Friday, May 11, 2012


Yet few have questioned medical authorities or complained to our political leaders about why there has been so much urgency to get this vaccine pushed through the legislative process. Could it be that they do not want us to sit up and take  notice and that there are significant financial and political perks coming to the various parties involved?  No doubt, providing full and truthful disclosure to the general public with adequate time for review would have generated significant resistance to mandatory administration of HPV vaccine. I suppose that a  reasonable compromise would have been to make the vaccine available to those who choose to play Russian roulette with their health, but it is a travesty to require it across the board.

At present , the medical profession itself has a monopoly on the assessment of its standards and techniques. It is the judge of its own productions -- a situation which is fraught with the greatest risk both for the physician himself (or herself) and society.

It is perplexing to realize that in our country criticism of most topics is tolerated and even encouraged , and yet it is a rare to hear  a genuine discussion that questions the basic assumptions of orthodox medical practice. We relentlessly questions our political leaders, and there is a healthy degree of religious debate that takes place, but for some strange reason it is virtually unheard of to question scientific medical authorities. it is an indication, perhaps, of the degree to which we revere these authority figures. There is no real tradition of medical dissent other than what is depicted in the popular media's distorted overemphasis upon certain isolated examples, such as the Christian Scientist who refuses conventional treatment in the face  of serious illness. 

I am not discoursing about the debate over medical "reform" that restricts the conversation to the  allocation of monetary resources and access to medical services. We continually move funding from here to there and back again, believing that this superficial shell game will somehow bring about progress. In the end, we reamin stuck with the same old woefully inadequate medical body shop, which neglects our psychic and spiritual needs and increasingly serves and feeds off of only those  who can afford this grand illusion of health care. sick-care'[sic]

In early 2007, a controversy regarding a vaccine crated to treat human-papilloma-virus (HPV) and promoted as a preventative against female cervical cancer raged in the media. As it typical of our collective cultural programming, the debate covered only certain aspects of this issue. We heard moral objections from the religious right regarding the promiscuity that would be encouraged among young women who would believe themselves prophylactically protected from this sexually transmitted disease (STD). We also heard from the voices of economic fairness, which decried the  costs to those who can barely make ends meet. Those concerned with patient rights preferred the vaccine to be optional and understandably took issue with the prospect of yet another state-mandated medical intervention. And the defenders of the feminist perspective made the salient point that, once again, the medical patriarchy is trying to saddle women with the burden of dealing with  an illness that is contracted  primarily through sexual contact between a woman and a man.                             

Rarely did we hear anyone question the wisdom of such wholesale vaccination in terms of the health implications for an entire generation of modern women. Not to say that there were not people out there voicing their concern -- they just did not register on the mainstream  media's radar screen. It is not hard to imagine, ten, fifteen, twenty years from now, the standard "oops" emanating from the medical community after it has analyzed the latest data acknowledging  the unanticipated consequences : " The Surgeon General has determined that women receiving the HPV vaccine are at significant greater risk for developing kidney infections." I suppose that risk is not a bad trade-off compared to some of the  more likely hypothetical long-term consequences of the vaccine, such as an increased incidence of infertility, or even an unexpected rise in uterine or ovarian cancer.

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