I Will Lie to Patients. (Well, Only if They Are Having an Abortion)

Premium Membership, The Good Men Project

About Aaron Gouveia

Aaron is husband to a woman far too beautiful to have married him, and father of two sons far too perfect to be his. After nearly a decade as a Boston-area journalist, he decided to actually get paid and became a content manager. When he's not griping about his beloved Boston sports teams, he's detailing life as a dad at The Daddy Files. You can follow him on Twitter (@DaddyFiles) and Facebook.

Comments

  1. The problem you’re facing is that abortion is legal, and a whole lotta voters are eager to pretend that it isn’t. And so, unable to overturn it in the courts, they urge their legislators to pass new rules and restrictions to make it as difficult and painful as possible.

    • Which is just lovely….as if agonizing over the decision to terminate a pregnancy isn’t a difficult and painful enough decision without all of these artificial hurdles to jump over.

      (that sarcasm is not directed at you, but rather at Arizona)

    • Its more like a lot of folks realize that Roe V Wade was a court decision that came with all sorts of conditions such as viability for instance, rather than an actual piece of legislation. This perpetual fight is what everyone should have expected to happen.

  2. Aaron, I of course have followed your story and know, through your writing, about the hell you and MJ have gone through. But I never knew about the doctors having to read to you the description of what would happen. I literally just got a knot in my stomach reading about that. You expect that bullshit from the idiots that accosted you out front, but to be verbally assaulted by your doctor who was legally required to do so is just a form of torture. I am so, so sorry.

    How can people act to keep this shit from happening? Write letters? I feel so helpless.

    • But I never knew about the doctors having to read to you the description of what would happen. I literally just got a knot in my stomach reading about that. You expect that bullshit from the idiots that accosted you out front, but to be verbally assaulted by your doctor who was legally required to do so is just a form of torture.
      agreed, it was absolutely shocking

  3. MichelleG says:

    Yes that proposed legislation is insidious alright. Not aborting a deformed baby with a set of medical problems isn’t going to do anyone a favour; not the parents, not taxpayers. Babies with deformity and medical/healthy problems would require ’round the clock attention and care, and perhaps throughout their lifetime. With medical expenses most parents can’t afford and the cost and time — all of which would place a huge burden on healthcare and on taxpayers; not to mention the poor quality of life for the child. The proposed legislation is unfair and deceptive to mothers. All babies arriving into this world, should feel wanted.

    • I’m not going to comment on the morality of abortion, this legislation or Aaron and wife’s difficult decision.

      Your post horrifies me. So are we to kill those who would be a burden? Those who require round the clock care don’t deserve to live? Their inherent value as people is proportional to how much trouble they cause the caregiver or how inconvenienced Mom/Dad are? What next- sex selective abortion? Where the hell do you draw the line? My wife and I found out our son had severe birth defects before he was born- 50/50 shot at surviving. We put our money where our mouth is. The first three years of his life were constant hospitalization after hospitalization. I nearly lost my job a number of times. My wife basically couldnt leave the home because of his immune system was compromised. Today he is a wonderful, happy 7 year old who brings joy to everyone who meets him. He has and HAD intrinsic value as a human being.

      The money and time arguments could be used to justify the elimination of ANYONE who is a burden to society. Consider how much it costs to keep a person in maximum prison for life? If they gets ill do we kill him for convenience? If a homeless person shows up at the emergency room suffering from a stroke we treat them We do not let them die simply because its cost effective and more convenient for Dr. Jones who would rather be golfing. Hmmm, why not practice “top greening”? Lets systematically eliminate the bottom 10% on an annual basis. Just stack rank and if you’re below the line- whack. It would eliminate the population growth problem, poverty, etc… It works for GE! Of course depending on the metric you could fall below that line. But its for the good of society right?

      I’m not interested in discussing whether abortion should be freely available or restricted. There are many logical and ethical arguments you can make in favor (bodily autonomy of the mother, unviable fetus, etc…) and against. However this one is sick.

      • cw: All that talk yet you never once addressed the issue of doctors lying to their patients on purpose, simply to further their own beliefs. Do you actually have any comment on that, since that is the crux of this article?

        To your other points, it doesn’t matter whether the fetus is healthy or severely deformed — it is still a woman’s right to choose. Whether you consider it sick and wrong, does. not. matter. The rights of the living trump the rights of the unborn. A woman who does not want a baby should not be forced to have one, whether she got pregnant because of carelessness or faulty birth control.

        You’re mistaking the argument I’m making. I’m not advocating for abortions of special needs kids, and I’m certainly not saying they’re worthless. Quite the opposite actually. What I’m saying is the woman’s right to choose trumps all. It has to. It’s her body and her decision and it should stay that way. The only “sick” thing is entertaining the notion of making that choice illegal.

        • Joanna Schroeder says:

          I am with Aaron on this, even though in my heart I am pro-life. I wish we could, as a society, find a way to make abortion (for healthy fetuses) obsolete via effective and affordable birth control for both men and women, a functional system that facilitates and encourages adoption, and care for pregnant mothers and babies. But that is not the world we live in.

          Regardless of whether you believe in terminating a pregnancy or not, I would’ve been with you and your wife with giving your son a chance (and I’d bet Aaron and his wife would’ve been, too, but they did NOT have 50/50 odds with their baby. They had zero chance that their baby would survive.)

          Imagine if your doctor had known the challenges your baby would’ve faced, had marked them in your wife’s chart, and hadn’t told you? Imagine if Aaron’s wife’s doctor had kept from her that her baby would die in utero, leaving her to discover only upon arriving in the hospital wondering why her baby wasn’t moving, that the baby had died of a disease her doctor had known would kill the baby. Can you muster some empathy and understand what people go through when they discover their baby, whom they’d been planning and hoping for, is going to die? And their doctor didn’t even tell them.

