Giving kids our worst shot

MercatorNet – Carolyn Moynihan 20 April 2007
Do we really want to go down the path of vaccinating children against deficits of moral intelligence and willpower?
Launched nine months ago with the blessing of the United States Federal Drug Administration, Merck’s long-heralded remedy for cervical cancer has been predictably controversial. Any new vaccine is going to raise safety concerns, but one designed to prevent a sexually transmitted disease while targeting young girls, as Gardasil does, had family values groups on high alert. Any element of compulsion would be strongly contested.
….Gardasil is controversial not only because it is new and untried on wide scale, but because it is different to other childhood vaccines. Most are aimed at diseases easily spread in schools: measles, mumps and whooping cough, for example. The genital human papillomavirus (HPV) that Gardisil targets is sexually transmitted. It is a disease eminently avoidable given a good human standard of behaviour. Gardasil therefore represents a new departure in medicine, where vaccines are used to protect people from the consequences of poor behaviour.
….But why stop at sexual behaviour? Alcohol and drug abuse produce nearly as big a social burden as sexual promiscuity. No wonder then that scientists in the US are said to be in the final stages of developing a vaccine against nicotine addiction, with cocaine and other drugs not far behind. If young people are going to experiment with these things, why not addiction-proof the kids when they are 12? All of them.

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