Wednesday, January 04, 2012

I suppose this should not surprise me…

Just now, while listening to KTSA's news update, it was mentioned that a federal appeals court is hearing oral arguments today in regards to Texas' new law mandating sonograms and description of fetal heartbeat before an abortion.

Seems that some abortionists have a problem with this requirement, and claim it violates their free speech rights.

Informed consent violates doctors' free speech rights.

Forget, for a moment, that this is about abortion. My feelings on that subject are well known. Let's look at the other aspect of this: the law mandates that women be given all pertinent knowledge before agreeing to a surgical procedure. And a group of doctors is claiming that requiring them to fully inform their patients, rather than telling them just enough to gain their permission, is something they shouldn't have to do.

That's scary. Granted, it isn't at all uncommon for doctors to provide skewed information: certain facts are emphasized while others are glossed over. Sometimes outright lies are told. I have personally been on the receiving end of this more times than I can count, and if you are a parent, chances are almost 100% that you and/or your wife have been too, whether or not you realize it. (Did your wife have internal exams at the end of her pregnancy to check for dilation? Did the doctor inform her that these checks provided no useful information and put her at increased risk of infection?)

If this case is decided on these grounds, it WILL endanger patients. It will not stay within the confines of abortion. Doctors already feel free to lie to their patients. This is going to give them a legal precedent to back them up, and remove recourse for patients who will be pushed into poor decisions because of ill-informed consent.

1 comment:

skippy said...

Stated as politely as I can because I am trying to be respectful about your beliefs on this subject:

The actual argument was that the information required by the new law was not medically necessary, and thus it is an attempt to force the opinions and words of lawmakers into a conversation between a doctor and patient.