          That is what these laws make legal.

          Are you okay with that?

          You don’t want people to abort babies with disabilities and challenges, we totally get that. Work toward that, work toward reversing Roe V Wade. That’s your legal right, and even your duty as a citizen if you believe in it so strongly.

          But don’t get on here and defend a law that protects lying doctors. That, CW, is sick.

          • Joanna- I’m not defending the law. I should have communicated more clearly. The law is clearly unethical. Doctor’s should keep patients informed in all circumstances.

            What I find absolutely disgusting is MichelleG’s statement “Not aborting a deformed baby with a set of medical problems isn’t going to do anyone a favour.” Read that carefully- she is ADVOCATING for the abortion of non-perfect fetuses as a public good. She goes on to state how it would save tax dollars.

            • Joanna Schroeder says:

              I’m relieved to hear you say that, CW.

            • spidaman3 says:

              Yeah it looks like you missed the part where he didn’t address the doctors lying to the patients Joanna. Even Aaron noted that.

            • read the full comment thread- I apologized for miscommunicating and clearly stated the law is unethical and doctors should be expected to communicate clearly with patients.

          • Joanna Schroeder: “But don’t get on here and defend a law that protects lying doctors.”

            I do not think that is quite fair. The article is ambiguous as to its intent.

            On the one hand, it complains about a law that allows doctors to hide or omit or lie about medical information.

            Then, the author spends a great deal of time complaining about a law that requires a very explicit statement about what will take place in the medical procedure. That is where some of the tangents or digressions may have come in: it is not simply an article about a law.

            And, frankly, this is what annoys me about some pro-choice stances. They are mad if they don’t get information, and they get mad if they are required to be given information. The notion of informed consent (and what that might require) goes out the window when you talk about abortion.

            -Jut

            • Jut: I said in my original piece I understand the concept of informed consent laws. Patients should know what’s going on. But it boils down to common sense. We had spent those last few weeks in hospitals and going over our options. We are both educated people and we know how abortions are performed. We would’ve gladly signed something saying the doctors had provided us with written information about the procedure (which they did) and that we were aware of the risks.

              That right there is informed consent. But FORCING us to listen to things we already knew while my poor wife screams for the doctor to stop because she’s had enough? That doesn’t benefit anyone and at that point, becomes cruel.

              Your argument that we didn’t want any information just doesn’t hold water.

            • Daddy Files: “Your argument that we didn’t want any information just doesn’t hold water.”

              I do not think I made that argument. I understand your position and your story is very sympathetic. But, I was making a broader point about informed consent.

              -Jut

        • Aaron,

          I admit it was a huge thread-jack from the article. As far as letting doctors lie to patients; I think its a crappy law. I never defended it.

          As I said before- there are cases that can be made both for and against abortion. Your choice and my choice were different circumstances entirely. I have no criticism whatsoever for how you and your wife handled a terrible circumstance.

          However, stating that “Not aborting a deformed baby with a set of medical problems isn’t going to do anyone a favour;” is beyond sick. My son was “deformed” and had “a set of medical problems.” MichelleG is arguing for EUGENICS, not keeping patients informed or abortion legal.

          My bad- I read the article and agreed with you on your position of the law. I wasn’t planning on commenting on the article until I read MichelleG’s comment.

          What do you think of what Michelle said?

          • I think it’s a blanket statement that can’t be applied evenly across the board. Do I feel that way? No, I do not. If the extent of our baby’s deformity was her legs but she had even a fair chance at a happy, productive life, things would’ve been much different. MichelleG obviously disagrees. And while she didn’t exactly display a boatload of tact in saying what she said, I still feel the parent should have that choice.

            For instance, what if a lower income couple was faced with having a severely disabled baby? They both have to work and would’ve had a hard time affording a healthy baby as is. But as I’m sure you can attest, being the parent of a special needs kid (while undoubtedly rewarding) is incredibly taxing. Emotionally and financially. And some people, for better or worse, aren’t equipped to deal with it. And if they choose to terminate the pregnancy on those grounds…well, it’s sad but it’s up to them to decide what’s best as a couple.

            • appreciate the reply. thanks for the candor.

            • Joanna Schroeder says:

              I hugely appreciate both of you for the civility of this conversation, which could have turned gnarly very fast. Props to you both. What a testament of two good men.

  4. That “doctors can lie” law is horrid. If the pregnancy is ectopic and there is only the slimmest of chances of delivering a baby – and even then only if the mother’s life is put in grave peril, it would seem that an anti-abortion doctor would be held unaccountable for not telling the woman about the situation. The woman might die, but at least they’ve prevented an abortion, right? Mission accomplished! *rolling eyes*

    Combine this with the “ultrasound rape” laws mentioned above (forcing women to submit to a vaginal probe sounds like rape to me), Limbaugh calling women who want birth control “sluts” and telling them to post their sex videos online for him to see, GOP members comparing women to breeding livestock, and more and the GOP is just positioning itself more and more as the anti-woman party. I may not be a woman or a politician, but driving away 50% of the voters doesn’t seem like a very good political strategy to me. Hopefully, the politicians who supported these laws will be driven out of office and the laws repealed (or, better yet, ruled unconstitutional so they can’t be re-passed).

    • And yet George Bush was a 2 term president, and Arizona voted for McCain. Don’t quit the day job.

      • Copyleft says:

        I see no contradiction. Many women are complicit in their own oppression and cheerfully support both polices and dogma that treats them as worthless.

        • You may view it as oppression, yet lots and lots women do not. Are you right or are they? And that’s the point. The Blue/Red state split is pretty even to actually believe the GOP is driving away 50ish percent of voters.

          Case in point… this bill may be more anti liability than it is anti abortion (not that all women agree on abortion). Does it prevent doctors from losing their medical license for outright lies? Or just being sued? I am always suspicious of the interpretations of the law that do not include a link to the actual law.

