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Case of Retardation from HPV Vaccine Found; Professors Pay Up

            A woman from Waterloo, Iowa has stepped forward as a parent whose child has suffered adverse side effects from the HPV vaccine. Jean Amble, a mother to nine children and step-children, has confessed that her eldest daughter has suffered from mental retardation following an HPV vaccination. This claim makes Amble and her family eligible to more than $10000 which two bioethics professors had put up as a reward for such a case.

“We didn’t believe it,” says Professor Art Caplan, “when the rumors first started circulating.” Caplan is currently the director of the University of Pennsylvania Center of Bioethics. “It just seemed improbable to us for such a well-tested and documented drug to cause such profound side effects,” as he shakes his head in disappointment, “boy, were we wrong.”

“This is truly a tragedy, and the scientists and doctors behind the vaccine are surely to blame,” says bioethics professor Steven Miles. “This small sum of money is not nearly enough to compensate for the hardships which Jean Amble and her daughter have gone through.”

“It’s the least we could do,” Caplan adds.

The severity of Amble’s daughter’s condition has not yet been formally documented. Amble admits that she actually did not tell her daughter about her disability while she was growing up. “She didn’t even know about her condition until just recently when I confessed it to her while we were visiting Florida”. However, “she never let her disability get in her way,” Amble beams about her daughter; “she has a successful career now and is married to a clinical therapist who has a Ph.D.” Amble’s daughter has high aspirations: “she wants to be president someday.”

Amble plans to use the reward money to help fund campaigns against government-mandated vaccinations. “Parents need to be aware of the risks they may be taking with these vaccinations,” Amble says, “the government has no right to meddle in a family’s private affairs.” Amble hopes that by raising awareness of the dangers of vaccination, future cases similar to her daughter’s can be avoided. “Nobody should ever have to go through what my daughter and I suffered.” However, despite the tragedy, Amble manages to see the positives.

“At least,” she somberly added, “my dear Michele won’t ever have to worry too much about cervical cancer.”

Summary Paragraph

            In this satire, I poke fun at Michele Bachmann’s anecdote of the woman who came up to her after the Republican Presidential Debates in Tampa, Florida. According to Bachmann, this woman had her daughter vaccinated with the HPV vaccine, only to have the child suffer “mental retardation as a result of that vaccine”. Earlier, during the debate, Bachmann had criticized Rick Perry’s attempt as governor to mandate the vaccine among all girls in Texas. Although HPV is directly linked to cervical cancer, Perry had attempted to circumvent the legislative process, and critics allege that the mandate would infringe on parent’s rights; Bachmann, it seems, is the only critic of Perry’s action who has found fault in the vaccine itself, accusing it of causing “mental retardation”. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary and the lack of supporting evidence (namely, the woman whose child has allegedly suffered serious side effects) on her end, Bachmann repeats this story at every opportunity. The two professors whom I fake-quoted actually offered the $11,000 reward ($1,000 from Miles, $10,000 from Caplan) should such a mother and child be found; however in reality this reward is still unclaimed.

The article’s humor is based on three ridiculous premises: first, that the HPV vaccine actually causes mental retardation, second, that Bachmann’s story of the woman in Tampa is true, and third, that Bachmann herself is a victim of the side effects. The joke here is that I have plugged in Bachmann’s mother, Jean Amble, into the place of the woman from Tampa; the implication following that Bachmann herself is the child who suffered “mental retardation”.

Riki Tsuji

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Posted December 1, 2011 by helloeverything in Uncategorized