May 31, 2012 at 11:09 am
"An Oklahoma emergency room doctor refused to provide emergency contraception to a 24-year-old female rape victim because the medication violated the health provider’s personal beliefs, a local CBS News affilate reports. The hospital also denied the victim a rape kit, noting that it had no appropriate nurse on staff to administer the test.
“I will not give you emergency contraceptives because it goes against my believes,” the doctor allegedly told the rape victim and her mother, Rhonda. “She knew my daughter had just been raped. Her attitude was so judgmental and I felt that she was just judging my daughter,” Rhonda told the news station."
http://thinkprogress.org/health/2012/05 … -oklahoma/
This is unconstitutional.
Where is this girls freedom and liberty? Why is someone in charge making personal decisions FOR her?
Get religion out of the state! Keep it in the church and your home.
seems like facility did a poor job of covering its bases,... i suport the drs right not to compramise thier faith,.... but by having no one else on staff to help this girl at the time, the hospital failed misserably,.... as far as the rape kit goes,... wtf? if you dont have some one,... any one on staff at any given notice who can adminiter a rape kit,.... your not an ER,... your not even the village vets office.
good post LMC
Those who choose to be doctors among us are by profession sworn to help all people to the best of their abilities. In fact, they take an oath in that regard. I cannot see citing "religion" as the reason that the doctor refused the medication....does not hold water with me. I can see a physician who selectively decides that he/she does not want to administer a particulat type of drug because of the potential side-effects and risk. At the same time, the facility should also have some alternate plan to cover this outcome so that the medication or an alternative arrangement can be administered. Administering medication to halt the process of starting a life is different in my mind to initiating a process which terminates a life already begun as is the case in abortion. I see a potential dilemma as we move this scenario outside of the aspect of religion as the question comes to mind, "where does the doctor's judgement get supersceded by either the law or the regulation of government?" I cannot imagine going there. If we do, we may as well have robots and computers doing the work of doctors. It is a very slippery slope in my mind. WB
That doctor shouldn't be working in the ER, and the hospital shouldn't be allowing her to. She can make those decisions in private practice, but not in an ER.
In the doctor's defense, hospitals that are privately run by institutions of faith have a set of rules that the doctor's must adhere to. Had that doctor prescribed the emergency contraceptive, she would have faced the loss of her job or perhaps her license.
That said, there is NO EXCUSE whatsoever for not administering the rape kit, and she should have immediately referred the young lady to a public hospital where she could get the treatment she (her mother) requested - the refusal to administer the rape kit should be illegal and punishable by law.
Edit: After watching the video, it appears that this poor young woman DID go to a public facility first, and later to a Baptist hospital where she received the treatment she requested.
What a horrible situation. And a doctor who has absolutely zero compassion.
Yes and according to a 2011 report by the National Women's Law Institute it's causing some serious issues with women's health in some places - such as delayed treatment of ectopic pregnancies, denial of certain drugs and failure to inform patients of treatment options available in non-Catholic hospitals which could provide better long-term health outcomes:
One doctor in the study reported several instances of potentially fatal tubal ruptures in patients with ectopic pregnancies at her Catholic-affiliated hospital. She said that her hospital subjected patients with ectopic pregnancies to unnecessary delays in treatment, despite patients’ exhibiting serious symptoms indicating that a tubal rupture was possible. These patients, therefore, were denied emergency care to which they were legally entitled.
http://www.nwlc.org/resource/below-rada … and-health
Apparently in some Catholic hospitals doctors are required to wait until they can no longer detect a foetal heartbeat before they can provide necessary treatment.
There was a case in 2011 at St. Josephs in Phoenix where a pregnant woman (11 weeks) with four children, developed life-threatening pulmonary hypertension. Because of the condition of her heart and lungs doctors decided that the only way to save her life was to terminate the pregnancy. A hospital administrator, a nun, decided to go against Church policy and ok an abortion. As a result the Phoenix Bishop demoted the nun, announced that she had automatically excommunicated herself from the church and stripped the hospital of it's affiliation with the Catholic diocese. It seems Vatican bureaucrats consider they know what's best for women's health.
