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I have worn many labels (Not in any particular order): Catholic, Wife, Mom,Gramma, Doctor, Major, Soccer Mom, Military Wife, Professor, Fellow.

All of these filter my views of the world. I hope that like St. Monica, I can through prayer, words and example, lead my children and others to Faith.
"The important thing is that we do not let a single day go by in vain without putting it to good use for eternity"--Blessed Franz Jägerstätter

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Journalistic Integrity?

I’ve written several posts about the HPV vaccine. I think the vaccine is ethically sound and has the potential to be a very good strategy for combating the spread of HPV and its sequela, cervical cancer. However, I am firm in my belief that the decision to use this vaccine belongs in the hands of the parents or the patient herself if she is of age. The state has no place in this decision making process.

Michelle at Rosetta Stone shares my opinion on this. She has also blogged a few times on this topic. However, her most recent post offers an even bigger topic. She was interviewed by an ABC news reporter who read her HPV blog posts:

I don't have a problem with a parent making that choice for their child (although I do fear that parents are overly trusting and ignorant of the risks, including death). I'm not saying my children will never receive the vaccine, and I can think of reasons why they should get it. My problem is with governmental interference and the use of my children as human lab rats.

After several minutes of making my point and sticking to it, Mr. Goldman thanked me for my time, but he admitted he was looking for someone who was basically just opposed to the vaccine because they felt it would encourage their children to have sex.

There you have it. This mainstream media reporter was going to keep interviewing people until he found someone who said what he needed to hear to advance his agenda. All contrary opinions would be conveniently left out. Only those that fit his preconceived story line would make it to print. Keep that in mind every time you read or hear “man-on-the-street” quotes. These journalists may claim they are reporting news. The truth is they are manipulating news.

There is just something about this vaccine that brings out the worst in people. The manufacturer, Merck, was shamelessly pouring big bucks into lobbying efforts to make this vaccine state mandated. It turns out there is a competing vaccine on the horizon and Merck was trying to get a jump on the competition by being the only vaccine available when the mandates took effect. I noticed that one of my first posts on the topic caught the eye of Merck. I received a lot of comments on that post supporting my position against a state mandate for this vaccine. Suddenly, an anonymous commenter claiming to be a physician showed up arguing in favor of a state mandate for the vaccine. My site meter showed this anonymous voice was posting from New Jersey, right near Merck headquarters. I guess it could be a coincidence. However, my hunch is this was a Merck troll trying to drum up support. I am not suggesting Merck is any less ethical that any other pharmaceutical company, but they are certainly in the news a lot for their questionable practices. That is why I want want to see a multi-year safety profile before I have my daughter vaccinated.


Michelle said...

I'm not a journalist, merely a blogger. But I am cognizant of my influence on others. I do not take that responsibility lightly. If I were a journalist, I would be very upset if I hid the facts about the risks of this vaccine and people felt they were safe.

I'm not saying that the Russell Goldmanns of the world are responsible in part for the deaths of the girls. But I find the lack of concern for these risks and their role in assuaging public fear to be very disturbing.

Especially when this isn't a matter of public health.

(Jersey) Jim said...

"Suddenly, an anonymous commenter claiming to be a physician showed up arguing in favor of a state mandate for the vaccine. My site meter showed this anonymous voice was posting from New Jersey, right near Merck headquarters. I guess it could be a coincidence." -- Dr. Hunnell

You may be interested to know, Dr. Hunnell, that you have many fans here in New Jersey who are not physicians, have never claimed to be physicians, and who have never written a single word here or anywhere else about the HPV vaccine. I know because I just happen to be one of them.

Now with respect to this jamook "doctor" from Jersey that is giving you all this agita? Fuhgetaboutit! Life is short. Next time you and the Colonel are "down the shore," we'll have you's [sic] over for some wine and some gabagool and we'll laugh about this mope. Okay? :-)

Anonymous said...

What? No fan of the gabagool?