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Sex and Vaccination


Author(s)

Erik Zavrel
Department of Biomedical Engineering
Cornell University
eaz29@cornell.edu
Clyde Freeman Herreid
Department of Biological Sciences
University at Buffalo
herreid@buffalo.edu

Abstract

This case study focuses on the controversy surrounding the decision by Texas Governor Rick Perry to mandate the compulsory vaccination of girls in the Texas public school system against the human papillomavirus (HPV) prior to entering the sixth grade. The interrupted case method is particularly appropriate for this subject, with successive sections providing a general overview of the disease, the reasons for and against such a mandatory vaccination program, and a disclosure of what ultimately transpired in Texas. Designed for an ethics or public policy course, the case could easily be adapted to emphasize biological and medical topics.


Objectives

  • To probe the boundary between elected officials’ duty to protect the public health and the right of individuals to make decisions affecting their health and well being.
  • To discern potential bias and partiality in scientific issues.
  • To fashion a compromise solution that makes allowances for dissenting or minority viewpoints in addressing a major public health issue.

Keywords

HPV; human papillomavirus; vaccine; vaccination; oncogene; cervical cancer; sexually transmitted disease; STD; Gardasil; bioethics; Governor Rick Perry; Texas

Topical Areas

Ethics, Policy issues, Scientific argumentation,Social issues

Educational Level

Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division, General public & informal education

Format

PDF

Type / Methods

Interrupted

Language

English

Subject Headings

Public Health  |   Biology (General)  |   Medicine (General)  |  


Date Posted

04/11/08

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Comments


Jon Darkow
jdarkow@se-tigers.com


Attica Ohio,
05/03/2019
I really wish this case study was updated. Many questions focus on girls getting the HPV vaccine, but say nothing about the CDC's recommendation for boys to get the vaccine. I used some of the questions, but did not use the case because of this.

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