Following a rather controversial journey, it is interesting to see that the cervical cancer jab is now being offered with extra ‘perks’. After being linked to some severe adverse reactions girls are now having a carrot dangled in an effort to encourage them to be injected. It is no surprise that parents and teenagers have little confidence in the jab after numerous stories involving death, brain damage and children being put on the ‘at risk’ register. Despite suggestions by vaccine manufacturers and health authorities to the contrary, nobody can be really sure about the overall safety and effectiveness of this vaccine.
Offering financial sweeteners to kids to encourage vaccination smacks of the offering to Snow White of a poisoned apple. Such offerings seem even more out of place when they come just days after Dr Wakefield’s case draws to a close ending the longest witch-hunt in UK medical history.
Another concern is the fact that these girls no longer require parental consent to get the vaccine. Why is it suddenly morally right to treat an underage child with any sort of medical treatment without the consent of, and in the presence of, their parent? Physicians are under a moral and legal obligation to provide their patients with information regarding the risks and benefits of any medical treatment they propose. With this information, you can then give informed consent. Underage girls are now being expected to make this decision when, in the eyes of the community and law, they may not have the capacity to do so.