ARTICLE: Denying the Obvious: Why the Special Masters Should Have Found for Petitioners in the Autism Omnibus Test Cases Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 2011 The Federal Circuit Bar Association
The Federal Circuit Bar Journal

ARTICLE: Denying the Obvious: Why the Special Masters Should Have Found for Petitioners in the Autism Omnibus Test Cases

2011

The Federal Circuit Bar Journal

20 Fed. Cir. B.J. 633

Author

Steven J. Meyers *

Excerpt

Introduction

When a child is welcomed into the world, parents are brimming with hopes and dreams for their child; a kaleidoscope of images that, if pieced together, would tell a story of discovery, wonder, and growth.

Autism.

That one word can shatter this tapestry of dreams as if made of glass. When parents hear this word, their dreams are replaced by nightmarish fears. Fear their child will never speak. Fear their child will never understand the words "I love you," no matter how many times they are whispered. And fear their child will live an empty life, cut off from the world because their child is trapped in their own body.

The current estimate of the prevalence of autism among all children in the United States is one in one hundred and ten. 2 If a child is born today, the odds are one in sixty-three that the parent will be told their child has an autism spectrum disorder. 3 If the child is a boy, the rate climbs to one in thirty-eight. 4

There are many theories as to the cause of autism, and there is evidence that it may have different causes in different children. 5 Several of these theories implicate vaccines as a cause, particularly the Measles Mumps Rubella ("MMR") vaccine, as well as any vaccine containing thimerosal. 6 In 2007, there were over five thousand autism cases pending in the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program ("NVICP"). 7

On July 3, 2002, ...
 
 
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