Wednesday, May 12, 2010

WTF Wednesday: No Words

I am speechless with rage at this news, and thus I am grateful that Mary Alice Carr has spoken more eloquently on the subject than I can. There's a new law in Oklahoma which states, as Carr writes, "that a doctor is protected from being sued if he or she chooses not to tell a woman that the baby she is carrying has a birth defect... Under this new law, a doctor may withhold information, mislead or even blatantly lie to a pregnant woman and her partner about the health of their baby if the doctor so much as thinks that fetal test results would cause a woman to consider abortion."

 I cannot fathom what doctor would consider this. Beyond the damage it does to the doctor-patient relationship, beyond all consideration of medical ethics, imagine what it would be like to be those parents. Say, a woman whose doctor told her to expect a healthy child and who finds out when he is born that he will only live a few days. Or a young couple given no time to research how to care for a son or daughter with special needs. Imagine finding out that your doctor willfully denied you the chance to prepare yourself and your family for the difficulties you and your baby would face. How would you feel? How could anyone sworn to care for and heal people justify putting someone in that situation?

On the heels of this article I was sent another one, this one detailing a Missouri bill that is supposed to "promote 'heterosexual marriage' by making divorce more difficult." The article describes the consequences this bill has for victims of domestic abuse; namely, that by prohibiting divorce except by mutual agreement or in cases of narrowly defined "marital irresponsibility," it opens a frightening number of loopholes for domestic abusers. The article sets out several examples wherein a spouse who is clearly in danger would have no grounds for divorce, and may even have their custody taken away for alleging that abuse is occurring.

Individually, these stories are outrageous and sad. Together, they fill me with fear for what they might represent. Both laws are designed to protect "family values," but deceit, self-righteousness, cruelty, and tacit acceptance of violence are not values my family shares. I shudder to think that I live in a country where these things are considered an acceptable price for the illusion of wholesomeness.


Posted by Silent Five @ 9:28 PM

Read or Post a Comment

While the Oklahoma law is frightening, it can be easily got around ... don't give your doctor the impression you're going to abort all but the absolutely perfect fetus, and he'll have absolutely no reason to lie to you.

Posted by Blogger AnnMarie @ 7:50 AM #

Unless he wants to. It privileges the subjectivity of the doctor, which is why it's frightening.

Posted by Blogger quadragon @ 2:44 PM #
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Word of the Week

gymnosophy [jim-NAH-so-fee]

n. Philosophical, amusing, or nonsensical insights realized when naked, as in the shower or in bed. (recent coinage: att. S. Galasso, 2010)

Victoria and Albert enjoyed a spot of postprandial concupiscence culminating in a night of gymnosophy and coffee and crumpets at dawn.

The Silent Top Five: Bacon-Flavored Desserts

1) Bacon cheesecake.
2) Bacon gumballs.
3) Bacon ice cream.
4) Bacon-orange bars.
5) Bacon apple pie.

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