13 September 2011

Bite Me Michelle Bachmann

It's been made clear to me during my years of training and practice that pediatricians are meant to be happy, comforting people who love to cuddle babies and who want to fix boo boos and all sorts of other adorable things. So fine, I wear socks that have sheep and teddy bears on them because, let's be honest, they are what I would choose to wear anyway. And I try to be a nice person. I try to smile at work and even just out on the street. I try to pick up trash when I find some. I open doors for people. I give up my seat on the T to older people or women who are burstingly pregnant.

I try to be a good person. I try to behave.

But then Michelle Bachmann went on national television and said that the vaccine for HPV, a vaccine that prevents cervical CANCER, causes mental retardation.

The words that I have in response to this heinously irresponsible statement are not words I'm allowed to say in front of my daughter. In fact, those words, those dirtiest of insults that I have at my disposal, are not dirty enough for the venom I feel.

To be in the public spotlight, as Bachmann and other politicians are, brings with it a certain responsibility. It is a responsibility that should be akin to the one that I accepted when I became a doctor. You should promise to be nice. You should promise to do what is best for people and not what you think will be politically advantageous. You should promise to make sure that the things you say, things people will rely on to make important life decisions, are actually true.

Bachmann has failed in this before and she failed again and again this week as she continued to spout completely false allegations. So just to be clear. Women DIE from cervical cancer. There is now a vaccine to PREVENT more women from DYING. And to say that the vaccine is dangerous before a national audience because "a woman...said her daughter...suffered mental retardatio as a result" (of the vaccine) without ever looking into the credibility of such a claim is atrocious.

What sort of executive leader would this woman be if someone told her that Canada was evil and was planning to invade Buffalo and so she ordered a military offensive based only on hearsay? Have I gone to far? No, I don't think so. But she has.

What can I do about it? Not much. But I did just write a check to Planned Parenthood. I guess that's a start.

1 comment:

  1. Listening to her talk makes me suffer mental retardation.