Make the arguments against crony capitalism all day. Illustrate the errors of an overreaching central government in using executive orders all you want, but please stop trying to link vaccinations with unknown, unproven health effects.
bioethics professor has offered to pay $10,000 of his own money if Rep. Michelle Bachmann, R.-Minn, can prove that anyone developed mental retardation as a result of receiving the HPV vaccine.
Bachmann questioned the safety of the cancer-preventing shots during the Republican presidential debate this week. On follow-up TV interviews, Bachmann described talking to a mother whose daughter developed mental retardation as a result of the shots, typically given to teenagers to protect them from a sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer.
Yesterday, Bachmann said on a TV interview that she has "no idea" if vaccines really cause mental retardation. Caplan says Bachmann is being irresponsible and undermining the public's confidence in life-saving vaccines.
Still, Caplan says he'll withdraw his complaints -- and also donate $10,000 to a charity of Bachmann's choice -- if Bachmann can show the mentally retarded child's medical records, and if medical experts who review the records agree that the girl's disability was actually caused by the HPV shot.
If Bachmann can't come up with such proof, within one week, then she should "donate $10,000 of her own money to a pro-vaccine group that I select," says Caplan, director of the Center for Bioethics and Sidney D Caplan Professor of Medical Ethics at the University of Pennsylvania.
So far, Caplan says, he hasn't heard from Bachmann's campaign.