Gardasil is Dangerous - Government Mandating it is Crazy

A new study in Journal of the American Medical Association sings the praises of the HPV vaccine Gardasil. Many doctors are hailing it, but others have common sense.

"I don't think we yet know the long term benefits or risks," ABC News Chief Medical Editor Dr. Timothy Johnson said. "I'm taking a pass on this one and saying to parents, 'Study the issue, read the editorial... talk to your doctor.'"

Those who search for more information on the vaccine may also find stories from other parents who say the vaccine had ill effects on their daughters. One of these parents, Emily Tarsell, started her daughter Christina on Gardasil -- a vaccine that protects against four of the most common cancer-causing strains of the human papilloma virus (HPV) -- after her first visit to a gynecologist and at the doctor's recommendation.

Eighteen days after Christina received her final vaccine shot, she died.

And the movement to push legislation requiring Gardasil vaccination in young girls is even more unbelievable. Dr. Fuhrman thinks it’s un-American, comparing it to the Taliban.

The point here is that in this country we allow legislatures to mandate which medications we must give our children? People are not allowed to have an opinion about drugs and vaccines different from the majority opinion, in spite of the controversies and poorly studied short and long-term risks.

Remember this is not about arguing about the effectiveness or value of vaccines, just whether we should mandate medical care and take another freedom away from Americans. We no longer have the freedom to take or not take medications. Sounds like the Taliban to me.

Dr. Fuhrman also points out that Gardasil only protects against 4 strains of the 100 strains of HPV. To learn more about Gardasil’s shortcomings, check out Questioning Gardasil's Safety.

Image credit: Thai Jasmine (Busy...Catching up ;-)!)

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Comments (9) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Emily Boller - August 21, 2009 6:30 AM

Would the day actually come to America where parents could be turned over to Child Protective Services for refusing a drug, treatment, or vaccine, because the parents have an educated opinion, based upon reputable research, that is contrary to mainstream status quo?

I'd say if that day ever comes to America, we are no longer a nation that upholds the precious value of liberty and justice for all as we pledge.

If that day ever comes, I agree, it sounds like the Taliban.

Manda - August 21, 2009 8:40 AM

Thank you, thank you, thank you! It is so important that we evaluate the safety and efficacy of *any* medication, supplement, vitamin, or vaccine that we put into our bodies. Getting Gardisil on the vaccine schedule has a two-fold risk - one, in some states it is mandated if the child is to attend public schools, and two, there is practically no recourse should an adverse event (up to and including death) occur as a result of the vaccine. Once on the schedule, the manufacturer cannot be sued, and it must go through the just-as-biased-as-it-sounds Vaccine Court.
I am grateful that my home state allows for a philosophical waiver for any vaccine, but realize that not all parents are so fortunate.

Laura Ross - August 21, 2009 9:36 AM

And yet, and yet...

While I agree with the fact that the safety of the Gardisil vaccination needs to be studied more closely--after all, I remember the government-sponsored Swine Flu shots hysteria and the health effects aftermath in the 1970s--I am totally against the anti-science, anti-vaccination hysteria misinformation as personified by Jenny McCarthy and her ilk. MMR does not cause autism. Measles, mumps, and Rubella shots protect not only your child from these dread diseases, but also the general population.

The idea that only girls get the shots because only girls get the cancer also goes against my feminist craw, as boys are surely carriers and part of the reason for mass inoculations is to protect the herd.

Mike - August 21, 2009 5:20 PM

Frankly I expect more from this blog - likening innoculations to the Taliban? What melodramatic drivel.

The potential dangers of Gardasil have been way overblown, and the fact has been glossed over that you're way less likely to get cancer if you take it.

Of course, parents have the right to make informed decisions, but scaremongering like this completely distorts the available information. Isolated anecdotes may well be emotionally powerful, but they are not proof of anything.

Consider this - if I stand up and then get hit by a meteorite, it does not follow that my standing up caused my death. Countless billions of people across the globe stand up all the time and don't get hit by meteorites. My individual story would suggest a relation between the two, but the full data would demonstrate that the two are entirely unrelated. Similarly, a few girls dying after taking Gardasil does not prove in any way that Gardasil was responsible for those deaths.

You need statistical data to make any reasoned decision, not a scare story.

The MMR debacle cost some children their lives, and continues to do so. Think about that before you make blog posts that could dissuade people from protecting themselves against killer diseases.

For a better explanation than I could ever hope to provide:

Robert Katz - August 22, 2009 12:56 AM

I'm reminded of a fellow who was concerned about carriers of economic illness, so he put imagined carriers of an imagined disease in a real concentration camp and proceeded to exterminate the disease by exterminating a large bunch of people. But he was a nice fellow, after all he protected the herd from the carriers.

