Meningitis Maybe

03/10/13

Permalink 03:42:16 pm, Categories: Tennessee Politics  

Another example of Legislation sans Intelligence. Something Tennessee has unfortunately become famous for. But with a Legislature full of malcontents, what can ya do?

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

Tenn. bill would require proof of meningitis shots
By LUCAS L. JOHNSON II, Associated Press
Updated 7:51 am, Sunday, March 10, 2013

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Chris Wilson believes his nephew would still be alive if his college had required him to get a meningitis vaccination.

Middle Tennessee State University freshman Jacob Nunley died last year less than 24 hours after contracting meningococcal meningitis, a bacterial infection of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord.

“That’s the most difficult thing to deal with,” Wilson said, “the fact that the vaccination was there. All he had to do was get it.”

Currently, MTSU and most other public colleges and universities in Tennessee only recommend getting the vaccination to prevent the contagious disease.

Tennessee lawmakers are hoping to prevent deaths with legislation that would require incoming students at public higher education institutions to show proof they have gotten a meningitis shot. The bill would exempt students if a doctor says they can’t take the vaccine because of a medical condition or if the inoculation violates their religious beliefs.

The measure passed the Senate last week and is nearing a vote on the House floor.

“The purpose of the bill is to help save lives,” said Senate sponsor Lowe Finney, a Jackson Democrat whose district includes Nunley’s hometown, Dyersburg.

The legislation, called the Jacob Nunley Act, comes at a time of heightened awareness about meningitis.

According to the state Health Department, seven cases of the meningococcal meningitis were reported in Tennessee last year. Of those cases, one resulted in the death of the patient. One case has been reported so far this year, and that person also died as a result of the disease.

Now at face value it sounds like a good idea, trying to keep disease to a minimum in institutional environments. But then it takes only half a sentence for a Tennessee politician to nullify all things good with that classic TNGA stoooopidity.

“…or if the inoculation violates their religious beliefs.”

Religious freedom is sacred to me, no doubt. but my own religious views DO NOT excuse me from passing on a deadly virus to another person. How ignorant can these Asshats possibly get? Give a free pass to some snake handler to infect another student? How many students are so afraid of needles (or with this last generation even give enough of a fuck) that they’d just make shit up to avoid the injection?
Then there’s the cost. Though I may be wrong, I find that some Meningitis shots can cost a hundred dollars or more.
Who gets that windfall, btw?

Now, this isn’t exactly an attack on Lowe Finney, but his top contributors are “Health", “Hospitials and Nursing Homes” and “Jackson Clinic”.
(Hey, he’s a politician. It never hurts to check.) But that’s another matter altogether.

When you’re trying to keep students healthy to the point of legislative efforts to that end, why do you leave an out of any kind? Either do it or don’t. The “out” is if you don’t like it, don’t attend. Your religious beliefs are not, nor will they ever be, more important than the life of an aspiring young person.

Once again, a rare piece of potentially helpful legislation from the TNGA is rendered valueless by the spirit of asshatitude that forever lurks in the isles of our Capital.

Our hearts go out to Jacob Nunley and his family. Hopefully the TNGA will do something substantial instead of the average waste of effort.

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