The real danger to children comes from messages like the one reproduced to the left, since it could scare parents out of providing their children important–indeed, potentially life saving–vaccines. This is particularly true now that the unlikely charge against vaccines as causing autism have proved to be unfounded according to two courts in strongly worded opinions. From the story:
Vaccines that contain a mercury-based preservative called thimerosal cannot cause autism on their own, a special U.S. court ruled on Friday, dealing one more blow to parents seeking to blame vaccines for their children’s illness. The special U.S. Court of Federal Claims ruled that vaccines could not have caused the autism of an Oregon boy, William Mead, ending his family’s quest for reimbursement. “The Meads believe that thimerosal-containing vaccines caused William’s regressive autism. As explained below, the undersigned finds that the Meads have not presented a scientifically sound theory,” Special Master George Hastings, a former tax claims expert at the Department of Justice, wrote in his ruling. In February 2009, the court ruled against three families who claimed vaccines caused their children’s autism, saying they had been “misled by physicians who are guilty, in my view, of gross medical misjudgment”.
But that won’t end the matter, alas:
But advocates for the idea that vaccines are dangerous said they would not give up. “We hope that Congress will intervene in what is clearly a miscarriage of justice to vaccine-injured children,” said Jim Moody of the Coalition for Vaccine Safety.
As Rabbi Kushner has put it, sometimes bad things happen to good people. Sometimes, there is simply no one to blame.