The world will always have humanitarians with a guillotine who are not happy unless the tyranny of government exactly implements all their preferred meddling. In spite of all their niceties and rhetoric about their wanting to benefit society, the inescapable reality is that by and large the multitude have an innate desire to be chief dictator. Regrettably, many are unaware of that enigmatic evil, and alas many are in full pursuit of it.

Hurray to Dr Fuhrman for his defense of the life, liberty, and property of the individual -- liberty for the individual, the spirit that defined America, not the now commonplace collectivist thuggery!

Emily Boller - August 22, 2009 6:13 AM

"Remember this is not about arguing about the effectiveness or value of vaccines, just whether we should mandate medical care and take another freedom away from Americans. We no longer have the freedom to take or not take medications. Sounds like the Taliban to me." (above quote by Dr. Fuhrman)

Dr. Fuhrman's reference to the Taliban is NOT about the effectiveness or value of a particular vaccine, but the freedom for ourselves, (and if the medical care is intended for our children), and the freedom for parents to make educated decisions based upon reliable research.

If a police officer and Child Protective Service worker would show up at my front door, because my husband and I would make an educated decision, based upon reliable research, to decline consent for a controversial medical treatment for one of our children, I'd say mandatory control of medical care is crossing the line of living in freedom in America. (I know a family that this actually happened to, and after a legal investigation, it was discovered that not only was the medical treatment unnecessary, but harmaful to the child.)

When the government interferes with medical decisions and treatments that are not in the best interest of those we love and care for, there is something totally amiss about mandatory control.

Mandatory control of controversial medical treatment is wrong. Totally wrong.

Joel Fuhrman, MD - August 22, 2009 10:15 AM

The net benefit of the HPV vaccine to a woman is uncertain as explained in multiple medical journal articles. Many experts in this field now recognize that in view of the uncertain benefit from the HPV vaccine, "only a small risk of harmful effects from the vaccine" is acceptable. Widespread use of the vaccine is now debatable, but clearly there is no doubt that the power of the drug industry to influence public opinion and government officials and result in legislation favorable to their products was not based on medical and scientific evidence. There is no substantial evidence to believe that the Gardisil vaccine lowers the incidence of cervical cancer in the general population that it was marketed to. That was merely a marketing ploy, not science.

It is obvious and well accepted by medical ethicists today that this was and example in profit motivated health care and not science. For example, Diane Harper, MD, from the University of Missouri- Kansas City School of Medicine, Kansas City, Missouri, commented to Medscape Oncology that the PMAs "must confess to both their memberships and to the women whose health they serve that they were overtly exuberant in their hopefulness for vaccination and are guilty of presenting essentially only the information that Merck wanted presented."

Regardless as to whether the risks of this vaccine exceed the benefits based on scientific ground, your comments above are not only ignorant of the facts here, but also miss the point of the post.

Rather than debate the issue as to the value of the Gardisil vaccine my point above was that our government should not be choosing for us what medications we must take. I take a stand against that view. You could take whatever stand you want, but you should research the issues and read the links before opening your mouth.

Recognizing that medical interventions are not always black and white and even the published studies, performed, paid for and marketed by drug companies can be biased, we need to at least have the freedom to choose the medical interventions we desire ourselves, and not have lobbyists and politicians on the payroll of the drug industry decide that for us.

Manda - August 22, 2009 4:49 PM

Emily - in regards to your first comment, that day is here, things like that have happened.

Laura Ross - I honestly used to feel the same way, especially after getting my BS and becoming an RN. And then I had a child and started to do the research, reading package inserts, M&M reports, everything I could get my hands on regarding vaccines and immunity. I learned that there are most definitely risks to all vaccines (just as there are risks for *every* medication), and in several cases those risks outweighed the risks of the disease. It's important that we don't brush off doing the research, as I did for several years, thinking that I surely would have learned it all in nursing school.
I am especially wary of anyone who promotes all vaccines as safe and effective, because it is simply not the truth. On the other end of the spectrum, I am just as wary of those who claim that no vaccines are helpful and the diseases are all rare and easily treated, as that is not the case either.
I also used to think Jenny McCarthy was a full-fledged nut. Until I actually took the time to read some of her books. I realized that while I may not agree with her in every way, she most certainly has some valid points that are supported by scientific literature. (By the way, she is not anti-vaccine, and instead devotes her energy to promoting vaccines with less harmful additives and side effects.)

Dr Furhman - you restore my faith in doctors every time I read what you have to say!

Monty - August 26, 2009 3:37 PM

It looks like more than just the Taliban. It has the appearance of wide-scale biological warfare, like the Final Solution to the American Problem, using vaccines such as Gardasil as the new Zyklon-B. That's why they are aimed mostly at children. Who owns these companies?

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