Hey -- sorry I've neglected the blog for a few days. I've been busy establishing a presence on Facebook and MySpace. It's like playing with new toys. Anyway, I promise some new recipes this week. I've recently had success with a "chocolate" pudding recipe (no dairy, no chocolate) and also a cutout cookie recipe. For now, I'll reprint a recent opinion piece from the New York Times regarding the autism court case. Worth reading.
New York Times
March 11, 2008
A Puzzling Autism Case
The federal government’s concession that vaccines may have triggered brain deterioration with symptoms like autism in a young girl is sure to exacerbate concerns among parents worried about immunizations. It is imperative that the court for vaccine compensation unseal documents involved in this unusual case so that experts, families and their doctors can better understand exactly how Hannah Poling, now 9 years old, came to be harmed after receiving a battery of shots when she was a toddler.
For years medical authorities have been assuring us that sound epidemiological studies showed that vaccines and a mercury preservative once widely used in them were not implicated in causing autism, a condition characterized by lack of social skills, problems with communication and repetitive behaviors. That almost certainly remains true for the vast majority of youngsters.
Hannah’s case was complicated by a rare disorder that can deprive the brain of needed energy and cause neurological deterioration. When Hannah’s case was submitted to a federal vaccine compensation program, the government settled before the evidence was argued in a hearing. Government medical personnel apparently found that the vaccinations aggravated the underlying disorder. An alternative theory — that the vaccines may have caused the disorder — is viewed skeptically by government experts.
Top health officials are still urging parents to get their children vaccinated, and with good reason. All children deserve protection against infectious diseases, and even youngsters with these rare disorders may be at risk of neurological deterioration if they contract one of the diseases that vaccines protect them against.
It will be important to develop the best possible medical guidance for youngsters with rare defects. That effort would be enhanced if the government makes public all relevant documents in this puzzling case.