Before we mention the case of 18 month old George Fisher
, its worthy to mention the following research paper from the Pediatrics journal:
Weibel RE, Caserta V, Benor DE, Evans G. Division of vaccine Injury Compensation, National vaccine Injury Compensation Program, health Resources and Services Administration, Public health Service, Rockville, Maryland 20857, USA. Acute encephalopathy followed by permanent brain injury or death associated with further attenuated measles vaccines: a review of claims submitted to the National vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Pediatrics. 1998 Mar;101(3 Pt 1):383-7.
OBJECTIVE: To determine if there is evidence for a causal relationship between acute encephalopathy followed by permanent brain injury or death associated with the administration of further attenuated measles vaccines (Attenuvax or Lirugen, Hoechst Marion Roussel, Kansas City, MO), mumps vaccine (Mumpsvax, Merck and Co, Inc, West Point, PA), or rubella vaccines (Meruvax or Meruvax II, Merck and Co, Inc, West Point, PA), combined measles and rubella vaccine (M-R-Vax or M-R-Vax II, Merck and Co, Inc, West Point, PA), or combined measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine (M-M-R or M-M-R II, Merck and Co, Inc, West Point, PA), the lead author reviewed claims submitted to the National vaccine Injury Compensation Program. METHODS: The medical records of children who met the inclusion criteria of receiving the first dose of these vaccines between 1970 and 1993 and who developed such an encephalopathy with no determined cause within 15 days were identified and analyzed. RESULTS: A total of 48 children, ages 10 to 49 months, met the inclusion criteria after receiving measles vaccine, alone or in combination. Eight children died, and the remainder had mental regression and retardation, chronic seizures, motor and sensory deficits, and movement disorders. The onset of neurologic signs or symptoms occurred with a nonrandom, statistically significant distribution of cases on days 8 and 9. No cases were identified after the administration of monovalent mumps or rubella vaccine. CONCLUSIONS: This clustering suggests that a causal relationship between measles vaccine and encephalopathy may exist as a rare complication of measles immunization.
Now, we can move on to the story of George Fisher:
Baby died ten days after being given MMR jab 'because of failure to warn of possible complications'
By Luke Salkeld
Last updated at 4:39 PM on 02nd December 2008
A baby died 10 days after being injected with the MMR vaccine because doctors failed to warn his parents about possible complications, an inquest heard yesterday.
Eighteen-month-old George Fisher had suffered a febrile convulsion - a condition characterised by high fever, fits and inflamed limbs - before receiving the jab.
But his parents claim doctors failed to warn them about the potential complications he faced when he received the injection.
They say doctors did not ask them about George's medical history or warn them that he should be monitored after having the vaccination.
Yesterday his mother Sarah Fisher described the moment she found George dead in his cot. George Fisher died in his sleep aged 17 months 10 days after having the controversial MMR triple jab
Inquest: George Fisher died in his sleep aged 17 months 10 days after having the controversial MMR triple jab
The 42-year-old hotel receptionist told an inquest : 'At 8am my daughter Megan, who was sharing a room with George, was calling me.
'When I went to go to the bathroom, I went over to George and was surprised that he was not awake. If Meg was awake, he was awake, always.
'When I saw him it was clear to me that he was dead because of his colour.'
She told the hearing in Gloucester: 'We cannot understand how our healthy 18-month-old son died within ten days of having the vaccine.'
The inquest heard how George suffered a febrile convulsion after falling ill with a high temperature on a family day out in September 2005.
He was taken to hospital but released the same day after doctors concluded he was a 'healthy and robust' child.
On January 9, 2006, George was given the MMR vaccine at Overton Park Surgery.
His parents claim that doctors did not tell them of the possible risks of high temperature or ask about his medical history when was vaccinated.
Christopher and Sarah Fisher at the Shire Hall, Gloucester, for the inquest into the death of their son, George
Ten days after the jab George fell ill, suffering a loss of appetite and diarrhoea.
Yesterday his father Christopher Fisher, 43, told the inquest it was the third time they had taken George - the youngest of four children - to have his MMR jab as he had been too ill on previous occasions.
The 43-year-old said: 'He was the best he had been for some time and we had no concerns about him having the vaccination.
'But I don't recall getting any specific advice on his condition or any general advice. It just didn't happen.
'I have been to all the vaccinations for all my children and it was the same talk as with all of them.'
He added: 'My wife and I now know that the leaflet that goes with the MMR vaccine, which was not shared with us, says that children who have had febrile convulsion should be closely monitored.
