Jackie Fletcher is well known to many – she routintely insists the MMR jab is dangerous despite reams of evidence to the contrary. However, a panel in the UK has found that her son, Robert, was damaged by the MMR vaccine he was administered.
I nearly didn’t blog about this. Why? Well, this blog's predominant focus is autism, and Robert did not and does not have autism. The panel in this case found that the MMR caused seizures and mental retardation. It's difficult, therefore, to get a ‘hook’ into this story. As Mike Fitzpatrick is quoted as saying in the Daily Mail:
It is a very important principle that parents should be compensated in cases of this kind…
and he’s absolutely right. That's why the Vaccine Damage Payment Unit exists in the UK.
Like any other form of medical procedure, vaccines are not 100% safe. I can’t recall anyone anywhere ever making that claim. What they are, however, is very safe indeed. Robert Fletcher was injured and has been compensated. I might even agree with his mum that the amount is ‘derisory’. Robert will need full time care all of his life and £90,000 ($140,000) is nowhere near enough. However, campaigners uninterested in Robert’s day-today needs say that:
Campaigner Polly Tommey, who edits the magazine The Autism File and believes her son Billy is autistic because of MMR, says: ‘This is fantastic news. Now doctors can’t tell me that the MMR is safe.
This payout is evidence that it is not safe. It’s interesting that they will look at epilepsy and not autism, and you have to ask why.
Is it because the compensation would be billions?"
I very much doubt that any doctor anywhere has ever told any recipient anywhere that any vaccine is 100% safe. If they did, they were liars.
However, this payment, far from being "evidence that it is not safe" (a bizarre claim) is more like a recognition that the Vaccine Damage Payment system is working as it should. A man was vaccine damaged and was compensated as a result.
As for the claim that "they" will not look at autism, this is simply incorrect. Robert does not have autism and therefore it would be impossible in this case to look at autism. I would imagine if someone with autism was adjudged to be damaged by their MMR vaccine, Ms. Tommey might have a point. As that has not happened, she does not. This kind of fear-mongering by the likes of Tommey is no doubt why the panel made the clear point:
We would stress that this decision is fact-specific and it should not be seen as a precedent for any other case.
In particular, it has no relevance to the issue… as to whether there is a link between the MMR vaccine and autism.
And Fletcher goes on to claim:
Claims for autism are not considered. There are 120 MMR cases waiting to be heard, but none is for autism…
So why should that be? Why is autism apparently "excluded?"
It's because the science – both epidemiological and clinical clearly shows that MMR does not cause autism. And that is not the odd paper here and there. We are talking about overwhelming science that shows that the whole autism/MMR connection is simply false, and was built up by one man too stupid to admit his clear errors, and a mass media keen to build sensation out of this same man’s ego.
Tommey, Fletcher and all others who believe that there’s some kind of conspiracy afoot to block autism from MMR causation cases need to understand the science involved, and that unless some new science is forthcoming that establishes MMR as a causative agent in regards to autism, then the simple fact of applying for compensation listing the MMR as a cause of their child’s autism is always going to be an immediate strikeout.
Campaigners need to start seeing this event for what it really is – compensation for a vaccine damaged man – and not as what it isn’t – evidence that MMR is inherently unsafe or that theres some mysterious conspiracy to prevent autism from being linked to MMR.