Link Between Autism and Vaccines Tested in Court

The U.S. Court of Claims has begun hearing arguments on behalf of 4,900 families with autistic children who claim that a chemical found in many children's vaccines is a trigger for the disease. The court will hear the stories of two ten year old boys, whose families claim that they were developing normally until exposed to thimerosal, a mercury based compound that may cause brain inflammation, through vaccines. Despite a 2004 report by the Institute of Medicine denying a connection between vaccines and autism, should the court decide in favor of the families, claimaints could expect to enjoy compensation for wages lost and "pain and suffering." Some medical professionals worry that such an outcome could discourage the public from seeking necessary vaccinations.

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