Assessing Mandatory HPV Vaccination: Who Should Call the Shots?
Article first published online: 2 JUN 2008
© 2008 American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics, Inc.
The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics
Volume 36, Issue 2, pages 384–395, Summer 2008
How to Cite
Javitt, G., Berkowitz, D. and Gostin, L. O. (2008), Assessing Mandatory HPV Vaccination: Who Should Call the Shots?. The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, 36: 384–395. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-720X.2008.00282.x
- Issue published online: 2 JUN 2008
- Article first published online: 2 JUN 2008
In 2007, many legislatures considered, and two enacted, bills mandating HPV vaccination for young girls as a condition of school attendance. Such mandates raise signifcant legal, ethical, and social concerns. This paper argues that mandating HPV vaccination for minor females is premature since long-term safety and efectiveness of the vaccine has not been established, HPV does not pose imminent and signifcant risk of harm to others, a sex specifc mandate raises constitutional concerns, and a mandate will burden fnancially existing government health programs and private physicians. Absent careful consideration and public conversation, HPV mandates may undermine coverage rates for other vaccines.