HPV Vaccine

Since I’ve been on the subject of vaccines, let’s look at something I’ve heard about. Bear in mind that this is purely anecdotal, at third hand no less. I can’t verify it, but it has the ring of truth.

As I heard it, a Muslim mother with very little English proudly informed a relative that her young daughter had just gotten vaccinated against “cancer.” Translation: someone grossly over-simplified the HPV vaccine to get a Muslim parent to agree to something that would give some protection against human papillomavirus, when the Muslim girl starts having unprotected sex.

So I’m not really talking about the vaccine per se. I’m considering the social ramifications of devout Muslims, a small minority of whom are crazy enough to murder their daughters for dating the wrong guys, realizing that the government is prepping their daughters for sex. (I know; that isn’t exactly — sort of — the case, but it is how the extreme crazies that concern me may see it.)

If this happened as I heard it, the person who explained the “cancer vaccine” probably had the best of intentions… yet failed to consider possibilities beyond the merely medical. I would think that deliberately misleading someone about a vaccine is a violation of medical ethics (“I can’t get cancer now; I can start smoking!”), and in this alleged case, a violation of freaking common sense.

Am I over-reacting? Some parents already object to their daughters being prepped for sex. Now imagine parents from a culture that believes in “honor killing” expressing their objections.


2 thoughts on “HPV Vaccine

  1. MamaLiberty March 24, 2016 / 12:13 pm

    Oh my! Not over reacting at all. It is TOTALLY unethical, and usually illegal, for a health care professional to misinform a patient (or parent) about any drug or procedure – regardless of their “good intentions.” They do it all the time, of course, but it is not supposed to be that way. There are translators available when a language barrier is a problem, and the “first do no harm” is always a good option.

    As for the Muslims… whoever did this might want to establish superior situational awareness, lots of new locks and cameras… or move to some remote place with zero Islamic population. If any of her relatives do take it this way, he/she could be in really hot water – regardless of US medical ethics or laws.


  2. Ruth March 24, 2016 / 1:55 pm

    It happens in the pet veterinary industry quite a bit, and not just to folks whose English might not be the best. So I’m not actually surprised. Its why I go home and do my own research when given a different diagnosis or drug. I don’t automatically believe the internet over my doctor, cause yes, there’s a reason they went to school, but I have called back up and asked more questions of the doctor when something didn’t seem to make sense.


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