Yesterday the Supreme Court handed down a decision denying parents the right to go outside the government's "vaccine court" and sue drug makers for vaccine injuries in state court.
The decision, called "a victory for vaccine makers such as Wyeth and GlaxoSmithKline", is a defeat for the many parents who placed their trust in the nation's vaccine program.
The Washington Post reported that dissenting Justices Sotomayor and Ginsburg expressed concern that confining parents to vaccine court would lessen the incentives for vaccine manufacturers to monitor and improve the vaccines they produce.
The Post article then turned it's focus to the prevailing side, stating:
The majority said that Congress found such a system necessary to ensure that vaccines remain readily available...Using that rational we could excuse exploding gas tanks because of the need to keep American car manufactures in business and American workers employed.
The judges in the majority expressed their feeling that:
...federal regulators are in the best position to decide whether vaccines are safe and properly designed.Which could have just as easily been worded:
Those whose mission it is to ensure that as many men, women and children are vaccinated with as many, and as much vaccine as can possibly be absorbed, are in the best position to decide whether vaccines are safe and properly designed.Justice Antonin Scalia, reflecting the judges' blind faith in "science" wrote:
The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 "reflects a sensible choice to leave complex epidemiological judgments about vaccine design to the FDA and the National Vaccine Program rather than juries"Juries? Preposterous! How could they decide? After all they're just made up of people and people get real confused when they encounter "science" and hear mystifying words such as epidemiology.
Justice Scalia failed to mention how juries can be relied on to decide criminal cases involving forensic evidence (a field that incorporates a number of scientific principles) but that's another issue altogether.
The decision left the American Association of
"Today's Supreme Court decision protects children by strengthening our national immunization system and ensuring that vaccines will continue to prevent the spread of infectious diseases in this country,But what is today a cause for celebration within the halls of medicine may, in time, be seen as a Pyrrhic victory. After all, this decision might wake parents up to the fact that when it comes to recovering vaccine-related damages, the deck is stacked against them: yet one more reason to question the wisdom of vaccination.
I was disappointed though not surprised by the ruling. It reaffirms my belief that vaccines live in their own special world of protections and perceptions. Medical over treatment is rampant yet to even consider that vaccination can be over done makes one irrational. If you decide a vaccine is a product you don't want, you're anti vaccine (If you don't buy a flat screen are you anti flat screen?) and when clear conflicts of interest are clearly shown to the very foundation of vaccination were told conflicts don't matter.
Not surprisingly, this ruling has create outrage among many parents. As a result a protest is being planned forthis Thursday, February 24 at 11:30 am at Microsoft's NYC headquarters at 1290 Avenue of the Americas (52nd Street and Sixth Ave, southeast corner).
One final note. This post does not dispute the fact that the tort system is in need of reform. It is. It's just unfortunate that, while everyone else is subject to the current system, vaccines, occupying their own special place in the universe, are given shelter in the warm and cozy bosom of Vaccine Court, and granted protections far beyond what any general reform could ever deliver.