Using and Misusing Legal Decisions: Why Antivaccine Claims About NVICP Cases Are Wrong

77 Pages Posted: 14 Feb 2018 Last revised: 12 May 2018

Dorit Rubinstein Reiss

University of California Hastings College of the Law

Rachel Heap

Independent

Date Written: January 31, 2018

Abstract

The question of whether vaccines cause autism has been extensively studied. Studies from different countries around the world, looking at millions of children in total, examined it and found no link. In spite of this powerful evidence, the actions of a small group of fervent believers may lead people to question the data. One tactic used to argue that vaccines cause autism is the use of compensation decisions from the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program to claim such a link. This article demonstrates that not only does the nature of proof in the program make its decisions ill-suited to challenging the science, but the cases used do not, in their content, support that conclusions. Even the cases that most closely address the question of vaccines and autism do not show the link opponents claim exists, and many of the cases used are misrepresented and misused.

Keywords: Vaccines, Health Law, Adjudication, Autism

JEL Classification: K13, I18

Suggested Citation

Reiss, Dorit Rubinstein and Heap, Rachel, Using and Misusing Legal Decisions: Why Antivaccine Claims About NVICP Cases Are Wrong (January 31, 2018). Minnesota Journal of Law, Science & Technology, Vol. 20, 2018; UC Hastings Research Paper No. 270. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3114941 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3114941

Dorit Rubinstein Reiss (Contact Author)

University of California Hastings College of the Law ( email )

200 McAllister Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
United States
415-5654844 (Phone)
415-5654865 (Fax)

Rachel Heap

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

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