Sunday, June 18, 2006

Question Of The Week, 6/18/06

Good morning and Happy Fathers Day to all you Dad's. I mean to tell ya this has been one busy summer. One post between last weeks Question Of The Week and today's, which comes from a St. Joseph News-Press article.

"6/18/2006
HPV vaccine debated
Gardasil fights against STD that causes cervical cancer

Betsy Lee
Reporter

Since the Food and Drug Administration approved the first vaccine to prevent the sexually transmitted disease that causes cervical cancer, health message boards have lit up with debate regarding its use. One message board, hosted by MSNBC.com, had nearly 1,200 posts in just a few days.

The debate stems from the fact that the vaccine prevents the STD that causes cervical cancer, HPV or human papillomavirus. Some argue that the vaccine will promote sexual promiscuity, while others say a shot would not influence a teenager's sexual habits.

The new vaccine, called Gardasil, is approved for females between 9 and 26 years old. Because the vaccination will not treat existing HPV, most experts agree children should receive the vaccine before they become sexually active. This means it will be parents deciding if their children should be vaccinated.

"I am the mother of six children, two of them are 9-year-old girls, and I will not be running out to the doctor's office to get them vaccinated anytime in the near future," one cervical cancer survivor wrote on a message board.

This woman seems to embody the argument of at least 5 percent of Americans, according to an unscientific poll by MSNBC.com. Conservative political groups such as Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council have issued lukewarm statements, conveying reluctance to fully support the vaccine.

"Giving the HPV vaccine to young women could be potentially harmful, because they may see it as a license to engage in premarital sex," Bridget Maher of the Family Research Council told the British magazine New Scientist.

Diana Meyer, a cervical cancer survivor from Kansas City, disagrees.

So many people have HPV, she said, that people need protection. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control estimates that nearly 80 percent of Americans have HPV and most of them don't know it.

"I want my kids to stay alive," says the 28-year-old mother of two daughters. "I'm not going to put my head in the sand and believe that my children are going to do what I tell them to do."

Ms. Meyer was diagnosed with cervical cancer at 22. She'd been married for four years.

"I cried for an hour and a half at the nurses' station," she said. "I don't ever want that for my children."

Many medical professionals have come out in support of the vaccine.

Mitzi Telizan, of the St. Joseph/Buchanan County Health Department, said Gardasil is a promising development for women's health.

Ms. Telizan said the vaccine isn't an answer for all sexually transmitted disease issues, "but it is a step in the right direction."

For more information about the cervical cancer and the vaccine, visit the National Cancer Institute at www.cancer.gov for a fact sheet."

OK there you go. A long lead in for a short question. This weeks Question Of The Week is. Would you take your nine year old Daughter (if you had one) in for the Gardasil vaccine? Why, or why not?

I'll post my answer in the Comment Section Monday night.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

7 Comments:

Anonymous And Another Thing said...

David:
I do not see the point of inoculating a 9-year-old against a sexually transmitted disease.

The vaccine is a wonderful developement. If it will prevent cervical cancer I'm all for it. If I had a 9-year-old daughter I would postpone the vaccine until she was closer to a sexually active age.

It is not wise, I think, to foist adult concerns upon children like our society does. Childhood should be childhood.

7:21 AM  
Blogger maccusgermanis said...

Interestingly enough, Ayesha (mohamhead's child bride) was nine. Sadly enough a women does not always chose her sexual partners. Shall she die for pride if raped? None of the concerns you've listed would cause me to avoid the innoculations for a hypothetical daughter.

7:39 PM  
Blogger The Sovereign Editor said...

The debate is silly. Vaccination against one disease out of many is not going to encourage risky behavior. I would not walk across the freeway with my eyes closed simply because someone had told me that I didn't have to worry about being run over by VWs anymore because they had all been destroyed or something.

People who avoid pre-marital relations for fear of STDs will continue to fear STDs even if they are vaccinated. HPV is just one disease. There are many other.

Although... I could be wrong. And the opponents of vaccination could be right. And if they are, might I suggest that we stop insuring teen drivers. Surely they won't drive recklessly if they aren't covered. Who knows... maybe they drive like lunatics because insurance will pay for any major damage they do (many teens don't think they might die as a result of reckless driving).

8:51 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

This vaccine was invented by Satan. It will encourage un-Christian behavior among the womenfolk. Any woman who requests this medicine -- and any doctor who prescribes it -- should be put in the pillory for all the decent townspeople to ridicule.

10:40 PM  
Blogger David Schantz said...

First I want to thank you all for stopping by to answer this weeks question. I'm going to have to say no I would not take a nine year old in for the vaccine at this time. So far I don't think my reason has been mentioned. It's that "V" word. I haven't heard any reports telling about health problems/side effects caused by Gardasil but it is fairly new. I have heard about problems with other vaccines, maybe I'm paranoid. I would hate to take a nine year old in to get a vaccination to protect them from cervical cancer and then have them develope any of a countless number of health problems ten or twenty years down the road because of something that was in the vaccine. I could change my mind about this in a few years. I hope I'm wrong about this and Gardasil is proven to be risk free. I would love to see something like Gardasil come along and wipe out cervical and all other types of cancer. I have lost several old friends to different types of this deadly disease.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

11:33 PM  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

Would you take your nine year old Daughter (if you had one) in for the Gardasil vaccine? Why, or why not?

This is a tough question because I've read of many side effects caused by various vaccines. I think it's too early to run out for the vaccination at the moment, particularly with regard to children who are not sexually active. BUT this cancer-causing virus does need to be addressed in a manner more effective than removal of the cervix.

I've known of two specific cases in my own family. In both cases, these women were true to their husbands, but their husbands brought home to the this particular STD. As expected, both of those marriages ended in divorce, primarily because these men would not stop their infidelities.

Also, two of my family members were brutally raped. Promiscuity is not the only cause of the spread of HPV.

In sum, IMO, if the vaccine shows itself to be reasonably safe, young girls should be vaccinated as a matter of routine wellness-care. Considering the prevalence of HPV, I'm not sure that I'd risk a 20-year wait for safety to be proven.

4:18 AM  
Blogger Bob King said...

It's a no-brainer. Vaccinate her. Two points. First, as most have observed, not all sexual contact is voluntary.

But if she did decide to become sexually active at 14, against all advice and sound adult judgement, I don't think God, or I would wish her to get cervical cancer as a result.

AIDs, maybe. If, you know, she was "doing it" with a Lesbian.

Dry humor alert.

Fact is, whether or not YOU think your child will obey your will, they will probably obey their own at some point, leading to a potential for many std's. Why not rule out at least one - and talk to them about avoiding the others.

6:57 PM  

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