Women’s Health Ethical Issues Research Paper
NURS 318P Women’s Health Care
A controversial topic that is currently being considered is the application of an early HPV vaccination in younger girls and boys. This sensitive subject has ethical implications and valid points can be argued both for and against the concept. Individuals that are for early vaccination hold that the vaccine prevents transmission of HPV, decreases chances of developing future complications, and is more cost effective in the long run. Individuals that take a stand against early vaccination will say the vaccine promotes risky sexual behavior, is not safe, takes away from parent’s autonomy, and is not cost ...view middle of the document...
When the vaccine is given after the age of fourteen, the effectiveness slowly begins to decrease. With this being said, Navarro-Illana states that in conjunction with recommending universal vaccination, there should be educational campaigns recommending sexual relation abstinence as well for young girls and boys.
The second example is the benefit of decreasing the incidents of future complications such as lesions and cancer. Chronic infection with high-risk HPV causes almost all cancer of the cervix (Chen, Shepherd, & Becker, 2012). There is a potential to prevent 70% of cervical cancer incidents if the immunity from the vaccine continues (Donahou, 2013). “There is ongoing, active scientific inquiry and clinical trials to extend the vaccine to include activity against more of the oncogenic viral subtypes for cancers invading the oropharyngeal and anogenital regions” (White, 2014). A report states, “In 2006, the WHO recognized the high efficacy of the HPV vaccine in preventing moderate and severe precancerous cervical lesions associated with HPV types 16 and 18 in women not previously infected by these types” (Navarro-Illana, Aznar, & Diez-Domingo, 2014).
A third example supporting early vaccination is the cost effectiveness in relation to prevention and treatment and overall price of life-long medical care. White states:
…the public health benefits of the vaccine and cost effectiveness have been validated in multiple studies. For female patients, the cervical cancer prevention with vaccine administration remains superior to cervical cancer screening programs employing Papanicolaou smears alone (White, 2014).
Basically stating that the cost of prevention is more cost effective than treatment post complications.
An example in support of people against early vaccination is the idea that it will promote risky sexual behavior at a younger age. White states, “the vaccine is seen as a potential gateway to encouraging sexual contact at earlier ages or promoting higher risk sexual practices and, consequently, forms the basis of an argument to discourage the administration of the vaccine” (White, 2014). Navarro-Illana states, “it is argued that proposing universal HPV vaccination, especially in adolescents, could encourage sexual relations between adolescents by removing the deterrent effect of the fear of contracting a serious disease” (Navarro-Illana, Aznar, & Diez-Domingo, 2014).
A second example is that some people believe that the vaccination is not safe enough yet. Adolescents are prone to fainting after injections with risk of falls and injury (Chen, Shepherd, & Becker, 2012). A report states that there were 25,176 reports to VAERS of adverse events including syncope, local reactions at the site of injection, dizziness, nausea, and headache (White, 2014). “The side effects reported after administration of the vaccine have been mainly local reactions” (Navarro-Illana, Aznar, & Diez-Domingo, 2014).