Friday, February 24, 2006

Getting the message

I don't see anybody picking up on this, and they need to:

Republican Gov. Mike Rounds said he was inclined to sign the bill, which would make it a crime for doctors to perform an abortion unless it was necessary to save the woman's life. The measure would make no exception in cases of rape or incest.

As I understand it, this bill also makes the specification that life begins at fertilization of the egg. Are you getting the message yet??? This bill would outlaw the pill. All hormonal contraception (the pill, implants, patches), in fact, would be outlawed, because these methods act to prevent pregnancy by blocking implantation of the fertilized egg, and so would legally be defined as abortion.

I would have expected that doctors would be starting to get a little nervous about the extent to which legislators were practicing medicine without a license, but really - the AMA and the appropriate medical professional groups (Ob-Gyn, Family Practice, etc) need to raise hell about this.

I really don't think the legislators (because they only care about pushing buttons) have really thought this through. This means that, for example, women in South Dakota may not be able to take drugs that carry a risk of birth defects - some of these drugs you may think she doesn't need that badly (like Accutane, for cystic acne). But what about warfarin (an anticoagulant, often prescribed for atrial fibrilation or after heart valve replacements - and yes, women of childbearing age are affected by this)? What about anti-epilectic drugs? A woman who is taking these drugs would be put in the position of having to discontinue them with possible risks to her own health, or, if she becomes pregnant, being forced to carry the fetus to term - a fetus that may die or cost the state money to support due to disability. This is just wrong and stupid, it interferes with the judgment of doctors and with the doctor-patient relationship. Again, I think doctors should be outraged about that.

Update: See Section 3 above. Still, I think it sad that physicians aren't insisting that the practice of medicine by State and Federal legislators be brought to a halt - and yeah, Frist, I'm, talking to you too - you had no business making any diagnosis regarding the late Terri Schiavo; it was clearly poor medical practice and completely unethical. Let me spell out some of the ways:

  • 1. You are not a neurologist.

  • 2. You didn't even visit her in person, you grandstanded by shooting your mouth off on the basis of edited video.

  • 3. SHE WAS NOT YOUR PATIENT. And, if you had been asked to consult on the case, well, there are laws against discussing her condition with just anyone, aren't there?


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6:28 AM, March 08, 2006  
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