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Bioethicist Bets Bachmann $10,000 on HPV Vaccine Link to Damage

Bioethicist Art Caplan is challenging Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann with a $10,000 bet to prove a claim that a vaccine to prevent cervical cancer caused mental retardation.

Bachmann chastised Texas Governor Rick Perry at a Sept. 12 Republican debate for requiring girls in his state to get Merck & Co.’s Gardasil in 2007 to ward off a sexually transmitted virus that causes cancer. The next day in television interviews, Bachmann said a woman told her the shot, usually given at age 12, triggered mental retardation in the woman’s daughter.