HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Akron Univ. School of Law

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Monday, June 20, 2005

Childhood Vaccines

Salon.com (available with subscription or by viewing brief ad) has an interesting article by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. concerning the use of thimerosal in a variety of childhood vaccines. He alleges that a study revealed that mercury in childhood vaccines may have caused autism in thousands of children.  This piece concerns a highly charged controversy and one with many different viewpoints as to what might cause autism (which seems to be a very popular diagnosis right now).  In addition, the piece deals with allegations that Congress was ready to immunize the pharmaceutical manufacturers from liability surrounding their vaccines and their relationship to childhood illnesses..  Salon also has several other articles on the same topic - discussing the parent perspective as well as some of the science

Associate Professor Steve P. Calandrillo at the University of Washington has an excellent article in the  University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform entitled, "Vanishing Vaccinations: Why Are So Many Americans Opting Out of Vaccinating Their Children?," which addresses the controversy from a somewhat different standpoint, noting the many holes in the scientific evidence proving a link between the vaccines and autism.  Full cite for the article is:  37 U. Mich. J.L Ref. 353 (2004).  [bm]

Update:  ABC news will be running an interview with Robert Kennedy Jr. in which he will discuss some of his allegations against the pharmaceutical companies.  No word on when exactly the interview will air.

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