Alliance for Human Research Protection
A Catalyst for Debate
CBS News reports about "yet another vaccine injury case you probably won't
hear much about... the tragic death of little Elias Tembenis."
According to court and medical records, Elias was born on Aug. 23, 2000 and
appeared healthy until Dec. 26 when he received his second dose of
diphtheria, tetanus, pertusis DTaP vaccine, developed a fever and began
having seizures, followed by epilepsy and death.
On November 29, 2010, the US Court of Vaccine Compensation ruled in favor of
his parents against unpersuasive arguments by the government.
Elias' case becomes quietly filed away in vaccine court archives with nearly
1,300 other vaccine brain injuries-none of them apparently being pooled for
study. An undetermined number of them, like Elias', involving autism
diagnoses. But to win a case in the Vaccine court, the condition, autism,
cannot be cited.
Indeed, in an earlier report, CBS investigative reporter, Sharyl Atkisson,
who had examined federal vaccine court decisions over the years, reported:
"Children who end up with autistic symptoms or autism have won vaccine
injury claims over the years-as long as they highlighted general,
widely-accepted brain damage; not autism specifically. But when autism or
autistic symptoms are alleged as the primary brain damage, the cases are
The debate over the links between vaccines and autism -which is triggered by
brain damage - is extremely contentious. The great majority of medical
opinion contends that vaccines don't cause autism. However, many of the same
experts concede that vaccines can, in rare instances, cause brain damage.
For example, Dr. Brian Strom, of the University of Pennsylvania, who has
served on Institute of Medicine panels advising the government on vaccine
safety, says "the prevailing medical opinion is that vaccines are
scientifically linked to encephalopathy, but not scientifically linked to
If so, why is the medical profession--including and especially, government
health officials--so resistant to examining the problem and the evidence to
ascertain what may be the cause of sudden developmental
regression--emergence of autism-- in previously healthy infants?
Why are doctors who do try to study the problem, regarded as pariahs?
Surely, the charade of turning a blind eye by deliberately obfuscating the
terminology--i.e., putting the head in the sand as if to protect against the
evil eye--is especially egregious within the context of legal proceedings
whose purpose is to determine the medical-scientific merit of the arguments
set forth by two parties to a dispute.
Who, exactly is being protected by the refusal of the medical profession to
examine the possible link between childhood vaccines and autism, and by the
Court to refuse to entertain the possibility that a connection may exist?
This issue is far from being settled.
Read more... http://www.ahrp.org/cms/content/view/756/9/
Contact: Vera Hassner Sharav
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