    • I agree that a doctor legally lying to a patient is horribly reprehensible and wrong. These are called lies of omission. Not telling someone something that they have a right to know about.

      Regarding doctors’ opinions: Always get a second opinion. Always. Did I say always?

      But, lying about such important matters has long been entirely legal and nobody seems to care, because men are the victims.

      Examples of other horrifically perfectly legal lies that should be just as objectionable but aren’t because men are the victims.

      a. A married women can lie to her husband by not disclosing that her child is, in fact, the child of another man. Based on that lie, he then becomes legally responsible to provide for another man’s child, unwittingly living a lie. Even if he later finds out that the child is not his he is still on the hook financially for 18 years and emotionally forever.

      b. A woman can legally lie to the child about who his/her bio father is.

      c. A woman can legally lie to the actual bio father, never ever informing him of the existence of his child.

      d. A woman can legally lie to the father of their unborn and have an abortion, never telling him.
      What is even more horrific is that these lies against men have been perfectly legal for years and there is no movement to challenge them (zero, zilch, zip, none).

      Why not? Where is the outrage of those supposedly fighting for “equality?” If this were legally done to women, there is no doubt that it would be part of the “war on women.” Anyone who is on the side of equality should be outraged by this as much as the doctors legally lying with impunity.

      This proves that, by law, fathers are considerd to be nothing more than piggy banks, and only when convenient. Where is the outrage?

      • Your comparisons don’t hold up. A woman goes to a doctor specifically get expert medical advice. Advice that she will then use to base decisions about her health upon. None of your examples offer a similar ethical problem.

        • So are you saying that essentially taking money from a man, to put towards the upkeep of a child that isn’t his, but who he thinks is his, is right and fair? The cost could run into thousands of dollars, with money going to a person the man has no obligation to give money to. And that not informing the father is also right and fair? How is it not an ethical problem? It could have serious consequences for the man. Debt, legal issues if he doesn’t pay, not to mention the emotional trauma. I fail to see how withholding life changing information from a woman is wrong and unethical, but withholding it from a man isnt?

        • “None of your examples offer a similar ethical problem.”

          For those with ethics, lying about paternity is a problem. For those without ethics,lying about paternity, as you say, is not an ethical problem. Nothing is.

          • Someone with sense :D I totally agree that, as long as you have ethics, then lying about paternity is stupidly unethical. And if you didn’t have ethics, well then, you wouldn’t care would you? I did reply to the right post right? My first post was aimed at Tomio Black, and I’m on my phone so its a bit fiddly.

  5. MichelleG says:

    Yes that proposed legislation is insidious alright. Not aborting a deformed baby with a set of medical problems isn’t going to do anyone a favour; not the parents, not taxpayers. Babies with deformity and medical/healthy problems would require ’round the clock attention and care, and perhaps throughout their lifetime. With medical expenses most parents can’t afford and the cost and time — all of which would place a huge burden on healthcare and on taxpayers; not to mention the poor quality of life for the child.

    The proposed legislation is unfair and deceptive to mothers. All babies arriving into this world should feel wanted and loved unconditionally.

  6. This law will probably change nothing at all, fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your perspective. I have worked with doctors for years and have learned that, white lab coat or not, doctors are just plain old people like the bank teller or business man/woman, people with opinions, biases, prejudices, anger issues, God-complex issues, control issues, last guy/gal to graduate from medical school issues, mad at her husband issues, hates black people issues, on and on. Many have always done what they wanted to do, regardless of the patient. And too many people assume doctors know what they are doing and take the time to fully debrief the patient.

    Because of this, they will very, very often ONLY give you the choice that THEY want you to make, because it is in keeping with their relative ignorance, their convenience, personal preference and/or bias. And this goes both ways in this instance, including patients toward abortion or away from abortion;

    “pull the plug on your loved one even though s/he might recover. “

    “This drug is pretty expensive and s/he’s pretty sick, so it might not be a good use of the money.”

    I’ve seen it all. That is why the patient and family must be as (preferably more) informed on the issue than the doctor, to the extent possible, and tell THEM what you have chosen for them to do. They work for you, not the reverse. Don’t let them get it twisted.

    Bottom line: this is law will very likely change nothing because it won’t change people, which is all doctors are.

    • I agree with you as far as the humanity of doctors and their complicated motivations and choices. However, the importance of the law is that it’s removing the “stick” of a malpractice suit. A motivated pro-life doctor might choose to lie to his patient anyway, but with out the law at least he can (or his insurance provider) can be punished for that choice.

  7. Peter Houlihan says:

    Ok…

    Early term abortions: I’m fine with, there’s every reason in the world to believe that fetuses at this stage of development aren’t capable of feeling pain and aren’t alive in the same way that I am. Over 90% of abortions occur in the first four months.

    Mid-late term abortions: There’s a reasonable argument that after 5 months abortion is comparable to killing a child, my father was born at 7 months, some fetuses are born earlier. In the case of the author and his wife, there were good compassionate grounds to do this: they were making an informed medical decision to save themselves and their child a whole lot of needless pain as well as avoiding a risk to her life. What they had to go through in order to carry out their decision was nothing short of shocking.

    If a child is going to be born with several major organs missing, and probably dead, then there’s every reason not to bring the pregnancy to term. But lets take a less extreme case: How about downs syndrome? Should parents have the right to abort a fetus if they think it will be developmentally challanged? How about blindness?

    I don’t think the Arizona law is acceptable, some deformities do warrant a potential decision to abort a pregnancy, but not all deformities do. As a society I do think we need to have some laws about what does and doesn’t warrant a late term abortion.

    • Very good points, all around.

    • Kirsten (in MT) says:

      You make your own decisions for your own body. I’ll make my own decisions for my body.