George's parents claim that doctors did not tell them of the possible risks of high temperature or ask about his medical history when was vaccinated
'Given that he had the febrile convulsion in the GP's surgery they should have been aware of his medical history.
'We can only do the best that we can do - which is difficult when you are not aware of the facts.'
Nurse Heather Mitchell, who administered George with the MMR vaccine, said George showed no sign of illness when he came for his jab.
She said: 'The MMR vaccination was given 17 months ago so I am unable to remember the exact case but we do have a set routine on this cases.
'I have the same procedure which includes checking if the child is due for their vaccination and checking the medical history.'
There is now specific advice relating to febrile convulsion other than to monitor the child and check their temperature, she added.
She added: 'I always suggest to the parents that they should trust their instincts and call the surgery for advice.
'It was my professional opinion that on the day of the vaccination that this child was well so I subsequently vaccinated him.'
Dr Alan Day, consultant paediatrician at Cheltenham General Hospital , said medical staff were correct in administering George with the MMR vaccination despite his illness.
'It's a short dramatic illness but I would suggest that the jab should still be given to the child.
'Although the child should be given regular ibuprofen and paracetemol to reduce the temperature, have his temperature taken and be watched over for a few days.'
The inquest continues.
And this was the result of the inquest:
MMR vaccine played no part in baby's sudden death, coroner says
George Fisher's parents dismayed by coroner's verdict that the 18-month-old died of natural causes
George Fisher who died aged 17 months, 10 days after having the MMR jab
Thursday December 4 2008 15.46 GMT
George Fisher who died aged 17 months, 10 days after having the MMR triple jab. Photograph: Matt Cardy/Getty Images
The MMR vaccine played no part in the death of a baby 10 days after getting the jab, a coroner ruled today.
George Fisher, aged 18 months, was discovered dead in his cot in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, by his mother, Sarah Fisher, hours after he was heard "chatting away on the baby monitor".
Fisher, 42, and her husband Christopher, 43, believe the vaccine is "implicated" in their son's death in January 2006.
They said no one had explained to them the temperature-raising effect of the jab on children who had previously suffered a fit, as George had.
But the Gloucestershire coroner Alan Crickmore decided that George's symptoms had emerged too soon after receiving the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) jab to be related to it.
Although George had a 2% chance of suffering a convulsion after the jab, those were not known to be fatal and there was no evidence he had even had a second fit.
The coroner recorded a verdict of natural causes, ruling that George had died from a rare condition known as Sudden Unexpected death in Childhood, due to an unascertained disease.
Wow!! A rare condition known as "sudden and unexpected death" was given as the "natural cause" for death!
The article continues:
The verdict came after doctors, paediatricians and consultants told the hearing at Gloucester shire hall there was no evidence of a link between George's death and the jab.
Department of health guidelines say the jab should be given "with caution" but does not ban child sufferers of febrile convulsions - fever fits - from taking it and recommends monitoring temperatures.
After the hearing the family's lawyer, Judith Leach, said George's parents were "extremely disappointed" with the verdict and would always believe MMR was to blame as no other cause had been found.
She read a statement saying: "The family are extremely disappointed in the verdict.
"In the absence of any medical evidence to explain why their healthy little boy died and given the timing of the MMR vaccination in relation to George's death, his parents firmly believe there is a link between the two events and that the MMR vaccine had a role to play in George's death."
Sarah Fisher, standing outside court with her husband, said: "I think it's so wrong to put the death of a healthy little boy down to natural causes. There's nothing natural about an 18-month-old boy dying of nothing, because that's what it was - nothing...
Here is some commentary on this case by Anne Dachel:
On Media: Why I Hate the British Press
On January 19, 2006, an eighteen month old toddler named George Fisher died in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England. On December 4 this year, an official inquest declared that he died of "natural causes."
Many people are asking what's natural about a child who was described as "healthy and robust" in the British press suddenly being found dead in his crib. It seems that in Britain, things like this simply can't be explained, especially if all the alarming points of evidence are considered unrelated.
What has the attention of the autism community is the fact that this toddler received an MMR vaccine just ten days before his death. Not only that, four months earlier, he had a febrile convulsion following a fever. The Daily Express told readers, "His parents claim doctors failed to warn them about the potential side effects he faced after the injection. They say doctors did not ask them about George's medical history or warn them that he should be monitored after the vaccination."
The Gloucester Citizen quoted a legal representative who said, "It is documented that children who have experienced a febrile convulsion should be closely monitored following their MMR vaccination as it can raise their temperature."
