Bioethicist Challenges Bachmann On Vaccine Claim

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A prominent bioethicist has offered $10,000 to charity if Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann can prove her claim that a vaccination caused mental retardation.

Arthur Caplan of the University of Pennsylvania challenged Bachmann on Thursday over her comments regarding the human papillomavirus vaccine.

The topic of HPV inoculation came up Monday during a GOP debate. Afterward, Bachmann linked the vaccine to retardation, a claim vehemently disputed by medical experts.

Caplan says if Bachmann can identify a verified vaccine victim in one week, he will donate $10,000 to a charity of her choice. If not, Caplan says Bachmann should donate $10,000 to a pro-vaccine group.

University of Minnesota bioethicist Steven Miles made a similar offer for $1,000.

Caplan says Bachmann hasn’t responded. Her campaign spokeswoman didn’t immediately return a request for comment.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Concerto

    And she won’t comment because she never aknowledges when she makes a mistake. She is the type of crazy person who believes what they say is the truth. I bet she would even pass a polygraph test because to her it isn’t a lie.

    • Mr. Science

      MB is a nut, but I’ll offer 20K to anyone who can prove vaccinations have not/do not cause any neurological issues.

  • YOU

    So, how many of you out there would be able to sleep well at night knowing that as president, MB would have the ability to press the big red button at any moment?

    • Kent

      Right on You!

    • Perry

      Right now there’s a complete corrupt fool who has the button in his stupid hand and what no concern now? A D average school teacher!!! Get a life!!

  • Tea Party Nut Jobs

    Once again, thankyou Tea Party for being so stupid that you promote this woman….at least it’s good for a laugh….kind of like the tea partiers I work with

  • It is in there

    She can prove it if one can reach deep into that pseudo gray material inside her skull. Yes I know – it will require you to work around all the feces she has stored up there and related bullchit but for $10K someone shall do it

    • kate

      She can’t prove it because it can’t have been caused that way. Kind of like I can’t prove that it rained just because I washed my car. She needs to be better at figuring out cause and effect and not make things up to try to get points in a debate and publicity.

  • Patrick

    We all know she’s a first class dim wit and has no chance at the presidency. She’s just courting the limelight to make money. She’s a political Paris Hilton. The real question is if she should face jail time for spreading rumors that could cost the lives of women who could possibly have avoided cervical cancer but didn’t because of scare tactics from old crazy eyes here.

    • Annabelle

      I like the “Paris Hilton” analogy!!

    • Eat dem werds

      Well, don’t count your chickens before they hatch, my sainted mammie always used ta say. A few years ago a lot of people said exactly the same thing about the current occupant of the White House.

      You don’t hafta be smart or experienced ta be el presidente anymore – just conniving and rich.

    • AreYouSure???

      Not so sure…the most popular tv shows in the good ole USandA are reality tv, housewives from hell, cup-cake shows, murder investigation shows based on non-existent science and all sorts of contest shows that only extend the ‘hand-out’ and ‘luck over hard work’ mentality of society…are you sure MB can’t win a Prez election?

      • stirred not shaken

        Spot on, old chap.

  • Black is the new Green

    Where was your outrage when Hollywood Libs like Jenny McCarthy were making assertions about the dangers of vaccines?

    • Mark

      Um, I for one have always been outraged at the anti-vaccine movement. It is dangerous for society at large and flat out unsupported scientifically. Who exactly thinks JMC is a medical authority? Did she get a degree? Did she conduct a peer reviewed study?

    • The Dog

      Well, for one, Jenny McCarthy isn’t running for POTUS, Bachmann is. Two, Jenny McCarthy has an autistic son so she has some first hand experience in dealing with a disabled child. Three, Bachmann is an idiot.

    • Sam

      The outrage was there. As the guardian of a person with autism, I have always been outraged by McCarthy’s anti-vaccine claims and her claims of curing autism.

      This isn’t about “Bachmann is a Republican, so we’re going to pick on her.” It’s about “Bachmann is an absolute idiot, and worse, an idiot in a position of power, and when she says something stupid, we’re going to attack it.”
      So yeah, maybe the outrage wasn’t as vocal regarding McCarthy, but that’s because she isn’t in a federal legislative position.

    • kim

      There are a LOT of people that are outraged about Jenny McCarthy’s lies. And her kid was showing signs before he even got the vaccine. She has changed her story over time also.
      Check out a web site called for details on how wrong comments like these are.

