2007/02/22

Over Gardasil: Merck Should Be Sanctioned, Gov. Perry...Impeached

I've touched obliquely on the subject of Merck's vaccine for HPV (human papilloma virus) before, but now that Governor Rick Perry of Texas has basically been caught being paid by Merck to mandate the vaccine for Texas' young women, the time has come to speak out more forcefully.

Here's what we know of the scandal: It appears that staffers in the Perry administration met to discuss Gardasil (the drug) on the same day that Merck donated thousands to the governor's campaign. Perry then sidestepped the Texas legislature and mandated the vaccine. Though his office claims that the dates are 'just a coincidence', the implication that Perry peddled his influence is compounded by the fact that Merck has ceased it's heavy-handed, multi-state campaign to force the drug on young women.

Now here's my take on the situation: Despite hysterics on the right--that vaccinating young women against a sexually transmitted disease would promote promiscuity--the plain fact is that government mandated vaccines are for the purpose of stopping viruses that spread through casual contact, and HPV does not fit that criteria. Consequently, forcing such a vaccine on young women is a horrible violation of their rights. But even if you don't buy that children have rights, it's still a violation of the rights of the parents to determine what is best for their child. Merck's vaccine may be the greatest thing since sliced bread, and I've been involved in this debate long enough to have heard the horror stories about what cervical cancer does to a woman, but the decision is still one that rests solely with the parents and their daughter.

Finally, a governor peddling his/her influence is unfortunate but all too common. A governor peddling his influence while, at the same time, using his position of authority to take advantage of one of our society's most defenseless groups is detestable! It's tantamount to child abuse, and Perry should be impeached and then indicted for it. And as for Merck, the co-conspirator in this little drama... I say slap the company with a set of big fat sanctions!

21 Comments:

Perry is another ruthless, money grubbing, Texas politician. Is that all they make down there? I know Florida is bad, but this Perry rip is the worst yet. When do we start hanging a politician a day?
I agree kvatch.

I will likely get my daughters vaccinated against this HPV, but it should be our choice.

Nothing but scum out of texas lately. I miss ann richards.
Amen, brither, it should be an individual choice. What I find hard to believe is the lack of outrage, especially from the "small government" Republicunts.
Peacechick...and to think that we use Texas as a 'presidential proving ground'. I was raised in Texas, and I know first hand what an ungovernable mess it is.

I will likely get my daughters vaccinated against this HPV

Pam...and I wholeheartedly agree that you should, but Perry...attempting to take that decision out of your hands for the benefit of Big Pharma? It stinks! He should be thrown in Huntsville!
Kvatch,

I agree, it smells to lowest heaven. Merck is doing what companies do. But, is there a trail to/from the Gov. If there is, forget the impeachment and prosecute him.
What I find hard to believe is the lack of outrage, especially from the "small government" Republicunts.

UndeniableL... Well...we're going to see, this is just beginning. The documents with were only released two days ago, and another wrinkle seems to be that Perry's Chief of Staff is a former Merck lobbyist.

Dave... Using the old adage, "Follow the money..." the trail seems to lead right to Perry. I think that he's going to reap the whirlwind over this, but my many Texan friends say that Perry is scum with earhair. He'll probably claim immunity from prosecution or some such thing...thus impeachment first!
Good luck with that in Texas. They still love the old gubnor there -- or many of them do.

As for Merck -- I presently work under two former employees of that company, and I am not alone here in believing that they are a couple of the worst things to ever happen to us.
Such a comforting feeling to know we're all a penswipe away from having a needle jammed in our by the highest bidder, whether we want it or not.
Perry's a Republican, correct? Wasn't there an attempt on the right to block FDA approval of the vaccine because (like birth control pills) it would promote promiscuity? Now this. Gotta love the Republicans. Keeping our children safe as long as it doesn't get in the way of raising campaign funds.
I'm not sure whose side to be on. I just think it's amusing to watch the Clash of the Titans: Merck vs. the Religious Right.
I hadn't heard about the Merck/Perry connection, but this whole thing is an outrage. The government has no business trying to take control of our bodies, or those of our children. I can understand requirements for vaccinations for children starting school which are to immunize them against contagious diseases. But cancer is not contagious, and ONLY parents have the right to make decisions about their children's health.

I don't have young children, and my grandchildren are all boys, so I don't have a dog in this fight, but I would urge anyone with a daughter who is thinking of having them vaccinated with this stuff to look into how well it has been tested, and what side effects it may have, before they do it.
Mandatory vaccinations always violate the 1st Amendment. Then again, they worked real well in Russia.
Generik... The Texas legislature is taking up the issue, trying to determine if Perry exercised his authority legally.

Lew... This is particularly egrigious because it's children. An adult can refuse and accept the consequences, a child...for the most part can't.

Hedy... Welcome to Blognonymous. Not so much an attempt, I think. All I've heard is a lot of breathless pontificating on the subject.
Tom... Merck has retired from the field on this one, i.e., stopped the overt lobbying effort, but I don't think that they're done yet. At least one other manufacturer has a similar drug coming.

...and my grandchildren are all boys

Cranky...actually you do. Some proponents of the vaccine have recommended that boys, who can pass on the virus, be immunized as well. Check out this article.

Fred...wouldn't that be the "secure in their persons..." clause of the 4th Amendment? But either way, it's definitely not kosher.
I am always suspect of anything he does and when he decided to mandate this, I was very suspect. If I had a daughter I would investigate the side effects of this drug before giving it to her.
I was thinking of freedom of religion issues that came up with certian groups, the Amish and Christian Science (Jim Henson) types...
Fred...sorry for misunderstanding your reference.

When it comes to public health, I'm OK with a little infringement on 1st, but a parent that wants not to vaccinate their child should have that right, I suppose. But public school is a privilege (not a right) and the state should also have the option of making that parent find alternative schooling for the child.

PoP... I haven't read much about the potential side-effects of Gardasil, but it is definitely got some parents concerned.
Sorry, we only impeach governors for important things, like getting into fights with the University of Texas Board of Regents.

http://texaspolitics.laits.utexas.edu/html/exec/governors/12.html
I have four daughters, while I probably will suggest they get the vaccine, I have a huge issue with kickbacks and making anything like that mandatory. Especially given the cost of the series and the fact that some health insurance companies don't even cover it yet. Ours doesn't...
Medically speaking, it definitely fits the criteria of "causal contact". HPV is pretty common because of how hard it is to identify in men. Methinks prophylactic instruction in Health Class, taught by community Health Professionals throughout the school year would be even more rational a "vaccine" even so. Especially with today's technological simplicity of recording the Non-School staff who teach those classes.

The bottom-line is that you're absolutely right about Perry. The decision to make it a standard vaccination is one for the Legislature on the advice of the Department of Health.
gov rick perry should be ashamed and be held accountable for mandating and vaccinating these young girls with gardasil

Read about the 11 deaths and over 3,000 adverse effects caused by Merck's death dosage (Gardasil). Guess they weren't "protecting the children". Oh no indeed, they killed them - 1 on the same day as the vaccination took place. One girl only 11 years old.

It is with grief and disgust that we read of these deaths which should not have happened.

http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2007/oct/07100507.html

MERCK'S GARDASIL VACCINE NOT PROVEN SAFE FOR LITTLE GIRLS
http://www.nvic.org/PressReleases/pr62706gardasil.htm

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