Friday, February 23, 2007

Perry's good call...

AJ-Strata has opened up on Texas governor Rick Perry's decision to order that girls attending Texas public schools get vaccinated against the virus that causes cervical cancer.

It's a good move on Governor Perry's part. If we can eradicate a form of cancer to the extent we have with polio and smallpox, why not do so?


MLEH said...

Just a couple of problems with Gardasil, Son:

1. The immunization only appears to be effective for 5 years or so, and as yet there is no booster shot developed. As Linda Chavez pointed out, Perry wants to immunize 9 year olds! How will protecting them from HPV between the ages 9 and 14 eradicate cervical cancer?

2. Vaccination is no substitute for abstinence education. Gardisil doesn't do anything against herpes, or HIV, or syphilis, or gonorrhea.

3. Then there is the inconvenient little coincidence that Perry's former chief of staff now lobbies for vaccine maker Merck smells to high heaven. Merck stands to make a whole lot of money if they can convince government to mandate their $150 shots for every little girl everywhere. Perry doesn't need that sort of bad press, even if he's as pure as Caesar's wife.

Think again, Son. Nobody likes cervical cancer. But the risks of developing it go way down when there is abstinence before marriage and fidelity afterward. And the cure rate is high when regular PAP testing catches it early.

This particular government mandate is a gross intrusion into what should be individual choice.

Harold C. Hutchison said...

1. So, there's a need for a booster shot. Same's required for other diseases, including the flu, measles, mumps, and rubella. Maybe the age should be modified, but that is why governors have staff members to provide the information.

2. I never implied it was a substitute for abstinence education. That said, I would like to ask a legitimate question: Would you oppose mandating vaccinations that would protect against HIV, herpes, syphilis, or gonorrhea?

3. Merck just came up with a way to prevent a cancer that affects 10,000 women a year, with 4,000 fatalities each year. I think that is something worth rewarding, don't you?

MLEH said...

This particular vaccination should be left to the choice of individual parents. No doubt, many will choose to have their daughters vaccinated. But some of us would like the option of not sending our little girls the mixed message that the world expects them to be sexually active in their early teens. Mandating Gardisil is all but unnecessary if chastity before marriage and fidelity afterward are the expected norm. But that would weaken Merck's ability to recover its research costs quickly, now wouldn't it?

I don't object to the vaccine. I applaud it. I object - strenuously - to the mandate.

Harold C. Hutchison said...

For me, it's not even a close call. Yes, it would be better if abstinence before marriage and "no cheating" was the norm. But I do not think it is wise to put all our eggs in one basket - to wit, abstinence education.

We have to deal with the world we have, not the world we wish for. Eradicating cancer would be a good thing. Ditto with AIDS and other diseases. Will there be unforeseen consequences to eradicating those deseases? There will be for the eradication of any disease.

But right now, we have a chance to save 4,000 lives a year, and Texas is making a good start.

Gilbert_Sundevil said...

Harold, I'm with mleh on this one. Congrats to Merck for developing this med. But this should NOT be mandated. It's one more decision out of the hands of the parents, into the hands of the state.

I'm not a big fan of the slippery slope arguments, but I don't think they should be dismissed in this case.

Obesity is a huge problem in the US and likely kills far more than 4K people per year. Should the government send auditors to the grocery store to make sure you don't have a bag of Oreos in your cart?

HPV is different from the Flu and Smallpox in that it is almost entirely a disease of choice. Sure, most people nowadays choose to sleep around. But let them get the shot and pay for it if they so choose.

This deal stinks to high heaven and pushes us much too far toward complete nanny-statism.

SJ Reidhead said...

I think every child should be required to take the vaccine the same way they do polio, etc.

Currently 1 in every 5 girls - 20% - of if you have five girls in your family one of them will be either raped or molested by the time they are 18. This is a proven stat. What if - down the line, because of this crime, they end up dying of cervical cancer. I'm sorry, but why victimize a woman further with a terminal cancer that COULD EASILY HAVE BEEN PREVNTED?
To me, to oppose this vaccine on grounds of morality is as barbaric and as backward thinking as are the Islamic officials who are trying to prevent children from receiving basic childhood immunizations. I don’t give a rip about the morality of the situation.

Yes, abstinence is the only acceptable policy, but is it a girl’s fault if she is raped or molested?

The Pink Flamingo

SJ Reidhead said...

And another thing - the more I think about 'good Christians' preventing the use of this vaccine on the grounds of 'morality' the angrier it makes me.

For our good people who are so damned self-righteous that they feel abstinence is the only cure for HPV, it’s like this. They deserve a major razzberry award for their abject stupidity. I don’t want to wish anything bad on them, but I do hope, some how, some where, the tragedy of child molestation and the after effects are brought home to them before someone in their family dies from this horrible, and completely preventable disease.

For a child to be molested is bad enough. Trust me, I’ve been there. To compound it, 25 years down the line, when a person is truly dealing with the after-effects of molestation (been there and done that, and it does take 25 years for the mind to heal enough and be mature enough for a person to begin healing), that person must also deal with a completely preventable fatal cancer is just plain – criminal.

Frankly, as a survivor of childhood molestation, I would love to have the luxury of being able to know a fatal cancer was not hiding inside my body. I’ve already dealt with melanoma. I don’t want to go through another cancer. I also don’t want to use my morality (that does indeed include abstinence) as a way of preventing a now preventable death.

The Pink Flamingo

Gilbert_Sundevil said...

Pink Flamingo,
Sorry for the tragedies you’ve suffered in your life. You raise a good point about those that suffer as a result of rape or incest. I hadn’t heard about the 20% figure and I’m interested in learning more. Can you give a link to the relevant info?

To respond to your point however, I personally don’t oppose having the vaccine because of some “moral” reason. And if other people want to pay and give their kids the shots, more power to them. I’m opposed because I’m tired of the state telling me what to do.