>”Trained” medical professionals should just shut up and perform, according to the President of the National Family planning and Reproductive Health Association.
As mentioned in the last few posts, the right not to be forced to act against the conscience has been under attack by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The Washington Post article mentioned in my last post linked to the blog of Health and Human Services Secretary, Mike Leavitt.
Today, the Secretary wrote that he’s not used to having nearly a thousand comments and many more “hits” on his blog. Take a deep breath and read the comments on each page.
Take a look, also, at this quote, in today’s post:
One thing I did find helpful was the clear explanation of the ideological basis of opposition to physician conscience. Mary Jane Gallagher, President of the National Family planning and Reproductive Health Association, was quoted in Congressional Quarterly’s HealthBeat saying,
“Family planning providers work to provide family planning services. So it’s really not acceptable to the people I represent that this administration is considering allowing doctors and nurses and pharmacists that have received their education to provide services to now be able to not provide those services if they don’t want to.”
“Who’s going to provide access to contraceptives services if the administration provides this large loophole to deny services?”
CQ reported Ms. Gallagher continued: “Providers are ‘given an oath—now they get to pick and choose what they want to do’ if a regulation is issued, she said.”
The Secretary answers Ms. Gallagher better than I could. However, don’t you wonder that the conversation has moved from “choice” and patients’ rights (“If you don’t believe in abortion, don’t have/do one.”) to threats that we who oppose abortion should give up our practices, to the declaration that we trained and obtained a license only to be forced to do what someone elsed demands of us?
>Gallagher's quote ("Who’s going to provide access to contraceptives…?") plays to sensationalism. The discussion is about ABORTION, which is not technically a form of contraceptive. It is simply outrageous to consider abortion as contraception. There is a very big difference. I'd love to join your blogroll, as I read your blog often and I'm also blogging for life.
>i just stumbled across this blog on the internet and feel compelled to have my say. I am at the start of my BSc Midwifery course and so consider myself one of those medical professionals who should shut up and perform. Although i love the job i am entering, i am also a Christian and these are two very important aspects of my life. I may hold more liberal views on certain topics than other Cvhristians do but that does not make my faith any more significant. I am still in two minds about the topic of abortion. Although i am against it, that is my personal opinion. I would not consider one MYSELF for purely social reasons. I f i was irresponsible enough to have unprotected sex or fell pregnant unintentionally anyway that is my responsibility and i should deal with the consequences of my actions and give that child the best life i could. They did not ask to be concieved, it was my own doing. They being the purely innocent party should not pay the ultimate sacrifice for my actions. It is unfair on so many levels.However, that is my opinion. Entering the field that i have chosen, i totally understand the impact a child has on a paren's life. EVERYTHING has to change and it does not only affect them, every one around them too.This is why, when i see a 14yr old girl with an unplanned pregnancy i can atleats understand why she would see an abortion as being her only option. If she felt she could not provide any kind of life for her child, could not carry on with the pregnancy because of the effects on her family relationships, and could notput the child up for adoption either then what else can she do? with all this pressure, she could resort to suicide or harming herslf in some way. I, in such extreme circumstances, could understand why she opted for an abortion. The loss of one life is preferable to the loss of two or more. As the medical professional, although i would do anything in my power to dissuade her and explore every other possible avenue, except abortion, if that became the case, then i would be forced to refer her to the corresponding services. However, i do understand why some healthcare professionals choose not to deal with termination situations at all because should we have to compromise our personal beliefs for a patient. Yes we take an oath, but no where in that oath does it call for assisting in murder and to some people that is basically what an abortion boils down to. I do believe an abortion is the equivalent of taking a life but in order to save another life, i would have to rethink my stance, my responsibility to my patient is paramount. If i am still unable to help witht hat abortion, i will refer her to a colleague that will. There are so may deeper psychological and emotional areas to this topic,to try and explore them all would be exhausting. To me, its unethical to kill an innocent unborn child but also bad practice to refuse my expertise when needed. There is always a solution and it doesn't have to end in abortion.
>claudette, I really do believe that it's unhealthy to have an interventional elective abortion. I can't point to a perfect study to prove that (although there is some strong evidence on this blog and there is zip evidence that abortion is actually healthier or any help at all), but I have always been more the pregnancy is not a disease, natural (and even home) birth, breast feed 'em 'till they can reason, semi-organic gardener/Prevention magazine sort of non-interventionist. However, I do know that no matter how tempting, it's never ethically acceptable to kill one human being in order to benefit another, except when the first is a threat to the life of the second. (From mis-reasoning that comes the problem of "choosing" which people are human enough to call on the rest of us to protect them from unscrupilous doctors, researchers, slave owners, and organ collectors. If we could save 5 or 6 people by killing your loved one, why wouldn't we? Or, if "person" is defined as someone who meets a minimum of abilities such as happiness or memory or usefulness, what do we do with the members of our species who don't meet those criteria or lose the ability to meet them? (See today's blog post coming up in a bit.)Are you familiar with Feminists for Life?Feminists for Life Or Libertarians for Life, where all the ethics are laid out so clearly and succinctly?