Patterico's Pontifications

2/21/2006

Why Alito Is Important

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:28 am



It should surprise no-one that the Supreme Court has agreed to review a Court of Appeals decision striking down the Partial- Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003. Ed Whelan says that the case will be heard next fall.

While I am hopeful, I am not as confident as Whelan that the decision will be reversed — indeed, I have previously argued that the Act is unconstitutional if one accepts the validity of the absurd Stenberg v. Carhart decision, which struck down a similar state ban on the horrific procedure.

Of course, I do not accept Stenberg. I agree with Justice Scalia, who has said:

I am optimistic enough to believe that, one day, Stenberg v. Carhart will be assigned its rightful place in the history of this Court’s jurisprudence beside Korematsu and Dred Scott.

With the confirmation of Sam Alito to the High Court, conservatives have a reasonable hope that this day will come sooner rather than later.

74 Responses to “Why Alito Is Important”

  1. And with the retirement of Justice Stevens in June, and his replacement by Michael Luttig, everything will go well!

    Dana (3e4784)

  2. Does the law have a health exception?

    actus (ebc508)

  3. There is no medical reason why a partial birth abortion must be performed.

    There may be cases in which a woman must become un-pregnant to save her life, or perhaps even maintain her health. But the procedure used during “intact dilation and extraction” does not have any medical requirement to stop the delivery and kill the child other than to prevent the child from becoming a legal person, alive.

    For the woman to become un-pregnant to save her life or protect her health doesn’t require the deliberate murder of the child. It may be that the child is simply too young to survive outside the womb, in which case the murder part is unnecessary; if the child is old enough to survive outside the womb, allowing him to live does not prevent making the woman un-pregnant.

    Dana (3e4784)

  4. There is no medical reason why a partial birth abortion must be performed.

    Then there ought to be no problem with putting in a health exception.

    actus (ebc508)

  5. actus, what dana is claiming is that you could perform basically the same procedure without deliberately killing the fetus. If true then it would seem that no health exemption is necessary. However I presume dana would want extraordinary efforts made to save the baby if born alive and there is the question of who would pay for this.

    Btw is there a commerce clause arguement here?

    James B. Shearer (fc887e)

  6. actus

    I’d say a ‘life’ exception, but not ‘health’, since the word ‘health’ has been so distorted as to be meaningless.

    “Doctor, my boyfriend left me, I’m angry at him so I want to kill this 7 m/o fetus of his.”

    “No, problem, miss. Let me put you down as being mentally distressed.”

    Darleen (f20213)

  7. Mr Shearer raises the question of whom would pay for the care of the premature baby delivered early to save the life of the mother. That’s actually pretty simple: the insurance carrier which was paying for the health care of the mother.

    Dana (3e4784)

  8. That’s actually pretty simple: the insurance carrier which was paying for the health care of the mother.

    Since there is so much insurance of women seeking abortions.

    actus (ebc508)

  9. any you would know this how actus?

    Specter (466680)

  10. any you would know this how actus?

    There’s a lot of people without insurance out there. Its not that hard to imagine that some of the factors that lead women to get abortion might be similar to those that would lead a person to not have insurance.

    actus (ebc508)

  11. Dana, in other words you would make the mother responsible (insurance protects you against losses which you would otherwise bear) for the costs. Saying a health exemption is not necessary because there is an alternative equally safe procedure which however costs much more is not totally convincing.

    James B. Shearer (fc887e)

  12. I thought half the point of Planned Parenthood was to completely offset the ‘insurance’ question. Someone who is under age isn’t even asked to pay – because it is assumed she wants to keep the information private. Specifically: private from her own parents.

    The way the privacy issue is playing, I wouldn’t even be shocked to find that it is illegal for the hospital to send her a bill… at her parents’ address.

    Al (2e2489)

  13. James B. Are you saying that the “health exception” includes the mother’s right to be free from worry or responosibility for child care costs?

    eddie haskell (51058c)

  14. eddie haskell, no that would be a separate argument where her health is not otherwise endangered. This argument is about the case where she is going to die without an abortion but the safe alternative to the banned procedure costs much more.

    I also believe it is better to kill a fetus than severely damage it so if the alternative procedure promoted by Dana is likely to produce a severely damaged baby I see no reason to encourage it.

    James B. Shearer (fc887e)

  15. All,

    The issue this time around is slightly different than in Stenberg v. Carhart. In that case, the Supremes struck down state partial birth abortion bans because there was no health of the mother exception. The case the Supreme’s just took to review is the federal partial birth abortion ban passed after Stenberg v. Carhart. The difference is that the federal law comes complete with Congressional findings that the particular partial birth abortion procedure banned – D&X – is NEVER medically necessary for the health of the mother, i.e., there are always other methods of equal or greater safety to the mother.

