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News EU court on vaccines and aftereffects of vaccines

  1. Jun 21, 2017 #1

    jim mcnamara

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    If I understood correctly, the court found that the circumstance of getting a vaccine can be attributed to later problems, without any scientific reports to back up the assertion.

    Maybe my view is oversimplified. Anyone with a better or different take on this? Because a priori this looks like guilt by association. Ex: Your brother committed a crime. You live with your brother so therefore you too are guilty without any other corroborating evidence.

    Even if I have it partly wrong, it still looks like Science from the court of Henry VIII of England.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 21, 2017 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    From a juristic journal: (http://rsw.beck.de/cms/?toc=njw.root&docid=392571)

    "Indication of evidence for product adhesion for vaccines possible

    The failure of a vaccine and the causal link between this defect and a disease can be demonstrated by a bundle of serious, clear and consistent indications in the absence of scientific consensus."
    (EuGH, Urt. v. 21.6.2017 – C-621/15; ECJ 6/21/2017 C-621/15).

    Certain case of a Hep B vaccination. (Patient had been vaccinated 1999, died 2011 from MS. Case was first filed 2006 in Paris. Other party: Sanofi Pasteur.)

    No excuse for the autism guys.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2017
  4. Jun 21, 2017 #3


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    From the article:

    "The scientific evidence does not support a link between the hepatitis B vaccine, or any other vaccine in current use, and multiple sclerosis," [Peter Openshaw] said. "To say that there is a link between any vaccine and multiple sclerosis and at the same time to admit that there is no scientific evidence of such a link is illogical and confusing to the public."

    My thoughts exactly.
  5. Jun 22, 2017 #4


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    Jesus. This'll surely lead to an epidemic of anti-vaxers going to court.
  6. Jun 22, 2017 #5
    From the court statement mentioned in the article:
    So apparently this ruling doesn't decide the case in question; it is merely a directive; so I am guessing the referring court must now reconsider the case?? Is anyone familiar with how procedure for the European court system & thus what the next stage is?

    The reason I ask is, it seems premature to say what the effect will be without a knowledge of the court system involved. And the article itself quoted only medical experts, not legal experts. One possibility, for example is that given that pharmaceutical companies have deep pockets, they might be able to do whatever spadework is necessary to argue statistically against any alleged causality for a specific case in which vaccine X is alleged to have produced disease Y. I don't know if this in fact is relevant, but it's the sort of thing that might be relevant.

    It would also be interesting to hear informed speculation as to why this ruling was arrived at when to us it seems so clearly absurd; again this would require expert sources who know the court system in question.
  7. Jun 22, 2017 #6


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    Could you explain what you mean by "autism guys" in this context?
    Is it the lobby that links autism to vaccination?
    Or are it the people with autism?

    In the first case, the ruling could perhaps be taken as a precedent, even though it is about hepatitis B?
    In the second case, I don't understand your remark.

    Thank you.
  8. Jun 22, 2017 #7


    Staff: Mentor

    I don't think so. "... be demonstrated by a bundle of serious, clear and consistent indications" is a big and strong hurdle. The highest court in Germany recently decided in favor of a father of a daughter whose mother didn't want to vaccinate their common child and the father did (BGH / Az. XII ZB 157/16).
    Yes. I meant the quote above, that sets conditions, which clearly do not apply to those who thinks an MMR vaccination causes autism.
    From the court's reasoning:
    "Neither the national legislature nor the national courts could introduce a form of evidence by means of presumptions which would allow to automatically establish the existence of a causal link if there were certain specific, pre-established indications: Such a form of proof would imply that the burden of proof laid down by the directive would be affected."

    (Sorry for the translation, but juristic language is a bit strange.)
  9. Jun 22, 2017 #8
    Can you piece together how the German court decision relates or doesn't relate to the EU court ruling that started off this thread?
  10. Jun 22, 2017 #9


    Staff: Mentor

    The case has gone through various courts in France and a decision was made by the Cour d’appel de Paris. A complaint against the ruling was filed at the Cour de cassation. This court appealed to the EJC, which I assume set its own procedure on hold. Now that it received its answer, the national court will probably cop (?) the ruling of the Cour d’appel de Paris and order a new evaluation on this level.
  11. Jun 22, 2017 #10


    Staff: Mentor

    It doesn't relate. The EJC ruling has been a general description about the evaluation of evidences. It set conditions apart from scientific consensus, which are juristic sufficient to draw a causal link in single cases. The German ruling was about an argument between two for the education responsible persons, which one of them favored a vaccination and the other one did not. The court assessed the general protection of a vaccination to be higher valued than the personal concerns of the mother.
  12. Jun 22, 2017 #11
    The standard of evidence in criminal cases tends to be (in the language of the US system) "beyond a reasonable doubt." In contrast, the standard of evidence in civil cases is usually "the preponderance of the evidence." From what I can see, the ruling is consistent with how scientific causality is brought into most civil liability cases in the United States.

    My wife and I are consultants on lots and lots of civil liability cases, and it is extremely common for courts to accept evidence of causality by "the preponderance of the evidence" long before causality is broadly accepted in a consensus of authors in the peer-reviewed literature. In the US, there are laws shielding vaccine producers from a lot of the liability lawsuits that plague other drug manufacturers. However, the how vaccines are being treated in the European ruling is consistent with how causality is often established in liability cases when a plaintiff claims a drug (or other product) has caused some harm.

    The Court of Justice said that "specific and consistent evidence" relating to timeliness, a prior healthy status, lack of family history and multiple cases may prove to be enough, according to a statement. J.W.'s case referred to the first three criteria.

    The ruling added that courts must ensure that evidence is "sufficiently serious, specific and consistent to warrant the conclusion," having also considered available evidence and arguments made by a vaccine's producer, to then decide that a vaccine is the most plausible explanation for any damage to health.
    (Quoted from the link.)

    There are many multimillion dollar awards in the US based on similar or weaker evidence. Many defendants in the US wish the standard of evidence for drug liability was consistently so high here.
  13. Jun 22, 2017 #12
    From the link of Usable thought,
    The court is ruling on whether a product in and of itself in a particular case could have had a defect and examination of said defect if it can be proven there was, could that defect be the cause of injury, in lieu of the fact that the injury has no other possible explanation.

    Quality control to keep the consumer safe in other words.
  14. Jun 22, 2017 #13


    Staff: Mentor

    There is another major difference between Europe and the USA. In most countries (I think all but with the exception of Great Britain and maybe Ireland as well), courts rule based on laws which have to be interpreted rather than precedent cases. So a ruling in a single case doesn't weigh even close as heavy as it does in law systems based on cases. In any case, individual assessments have to be made and the applicability to other cases is usually far more restricted than in the states. What's definitely the same, and which is so important, that the EJC felt has to be especially noted, is the direction of evidence: who has to prove whom.
  15. Jun 22, 2017 #14


    Staff: Mentor

    As I understood it, the court did neither of the kind. The cassation court in France had to. The EJC simply assessed, whether scientific consensus has to be achieved to establish a causality or whether certain conditions of a certain case might be equally sufficient. I doubt it ruled in the case.
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