glucose even, is much more reasonable, because they will eventually get to be adults who have some kind of job and generally can 'have a life' that they can support. But if you spend $500 thousand per year on someone, how do you justify it? For that much money you could keep a lot more children in perfect health and give them an 'ideal' upbringing so that they will have an enjoyable and full life on their own.
Life ain't fair. Shame we don't have natural predators to kill such people like me and her.

Re:Another great step backwards... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33543492)

The issue is that people don't have a choice in getting the vaccine for their child usually. Public schools force them to go get them; when you're telling someone they have to get the vaccination to a disease that is both extremely rare and/or easily treatable (measles, mumps, chicken pox) at the perceived risk of getting autism...I would honestly prefer my kid go through the measles or mumps.

Re:Another great step backwards... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33543494)

I truly feel for people who have complications as the result of taking any medicine, but if you consider the vast numbers of people who receive vaccinations with no issues at all, the side-effect cases are extremely minute.

That's what makes it viable to keep using the vaccines. Of course, if we are know a small proportion will have adverse reactions and we accept that as an unfortunate consequence of the greater benefit to us all of vaccination, we have a responsibility to compensate those adversely affected. If the adverse reactions are so numerous and costly as to make vaccination unprofitable we should consider withdrawing approval for it's use.

Re:Another great step backwards... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33543710)

I truly feel for people who have complications as the result of taking any medicine, but if you consider the vast numbers of people who receive vaccinations with no issues at all, the side-effect cases are extremely minute.

If it were really the case that complications are extremely remote then the costs to those who have complications can be easily covered by those without complications.

Only when people have to see their child die from what would have been an easily prevented disease, or watch his/her body broken by something like polio, will they realize how much vaccines are needed and how f'ed up our lawsuit happy country has gotten.

If the parents choose not to pay a one-time cost to cover the amortized damage to those the vaccine will harm, then that is their choice. If a vaccine is not made for a new disease then that is the collective choice of the market, that the disease does not pose a high enough cost to justify creating it. What you are really saying here is that as a matter of principle we should disregard cost when it comes to health care, which is one of the actual problems in our healthcare system.

does not contradict previous studies (4, Insightful)

mayberry42 (1604077) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543408)

All other autism 'test cases' have been defeated at trial. Approximately 4,800 are awaiting disposition in federal vaccine court.' How did this happen when all the scientific data points otherwise?"

I'm certainly not a doctor and may be misunderstanding this, but the way i think of it is this: when you execute someone, you provide with them a "lethal dose" of poison. In reality, there is no such thing as a "lethal dose", but rather it's defined as something that is 99.9999% (or whatever) percent likely that you'll kill someone given his/her physical conditions. Yet naturally, some survive - but that doesn't make it any good for you. Same with vaccination: yes, some rare people may have developed some condition that counteracts the benefits of the vaccines, but that doesn't mean it's bad for you.

So, ultimately, this in itself doesnt contradict previous studies - in this case we're dealing with an isolated case (the so-called statistical "outlier"), whereas before you were (presumably) dealing with a random selection of individuals, representative of the general population

what really concerns me more, however, are the possible repercussions of this asinine decision. They get so obsessed over isolated cases that they completely neglect the larger picture. To quote another poster:

If you ever wondered why drug companies would rather work on yet another allergy medication instead of vaccines with a much bigger potential to help people, well, look no further.

Deja Vu All Over Again (1)

Demize (55201) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543416)

I've seen duped articles summaries, but usually in different posts. I guess Slashdot is streamlining the process.

Terrible... (3, Interesting)

16K Ram Pack (690082) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543418)

Five years later, the government settled the case before trial and had it sealed.

In just about every way imaginable, this is the wrong thing to do. We're now going to have more fear-mongering about vaccines with everyone pointing at this case, and because it's sealed, no-one will know why.

It sounds terrible that vaccine + undiagnosed mitochondrial disorder can result in autism, but what happened should be open so that we can learn from it.

Vaccines are a great idea. (-1, Troll)

Fantastic Lad (198284) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543422)

But a rational examination and sifting through all the mountains of history and empirical evidence tells us that we simply cannot trust the people who make, promote, sell and administer these drugs.

I'd love to live in a Star Trek reality, where you can trust government and where everybody is truly striving through the application of honest science toward the very best we can be as a species. But there is no greed in Star Trek, and no psychopaths in power and no survival of the sneakiest doctrine in effect at all times.

Our world is not a sane and sensible Star Trek world, and to pretend otherwise, as much as our geek hearts may desire it, is suicidally naive.

-FL

Re:Vaccines are a great idea. (4, Insightful)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543474)

But a rational examination and sifting through all the mountains of history and empirical evidence tells us that we simply cannot trust the people who make, promote, sell and administer these drugs.

Right. All that documented history of vaccines wiping out smallpox, and nearly wiping out polio, and all those mountains of empirical evidence showing no correlation between vaccines and autism really suggests that we can't trust vaccines. Gotcha.

Re:Vaccines are a great idea. (0, Flamebait)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543676)

> All that documented history of vaccines wiping out smallpox, and nearly wiping out polio... ... tells us those vaccines were effective (some deniers might say effective as a rock that keeps tigers away but the burden of proof is theirs).

The point is that todays vaccines are different, past performance is irrelevant.
People are not different, past performance is relevant.

