By John-Henry Westen

SAULT STE. MARIE, November 21, 2007 ( – The Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board (HSCDSB) has come under intense criticism from some quarters for their decision to reject the controversial HPV vaccine from school property.  However, the Director of the prestigious Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute (CCBI), has come out in favor of the decision.

The HPV vaccine is designed to combat the human papilloma virus, a sexually transmitted disease which is not effectively combated with condom use.  Despite thousands of reported adverse effects of the vaccine, including nearly a dozen deaths, many school boards, Catholic ones included, have accepted the vaccine to be administered on their premises. HSCDSB trustees voted narrowly against the program.

“The board is right to make decisions according to its Catholic ethos when it comes to moral issues,” wrote Dr. Moira McQueen, a lawyer and PhD moral theologian.

The director of the CCBI noted that the board did not say girls should not receive the vaccine, but merely said parents should decide on the matter and take their children to a clinic or doctor’s office for the shot should they so decide.

“Catholic teaching emphasizes the rightness of sex within marriage. Period,” wrote McQueen explaining the board’s stand.  “There is a contradiction in trying to live out that teaching, while at the same time appearing to be taking steps to protect girls against a disease that can only be contracted through sexual intercourse.”

McQueen added, “It is for this same reason that, for example, condoms are not available for sale in Catholic schools.”

“The board is aware that many young people will engage in sexual intercourse, but must also encourage those young people to take responsibility for all their actions, including sexual activity.

“The board’s responsibility lies in educating students about sex, sexuality and the possible consequences, all in a Catholic context,” said McQueen.

She concluded: “In making this distinction, the Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board is being consistent with its principles, and should be commended for that.”

See related coverage:

Halton Catholic School Board Approves Controversial HPV Vaccinations on School Premises”>

US Death Toll Associated with HPV Vaccine Jumps to 11 with 3779 Adverse Reactions Reported


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