  • alex

    Curious as to how many of you idiots actually put these stupid vaccines in your body?

    • Chris

      Alex… and that comment takes the prize for today… NOT!

      And you have been healthy your whole life without vaccines?

      Why would you make such a dangerous assertation that may cost lives too?

      Do everyone a favor and take back that statement while you still can…

      • Alex

        Only vaccines I’ve had were the ones I was forced to take when I was a kid. I stay healthy and take vitamins and other supplements. Don’t try to push your agenda on the ppl who are already healthy! You want poison in your body go right ahead! This is America where we are free to choose what we want to stay healthy. Mandating vaccines is UN AMERICAN. I will challenge my supplements against any vaccines. I haven’t been sick in years so I’ll stick with my Oregano oil and super silver. GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR SIDE AFFECTS FOOLS!

        • Michelle's Sidekick?

          That’s brilliant. At least vaccines are regulated. Vitamins and supplements can have whatever content they want to dump into them. You are nutz!!

          • sue

            Well, you know my untrained salesperson down at the local fluff and vague info peddling so-called health store told me her astrologer said I should take the latest fad pill because it would cure everything and get my clothes cleaner. Shouldn’t I trust their word over someone that actually went to school and got training in real science? I mean this person learned from a really nice person. And isn’t being really nice more important than accurate info? Especially when it is something so silly like my health and life? Arsenic should be good for me because it is all natural, shouldn’t it?

        • Inquiring minds don't want to know

          Perhaps the readers would also like to know about your colon health. Are your BMs regular, do they float or sink, what color are they, do you have to strain, have you used Activa?

          You’re a hoot my good man. I haven’t laughed this hard in minutes. Ahhh, go ahead, have another squirt of coffee.

        • kate

          Wow, you think vitamins and magic potions will keep germs from causing disease? Good luck, and stay away from me because I don’t want you sharing your diseases with me.
          I wish we could legislate stupid because thinking vaccines haven’t saved millions of lives with very wrong.

          • Alex

            When will these so called great vaccines start saving the dieing ppl in africa?Next time your in the cattle line getting your gov’t mandated vaccine. Ask the nice person distributing it to tell you what the ingrediants of said vaccine going in your veins contains.

            • kate

              VAccines can’t stop people from starving to dealth. And they have saved millions from dying.

              What are you trying to imply is in the vaccines? And they aren’t injected into your veins. Try to be accurate and truthful.

        • General Jack Ripper

          …and take the fluoride out of our water! It’s destroying our precious bodily fluids!

    • Sam

      My wife and I, for two. We’ve both had all of the vaccines necessary for youngsters, and she continues to get the vaccines recommended for her profession.
      Let’s see, my wife is a highly-paid nurse with several degrees (she got all of them in far less than the typical time it would take).
      I am a reading tutor and a writer.
      Both of us have completed college and score quite a bit above average on IQ tests. Because of our workplaces in the past, and because of people who “wisely” choose not to get vaccinated, we have both been exposed to illnesses such as whooping cough, and neither of us have ever contracted them.

      Yep, we’re definitely worse off because we got the vaccinations.

  • smaevo

    Ok- Can he prove that it doesn’t? I think the real issue is that it was “Mandated” and has it been truly proven to be effective? Why does it have to be given at such a young age? Is it not as effective if it is given after a woman is sexually active?
    Mandates are a way to “Control” people. I may not like how MB responded but I am smart enough to look at her as a human being. Which one of us has never stuck a foot in our mouths?
    BTW- wasn’t it Obama who said something about all 57 states? Everbody can have foot in mouth disease!

    • Common Sense

      No, it cannot be given after you are sexually active. It prevents a highly contagious virus that can pass through condoms. It’s not a cure, it’s a prevention, and many kids are active much earlier now than 20 years ago.

    • kate

      Yes, it can be shown it is safe and effective.

      Mandates are a way to get people to do things that are good for them and others. It also helps prod insurance companies to cover things that they might be slow to support.

      He can’t prove it doesn’t cause in the same way that someone wouldn’t be able to prove that washing my car doesn’t cause it to rain. You can only show that something causes something else to happen.

