To vaccinate or not to vaccinate. That is the question. And it is a question that plagues many new parents and divides both new and veteran parents as they struggle to determine what is best for their kids and their community.

The issue behind the issue is the long-held belief that vaccinations could potentially cause autism. Last year, a federal court ruled that autism is not caused by vaccination. And earlier this year the special vaccine court also concluded that the additive thimerosal (an additive in some vaccines) is not to blame for autism, much to the dismay of many parents who are convinced there is a connection. Still, the debate has raged on.

So it may not come as any real surprise that a federal appeals court recently upheld a ruling that vaccines are not to blame for autism. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld the decision that there is little if any evidence to support claims of a vaccine-autism link.

Friday's ruling came in the case of Michelle Cedillo of Yuma, Ariz., who is disabled with autism, inflammatory bowel disease and other disorders that her parents blame on a measles vaccine given at 15 months.

In the ruling, Special Master Denise Vowell wrote, "Sadly, the petitioners in this litigation have been the victims of bad science conducted to support litigation rather than to advance medical and scientific understanding" of autism.

In its most recent ruling, the appeals panel said, "we have carefully reviewed the decision of the special master and we find that it is rationally supported by the evidence, well-articulated, and reasonable. We, therefore, affirm the denial of the Cedillos' petition for compensation."

In theory, these decisions should reassure parents who are scared to vaccinate their babies. But does it? Do these federal rulings change your stance on vaccination? Or do you stand firm in your belief that vaccination and autism are linked?

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