In a recent confi dential judgment, a Medical Assessment Panel awarded £90k under the Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme to Jackie Fletcher, whose son Robert was left with severe epilepsy and other neurological disabilities after being given the MMR vaccine. The panel, comprising one barrister and two doctors, stressed that the decision had no bearing on the alleged causal link between MMR and autism, which remains unproven following the discredited Lancet report in 1998. The decision is doubly surprising in that it is the fi rst successful MMR claim for damages, although the award is relatively low considering the brain injury involved. The Department of Health has stressed that this case should not be seen as a precedent for future claims, but it remains to be seen what the implications might be for similar claims and whether this decision may lead to attempts to re-open the MMR-autism debate.