Vaccines that contain a mercury-based preservative called thimerosal cannot cause autism on their own, a special U.S. court ruled on Friday, dealing one more blow to parents seeking to blame vaccines for their children's illness.
As I've written before, the connection between vaccination and autism was started by a deeply flawed study created (largely out of whole cloth, it seems) by British "Dr." Andrew Wakefield. The belief that vaccines cause autism has caused significant abandonment of vaccination both in the US and in Great Britain, resulting in probable loss of herd immunity for segments of the population, especially against measles.
In the US, the case against thimerosal-caused autism is clearly shown by the continuing rise in autism diagnoses despite the removal of thimerosal from vaccines. This leaves anti-vaxers reaching for conspiracy theories rather than admit that thimerosal doesn't cause autism.
One would hope that the complete discrediting of the original "research" linking autism to vaccinations would have terminated this foolishness. Since it hasn't, I don't think this court case is going to do much good in that regard.
I wish critical thinking were taught in schools. And that lawyers who brought patently silly lawsuits based upon discredited science were severely sanctioned unless they won.