This is a comment by wellokaythen on the post “I Will Lie to Patients. (Well, Only if They Are Having an Abortion)“.
This bill, combined with the mandatory ultrasound, makes no sense whatsoever. Taken together, this means that women have to be shown an ultrasound, but the doctor is under no obligation to analyze it correctly? How does that work?
Interesting that there’s a provision in the bill that does allow for malpractice suits in cases of egregious misconduct or “intentional or grossly negligent acts.” Lying to a patient seems to qualify in my book. There’s obviously a huge gray area here. Imagine if the pregnant woman shows signs of Stage 4 cancer – can you hide that from her if you’re afraid she may consider having an abortion because of that?
I’m guessing that doctors and insurance companies will not necessarily be comforted by this bill. Perhaps it prevents some lawsuits, but it’s not in doctors’ or insurers’ best interest to start hiding diagnoses and systematically lying to patients about their health problems. This is not a net gain for medical insurance companies – now they’ll be tricked into covering health care for children with birth defects who may not have been born otherwise.
Hell, why not take it one step further? Any bad news from anyone that might lead a woman to consider having an abortion should be withheld – bad report card, eviction notice, divorce papers, arrest warrant, overdraft notice, you name it. Don’t let her check out any prenatal textbooks from the library, don’t let her visit any websites describing birth defects, and for goodness sake don’t let her talk to women who have children with birth defects.
Ironically, the original, full Hippocratic Oath includes a lot of things that modern medicine ignores. Under the original oath, physicians swore NOT to perform surgery, NOT to provide abortions, and NOT to charge people for medical school, all of which we don’t expect from doctors today. No surgeons and free medical school? Not likely any time soon….
Photo credit: Flickr / traveling.lunas