Re:Vaccines are a great idea. (2, Insightful)

Ssherby (1429933) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543502)

But there is no greed in Star Trek, and no psychopaths in power and no survival of the sneakiest doctrine in effect at all times.

-FL

I beg to differ. Q was definitely a psychopath if I ever saw one

Re:Vaccines are a great idea. (1)

16K Ram Pack (690082) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543570)

But a rational examination and sifting through all the mountains of history and empirical evidence tells us that we simply cannot trust the people who make, promote, sell and administer these drugs.

No. The history and empirical evidence is that vaccines work very well, with very few side effects.

The force be with you... (0, Offtopic)

Ssherby (1429933) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543452)

This maybe explains how those Jedi can afford to be flying all over the galaxy in their personal space crafts.

Results are the duplication of text (1)

Quick Reply (688867) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543496)

more than $1.5 million dollars for her life care; lost earnings; and pain and suffering for the first year alone. In addition to the first year, the family will receive more than $500,000 per year to pay for Hannah's care. Those familiar with the case believe the compensation could easily amount to $20 million over the child's lifetime.
more than $1.5 million dollars for her life care; lost earnings; and pain and suffering for the first year alone. In addition to the first year, the family will receive more than $500,000 per year to pay for Hannah's care. Those familiar with the case believe the compensation could easily amount to $20 million over the child's lifetimee

Do the affects of this vaccine also include repeating the same text on Slashdot, or is that the 'result'?

Who pays? (1)

DMiax (915735) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543504)

Sorry for asking dumb questions, but who will pay?

And let me add, whatever weasel words you may want to use, that the decision can only be considered reasonable if you believe that without the vaccine the girl would be better. So they are effectively saying that the vaccene is the cause or probable cause of the current situation. When whoever has to pay fights this decision back it should be easy to have it overturned.

Moreover this just makes everyone angry. It would be undestandable if they made the guilty party pay whatever future expenses may occur. Fixing a price, any price, on the condition is crazy. What if expenses become higher? lower? What if she is cured?

And, of course, it is open to abuse.

here's a prediction ...... (1)

thephydes (727739) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543516)

(which I hope does not come true). This will lead to further scaremongering and the vaccination rate will drop to a new low, leading to a another surge in some of the awful childhood diseases that have until recently been all but eradicated in western societies.

Re:here's a prediction ...... (1)

KarolisP (1538799) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543634)

yeah and darwin will be happy, becouse stupid (i.e. unfit to survive) people will be mangled by 100% preventable diseases, YEY stupid people 0 , Evolution 1 bring on the cheer leaders (vaccinated plz )

Re:here's a prediction ...... (1)

gringer (252588) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543704)

because stupid (i.e. unfit to survive) people will be mangled by 100% preventable diseases

I hate to tell you this, but vaccination helps the people who get vaccinated as well, just to a lesser degree. Vaccines are not 100% effective in 100% of the population, and they don't have 0% side effects (however, on the plus side, diseases do not have a 100% transmission rate, even for unvaccinated people).

Vaccines (in a situation where most people are vaccinated) reduce the transmission rate for most of the population, reducing the likelihood that anyone will be exposed to a disease (even vaccinated people).

Obligatory Penn&Teller (1)

photonic (584757) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543554)

If causing autism for some children were a side effect of vaccination (for which no evidence exists), the benefits of vaccination still outweigh the damage by a lot. Let my friends Penn and Teller [youtube.com] explain it in a bit more graphic way ...

Why was the case sealed after settlement? (1)

jenningsthecat (1525947) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543568)

Is it normal for the-government-as-defendant to seal a case after settling? If this action is not standard procedure, then it suggests the presence of findings the government didn't want revealed publicly.

Every parent wants some explanation (4, Insightful)

mykos (1627575) | more than 3 years ago | (#33543602)

There are book authors, researchers, and television commentators who build their entire careers on the fears of parents.

When someone, anyone, comes along and offers a cut-and-dried explanation to a common problem ("Tour child is autistic? It was vaccines!"), they cling to the idea. The author/commentator/researcher has given them a target for their fears and misunderstandings. Like and angry lynch mob, they will accept the first target they can, regardless of the facts. They are blinded by their desperation to know what went wrong with their child's health, and their threshold for truth is set very, very low.

Meanwhile in Finland.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33543714)

There are currently studies being conducted regarding connection between swine flu vaccination (Pandermix) containing specific adjuvant and increase in cases of narcolepsy on children. Increase has been from 3-7 diagnosis on typical year to ~20 this year.

I'm not anti vaccination at all, and got that vaccination myself, but that kind of increase in rare neurological condition certainly warrants an study.

Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33543742)

And slashdot hits another all time low, the summary have the exact same text several times, great "job" editors.

more than $1.5 million dollars for her life care; lost earnings; and pain and suffering for the first year alone.

In addition to the first year, the family will receive more than $500,000 per year to pay for Hannah's care.

Those familiar with the case believe the compensation could easily amount to $20 million over the child's lifetime.

more than $1.5 million dollars for her life care; lost earnings; and pain and suffering for the first year alone.

In addition to the first year, the family will receive more than $500,000 per year to pay for Hannah's care.

Those familiar with the case believe the compensation could easily amount to $20 million over the child's lifetime.

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