Health Law

Experts Prepare for Battle in Autism Case

About 20 experts are expected to testify in a case beginning this week before the U.S. Court of Federal Claims that asks whether a vaccine preservative causes autism.

Gary Golkiewicz, chief special master in the court, told the Washington Post that a ruling could be a year away.

Cedillo v. Secretary of Health and Human Services is a test case picked from more than 4,800 claims filed with the court set up to compensate individuals harmed by vaccines.

Lawyers for the government will cite a 2004 report by the Institute of Medicine discounting the theory that vaccines cause autism. They will also note that autism is rising in the United States even though the mercury-based preservative, thimerosal, was removed from vaccines around 1999.

Some plaintiffs believe the government is hiding evidence of a link, and some contend there is another ingredient in vaccines causing the problem.

We welcome your comments, but please adhere to our comment policy and the ABA Code of Conduct.

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.