Hands Off Our Kids Coalition


1601 N. Tucson Blvd. Suite 9
Tucson, AZ 85716-3450
Phone: (800) 635-1196

Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, Inc.
A Voice for Private Physicians Since 1943
Omnia pro aegroto

 

This will be released at a news conference in
Dallas on February 11 to be held by the
Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.
Please email: aaps@aapsonline.org
Suggestions/revisions by COB FEB 8.
Sign on by COB FRIDAY FEB. 9.

February 11, 2007

The Honorable Rick Perry                     DRAFT                     DRAFT
Austin, TX

Dear Gov. Perry:

The undersigned organizations are writing to ask you to reconsider your position mandating the vaccine for human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually-transmitted disease, for schoolgirls as young as 10 years old.

Your action has prompted a broad, non-partisan coalition of advocacy groups to come together under the umbrella of the “Hands Off Our Kids Coalition.” This ad hoc coalition includes medical, taxpayer, privacy, civil liberties, health freedom, and good government groups from both sides of the aisles. While each group has various reasons for concern, our objectives can be summarized as follows:

 

  1. This vaccine mandate violates parental rights, informed consent & privacy;
  2. The safety of this specific vaccine and its efficacy as a cancer prevention are unproven;
  3. It is an unjustified expansion of the taxpayers’ burden;
  4. Constitutes an unwarranted overreaching of executive power, and
  5. Violates sunshine-in-government.

INFORMED CONSENT
According to the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons statement of Patients’ Freedoms adopted in 1990,

”Patients have the freedom ... to refuse medical treatment even if it is recommended by their physician and to be informed about their medical condition, the risks and benefits of treatment, and appropriate alternatives.”

That means that parents, with the advice of their doctors, should make decisions about their children’s medical care -- not government bureaucrats, whether school board members, or public health administrators. It is obscene to threaten to seize a child or take other coercive actions just because his parents refuse medical treatment that is unnecessary and perhaps even dangerous to that particular child.

You state that this action does not interfere with parental rights, but preserves them by allowing parents to “opt out” of the mandate. Why should parents have to ask the state’s permission to make this decision? And why should that decision then become a matter of public record?

HPV EFFICACY & SAFETY VACCINE IS UNPROVEN
There is no clear agreement in the medical community that this newly approved vaccine can deliver on the promises of its manufacturer. While shown effective in preventing genital warts in adults, clinical trials were conducted on fewer than 2,000 of the target population of girls aged 9 to 15 years old. The studies were far too short to demonstrate that they prevent the HPV transforming into cancer.

The adverse effects of this vaccine must be considered. According to the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), the federal Vaccine Adverse Effect Reporting System (VAERS) is now receiving loss of consciousness, seizures, and neurological disorders such as loss of vision, slurred speech, numbness and tingling following administration of the vaccine since the vaccine was approved in June of 2006.

OVERREACHING EXECUTIVE POWERS
Seneator Jane Nelson, chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, recently stated: "Executive orders should be used in extreme circumstances, during times of emergency and when the Legislature is not in session.”

As Sen. Nelson also pointed out, this was not an emergency, and the legislative had pending bills to examine the HPV vaccine that would have produced public input and cost estimates. There is no public health crisis regarding HPV – in fact, the rates have been consistently declining. It would seem that you have shut the public and the legislature out of the process for reasons that are difficult to justify.

SUNSHINE-IN-GOVERNMENT
We agree with Sen. Nelson’s concern about the process that has been invoked with this policy. At its best, the vaccine approval and policy process is rife with conflicts-of-interest, as demonstrated during several Congressional hearings, and a Congressional report that concluded that the pharmaceutical industry has indeed exerted undue influence on mandatory vaccine legislation toward its own financial interests. In this case, there are many unanswered questions about the undue influence.

UNJUSTIFIED COST BURDEN
The HPV vaccine is one of the most expensive ever to come to market, and is backed by a multi-million dollar direct-to-consumer advertising campaign. The NVIC’s survey of practices showed private practice fees ranging from $525 to $930 per child. According to Sen. Nelson, the minimum taxpayer cost will be more than $300 million through the Texas Medicaid program alone.

Therefore, we urge that you take the following action:

 

  1. Immediately rescind Executive Order RP65;
  2. Work with legislators to pass legislation that would return the authority to enact vaccine policy to the elected representatives, rather than unelected heads of agencies such as public health departments, and to educate parents about exemptions available.
  3. Allocate no taxpayer funds towards this specific vaccine;
  4. If you choose to go forward with your Executive Order, you and all parties involved voluntarily make full disclosure of financial interests, meetings, and negotiations that took place leading up to issuance of the Order.

CONCLUSION
Vaccines can and do save lives, and it is our hope that this will not be misconstrued as a blanket indictment of immunizations.

But this episode has demonstrated that we must take a much more deliberative approach in crafting vaccine policy without sacrificing the rights and liberties of individuals and families, and that the State of Texas should consider carefully any new vaccine mandates.

The “Hands Off Our Kids” coalition members urge you to take these steps immediately to restore parental rights, children’s civil liberties, and confidence in the legislative process.

Sincerely,

Association of American Physicians and Surgeons
American Association of Small Property Owners - F. Patricia Callahan, President
Ron Paul, M.D. - Member of Congress
Juliette Madrigal Dersch, M.D., Marble Falls, TX Council for Citizens Against Government Waste - Thomas Schatz, President
U.S. Bill of Rights Foundation
Alliance for Human Research Protection
Citizen Outreach - Chuch Muth, President
FairfaxCountyPrivacyCouncil.org - Mike Stollenwerk
PROVE / VaccineInfo.net - Dawn Richardson, President and Co-founder
RightMarch.com - William Greene, President
Illinois Family Institute - David E Smith, Executive Director
Frontiers of Freedom - Kerri Houston, Vice President of Policy
Carolyn Baker, Mesilla Park, NM
Charlotte Twight, Ph.D., Adjunct Fellow, Independent Institute
The Multiracial Activist - James Landrith, Founder
Texas Eagle Forum - Cathie Adams, President
Liberty Coalition - Michael Ostrolenk, National Director
United for Life - Dr. Ronald Konopaski
Pain Relief Network - Siobhan Reynolds, President and Executive Director
James H. Vernier, M.D., Fredericksburg, TX
Gary Edd Fish, M.D., J.D., Dallas, TX
Gregory A. Tichenor, M.D., FACEP, Southlake, TX
Clayton Young, M.D., F.A.C.O.G., The Woodlands, TX
David S. Wishnew, M.D. - Austin, TX
Andrew W. Campbell, M.D. - Spring, TX
Bob Bagley Montgomery County Texas Republican Liberty Caucus-Chairman
Tony B. Rich, President and Chief Executive Officer, IdeasOne Incorporated
Robert Goodman, Pasadena, TX
John and Amy Yates, Caldwell, TX
Minnesota Natural Health Legal Reform Project - Jerri Johnson
Illinois Right to Life Committee - William Beckman, Executive Director
Illinois Alliance for Parents and Children - Michael Burns, President
IllinoisReview.com - Fran Eaton, Editor
United Republican Fund - Dennis LaComb, Executive Director
Jill Stanek, Prolife activist & World Net Daily columnist, Mokena, IL

 

 

 

“HANDS OFF OUR KIDS COALITION” LETTER

TO TEXAS GOVERNOR
RE: HPV VACCINE MANDATE