      • Peter Houlihan says:

        At what point do you consider a fetus to become someone else’s body? There has to be a line drawn somewhere.

        • Kirsten (in MT) says:

          Yes, there’s an obvious line. It’s called birth.

          • In Canada it is fully legal to abort a full term fetus up until the moment after birth, or instead of a live birth.

            • Cite please?

            • spidaman3 says:

              Although abortion is defined as termination up to 20 weeks’ gestation, a lack of restrictions on abortion in Canada has made it legal and accessible through all 40 weeks/nine months of pregnancy.

              here’s a link: http://www.abortionincanada.ca/methods/index.html

            • Peter Houlihan says:

              That’s a very good site, and that’s pretty shocking.

            • Lest anyone walk away from this discussion believing that we in Canada are aborting fetuses at 39 weeks, I thought I would point you to a couple of pro-choice sites with accurate information about the prevalence of late term abortions.
              “Abortion is legal in Canada and is regulated in the same way as all other medical procedures. Abortion in Canada is generally available for women who are up to twenty weeks pregnant. Provinces have different gestational limits that have to be respected by hospitals and clinics that offer abortion services. In Canada, there are a few select hospitals and clinics that will perform abortions on women who are over twenty weeks pregnant, depending on circumstances, but the procedure is safer and simpler done early. ”

              http://www.canadiansforchoice.ca/aboutabortion.html
              http://www.arcc-cdac.ca/postionpapers/22-Late-term-Abortions.PDF

            • There is no Canadian law against abortion at any gestational age.

              No Canadian province in any way places gestational  limits on abortion. 

              Hence, no clinic or hospital in Canada is in any legal way precluded from performing abortions at any gestational stage up until 40+ weeks, the moment of birth, or instead of birth.

              However, some misconstrue the fact that some provinces don’t make abortion free of cost after 20 weeks as placing a “gestational limit” on abortion. Not making abortion free is not placing a “gestational limit” on it.

              Feel free to correct me by posting a link to any law that places gestational limits on abortion.

            • Peter Houlihan says:

              Its not that late term abortion is common. Its that its arguably comparable to killing a child.

              Fortunately late term abortions represent less than a tenth of all abortions.

          • Peter Houlihan says:

            What process do you think takes place during the process of birth that turns a lump of flesh into a living human being like you or me? Sorry, but I don’t see the distinction between a baby on the inside and a baby on the outside when it has all the organs, nerves and brain functions as a newborn infant.

            I don’t agree that birth is anything near an obvious line, its a huge landmark for mother (and father) and baby, but in developmental terms it doesn’t change the infant or make it physically more alive than it had been the previous day.

  8. I have a genetic disease, and I am adamantly pro-choice. It offends me that a doctor thinks so little of my ability to make my own decisions about my health care that he or she would be willing to lie to me. My life is a series of complicated health care decisions–and that’s despite the fact my illness is not likely to kill me. A well person, even if that person is a medical professional, is not better placed than I to decide what the likely ramifications are for my fetus if it shows the markers for this illness. It’s the height of irony that anti-choicers don’t understand that they are trivializing my life at the expense of their political agenda.

  9. The Idlers Wife says:

    I am grateful I live in Australua when I read about laws like this. My husband and I made the decision to terminate our son at 35 weeks due to an chromosomal abnormality.
    We discussed our options with our Dr and at no point were we subjected to any condemnation. Our son and his twin sister were born at 36 weeks.
    Abortion should be available to all women, no matter the circumstances.

  10. The problem is there is medical abortion and then there is “inconvenience” abortion. Since most procedures are the latter people like Aaron get lumped into that bucket and suffer accordingly.

    • Copyleft says:

      And both are–lest we forget–100% legal. Which makes all such legislative barriers and hurdles automatically illegitimate (to coin a phrase).

      • There are plenty of abortion types that are not covered by the Roe V. Wade court decision. Which is why one can have legislative barriers… You gotta stop spreading lies.

    • I wonder about that. Are there statistics that break down abortions performed based on when in the pregnancy it was and for what reason? What percentages of abortions were done for medical reasons or because of rape/incest and what percentage were done because the woman simply didn’t want a baby? This would be very interesting information.

      My guess would be that the bulk of the “I don’t want a baby” abortions would be done very early on. The later you get, the more likely it would be for medical reasons. Still, I’d be interested in seeing research done on this.

      • You wonder about what? I only mentioned “why” not when. And why are you guessing about the “I don’t want a baby” abortion? You are a techy. Right? Use google and hit us back with some data mining. Your mission should you choose to accept it is to tell us why women have abortions.

        • I actually did Google “reasons for abortion statistics” after posting and, like I suspected, it’s tough to get accurate stats from the search. Part of the reason for this is a lack of actual statistics (one site says that one 7 states report reasons why patients have abortions). Another problem is the multitude of sites that like to spin what little stats there are.

          My adding “when” to the equation is because an abortion performed at 5 weeks is different than an abortion performed at 20 weeks, though both might be recorded the same. I finally did find some interesting information to answer the “when” question from http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_induced_abortion.html

          According to this site, 88% of abortions occur in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy and an additional 10.4% before the 21st week begins. 61.8% of abortions take place before the ninth week from the last menstrual period. There is no reasoning breakdown from week-to-week, though, so we can’t tell if earlier abortions are more likely to have “family planning” reasons while later abortions are more likely to have medical reasons.

  11. wellokaythen says:

    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….

    • Peter Houlihan says:

      “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?”

      The idea isn’t to perform any kind of medical diagnosis, its to make the fetus more “real” to the woman and encourage her to view it as a child rather than a ball of cells.

      • wellokaythen says:

        Obviously true. I was just pointing out the illogical, truly unmedical nature of it.

