Monday, February 05, 2007

Medical malpractice

As discussed here, Merck's come out with an HPV vaccine, and there's a growing debate over whether or not it's appropriate to be giving the vaccine to children.

Histological section showing cervical cancer specifically squamous cell carcinoma in the cervix. Tissue is stained with pap stain and magnified x200.

Seriously? Still? And apparently, "Texas became the first U.S. state to require that all 11- and 12-year-old girls be vaccinated against the human papillomavirus..."1 (Slate's Human Nature has a few more references to it).

In other news-of-the-horrible, "China's military is reportedly harvesting organs from prison inmates, mostly Falungong practitioners, for large scale transplants including for foreign recipients, a study said."2 The whole report is available here. The report quotes Amnesty statistics3 stating:
...that 66% of the victims of alleged torture and ill-treatment were Falun Gong practitioners, with the remaining victims comprising Uyghurs (11%), sex workers (8%), Tibetans (6%), human rights defenders (5%), political dissidents (2%), and others (persons infected with HIV/AIDS and members of religious groups 2%).
Of course, the investigators (distinguished Canadians both) were not allowed into China, so they had to look at organ transplant statistics. The whole thing is horrifying, but perhaps it will stop people from claiming this is just an urban legend.

  1. c/o Yahoo News, c/o Reuters.
  2. c/o Yahoo News, c/o AFP.
  3. U.N. Commission on Human Rights: Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Manfred Nowak, on his Mission to China from November 20 to December 2, 2005 (E/CN.4/2006/6/Add.6), March 10, 2006. ( )

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