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HPV Vaccine

  /   Monday February 19, 2007  

I read with interest the article by Fr. Euteneur on proposals to make the HPV vaccine mandatory. He obviously opposes making the vaccination mandatory, but he does explain that use of the vaccine is not in and of itself sinful. I recommend reading the comment below the article by MaryViolet for another, equally valid, perspective.

I have mixed feelings about the vaccine. For one thing, any new drug carries risk. It may be found out well in the future, after millions of vaccinations have been given, that the contents of the vaccine are sufficient to cause cervical cancer. I doubt this will happen, but it could. The disease in question is almost entirely preventable by living a chaste life. It’s much different from measles or mumps where being in the presence of an infected person can cause one to contract the disease.

However, it isn’t immoral to use this vaccine. As MaryViolet said, one of her daughters may marry a man who has HPV from a sin he long repented of. When the means to keep him from infecting his wife is there, why not use it? Sexual assault is a real problem on college campuses. I don’t think that this vaccine will be quite the enabler of promiscuous behavior that it sometimes is painted as. I am far more worried about the morning-after pill than I am the HPV vaccine.

Still, I agree with Fr. Euteneur that this vaccination absolutely should not be made mandatory. Simply put, if you have rampant HPV infections, then you have a rampant problem with promiscuity. Given this, the decision to vaccinate can safely be left entirely to the young woman, her physician, and her parents. There are legitimate reasons to use it, in my opinion, but not to mandate it.

I recently went to a continuing education conference where this, and other things, were discussed. It reminds me of how we seem to be trying to stomp out all the symptoms of a big elephant-sized problem in our living room. The problem with this is that no one seems to have the courage to address the root of all this. I’ll explain what I mean in a later post.

Category: Posts imported from Danger! Falling Brainwaves, Uncategorized

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