        In many cases, when a woman goes to have an abortion, the clinic does an ultrasound beforehand anyway, just to spot anything that might complicate the procedure. Making ultrasounds mandatory is pretty hamfisted way to stop abortions. It’s based on a somewhat unrealistic view of what women actually go through who decide to have them.

        • Peter Houlihan says:

          Not to mention that if a woman doesn’t want to see the fetus or listen to a horror movie script beforehand she shouldn’t have to.

          • The ultrasounds are different too. The required ultrasound uses a device on the stomach to make certain there are no problems. This unnecessary ultrasound is a device that will go up the vagina and at the edge of a cervix. And let me tell you, having anything touching the cervix is downright uncomfortable. So the first one is not invasive, but the second one is.

            • Peter Houlihan says:

              Absolutely.

              I’ve had the first kind (kidneys), the second kind sounds pretty horrible.

    • wellokaythen says:

      Would this ability to lie also give doctors the right to lie to her and tell her she’s NOT pregnant? I mean, if you think you’re not pregnant, you won’t try to have an abortion, right, so under this bill doctors could say any old thing they wanted to a pregnant patient.

      • wellokaythen says:

        Sorry about the mulitple posts. This whole thing is so absurd that I keep thinking of more things to say.

        If the bill passes, it will be in your best interest as a woman in Arizona NOT to tell a doctor you’re pregnant, unless you’re showing already. That way you’ll be more likely that the doctor will be honest with you.

  12. I’m so sorry for your pain, all around. Thanks for the great story.

  13. Kirsten (in MT) says:

    Aaron, you are made of awesome. I am so sorry to hear what you and your wife have been forced to endure, but I thank you so much for sharing your experiences.

  14. Tom Brechlin says:

    I’m a womb to tomb pro-lifer. That is not to say that I’m okay with doctors lying. That being said, I feel the issue I have is that we live in a throw away society. That unborn child is not good enough so get rid of it. Where was it ever written that life should be perfect?

    Years ago, when I was growing up my dad would take us all up to Wisconsin and we’d visit some cousins (older – my parents age) that owned a large dairy farm. I remember my first visit where I met Yvonne, their adult daughter who at the age of 28 had never grown mentally beyond the age of 3. I’ll be honest, I was kind of freaked out seeing this adult being carried around the house and spoon fed. Through the years, when we would go visit, it became pretty normal. I remember playing toddler games with her. She had all the emotions a 3 year old would have. She would laugh and cry and but for her size, she was a normal little kid. Years went by and her parents were getting old. One summer, we were up visiting when the parents called a meeting with my mom and dad. Knowing their age and Yvonne being their only child, they had a realistic fear that they would pass before Yvonne. The deal was struck that in the event the two of them pass before Yvonne, that my mom and dad would move up there, take over the farm (which had several employees) and most important, give Yvonne a life she’d always have. Loving caring family.

    I distinctly remember Yvonne’s mom saying that Yvonne is their child, a gift from God and deserved all the love and care any child should get. Yvonne was truly a blessing to them. They didn’t throw her in an institution, they simply cared for her as their child. They accepted what God gave them and rather then her being a burden, she was looked at as a blessing. Yvonne passed at the age of 40, before her parents. 40!

    Fast forward to when my wife was pregnant with our first child. My wife had complications and in her 6th month developed a major intestinal blockage which required major surgery. After surgery, the doctor explained that the surgery went well but he didn’t know how the baby may have been affected and went on to say that given the situation, my wife could have a later term abortion. NO WAY!. I remembered Yvonne and what her mother said. My wife and I agreed, whatever happens, this is our child and whatever the challenge, we’re accepting it.

    Although there were some complications during delivery, my wife gave birth to a beautiful daughter with absolutely no abnormalities. Thank you God! But the reality is that we were willing to accept what ever . People these days don’t want to be inconvenienced. If you know anyone that has children with any kind of handicap, you won’t only find wonderful children but amazing parents.

    • Copyleft says:

      And, on the flip side, you find lots and lots of abandoned or neglected babies and children from “amazing” parents who couldn’t handle the pressures and costs of raising a badly disabled child. Check your state orphanage and you’ll hundreds of such “miracles” everywhere you look.

      • Which means what in terrms of justifying abortion? You will also see quite a few healthy kids in orphanages. You also see many mentally ill older adults (alzheimers) in state run institutions. Not only that, you see plenty of poor, elderly, yet mentally fit people in them too. All of these people are expensive burdens on society whose families cannot care for.
        This is an ethically slippery road you’re traipsing down. Arguing that society would be better off if someone who is a burden to socierty was never born is quite similar to arguing for their death after birth. Who is to say that life in an orphanage or an institution is not preferable to no life at all?

        Abortion is legal in this country but not all abortions are ethical. I understand Aaron’s reasoning that a woman’s bodily autonomy should enable her to make decisions about her body and I truly empathize with and understand the decision he and his wife had to make. It was harder than it needed to be. As a advocate of individual liberties I accept that people need to be able to determine what happens with their own bodies. However, wrapping yourself in the law and pretending there is no difference between tragic situations like the one discussed in the article and a serial aborter (ask an OB/Gyn about these) is not giving a complex and thorny question the attention it deserves.

        legal/illegal does not necessarily correlate with good/bad. Simple analogy- speeding is illegal. Speeding to get someone lifesaving medical care= illegal but a good act. Speeding because you enjoy recklessly scaring other drivers = illegal but a bad act. This stuff is situational. Nuance is important. Similarly you can find legal acts that aren’t good.

        • The only unethical abortions I’m aware of are those done without the pregnant woman’s consent. Other than that, they’re all terminating an unwanted pregnancy… which is all the justification needed in my view.

          • So you are ethically comfortable with abortions for things like sex selection, insignificant genetic reasons (hair color), or just because someone really digs unprotected sex and the idea of pregnancy risk?