      I feel it shows a person’s character when they admit they misspoke. Continuing to stand behind a remark that was show to be wrong is bad. And contradicting the 99% of trained people on an issue such as opposing vaccines (when they don’t have training in it) seems like arrogance to me.

  • markH

    This is exactly how you deal with religious fundamentalists- call them out on their absurd claims. Religion (true or not) definitely causes harm to people. Their is overwhelming evidence in support of the efficacy of the HPV vaccines in prevention of cervical cancers-these diseases actually kill real people everyday. Yet the faith-based claims against the proven benefit of this vaccine amount to nothing more than the fear that kids may view this as a defense against STD’s and therefore become sexually active. This ridiculous fear is a non sequitur-the conclusion does not follow the claim. What we need is MORE science and much, much less religious ignorance and childish superstitions-certainly less among those who seek to lead the most powerful nation in the world.

    • FriskyWiskers

      MarkH…false. NPR had a scientist on who was quoting statistics about ‘your chances’ of contacting HPV. They were absolutely false. Behaviour is the first indicator for such diseases. But the liberal media doesn’t want to talk about personal responsibility, they want to talk about liberalized social engineering where the gov tells you what is best. If you only have 1 partner, who also has only had 1 partner your chances of contracting HPV are as close to 0 as you can get. That is MB’s point. Get it?

      • Da Pope

        FriskyWhiskers…not to one up you but not having sex with anybody ever is even closer to 0 as you can get. Why don’t people understand this? Why don’t people stop listening to the liberal social engineers and start listening to the conservative social engineers? Why can’t everybody just believe the same way we do?

        • markH

          Da Pope- I like your point; especially since it’s wrapped so well in sarcasm!

      • markH

        And whom would you appoint to be the de facto “Morality Cop” to ensure that each person has only one sexual partner? While I do not dispute that having a long term monogamous relationship mitigates the chances of contracting cervical cancers, the fact remains that opposition to this vaccine is NOT based on its efficacy-it is based on an imposed moral code manufactured by Christian fundamentalists who think that THEY know what is best. These individuals oppose vaccinating against HPV on the grounds that it may ENCOURAGE sexual promiscuity. That is THE factor motivating opposition to this vaccine. Now, we must ask ourselves why these people withhold life-saving medical treatment from young girls on the outside chance that they may have more than one sexual partner? I believe the answer to this insane question is found within the religious ideologies of the claimants. My statement stand.

        • Reality sucks

          No! I can’t believe it. Where the hell and when did we get off track. The point is—-should government have the right to legislate—to impose—to make it so that a vaccine is not decided by the individual? I don’t care if it cures, prevents…all the good or the side effects— bad. The question is real and should disturb all. A people walking into a clinic and getting a mandated vacciine? A people not having a choice (or not knowing how to negate the mandate) is the question!

          • Citizen

            People have always had the legal right to opt out of vaccines on religious grounds. However, the schools mandate the vaccinations as part of enrollment in the public school system. The bottom line is this: vaccines save way more lives and are way safer than drugs to treat the diseases once they are contracted. Vaccines eradicated smallpox, for one, and there are other similar diseases on that path. Again, if you don’t want a vaccine, you can legally opt out on religious grounds/beliefs. Not a problem.

            • markH

              Is that your only concern? Yes, in my view the government should (and in fact does) have the power to impose vaccines for the welfare of children and society at large. Religious objections (which amount to superstitious ignorance) to vaccinations are not legal grounds for exemptions in many states (and many more are removing religious objection as grounds for exemption). There-I hope that answers your “should” question. Peace.

              • Reality sucks

                I’m certainly not anti-vaccine. Perry “mandated” an optional vaccine to pad his political pocket, promote his pals, and set precedent on the guise of “saving lives.” If big pharma can institute a product through political means rather than through medical board, the table turns. A lot of people just hand over their arm with no questions asked and no contemplation of consequence or personal choice. Medicine should not be promoted through politics or big pharma, and certainly shouldn’t be decided by a Texas gun-slinger for profit.

                • Citizen

                  For you, Reality, it really gets down to the fact that you do not trust your government, the medical community, or scientists.

                • Reality sucks

                  Now why do you always feel the need to incite? I like you and your extremism. Why can’t you just assume I’m not all that bad in my moderation?

