• Blog Stats

    • 73,617 hits
  • Archives

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 152 other followers

  • Copyright notice

    This blog entry and all other text on this blog is copyrighted, you are free to read it, discuss it with friends, co-workers and anyone else who will pay attention.

    If you want to cite this blog article or quote from it in a not for profit website or blog then please feel free to do so as long as you provide a link back to this blog article.

    If as a school teacher or university teacher you wish to use content from my blog for the education of students then you may do so as long as the teaching materials produced from my blogged writings are not distributed for profit to others. Also at University level I ask that you provide a link to my blog to the students.

    If you want to quote from this blog in an academic paper published in an academic journal then please contact me before you submit your paper to enable us to discuss the matter.

    If you wish to reuse my text in a way where you will be making a profit (however small) please contact me before you do so, and we can discuss the licensing of the content.

    If you want to contact me then please do so by e-mailing me at Chalmers University of Technology, I am quite easy to find there as I am the only person with the surname “foreman” working at Chalmers. An alternative method of contacting me is to leave a comment on a blog article. If you do not know which one to comment on then just pick one at random, please include your email in the comment so I can contact you.

Autism / vaccines and other matters

Dear Reader,

It has come to my attention that a court has “decided” that a vaccine causes autism, but when you look at the matter it is not what it might seem. The web site making the bold claim . But when you look into things it is not so simple.

It can be seen that the bold claim that the court ruled that the vaccine causes autism is not true. The US court in question (National Vaccine Injury Compensation program) operate in the following manner. They have a list of conditions, if a person is vaccinated and then within a given time span develops one of the listed conditions then they get paid compensation regardless or not it can be shown that the vaccine caused the medical problem.

Rather than the court making a ruling that the vaccine was at fault, all the court has done is to rule that a person had a disease from a special list which then makes them eligible for compensation.

In terms of “doing the best for the public” the US NVIC is doing a good and reasonable thing, it promotes the use of vaccines by providing a safety net for those rare cases where the vaccine causes harm. In a similar way some interesting things have come out of Japan in recent times.

It has been reported by some that a court has ruled that a Fukushima clean up worker got cancer as a result of his occupational exposure and thus is getting compensation. The man had a 20 mSv exposure (not that large) but the state has approved giving the man some payment. The problem is that we do not know the rules at this point of how the government in Japan decide if they should (or should not) pay compensation. How do we know if in Japan a system similar to the NVIC operates for people who have had occupational radiation exposure ?

In the UK a scheme exists named the Compensation Scheme for Radiation-Linked Diseases to make a claim you have to have had worked for a UK organisation which is part of the scheme (Sellafield, some naval dockyards and some others) and you have to have had a dose and been a member of a union which is part of the scheme. The dose you had must have been sufficiently high that you have at least a 20 % chance of having had a radiation induced cancer. If you are interested then a Q&A section on the scheme can be seen here.

Without a knowledge of how the compensation case was considered in Japan it is impossible for anyone to decide what the case means to us all. A second case exists in which a worker claims to have been exposed to more than 100 mSv, we will also have to watch that one with interest. We should also be careful of the fact that a civil court in Japan operates using a different standard of proof to the UK, the US and Sweden.

Advertisements

Go on, Have your say !

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: