Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Their Feelings > You

Fuck you Mike Leavitt.

I've commented on his blog before, on this whole "let's redefine nearly every form of contraception as abortion" clusterfuck going through DHHS right now. Because, y'see, this isn't about restricting women's health care (even though that's what'll happen). That's not even a relevant issue! Even though that's what'll happen. No, this is about FEELINGS.

The doctors' feelings, to be precise. Didn't you know? They're more important than the patient's health, or a contractual obligation to provide a service patients pay for. If a doctor doesn't believe in abortion, then they aren't going to provide them. This doesn't sound truly terrifying until you consider that DHHS thinks it should be allowed to define "abortion" however loosely they'd like. They want to change it to "life begins at fertilization, so anything that prevents the fertilized egg from sticking to the inside of your uterus is now an abortion." That way a doctor can deny you a whole list of things (most notably every birth control method I can think of that isn't a barrier method) because it is more important to DHHS that doctors provide care according to their consciences than for patiences to receive care according to their consciences.

Leavitt mocked the position of people like me who believe that doctors should provide the care they agreed to provide when they got licensed, stating, "Freedom of expression and action is surrendered with the issuance of a medical degree."

You lose the freedom to betray the standards of your profession, yeah. Doctors lose the freedom to deny care to people who come to them for it, psychologists lose the freedom to gossip about people who talk to them in a professional context, etc. I realize this loss of freedom of expression and action must be deeply traumatic for doctors. Being held to the same professional standards as all other doctors is just awful. If your argument is that doctors should be allowed to exempt themselves from their oaths just 'cuz they wanna... well, I'm with you! Professional standards and accountability are for those secularist babymurdering liberals.

Yes. That was sarcasm.

In all seriousness, though. If you are not ready to provide the services of a physician, don't become one. If it's against my religion to dance in public, I should not dream of Broadway. If I believe that rum is the devil's poison and that Prohibition should be re-established, I should not aspire to become a bartender. If it's against my conscience to provide medical advice or procedures to certain people or for certain reasons, I should not dream of a medical career.

Medicine is about service. You are doing a disservice to half the population of this country by codifying an appalling belief: that women's LIVES are not as important as the FEELINGS of doctors who should never have gone into practice in the first place.

One comment by "Michelle" got a chuckle out of me, and I wanted to share it.

I think I'm going to become a doctor. Of course, I'm morally opposed to inhaled steroids and albuterol--in my religion inhaling something other than the air we normally breathe is counter to God's will. I'm going to have a lot of asthma patients! When all those asthma patients drop dead on the floor of the ER during a massive asthma attack--Oh well, at least my god will be pleased. Whatever the patient needed/wanted to do with their body doesn't matter. And in fact, I'll work very hard to lobby against allowing asthma drugs to exist! I need to save those people who think they need the medication I don't like, even if it kills them. By denying them proper medical treatment, I'll be pleasing God and that's more important than what the patient thinks is right for his/her body! Go me, medical degree here I come!
I followed a particularly well-thought-out comment to the site linked, and was delighted to recognize the name of someone on my friends list. naamah_darling, you rock.

Here's one small piece of the glory she posted.
I think everyone should be free to act with conscience (though an argument could be made that someone who does not wish to perform their duty should not have taken the job to begin with). But what assurances, sir, do we have that you will see to it that women who need services will still be served? What are your plans for that? Or have you forgotten the entire point of the medical profession, which is to provide care for those who need it? I demand to know this, sir. I demand to know how you plan to make sure women are not further harmed by this policy of yours, as they are being harmed by existing laws and policy.

If you put into place a system or set of rules that dictated women MUST be promptly referred to another provider covered under her insurance plan, then and only then will I be able to "conscience" turning these incredibly important decisions over to anyone but the woman.

I have to say I am not very impressed with your responses so far. You don't seem to care much about patients at all, when arguably, you should care about them above all. That, sir, is disgusting.
That about says it as far as I'm concerned. If you want to preach, become a pastor. If you want to control women's lives, move to Saudi Arabia. If you want to become a doctor, treat the patients that come to you.

I encourage others to leave comments on Leavitt's blog. A pro-life group has encouraged its members to flood his blog with grateful comments, and I agree with NARAL Pro-Choice America. He needs to be hearing us, too.

Otherwise, it's gonna be a lot of this: "There IS NO financial reason not to have a child, if we trust in God's Providence."

Yeah. That's a comment on there, by Elizabeth Victory.

Please. Be the voice of reason, and be a loud one. Those of us females who want to control our childrearing don't want to be treated like cattle, breeding at the behest of someone with authority over us. Those of us females who want to be as free as a man to live independent lives would really appreciate the right to control our reproduction.

Don't let DHHS take it, and certainly don't let idiots like Elizabeth Victory encourage DHHS to take it.

As Anita Monical stated:
Well, I for one am happy to know that soooo many doctors view their right to deny women access to and information regarding contraception as a matter of personal integrity, and not a matter of women's health.

I certainly would have all kinds of faith in physicians who put unshared moral values above the health and wellbeing of women. No really.

I never thought of medical professionals as an enemy of my own physical health, mental wellbeing and yes, my financial security. I do now.
That should scare you. It scares me.

All you have to do is post a comment. It'll take you thirty seconds.

DHHS wants to say that physicians have the right to refuse you care if they decide it hurts their feelings to give you what you need. DHHS wants to say that physicians have the right to hinder women's access to legal and safe contraception and abortion. DHHS wants to say that the consciences of female patients are less important and valid than the doctors who would deny them the care that the patients have chosen to seek out.

Say no.

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