I also read that Government subsidised Catholic health care facilities form the largest not-for-profit health service sector in the US and that increasing hospital mergers mean previous non-catholic facilities are, under the terms of the merger, required to adhere to the Bishops directives.
http://www.pbs.org/wnet/religionandethi … gers/8431/
Finally something we are in full agreement on.
We could agree on more if you weren't always wrong
There's a saying that's been drummed into my head repeatedly:
Do you want to be right?
Or do you want to be happy?
I'll take happy any day.
No. If I'm gonna be wrong I at least want to be happy.
You get to be right.
You can be happy too, tho.
Thank you both. My daughter went through that, and if we end up with a country where she would be forced to carry a fetus conceived in rape....
I would not want to live here anymore.
I strongly agree with JaxsonRaine, and I'm so sorry this happened to your daughter, LMC!! I'm glad she at least has you to help her get through.
Thank you Sandy.
I don't undrstand this hatred for women?
Why do we take a back seat to
There is no respect for us as human beings capable of making decisions on our own lives.
It's insulting and arrogant.
and before it comes up: no, a minutes old zygote is not a child!
I don't understand all the hatred for a fetus.
I know for a fact you truly don't understand anything about this issue.
Do you really think that anyone's argument here is motivated by "hatred for a fetus?"
A woman was subjected to a horrible, psychologically traumatic assault accompanied by physical violence and sexual violation. She was physically restrained, dominated and denigrated while she was penetrated and raped! As such, she would like to make sure that IF an egg was fertilized, that it (the combination of her cell and that of her attacker) does not implant in her uterine lining in the next few days. There is a legal medication for that (which may also work by preventing ovulation or by blocking fertilization in the first place, btw).
She went to the ER, no doubt accompanied by shame and guilt and embarrassment for the invasive exam to which she must subject herself. She must now expose the parts of her that were violated and allow doctors and nurses to examine them. She must repeat the story of what just happened to her and relive it several times in the immediate aftermath.
She is then denied the legal medication that is offered elsewhere as part of the post-rape protocol to prevent a potential pregnancy, which she did not consent to making possible. She is denied and told that if fertilization occurs after her assault, she should carry a pregnancy for the better part of a year and be responsible for a potential child for the rest of her life. She is already shocked, humiliated, devastated and will never be the same no matter what... and this decision is being made for her on the grounds of a religious view that she clearly does not share. This is another violation of her rights being forced on her by a stranger.
I don't personally know everyone who commented here, but I'm thinking their motivation for wanting to help this poor woman is not "hatred for a fetus", but compassion for the rape victim and a belief in the protection of her rights.
If anyone thinks that this woman should not get this medicine, please, please spend a moment in her shoes. Imagine what she felt like while being raped- a horror beyond belief. Put yourself there and then think about the consequences. She already has to live with the nightmares, the fear, the PTSD, the violation and the probability that she will not be able to feel the same way about sex or men or life ever again. If she wants to prevent the POSSIBILITY of pregnancy at this point and is legally allowed to do so, why is that anyone's choice but hers? Just for a moment, imagine it is you. Now, imagine you are the doctor - the ONLY doctor on duty when this poor woman arrives vulnerable, scared, scarred and humiliated - and you think your decision should supersede her legal decision. I can't begin to imagine...
Just for future reference, it is not a "fetus" until about 2 months after conception. It is a zygote, blastocyst and embryo until then. There are several good explanations of the process of conception and development online.
Hand it to the doc to know her medical terms for fetus! This does not mean she believes in murder of an unborn...come one people! I believe it is a life at point of conception no matter what the medical industry labels it, however, to accuse someone you do not know personally of not caring it so unreal! We all have our opinion, but to call them selfish is like kindergarden!
Okay, don't call them selfish, but I will call them intolerant and without love.