            • Copyleft says:

              Actually, yes I am. And until we start running short of unwanted children I’ll continue to be in favor of abortion in every case of unwanted pregnancy.

            • what a modest proposal… I’m sure it could be swiftly implemented.

            • Copyleft says:

              Funny! But irrelevant, since Swift was referring to real, live human beings rather than fetuses.

            • Do you believe there is a point during in-utero development at which a fetus becomes a living person or is it simply out of the womb=existence?

              If you don’t feel like continuing this convo for whatever reason its cool.

            • Copyleft says:

              Yes, I do. Neural development = humanity. Prior to that point, it’s a lifeform deserving of some measure of respect, but less than that of an actual human being. The more pronounced the neural development, the greater the level of personhood–until full status is awarded at birth. Only at that point is a newborn the moral and ethical equal of a person.

        • “Not all abortions are ethical.” Says YOU. You don’t think all abortions are ethical. But others don’t pass the kind of judgment. If a woman aborts a healthy fetus simply because she’s 19 and birth control failed, you might consider that unethical. I don’t. It’s all subjective.

          • The subjectivity is kind of the point; if you can find one hypothetical situation that makes you ethically uncomfortable then you agree with me. A person could support legally unrestricted abortion access and still find some (if not many) situations where they find the underlying circumstances to be ethically unsavory.

            Find me one person who can make a logically consistent, non-emotional argument that all abortions are ethical (or all are not ethical) when considering the underlying circumstances… Even the most ardent of Roman Catholic canon lawyers can point out actual and hypothetical situations where abortion IS ethical.

            The black/white paths require either complete logical leaps or end up condeming/sparing people on completely ridiculous and arbitrary grounds. Black and white thinkers aren’t thinkers; They’re polemicists. Usually these people tend to be like the sheep in Animal Farm just bleating catchy slogans.

    • The deal was struck that in the event the two of them pass before Yvonne, that my mom and dad would move up there, take over the farm (which had several employees) and most important, give Yvonne a life she’d always have. Loving caring family.
      I distinctly remember Yvonne’s mom saying that Yvonne is their child, a gift from God and deserved all the love and care any child should get. Yvonne was truly a blessing to them. They didn’t throw her in an institution, they simply cared for her as their child. They accepted what God gave them and rather then her being a burden, she was looked at as a blessing. Yvonne passed at the age of 40, before her parents. 40!

      ‘Loving caring family’ with a several employees on a large farm.
      the ability to look after Yvonne would have been infinitely harder for two or one fulltime working parents with no extended family support, or several employees on a large farm.

      I can not look down on worn-out two or one parent households, if they decided to make the very difficult, heartrendering choice to commit such a child to an institution

      • Tom Brechlin says:

        There will always be hardships in life. When we make a decision to have children, our commitment is to raise them best we can. For every women who has perceived horrendous struggles and want to give up there are 10 who have the same and are making it work. Countless stories and testimonies of children commending their parent(s) for giving up so much so that the child could have a good life.

        Yeah, there are a lot of kids waiting to be adopted all over the world. They are living children …. So what are we doing about it? Pushing for abortion so WE don’t have to step up to the plate?

        In so far as struggles … Yvonne lived in a time that her alternative was an institution. Having a MIL who had Alzheimer’s and after 4 years had fallen and became a paraplegic, there were services and funds available to help us care for her. The day her hospital bed was being delivered (2 days before she was scheduled to come home) she passed away.

        Don’t underestimate what the community will do to help people with disabled kids. Don’t underestimate the resolve these parents have in caring for these children. non-perfect child is no reason to eliminate him/her.

    • A doctor should never lie to their patients. The doctor may have all the expertise, but medical decisions have to be made by the patient. We don’t let a doctor just send you to get surgery against your will, and they certainly shouldn’t lie to you when it comes to the results of tests or procedures.

      That’s really where it starts and stops for me. The rest just doesn’t matter. We have real problems in this country, and not one of them can be laid at the feet of abortion or abortion restrictions. A whole lot of them can be laid to the feet of some people (judges, politicians, the police, bankers, and a whole lot of others) thinking they have the right to lie to us for our own good, when usually it isn’t for anyone good but their own.

      These folks took an oath. They should stand by it.

  15. Caio Hannuch says:

    This is my two cents as a brazilian doctor:
    In Brazil, abortions are only allowed if :
    1) The pregnancy was the product of rape
    2)The fetus has some condition which is incompatible with life
    3)The pregnancy poses a serious threat to the mothers life.
    . We see many patients fitting the above criteria. Sadly, thousands more (mostly poor young women) are hospitalized every day due to health complications which resulted from an illegal abortion; and many of them die. The same situation can be seen in other countries with similarly restrictive approaches to abortions. My point is; if people want to get an abortion, they will, and making it illegal will not stop them; it will only force them to do so outside of the realm of proper medical care.

    Some food for thought.

    • I’m very sure that there are women in Brazil who would get an abortion, but who do not because

      A) They used contraception
      B) It is illegal
      C) They a non proper medical procedure.

      Don’t use bad logic and rationalizations to make your case. If you believe that abortion should be legal, then just say so.

      • Caio Hannuch says:

        A) Contraception can and does fail.
        B) The number of women who seek illegal clinics vastly outnumbers thhose who hold back for fear of legal punishment.
        C) I guess I should just ignore te ones who fear the consequences of an unwanted pregnancy.

        In case it wasn´t clear, I think it should be legal. I wasn´t rationalizing anything. I´m stating a fact. Throughout history, in every society, women have always found ways to terminate unwanted pregnancies, regardless of any social taboos or legal restrictions. The fact that I might disagree with them doesn´t give me the right to deprive them of their own basic human rights. In my opinion, these laws tho exactly that. It´s like saying smokers don´t get to be treated if they end up with lung cancer. Do we know smoking causes cancer? Yes. Can we choose not smoke? Absolutely. Can we turn our backs on someone who got sick due tosmoking? No.

