Bioethicists Up The Ante In Bachmann’s HPV Brouhaha
Since Monday's GOP presidential primary debate, Michele Bachmann, a Republican candidate, has been under the microscope for criticizing fellow GOP hopeful Rick Perry for his policy in Texas requiring girls to get the Gardisil vaccine against HPV. Now, a bioethicist in Pennsylvania has offered Bachmann $10,000 if she can prove her claim about the vaccine's link to mental retardation and another has offered $1,000 if the mother Bachmann referred to will release her child's medical records.
Bloomberg: Bioethicist Bets Bachmann $10,000 On Vaccine's Link To Mental Retardation
Bioethicist Art Caplan is challenging Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann with a $10,000 bet to prove a claim that a vaccine to prevent cervical cancer caused mental retardation. Bachmann chastised Texas Governor Rick Perry at a Sept. 12 Republican debate for requiring girls in his state to get Merck & Co.’s Gardasil in 2007 to ward off a sexually transmitted virus that causes cancer. The next day in television interviews, Bachmann said a woman told her the shot, usually given at age 12, triggered mental retardation in the woman’s daughter. Caplan, director of the center for bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania, said the statements by Bachmann, a U.S. representative from Minnesota, may cost lives by frightening parents from vaccinating their daughters (Fay Cortez, 9/15).
Medscape: Bioethicists Offer $11,000 for Proof of HPV Vaccine Story
A pair of bioethicists have challenged US Representative Michele Bachmann (R-MN) to provide proof that vaccination for human papillomavirus (HPV) causes mental retardation. ... Steven Miles, ... a professor of bioethics at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, said that he will pay $1,000 to have the medical records related to Bachmann's story released for review by a medical professional, according to a report in the Star Tribune newspaper. In addition, Arthur Caplan, PhD, a professor of bioethics at University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and a Medscape advisor and video blogger, has upped the stakes (Mulcahy, 9/15).
Philadelphia Inquirer: Penn Bioethicist Challenges Bachmann On Gardasil Remark
Presidential aspirant Michele Bachmann has a history of being gaffe-prone, but her latest remarks so angered University of Pennsylvania bioethicist Arthur Caplan that on Thursday he challenged her to put up or pipe down. Bachmann told Fox News and NBC's Today show this week that she had heard from a distraught mother whose daughter "suffered mental retardation" from taking the Gardasil cervical cancer vaccine. Bachmann's statement has been denounced by the American Academy of Pediatrics, advocates for the disabled, and public-health experts. But Caplan, a self-described "attention-grabber," went further, suggesting Bachmann made up the anecdote (McCullough, 9/16).
National Journal: Bachmann: No Apologies
Michele Bachmann is on the defensive about comments she made earlier this week suggesting that vaccination against a virus linked to cervical cancer poses a danger to young girls. "During the debate, I didn't make any statements that would indicate that I'm a doctor, I'm a scientist, or that I'm making any conclusions about the drug one way or another," the GOP presidential hopeful told reporters here who questioned her about the story she told suggesting that the vaccine had caused mental retardation. Asked whether she would apologize for comments that outraged medical experts say will discourage parents from getting their children immunized, Bachmann said: "Oh, I’m not going to answer that" (Huisenga, 9/15).