Saturday, 8 December 2012

The clinic as court

Apropos of the current fashion in some quarters of letting people die in front of them in agony in order to prove particularly obscure points, I submit to your attention this 2008 missive from a US anti-abortion lobby group about the availability of OTC chemical abortifacients. The group is called the Population Research Institute, which is another of those "Holy Roman Empires"---neither about Population, nor doing Research, nor really an Institute (it operates out of what appears to be a country club in northern Virginia). The principal concern appears to be contained in these two points:
  • As a result of years of groundwork by the abortion movement, most ministries of health in Latin America have issued regulations affirming that “attending to an incomplete abortion is not an act punishable by law.” The treatment of an incomplete abortion, these regulations say, does not "constitute abortion in penal terms.” Such regulations are perceived as falling entirely within the medical domain, and do not require any modification of the existing criminal code. They are thus extremely difficult to successfully oppose.
  • Most doctors in Latin America object to performing abortions on conscience grounds, but these chemical abortions, as we call them, neutralize the conscience objection. Physicians are seen as having a duty to care for women suffering from miscarriages, or even from incomplete abortions, because the life of the mother is at risk. Were they to refuse to care for a woman hemorrhaging — even if they were certain that the woman had deliberately caused the hemorrhaging by taking Misoprostol — they could be sanctioned by the local medical board.
In other words, in this 2008 post, Stephen Mosher wants doctors to be able to know which bleeding women to turn away (to die in agony in the gutter?), and which not. Men may be tried in courts, women in clinics.

1 comment:

Sixth Estate said...

This is pretty twisted.

According to this logic we should give emergency room physicians the right to opt out of treating anyone due to ANY injury or illness that might perhaps be self-inflicted, deliberately or accidentally. The duty of care would only apply in cases where someone's illness or injury that couldn't have been reasonably avoided by the person needing care.

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