Last Friday, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius signed a document that provides vaccine makers immunity when they produce swine flu vaccine.
Since vaccines are “well known” (wink, wink) to cause such physical maladies as autism … neurologic disorders, hyperactivity, learning disabilities, asthma, chronic fatigue syndrome, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and seizure disorders, a federal law provides legal immunity for manufacturers that produce the vaccines. Instead of going through the court system, there is a fund called the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program that is set up to compensate those who have been injured by vaccines.
Many vaccines have a low profit margin. In addition, most vaccines have only one or two manufacturers. If you were a vaccine manufacturer and knew that you could potentially spend tens or hundreds of millions of dollars defending and paying out on one class action lawsuit about a vaccine you produced, would you continue to make the vaccines?
By immunizing manufacturers from liability for producing vaccines, the public policy argument is that the public benefits vaccines produce far outweigh the potential public detriment to the point that the government wants to encourage manufacturers to make vaccines.
Several of the attorneys that frequent this blog have stated that legal immunity for physicians is the equivalent of a “license to kill” but they are also quick to defend legal immunity for judges in performance of their duties.
So based on the above, I have two questions related to this immunity topic:
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