Index to Documents from the Autism Omnibus Hearings

Stephen Barrett, M.D.

The Omnibus Autism Proceeding was established in 2002 to enable the U.S. Court of Federal Claims to deal efficiently with claims that vaccination had caused thousands of children to become autistic. To proceed efficiently, the parties agreed to process "test cases" for each "general causation" theory presented by the Petitioners’ Steering Committee. Ultimately, two such theories were advanced:

  1. MMR vaccines and thimerosal-containing vaccines can combine to cause autism.
  2. Thimerosal-containing vaccines can cause autism.

Three Special Masters were each assigned one case for each theory. Evidentiary hearings were conducted on the first theory in 2007 and the second theory in 2008. In February 2009, three Special Masters ruled that the measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccine, whether administered alone or together with thimerosal-containing vaccines, was not a causal factor in the development of autism or autism spectrum disorders. The decisions completely debunked the notions and implied that doctors who base their treatments on them are unscientific and unethical. In March 2010, the Special Masters ruled that thimerosal-containing vaccines were not a causal factor. In September, the Special Masters indicated that the proceedings were winding down because the petitioners do not contemplate more test cases.

Transcripts of Hearings Related to Theory 1

Decisions Related to Theory 1

Decisions Related to Theory 2

Transcripts of Hearings Related to Theory 2

Additional Information

This article was revised on October 6, 2010.

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