After receiving the MMR on January 9, George developed problems which included loss of appetite, swollen eyes, and diarrhea. The symptoms persisted and his mother had scheduled a doctor's appointment on the day he was found dead.
At the inquest, it was revealed that "his lungs and blood showed measles virus," along with an enlarged spleen, a sign "he was fending off a virus."
Furthermore, the Telegraph said that Professor Elizabeth Miller, an immunization expert for the Heath Protection Agency, testified, "The MMR jab can cause a febrile convulsion in one child in two to three thousand." She also stated that "the febrile convulsion would be expected to occur between six and 14 days after an MMR jab."
All this seems pretty conclusive. There were very good reasons to think that the MMR had severely compromised the health of this child, leading to his death. That's not however the way things work out in the British system of justice.
Coroner Alan Crickmore, after hearing the evidence, concluded that George Fisher died of natural causes. This death has been attributed to the mysterious event known as "Sudden Unexpected death in Childhood," or SIDS in the U.S., which the coroner said was because of "an unascertained disease."
It seems incredible that Crickmore could reach his conclusion based on the facts in evidence, but there's a lot more to the story.
First of all, Alan Crickmore is a lawyer, not a doctor. The BBC announced that the Crickmore asserted that George's symptoms had emerged too soon after the jab to be related to it.
And Professor Miller may have linked the MMR and the timing to a febrile convulsion, similar to the first one George Fisher had, but she disagreed that this could have caused his death. Miller stated, 'Fatal outcomes associated with MMR vaccination as a result of febrile convulsion have not to my knowledge been reported.'
Miller was the expert and she denied a connection between the MMR and this child's death, but Miller is hardly unbiased in this issue and it seems incredible that she would have ever been asked to testify. For a number of years, Miller has been a strong promoter of the safety of the MMR.
A BBC report in 2001 told about a ?3m publicity campaign to promote the MMR vaccine with TV advertising, videos and leaflets for health professionals and parents as well as information and training for doctors and nurses. The story quoted Professor Miller in defense of the vaccine and denying any truth to the controversial link to autism. It seems that Miller finds nothing dangerous in the MMR. It doesn't cause autism and though it can cause convulsions, they are never fatal.
A representative from Sanofi, the vaccine maker, was also there. His intent seemed to be to blame the medications given to the child, not the vaccine. Anything but the vaccine.
Other experts lined up against the parents. Dr. Alan Day, consultant pediatrician at Cheltenham General, said the staff was correct in giving George the vaccine.
Professor of Infant health, Peter Fleming, of Bristol University, said it was most likely that George died of SIDS, which also gave Crickmore a conclusion that let the medical community off the hook.
It seems that unless a child collapses and dies at the clinic, vaccines can never be implicated. What stands out to us in the autism community is the continued denial that MMR is a damaging and even deadly vaccine.
The British press couldn't wait to proclaim once again that parents are wrong to worry about the MMR. Where earlier headlines had announced 'Healthy' Baby Died After MMR Jab, and Inquest to Begin into death of Baby after MMR vaccination, new ones appeared with reassuring messages:
MMR jab 'played no part in boy's death', coroner rules,
No link to MMR over baby's death,
MMR jab 'didn't kill healthy tot',
MMR baby died of natural causes.
What was really surprising was coverage from FOX News in the U.S. They posted the headline, Baby Dies From vaccine Complication the day after the inquest and announced, "An 18-month-old boy died after doctors vaccinated him with the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine while he was sick, the baby's parents told an inquest this week." FOX hasn't caught up with the news that the coroner disagrees that the death resulted from the MMR.
George Fisher was 18 months old when he died. Many parents report that after their children receive routine vaccinations at the same age, they suddenly lose learned skills and regress into autism. Both in the U.S. and in Britain, health officials have refused to honestly and thoroughly address this controversy. This continues to be one of the most contentious issues in medicine.
Allison Edwards of Cry Shame was at the inquest and she gave her own account of what happened before the findings were reported:
"We have reason to believe that the faith and trust we parents place in those guardians of public health on immunisations has become much more about their own protection than our children's. We have been betrayed. ... Unfortunately, I predict that no-one will be held accountable and the death put down to an unascertained cause."
Allison was right. The inquest covered for those who have everything to lose if the truth about the side effects of the MMR were publicly acknowledged. John Stone, another tireless advocate in Britain, wrote to me about this decision and the reaction of ordinary British citizens. He said, "They know they now live in a country where increasingly everything can be 'fixed.'"