The case, Cedillo v. Secretary of Health and Human Services, was the first of a number of test cases heard by special masters for the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in 2007. 16-year-old Michelle Cedillo has autism, intellectual disability, and other diagnoses; her parents, Theresa and Michael Cedillo, had sought compensation from a federal fund, the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Theirs was one of some 4,800 claims filed by parents of autistic children who asserted that their child’s autism was caused by the U.S. government’s vaccine program. All of these test case claims have been rejected.
As noted in Disability Scoop, Special Master George L. Hastings, Jr., wrote last year that ‘”Unfortunately, the Cedillos have been misled by physicians who are guilty, in my view, of gross medical misjudgment.”‘ Last week’s judgment by the appeals court further stated that Judge Hastings’ ruling was ‘rationally supported by the evidence, well-articulated and reasonable.’ (See here for more on the 2009 ruling that parents of autistic children are not entitled to compensation for their claims that certain vaccines caused their child to be come autistic.)
I’m with what my friend Kevin Leitch posted on Left Brain/Right Brain about the rejection of the Cedillos’ appeal:
Nobody should take any pleasure from this decision. If the Cedillo’s happen to read this I would urge them to step away from the quackery. It is doing nobody any good.
Indeed, it is not.
End of story.
I say the best thing to do on the subject of vaccines and autism is to let the whole thing go and get on with the very involving work of advocating for more and betters services, programs and supports for autistic individuals, especially for teenagers, young adults, and adults.
For the past decade, the notion that vaccines might in some way contribute to a child becoming autistic has occupied quite a bit of time and energy in the autism community and among autism advocates. With a new school year about to begin for my son Charlie and many other children, may the focus on discussions about autism shift more and more to being about how we can best help Charlie and many others prepare (in school and as long as they may need) for the rest of their lives and how we can better change ourselves, to make the world a better and more accommodating place.
Photo by stevendepolo.