        • Caio Hannuch says:

          *Do exactly that.

        • Abortion is very new to human existence.

          • Caio Hannuch says:
            • Hmmm 200,000 (modern homo sapiens) – 4000 (some link you gave) = 196,000.

              i thought you were a doctor. Anthropology is not part of your curriculum?

              Like I said… new.

            • Caio Hannuch says:

              Such a sore loser!

            • +1 caio

            • Says the mathematically challenged Brazilian troll.

            • Caio Hannuch says:

              I once read an online article somewhere (I think it was even here at GMP) about how the original purpose of discusion posts was twisted by some users in the last few years. Originally, they were meant to be a source of intelligent discourse and civilized debate between people. However, some people with a few issues take advantage of the anonimity and distance the internet provides and engage in what is essentially a shouting match. Thay find themselves unable to concede defeat graciously, or to even abide someone with different opinions, and therefore try to “digitally outshout” them with cyber bullying and name calling. Isn´t it sad, IDBY, that this description fits you like a glove? Obviously you´ve never been part of any debate teams during your school years. Oh well. This will be my last post, as I have a life to get back to. And even though we never met face to face, I can safely say, in my professional opinion, you have a serious case of foot-in-mouth disease. Go get some help, ok?

              By everyone.

            • You called me a “sore loser”. No one is going to take your internet etiquette comments seriously.

            • “Originally, they were meant to be a source of intelligent discourse and civilized debate between people. However, some people with a few issues take advantage of the anonimity and distance the internet provides and engage in what is essentially a shouting match. Thay find themselves unable to concede defeat graciously, or to even abide someone with different opinions, and therefore try to “digitally outshout” them with cyber bullying and name calling.”

              Yes, Caio. This is why I became a part of GoodMenProject to begin with. Even when we vehemently disagreed (which was often…hey, we’re talking about politics, sex, porn, gender issues, etc here!), we usually didn’t resort to condescension, bullying, and out-yelling each other. We debated issues and shared our stories in a safe and friendly environment. I hope you join us again!

          • wellokaythen says:

            “very new”?

            Only remotely true in a relative sense, if you measure it relative to infanticide. Infanticide used to be much more common in human societies before a couple millenia ago. As a percentage of dealing with unwanted pregnancies not ended by miscarriage, arbortion is more common by percentage compared to the other methods. Otherwise, it is in fact quite old, with some good evidence that it goes back prehistorically.

            Assuming it even matters how old it is, of course. Something ancient could be horribly barbaric, and something brand new could be wonderful.

    • wellokaythen says:

      I think I largely agree with you.

      Hampering someone’s ability to get a relatively safe abortion will probably discourage abortions in some cases, but it’s a poor way to prevent them. What you will mostly do is make sure that only desperate women get abortions, or increase the chance that a woman dies as well as a fetus. For people (not me) who are comfortable with the death penalty for abortion, this does not sound like a problem at all. It’s just bloody deterrence.

      However, one problem with this way of thinking is that there are as many do-it-yourself methods as there are cultures in the world, some them more dangerous or effective than others. Given the rhetoric, you would think that the only two options are a professional clinic or a “back-alley” surgeon, but that is not the case.

      If you truly wanted to prevent all abortions, you would need to ban or tightly regulate every substance that could possibly cause a miscarriage, and that is actually a VERY long list of items. You won’t be able to buy carrot seeds for your garden, for example, and you’d need to have a negative pregnancy test to buy alcohol or eat sushi. You would also need to register every single pregnancy whether the woman is showing or not, as soon as she misses a period (in some very rare cases, there are still periods in the first few months of pregnancy). This will discourage women from taking pregnancy tests. You would also need a law enforcement system that could treat the uterus as a crime scene, and authorities would need to investigate every miscarriage as a possible crime. A really painful, heavy period might actually be evidence that a crime against the unborn has been committed, so getting rid of that heavy flow could be tampering with evidence.

    • Tom Brechlin says:

      Abortion was legal prior to R v W. Remember that back then having a kid out of wedlock was a taboo thing. Women went for abortions that resulting in complications, the botched abortion, was because they didn’t seek an abortion through an accreditated provider.

  16. John Sctoll says:

    The major (if not only) point as to why abortion is legal in Canada (and the US) is because of body autonomy and of course “I have a right to do with my body as I see fit), YET, euthanasia is not legal, assisted suicide is not legal.

    A question I heard posed years ago springs to mind

    “If the only people who died of painful and horrible diseases were women and men died quietly in their sleep would assisted suicide still be illegal”

    • “euthanasia is not legal, assisted suicide is not legal.”

      True. A point of contention I’ve made repeatedly.

      Based on personal bodily autonomy, there is no reason that suicide should not be able to be handled like abortion where a licensed practioner carries out the individual’s request about his/her own body.

    • Isn’t it interesting how people pick and choose when individual liberty matters and when it doesn’t?

      • That’s why I respect the catholic church so much on their “life” stance. I’m not catholic, but man are they consistent on everything from contraception, to life support, to the death penalty.

  17. Tom Brechlin says:

    “ ……. bills that would ban lawsuits in cases where doctors fail to warn their patients about birth defects.” “….would apply only when doctors make a mistake.”

    The bills were prevented to limit litigation over “wrongful birth.” It’s not intended for doctors to purposely lie to patients. It appears that there are a lot of people suing doctors because they missed a fetal defect where if the women was aware of the defect, she would have aborted the unborn.

    On the flip side, being that I have been active in the pro-life movement for a number of years, I also know that abortion facilities have fought hard to reject mandates that would require them to FULLY educate women and include ultrasounds as well as 3-D images of the unborn. Why? Because studies show that women are more likely to abort if they saw the image of the unborn. On one hand we don’t want doctors to withhold information but on the other hand, we’re okay with limiting information on a normal unborn?

