The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) is sponsoring a bill that would require that all doctors refer patients to abortionists. ACOG is asking that Senators tuck this provision into the the FY06 Labor, Health, and Human Services, and Education Appropriations bill. According to an internet alert from the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, if the provision is not voted down by our Senators, every doctor would be required to help arrange abortions at the patient’s request.
This would be the first time that doctors have ever been required to refer for an elective procedure. Physicians are not required to refer for plastic surgery, for instance.
Referral would include, at the least, giving patients the name of “providers.” That would make it the doctor’s legal and moral responsibility to be familiar with the skills of the other doctor. It would also make the doctor responsible for follow up and, possibly/probably, legally liable for bad outcomes. I have always preferred to have my office staff assist the patient in making an appointment in referrals.
No one would disagree with a referral for care in the case of a tubal pregnancy or some other life threatening event. Caring for a woman whose child has already died or who has a severe infection in her uterus – or even a need for life-saving cancer treatment could justify a referral. In the latter cases, I’d actually refer to a doctor that believed in the sanctity of life. Both for the mother’s sake as well as her child’s.
But an elective, intentional abortion doesn’t even rise to the level of a tummy tuck in urgency or medical necessity. A tummy tuck or eyelid lift can at least make the patient’s life better. And there is no third life (the unborn child) involved.
Some of us believe that putting a patient in contact with an abortionist is too close to aiding in the unethical procedure intended to kill a member of our species. How can anyone be required to act to aid the killing of our children?
Everyone should write their Senators and let them know that we object to any requirement to refer for an elective medical procedure. Is it right for physicians to be required to provide any service for their patients when we are certain that the service is not in the interest of our patients?
labels added 12/20/08