Cancer, vaccines and Jade Goody

It is effectively impossible not to know about Jade Goody; the BBC and others mention this young lady and she was discussed on Let’s Talk. I am not interested, however, in discussing her or the nature of celebrity but rather an issue surrounding her illness which I have not seen mentioned. Apparently since her diagnosis there has been a marked increase in women attending for cervical cancer screening which is clearly a good thing as cervical cancer is a terrible disease which can affect young women. There is now a vaccine which prevents many cases of this disease. However One school in Prestwich, Greater Manchester took the decision not to allow the vaccine to be given to girls on its premises. Its governors had apparently objections due to the vaccine causing nausea. However, there were suggestions that some were worried that this vaccine, against a disease which only affects women who have had sexual intercourse, might somehow promote promiscuity. One hopes that the publicity surrounding Ms. Goody’s illness will stop that particular piece of idiocy and whatever the reasons for banning the vaccination they will be reconsidered. As a paid up member of the fundamentalist nutter brigade I cannot see any scriptural basis for refusing to prevent illness.

  • NCM

    The state should simply ban sex completely and we’ll never have to worry about vaccines for STDs again. Plus the infant mortality rate will plummet. I’m surprised no one has pushed this yet.

  • It suspect that the governor priest, Monsignor John Allen, was the main influence behind St. Monica’s School making a decision not to administerthe vaccine. This priest took a stance which was morally indefensible and inconsistent with mainstream Catholic policy.

    The official reason given for refusing the administration of the vaccine was that it should be a matter for the doctor. The school was ducking responsibility.

    I am not a fan of the Labour Party for obvious reasons but this comment by Ed Balls ….

    “I think schools should be at the centre of their community and I don’t think schools walking away from their responsibility for children’s health is the way to go.”

    …. is absolutely right.

  • Whatever interpretation one puts on the governors of St Monica’s, Prestwich, the look-and-feel is suspicious.

    Resistance to the immunization programme seems to have been instigated as another of the strange sex-obsessed doings of the Christian Institute, based on Tyneside. This is a pro-life, homophobic, blue-nosed lot professing to be a charity (though it has had run-ins with the Charity Commission), and operating as hard-line political head-bangers.

    In mainland Britain CI comes across as largely one-man band (the front man is a certain Colin Hart). It is far bigger than that; and has links to the Emmanuel Schools Foundation (the Reg Vardy-financed creationist lot who have three state-financed academies in the North-East of England). Its Northern Ireland presence is Callum Webster, operating out of Woodstock Road, Belfast.

    CI’s hysterias see the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill entirely in terms of abortion rights. When the PSNI distributed information leaflets on homophobia, it was inventing hate crime: “It is becoming a routine tactic for gay rights activists to call the police whenever someone disagrees with them publicly.”

    The CI’s recent achievement is to sue Google for the right to buy prominence for its pro-life propaganda when a search involves the term “abortion”.

    CI is independent of, but shares paranoias with Christian Voice. This is a dog-and-pony show, based in Surbiton, to magnify the name of one Stephen Green. Example of CV’s rhetoric:

    In an age when oestrogen is overwhelming the church, this is Christianity with testosterone. The Lamb of God was the worthy sacrifice by whom we are saved, but we are saved to serve the Lion of Judah! And by God’s grace we shall!

    — so no gynophobia there, then.

    Now, I really must go and wash my mind out with soap-and-water.

  • amber valence

    This vaccine was made available in OZ free to all girls from 10-12 years old via the school immunisation prog.
    Guess which schools refused to allow it, most of the “faith-based” ie catholic, muslim, anglican and assorted minority sects (all of which receive state funding as a result of an erstwhile predominance of irish catholics in Labor/trade unions.
    Individual parents were also not backward in coming forward to refuse their dauighterts vaccination in their public schools, most citing “promiscurity” as their ‘reason’.
    Sorta like the arguments against the Pill in the 60s.

  • In Scotland, the SNP Government sold out to the Catholic Church who refused to allow potentially life saving information on sex to be given to girls being given the vaccination in Catholic schools. The Government let them get away with it which I think is irresponsible.

  • Rory Carr

    The arguments from both the protestant and the catholic right wing fundamentallists on the reasons for refusing vaccination protection against cervical cancer are difficult to fathom. I suppose it is linked to arguments against ‘safe sex’ in the sense that the woman is safe from conceiving, which they would argue puts an unnatural barrier between one’s actions and the natural (God-ordained) consequences of such action, and that to vaccinate a female against the risk of contracting cervical cancer as a consequence of sexual activity would remove at least one of the potential consequences of such activity. In a sense I suppose they are arguing that vaccination would protect against due and just Godly corporal punishment for such sin.

    It’s always sex and control of women with these nasty little hate-filled, small minded morality thugs isn’t it? Happy enough for prostate screening and heart by-passes and knee and hip replacements but once we go anywhere near the trouser department (or more precisely the knickers department) they get all in a lather and start calling on Jehovah for a bit of smiting and burning.

    Unlike many on here, I am no wooly liberal with infantile cosy notions of free speech for all and I would cheerfully hunt these vicious exploiters of human fear from every corner of the land and impose the most severe punishment of law upon them for spreading their sickness among the innocent.

  • Danny Boy

    The impulse to use preventable fatal disease as a punishment for women having sex is terrifyingly widespread. It seems to effortlessly resist both logic and the ideals of Christianity.

    Who on earth do these people think is now untangling their pre-coital limbs, saying ‘Better not, I might develop cervical cancer in thirty years’ time, and I’d much rather get HPV from my future husband’?