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Thursday, June 22, 2006
Thimerosal Veto: Saving Vaccines from Trial Lawyers
By Andrew Walden @ 2:14 PM :: 12219 Views :: Energy, Environment, National News, Ethics


By Andrew Walden

Gov. Linda Lingle should be thanked for her “intent to veto” Democrats’ efforts to pander to their trial-lawyer base by banning thimerosal in vaccines in Hawaii (SB2133, SD2, HD2, CD1).

In typical Hawai`i Democrat style, this bill began life as a “shell” bill on placentas. This enabled it to slide through first and second readings before the real bill contents were slipped in. First Dwight Takamine (D-Hamakua) amended it to commission a study to establish a single payer health care system in Hawaii. That would have made Hawaii health care function with the same level of speed, fairness and efficiency that all other state government functions enjoy. Then the socialized medicine provisions were toned down and replaced by a program on youth suicide. Finally the real deal became apparent as the Thimerosal provisions were slipped into the bill.

It is clear from the flurry of letters from the mainland suddenly appearing in the pages of what is going on here. While Hawaii doctors are leaving and medical care in rural areas is crumbling, Hawaii Democrat legislators are busy rewarding their rich mainland trial lawyer sponsors. Those are the same trial lawyers who cause malpractice insurance rates to go up, driving doctors out of Hawaii and threatening the health care of thousands.

The first letter was from a lawyer who says doctors are “ignorant” of medical science. And he should know, after all he is a lawyer.

Another letter is from the parent of an autistic child in California who says,

“A day after my daughter Kira had her 1-year shot of the MMR, she became a completely different child. She lost the words that she had learned to that point, and has never really spoken again. I have heard countless stories of the same scenario that we have gone through from other parents so there has to be a correlation, and there are very good people working on this issue. If there is even a doubt about this preservative, would it not be worth 1 child to not take the chance.”

That sounds compelling but there is one problem: The MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccine has never contained thimerosal. Thimerosal is used only in killed-virus vaccines. MMR is a live-virus vaccine. Therefore if the letter writer is correct, the obvious conclusion is that his daughter’s autism was not caused by thimerosal.

A third letter comes from a spokesperson for the National Autism Association who says:

“this bill isn't about autism, it's about injecting children with a neurotoxin…”

Here is a quote from the NAA website that says it all:

“To date, no one has found the exact cause of autism.”

The neurotoxin label sounds scary but an Advisory Committee statement from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization of Canada explains:

“Almost all research into mercury toxicity has been conducted on methyl mercury….Very little is actually known about ethyl mercury metabolism in humans, including whether it has the same potency as a neurotoxin, whether the blood concentration is ever significant, and even whether it crosses the blood-brain barrier. It is presumed that the majority of ethyl mercury metabolized from thimerosal is rapidly excreted in the stool. The risk, at best, can be described as theoretical.”

Methyl-mercury is present is fish who absorb it from the naturally occurring mercury in the ocean. So we are being asked to fear ethyl-mercury in a one-time exposure of very small amounts while consuming larger amounts of methyl mercury every time we eat fish.

A Google search for thimerosal neurotoxin finds the Canadian study buried in dozens of links to statements such as:

"thimerosal, contains an organic form of mercury, a metal long-known to be a very potent neurotoxin.”

This last statement comes from the website of an Oregon law firm specializing in “Vaccine Injuries.”  (Notice the substitution—it is mercury, not ethyl mercury which is being labeled as a neurotoxin.)

It is easy for politicians to cave into the agonizing stories of parents with disabled children. This is a method of shielding an argument from scrutiny by using spokespersons which possess “absolute moral authority” due to their status as victims. As Ann Coulter correctly points out, victims are sacred in the liberal religion.  In fact they are essentially arguing that all the dozens of medical studies looking into their allegations and rejecting any causal link between autism and thimerosal must all be wrong and that their personal suffering entitles them to stop anything they believe to have caused their child’s autism.

Gov. Lingle has done a service to autistic children everywhere by rejecting the Thimerosal claims. This is one step away from fear mongering claims which might make for a nice juicy lawsuit one day and a step towards autism research which could discover the real cause(s) and develop real treatments.

Thousands of lives are at stake but the Democrats and their trial lawyer donors care only about the opportunity for more ill gotten gains. The fact that these gains might be made at the expense of the lives of children who are infected by diseases which might have been prevented by vaccines made no longer available due to lawsuit liability is of no concern to them.

Gov. Lingle is doing a service to children in the state of Hawaii and worldwide who will be less likely to be dissuaded from taking childhood vaccines because of pseudo-scientific fear-mongering spread to prepare the jury pool for money hungry lawyers.

Link to vaccines with Thimerosal:

"Vaccine Injury” Trial Lawyers:

Find out who supported this bill:


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