Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Supremes Protect Vaccine Makers

Supreme Court rules vaccine makers protected from lawsuits
...The court ruled 6 to 2 that going before a special tribunal set up by Congress is the only way parents can be compensated for the negative side effects that in rare instances accompany vaccinations.

The majority said that Congress found such a system necessary to ensure that vaccines remain readily available, and that federal regulators are in the best position to decide whether vaccines are safe and properly designed....
...Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg dissented, saying the threat of lawsuits provides an incentive for vaccine manufacturers to constantly monitor and improve their products...
Elena Kagan recused herself because of her work on this issue for the Obama Administration.  I find it curious that the two women able to vote on this issue ended up on the opposite side of all six men.

I believe this to be a reasonable and just decision.  Vaccines are designed to save the vast majority of us from a long series of dangerous and deathly ills that have plagued mankind since we crawled off the African savanna, if not longer.  To hold vaccine makers responsible for the idiosyncratic reactions of a few people in the face of the millions that are saved is simply counterproductive and wrong headed.  They are simply innocent bystanders in the war on disease.  The tribunal mechanism appears to be a reasonable way for vaccine incidents to be tried without the emotion and grandstanding of a jury trial, with attorneys like John Edwards channeling the spirits of dead babies for cold cash.

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