Edit: That's the doctor in the emergency room in the case the OP is talking about.
It's called selfishness.
She doesn't care one bit about an unborn baby; she's always been very vocal about that.
I'm religious, and what that doctor did is completely wrong-so please don't think that all religious people would deny this woman the help she needed. Like Wayne said, that doctor swore an oath to help her patients. I am sickened by the fact that she did not help this woman who clearly was already in significant distress.
And the irony is that some people wonder why I bother to be a rights advocate.
It's apparent that all rights advocacy groups working within America's border are utterly ridiculous.
I have an ethical objection to saving violent criminals. But, you know what? When one comes in as a trauma, I treat them. I bust my a$$ to save theirs, even if I think they are vile pieces of shitt. Because, that's my job. Those of us who are in the business of treating "all-comers" as emergencies need to do this. We don't have an office where we can lay down ground rules about which patients we accept and which we don't. We treat them. I have been dragged out of bed at 3am after 45 whole minutes of sleep because some people got into a fight over crack and cut each other up. I morally object to their lifestyle and I will not be happy about the energy I have to expend to save them, but neither they, nor anyone else, will ever know it, because I took an oath.
I think I know what kinds of questions I'd ask if I sat on the admissions committee at medical school.
That's exactly what is bothering me! This whole idea now that people can decide who is worthy and who isn't!
And the yardstick they are using is a judgemental, myopic one.
I cannot see citing "religion" as the reason that the doctor refused the medication....does not hold water with me. I can see a physician who selectively decides that he/she does not want to administer a particulat type of drug because of the potential side-effects and risk.
"An Oklahoma emergency room doctor refused to provide emergency contraception to a 24-year-old female rape victim because the medication violated the health provider’s personal beliefs"
If not religion...certainly nothing to do with healthcare!
It would be hard to be a doctor and have such convictions about what you believe and administer applications that you feel are not right in light of your faith. However, the patient has the right to make that choice and the options of going to a hospital that will honor her decision should be offered. Personally, a fetus is alive and did not ask to be a product of rape, but it is still a life! That child, though a burden and a reminder, could be the key to healing the woman of the scars in her heart from the rape. That baby could be a mysterious gift beyond our initial sights. I do not believe in abortions of any kind when there are so many parents out there willing to adopt! Supposedly, my great great grandmother was a product of rape and if they did an abortion back then, then I would not exist today!
It's up to HER to decide if she wants that "gift" or not. HER decision.
Understand, I am not against people who make that choice! It is their right! I just stated my opinion on how I feel personally and some thoughts to consider! Yes indeed it is HER decision!
Yep, and you DID say that, so I hope you know I was just reiterating that and not attacking
And you are able to separate how you might feel, the decision you would be inclined to make, from her right to choose. I'm glad there are reasonable people like you out there. We don't have to agree with our patient's decisions, but it's not up to us to make them for them.
thanks for the reply and communicating. Yes, if some asked for advice I would tell them my point of view but it is their personal choice that they must make. No doubt! I would not force the issue. I honor the work you do. My mother was a nurse and my brother a respirtory therapist. It is a thankless job, but a rewarding one in the end!
Thank you for your comments and civil discourse.
In this situation (where the advice would be based on personal opinion and not science), I wouldn't even give my opinion if asked. I am not part of the equation as the treating physician. I am not in a position to be a guide about non-medical issues that will impact the rest of this woman's life, no matter how I feel. I might tell her "other women in your situation have thought about issues X, Y and Z when faced with this decision (yes, including any religious considerations)", since she may not be able to process all of the information in her shaken state. I would make sure she knew that SHE had to be comfortable with her decision. Not the doctors, nurses or anyone else who is just briefly and incidentally in her path to getting past this horrid event.
If she asked me for advice, I'd say something along the lines of "This decision is about you and your life. You and those you choose to include must decide what is right for you. I can--and promise I will-- offer medical care without judgement no matter what you decide. I support you and will be here in any way I can, but I cannot and should not offer such important advice. You will be here in my hospital for an hour or so, but the choice you make affects the rest of your life. I have no business influencing that decision either way. I am here to take care of you and you have my full support no matter what."