    The dissenting judge in the Second Circuit’s case deferred to Congress and thus held that, even under Stenberg v. Carhart, the federal law was not unconstitutional because the health of the mother was necessarily protected via the Congressional findings.

    Thus, it is possible that the decision coming out of the Roberts court could be a narrow one reversing the 2nd, 8th and 9th Circuits on the grounds that the Congressional findings distinguish the federal law from the state laws found unconstitutional under Stenberg v. Carhart, without overruling Stenberg v. Carhart. I hope not, but be prepared.

    Ben Pugh (1527b3)

  16. Would the new Court have taken this case if they didn’t think they could assemble five votes to uphold the ban?

    Is a law held unconstitutional by three appellate courts usually reviewed?

    How often is “intact D and E” actually performed, and would the law – if upheld – also ban the more standard dilation and evacuation procedure?

    Can the Court rule a ‘health exception’ must remain in all abortion limitations but not this one?

    steve (ab55e3)

  17. What about that elephant in the living room, the Tenth Amendment? Am I completely nuts to think that Justices Thomas and Alito, if not that has-been Scalia, might recognize that unlike the state law that was at issue in Stenberg, this law really does violate the Constitution?

    Xrlq (2b6e32)

  18. The difference is that the federal law comes complete with Congressional findings that the particular partial birth abortion procedure banned – D&X – is NEVER medically necessary for the health of the mother, i.e., there are always other methods of equal or greater safety to the mother.

    Medical truth from our own Dr. Frist. From the de-brained seers to your wombs ladies.

    actus (6234ee)

  19. The procedure is repugnant and I would not want the “doctors” who perform it living in my neighborhood. It is strange that the Hippocratic Oath is followed so selectively. Doctors refuse to participate in legal executions of rapist/murderers but have no problem with sticking a scissors into a baby’s brain. This is an instance when we can say “We are this kind of society and this is the kind of thing we do not permit”.

    nk (41da82)

  20. #18 actus

    Actually it was doctors testifying before Congress that could not give ONE EXAMPLE of D&X being used to “save the life of the mother.”

    Do you know WHY D&X was developed? Because of the horrible embarrassment that some doctors had at “failed” late term saline abortions…when a LIVE baby was delivered.

    And the insurance thing is a red-herring too. There are more than enough eager and willing adoptive couples that will foot prenatal and delivery medical care for a pregnant mom who doesn’t want to keep the child after birth.

    When the unborn baby is past 24 weeks and healthy, there is no excuse for a D&X. None. Nada. Zip. It is infanticide.

    Darleen (f20213)

  21. BTW actus?

    Don’t YOU dare to presume to talk for my uterus.

    Darleen (f20213)

  22. Actually it was doctors testifying before Congress that could not give ONE EXAMPLE of D&X being used to “save the life of the mother.”

    That’s why it shouldn’t be a problem for the anti-choice people to put in a health exception: it won’t be used so much if doctors don’t feel it necessary.

    Don’t YOU dare to presume to talk for my uterus.

    That’s between you and your doctor Mrs. The whole point of my pro-choice stand is that I trust women to make decisions about their uterus’. Not politicians and pundits and majorities.

    actus (6234ee)

  23. If “saving the life of the mother” becomes the must-have standard in abortion law, is O’Connor’s “undue burden” test less untouchable?

    steve (ab55e3)

  24. actus

    That’s why it shouldn’t be a problem for the anti-choice people to put in a health exception: it won’t be used so much if doctors don’t feel it necessary.

    Wha…? A “health” exception is to have no limit on D&X at all, or are you being deliberately obtuse?

    D&X is being performed at or past 24 weeks on healthy fetus’ and nothing to do with “saving the life of the mother”. It has to do with making sure the fetus is DEAD and not embarrass anyone by being born ALIVE.

    again, for the record. I’m reluctant pro-choice… decision to obtain one should be adult, unmarried woman of sound mind within first trimester. I think of it as right of first refusal. Outside of that parameter the state has the right to protect the interests of other interested parties, including the unborn baby itself.

    Make the exception “life of mother” and that’s it.

    Darleen (f20213)

  25. Wha…? A “health” exception is to have no limit on D&X at all, or are you being deliberately obtuse?

    Its to have a limit that doesn’t affect her health. You just told me there are no health reasons for this procedure, so in fact it would be no exception at all.

    actus (6234ee)

  26. No, Actus, she said exactly the opposite: a “health” exception is an exception that swallows the rule. You might as well support a law making it illegal to kill anyone, born or unborn, unless you want to.

