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Vaccine CourtThe Law and Politics of Injury$
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Anna Kirkland

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781479876938

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479876938.001.0001

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The Epistemic Politics of the Vaccine Court

(p.199) Conclusion
Vaccine Court

Anna Kirkland

NYU Press

Overall, the book offers a positive view of how law and courts can support immunization while hearing and even subsidizing a critical social movement that opposes it. The end result is more democratic, open, and accountable than would be the case with no court. This chapter reprises how the vaccine court served as a gatekeeper to constrain the damage of false claims about autism as a vaccine injury, how it became an audience for evidence of vaccine injuries but also helped to produce evidence, and how it expresses our ethical obligation to compensate injured people as well as gives them a chance to tell their story. The vaccine court maintains the legitimacy of science and law in ways that deeply reflect American political and cultural values and strategies for problem solving.

Keywords:   immunization, democracy, accountability, legitimacy, evidence, ethics

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