Hpv Controversy

1684 WordsApr 13, 20107 Pages
Whitney Sienko McInnis December 6, 2007 “HPV Vaccine Controversy” The recent news of a vaccine that could prevent a large percent of cancer deaths in the United States alone would generally be considered a reason to celebrate. However, the current attempts of many states, including the governor of Texas, Rick Perry, to pass an ordinance making it mandatory for preteen girls to have the Gardasil vaccine to protect them from some of the forms of cervical cancer caused by HPV has met a great deal of opposition. The objections to this legislation getting passed are primarily voiced by concerned parents who believe that the vaccination is too new to the market and that the long term effects are still too unknown.. This essay will…show more content…
There are many reasons that this vaccine could be beneficial, not only to our society, but to many of the underdeveloped nations of the world in which HPV and cervical cancer are still considered to be an epidemic (MacDonald). It could save the young women who get the vaccine from the future trouble of dealing with a highly invasive cancer, as well as protect them from the embarrassment that comes with contracting a venereal disease. However, the controversy of this topic is not in whether the vaccine is a benefit to women’s health, which many, including the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control, believe that it is; but in the debate over whether it is the parents’ right, not the states’, to choose what is best for their child. The question of mandatory vaccination raises medical, moral and legal issues that are not easily reconcilable (Lovinger). Many parents are opposed to the mandating of this vaccine for three reasons. First, HPV is not spread by casual contact, as are the other diseases that children are vaccinated against for the safety of the classrooms. Second, the vaccine has only been approved for a short while, thus not all of the side effects and long term effects are known. Last, parents are afraid that by getting their child vaccinated against a sexually transmitted disease they will be encouraging promiscuity. Gardasil would become the first vaccine mandated for school-aged children that targets a
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