                • Citizen

                  @Reality. There was a time when I was young when my viewpoints were the moderate ones–not extreme as you say. Now I am perceived as the extreme left. That said, that means you so-called “moderates” seem extreme right to me. I talk to 90-year olds who are even more liberal than I am. You know why? They lived through history–The Great Depression. They know how bad it can be. They have perspective. I read the whining 30-somethings on these posts who want to be millionaires (seems to be their only goal–hope they can eat money) and want to gag. Glad you enjoy my “extremeism” because I am the moderate in my family of professionals!

                • Reality sucks

                  Wow, that must be some interesting conversation around the Thanksgiving table! I get you, I really do.

            • Citizen

              Yes, Reality, the conversation in our house is interesting. This very morning it was about where the country is heading. My youngest son (credentials to die for!), has already stated that the Chinese are now running the world’s economy. He already feels the U.S. is a second-rate power and is done economically and is headed to the irrelevancy bin where Europe is. Since he works with world leaders and is at the forefront of business, I respect his opinions. And he does not patronize U.S. media sites–he reads overseas reporting so as to gain perspective. My oldest son is a manager and is most entertaining when he regales us with stories of his 30-something incompetent whiny employees (he’s 30-something himself). And he’s a good manager who trains, promotes, and mentors his staff. You know what? They still whine….

              • Reality sucks

                We are a spoiled generation–easy to blame on our parents of your age–you gave us everything you didn’t have, gladly, and made sure our options included the moon. Now we whine. Take it as a compliment.

                • Citizen

                  I do take it as a compliment, Reality. Also take this as a warning. Your generation is going to need your boomer parents’ inheritance to survive because the U.S. is headed down the wrong path to economic recovery. It takes a lot of years to turn around a huge ship of state that is in the deep economic doldrums that the U.S. is in. It has taken the U.S. 40 years of failed economic policy to get to this point. The solution will not happen overnight, if ever.

              • Tim Geithner

                Isn’t it great that the libs have put us in another Great Depression? LOVE IT!!! Have your son buy some Solyndra stock. I hear Obamy himself loves it. That’s all the endorsement you need, right? Follow like sheep!! Let me regale you!!!

                • Citizen

                  You sound spoiled and jealous, Timmah. This Depression has been in the making since the 1970’s. I do remember that your great hero, Bush II, almost bankrupted Texas and the Texas Rangers when he had his hands in them. Then he became President….the rest is history. It will be decades before the U.S. recovers from him and the cronies who put him in office–if it EVER does, since there are obviously apologists like you who still support these failed economic policies. Rushbot!

  • Dave Campbell

    Has anyone ever noticed that nobody ever admits to voting for her?

  • Suzette M

    She makes me want to admit to being from Wisconsin more and more everyday. God help us all if, by some unforseen freak act of nature, she gets in office. This woman, with her microphone, needs to be evaluated by psych!!

  • North Oaks

    She would have been so much better of if she had not run for president. Obviously she won’t win, but in addition, now the country will see her as a loose canon and goofball. Respect is gone. She should have saved the money and sent her 29 kids to college.

    • Tim Geithner

      The world is already having a great laugh at MN over Frankenstein!!! We can’t do any worse. After all his reasoning for picking a Supreme Court justice was the Perry Mason reruns he watched!!!!!!! It doesn’t get smarter than that!!

  • Tom

    To those of you good folks from her district that consider her ‘wanting’ or an ‘idiot’ at best…………why the heck do you continue to return this windbag to congress every two years? I don’t get it! There can’t be that many idiots living in the same congressional district……….oh damn, I keep forgetting………..

  • goje60

    Vaccines have their place – do a little research on the effects of polio. I remember classmates crippled by it. NEVER would I risk a child of mine contracting that when a vaccine can prevent it.

    • Reality sucks

      Yes, that’s the point. Those that knew and allowed, got it and—fine. Those that didn’t, well, we know. But the deciding factor was there and so was the science. I strongly defend personal choice and this is an excellent example!

      • Citizen

        Again, Reality, for your edification. People have always had the legal right to opt out of vaccines on religious grounds. However, the schools mandate the vaccinations as part of enrollment in the public school system. The bottom line is this: vaccines save way more lives and are way safer than drugs to treat the diseases once they are contracted. Vaccines eradicated smallpox, for one, and there are other similar diseases on that path. Again, if you don’t want a vaccine, you can legally opt out on religious grounds/beliefs. Not a problem.

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