Sex and Vaccination
Department of Biomedical Engineering
Department of Biological Sciences
University at Buffalo
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.
- 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.
KeywordsHPV; human papillomavirus; vaccine; vaccination; oncogene; cervical cancer; sexually transmitted disease; STD; Gardasil; bioethics; Governor Rick Perry; Texas
Educational LevelUndergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division, General public & informal education
Subject HeadingsPublic Health Biology (General) Medicine (General)
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