    My wife could have aborted our daughter but the reality is we would have been aborting a perfectly normal baby.

  18. Copyleft- question regarding your neural development model- the greater the neural development the greater the personhood. OK- I get that.

    You state that sufficient neural maturity occurs at birth. Birth is not the least bit causative of neural development. It tends to correllate somewhat but a 22 week preemie in an incubator is far less neurally developed than a 39 week + 6 day gestational baby still in the womb. Is that preemie less of a person (less intrinsic value) than an adult? Your model is like equating the first time you drive a car (often at 15-16 years of age) with impending adulthood. Drive the car = almost an adult. Might work sometimes but I drove at 12. I wasn’t an adult- I still built spaceships out of legos. My dad (a farm boy) drove the farm truck at 10.

  19. Shootingstar28 says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. But, I do think you’re ignoring a key component of the debate over wrongful birth/life lawsuits. I realize that your daughter’s disorder was likely terminal, however, many disabilities diagnosed prenatally are not. Disabled people who are here, such as myself, oppose wrongful birth lawsuits because they set a standard for admission to the human race. A person born with a disability is, according to such lawsuits, someone who shouldn’t exist. Making wrongful birth lawsuits illegal isn’t a pro life ploy to allow doctors to lie to their patients, it’s a disability rights issue. Disabled people have the right to be recognized as individuals, not damaged goods who shouldn’t be alive. So, as a disabled person I support making such lawsuits illegal. (BTW, while there have been stories of doctors missing things on ultrasounds, there has never been a documented case of a doctor lying to a patient about a fetal disability. All to often, doctors not only go out of their way to make sure women have that information (good), but actively pressure women and their families to terminate (bad.) I’m glad that you and your wife did not experience this. In any case, I urge you to examine other perspectives on this issue beyond dominant narrative of “pro choice vs. pro life.”

  20. “Apparently I missed the portion of the Hippocratic Oath where it says “I will lie to patients.””
    Apparently you missed the part of the Hippocratic Oath that says “do no harm.” An abortion, just so you know, harms the unborn baby.

  21. Choiceistheoperativewordhere says:

    This country is just one step away from being a true life “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

  22. Not only is this story a fabrication but it’s also sickening how you use your family to push you political agenda. If any healthcare agency made you wait 2 weeks for a procedure whereas the baby’s life would terminate en utero, not only would the doctor lose their license but the institution would lose it accreditation. Do your homework before you start spewing ridiculous falsehoods about men and women who are obviously more educated than you are. No ethical healthcare professional would ever lie to a patient whether the law said to or not. You should be ashamed for exploiting your family like this to push political idealizations.

  23. Stephanie says:

    I think I still would have opted for the hospital or see if they could find another one who might be able to do it sooner. Then i think perhaps I might have asked for a csection verses inducing labour. But I can only speak for myself.

    • Have you ever had a child? an abortion? because suggesting to induce labor or have a C-section, seems like you have no idea what those procedures are like. As a woman who has experienced one abortion and two C-sections I can tell you that if you compare the actual procedure and recovery, an abortion (an outpatient procedure, you’re home after a few hours) is a piece of cake compared to a C-section (4-day stay in the hospital, abdominal incision, takes months to recover, much higher risk of maternal mortality and other complications).
      IMO, an abortion was definitely the best option in this particular case.

  24. Sean Etheridge says:

    I would’ve calmly explained to the doctor that the law she was attempting to obey was an unjust law. And unjust laws are meant to be ignored. Besides which, the doctor was violating her Hippocratic oath, VISIBLY; her patient was in obvious distress, and continuing the speech was only worsening it.

    NO LAW that permits, or requires, a professional to lie to their client is just, or defensible.

  25. anonymous says:

    Yep, we had a similar experience and it’s really opened my eyes to the abortion laws in this country. “Abortions have been linked to breast cancer.” No, they haven’t. “There’s nothing wrong with your baby.” Except she doesn’t have the heart valves she needs? That her legs are too short and she had an enlarged nuchal cord? “No abortions after 20 weeks.” Wait — you mean after we got the diagnosis? Are you KIDDING ME?

    I think I saw your video months or years ago and I immediately loved you for it. Thank you for taking care of your wife and daughter like that!

  26. DAngelo136 says:

    I think also that every witness to an execution should be told in graphic detail what happens to the human body when it is subjected to 2000 volts of electricity; hanged by the neck from a height of 8 feet, gassed with Hydrogen cyanide gas, or the effects of bullets going through the human body. While we’re at it, we can discuss the effects of cluster bombs, bombs tipped with depleted uranium and sarin gas have on the human body as well. Can we also discuss what happens to people living in poverty and depravation? How about the effects of malnutrition and hunger on children. You see, they’re not “pro-life” they’re pro-punishment for people who had sex outside of the chosen religious views.

  27. Wow, the doctors were legally required to describe in graphic detail what happens during an abortion? Also, why would she have delivered a stillborn baby if she’d waited any longer? Because the pregnancy would have been too far along for a legal abortion?

Trackbacks

  1. [...] —Read Aaron Gouveia’s follow-up piece to Confronting LIfe, ”I Will Lie To Patients (Well, Only If They’re Having An Abortion)”. [...]

  2. [...] This is a comment by wellokaythen on the post “I Will Lie to Patients. (Well, Only if They Are Having an Abortion)“. [...]

  3. [...] This is a comment by wellokaythen on the post “I Will Lie to Patients. (Well, Only if They Are Having an Abortion)“. [...]

  4. [...] and abortion for women seeking to terminate their pregnancies. And in Arizona now it is perfectly legal for doctors to lie to their patients if they think the information they give will influence them to have an abortion. Also in Hell [...]

Speak Your Mind