Basicially, as a doctor, I know I have no business influencing such an important non-medical decision out of respect for my patient. I defend her right to choose without my feelings getting in the way. If, on the other hand, she was asking me whether she should have local or general anesthesia for her hernia repair, my opinion is an educated, expert one and I would freely offer it based on the circumstances.
Does that make sense? Someone who is vulnerable and in your care may feel ashamed to make a decision that they know you disagree with and they should not be influenced in that way, in this situation. IMO.
I wish all doctors were like you, TahoeDoc. This is the most compassionate way to deal with those types of delicate situations. I think if any doctor/nurse/health care provider couldn't separate their own beliefs from the task at hand to give legal and needed care to a patient they should be let go. They are clearly not suited for that job.
Good point! Ditto on autmn18 posting, wish more doctors were like you!
Lets just forget the religion part of this for a minute and focus on what actually happened here. In case anybody forgot RAPE IS A CRIME. Isn't the purpose of the rape kit to collect evidence?
The rape kit not only collects evidence, but the issue in this thread is the refusal of giving the morning after pill.
It wasn't that the rape examination was denied, rather, there was no qualified staff member available to perform the exam. Worthy of note is that because of budget cuts, apparently these specialists are on rotation schedules. That speaks to misogyny in spades.
I can ask the same thing.. Where is my freedom from your Atheism???
What have atheists imposed on your freedoms? Just curious.
What have Christians imposed upon yours??? Morality???
Then the simple flip side of this is that I am forced to live in an Immoral World... And a world that does not want to hear about it.
America IS religious tyranny. There are so many religious folk running around telling other people how to live, as though they are the authority on the subject, and those same people then elect idiots to office, because they believe the same.
That's a problem.
No,you're imposing your version of immorality on us.
There are plenty of Christians that I consider immoral by my standards.
I would be hard pressed to find 1 out of 1000 religious folk in America who actually walk the walk instead of just talking the talk.
Honestly, I think 99% of religious folk out here are quietly walking the walk, just not aggressively representing themselves as "religious."
It's the 1% who are dominating (and bastardizing) the talk that get all the attention.
Not morality, rather they have imposed scripture and their own religious beliefs, in the last hundred years, Christians have imposed, censorship (decency laws), they have infringed into our very bedrooms and told us what we can and can't do there (sodomy laws) they have infringed into the very body of millions of women (anti abortion laws) they have infringed on the rights of tens of millions of same sex couples by presuming to tell them who they can and can't marry, they have infringed on the medical profession and the well being of millions of people by stopping stem cell research which could have saved hundreds of thousands of lives by now, shall I go on?
I'm not saying that Christians are imposing anything on me, I don't think any beliefs based on religion should be imposed on the people of a secular nation. I'm assuming we're talking about a secular nation like the U.S. but I could be wrong. Anyway, morality is not exclusively tied to religion. For some it is and sometimes my morals jive with a certain religions morals but they aren't one in the same. Who's forcing you to live immorally? Don't believe abortion is moral? Don't have one. Don't think lying is moral? Don't lie. Think your kids should be educated about creationism? Teach it to them. Etc.
I'm not an atheiest. I just don't believe in the God of Judgement..old testament dude..he's the false God to me.
My god doesn't judge, nor kick people when they are down.
I will have to answer for my deeds, as will you. And it's not what goes into the mouth that condemns, it's what comes out....
All you haters beware! Tongue is a double edged sword.
Is this question related to the thread in some way? Or, is it a general question. If it's general, it might be better to ask in one of the other ten-gazillion forum threads on the subject (if you really want to discuss it or read an answer). If you just want to remind us all of the purportedly rampant, but quite well-disguised, persecution of Christians in this nation, point taken (not agreed with, but taken).
If you somehow think that an atheist in some way infringed on this woman's rights, please elaborate.
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