    Xrlq (2b6e32)

  27. The bill is a little confusing. It allows partial birth abortion when necessary to save the life of the mother but it is unclear to me whether this means that if an abortion is necessary then this can be a partial birth abortion or if it means that a partial birth abortion is allowed only when it is the only procedure which will save the life of the mother.

    James B. Shearer (fc887e)

  28. James – I’m still not clear on your position. Are you arguing that partial birth abortion should not be restricted because there might be a situation in which an abortion of some sort is necessary for the mother’s health and, if partial birth abortion is not allowed, the alternative method of terminating the pregnancy would be more expensive and/or more likely to result in damage to the baby?

    eddie haskell (210276)

  29. eddie haskell my position is that if there is some requirement to allow abortion to save the life of the mother this requirement should not be evaded by making such abortions very burdensome. The proponents of the ban argue that there are always alternatives to partial birth abortion. But are these alternatives practical? If not I think the argument is somewhat disengenuous.

    James B. Shearer (fc887e)

  30. It will be interesting to see how much weight the Court gives to the Legislative findings re this Statute. Those findings say pba is never necessary to save the health of this mother.
    Stenberg was a case where the local prosecutor was simply overwhelmed by a much better financed opposition. I think many of the factual findings there were not sound.

    clarice (c49871)

  31. No, Actus, she said exactly the opposite: a “health” exception is an exception that swallows the rule

    That’s right. It was dana that said there was no medical reason, which I took to mean a health exception, not a life one.

    actus (6234ee)

  32. If the life of the mother is really in danger, perform a C-section and allow the baby to be put up for adoption. As everyone knows, babies are normally born head first. The idea that allowing the mother to go into labor and then turning the baby in the womb so it comes out feet first is the best way to save the life of the mother is absurd on its face. The purpose of this barbaric proceedure has always been to KILL the baby, not to use the most expeditious way to remove the baby in order to save the life of the mother.

    srmorton (a9f9a9)

  33. Why would you want a health exception for a procedure that is never medically necessary? Why would you need one unless you were looking for a way for a woman to say, “You know, I changed my mind. I know I’m 7 months along and the baby is kicking & everything, but I don’t want it. It’s ruining my figure”?

    The whole reason intact D&X was invented was because the baby was too advanced to be killed the usual way. This barbaric method and the reasoning behind it was the initial reason I became pro-life. If you take the reasoning of Roe, the baby has more of an interest in life than the mother does in “health,” anyway at this point. It’s O’Connor’s abominable “health exception” BS that is her legacy and the sooner it is overturned, the better.

    sharon (fecb65)

  34. Why would you want a health exception for a procedure that is never medically necessary

    Because the opinion of Dr’s is different than that of the legislature.

    actus (6234ee)

  35. Well, gee whiz Actus, if we’re going to give “Dr’s” the power to override laws whenever their opinions differ from those of the legislature, why stop with abortion? Let’s carve out a “health exception” to everything. Tired of paying taxes? No problem, just convince one doctor that if you paid none, at least some of your net savings would be spent on something that’s good for you. Don’t feel like complying with a local zoning ordinance? No problem, just find one doctor who thinks that’s a dumb law, too, and that your mental health would be best served by allowing you to ignore it. Etc.

    Xrlq (2b6e32)

  36. Well, gee whiz Actus, if we’re going to give “Dr’s” the power to override laws whenever their opinions differ from those of the legislature, why stop with abortion?

    Because its a medical procedure? Or you’re being facetious?

    actus (6234ee)

  37. James – Thanks for the clarification. I note that your argument is based on the concept that partial birth abortion be necessary to SAVE the life of the mother. This is a far cry from the scope of “health exception” demanded by some courts, NARAL, et al., which, as others have pointed out, swallows the rule. That’s where one finds the disingenuousness.

    eddie haskell (51058c)

  38. So, assuming a reasonable reading of the commerce clause (not necessarily a valid assumption, of course), where do we find the constitutional source of Congress’ power to regulate abortion? The preamble?

    TNugent (6128b4)

  39. So, assuming a reasonable reading of the commerce clause (not necessarily a valid assumption, of course), where do we find the constitutional source of Congress’ power to regulate abortion? The preamble?

    Abortion, like other health services, looks quite clearly like commercial activity with an interstate effect to me.

    actus (6234ee)

  40. “Because the opinion of Dr’s is different than that of the legislature.”

    Just because a dr’s opinion is different from the legislature doesn’t give him authority to trump the law.

    sharon (be9d4e)

  41. “Just because a dr’s opinion is different from the legislature doesn’t give him authority to trump the law.”

    That’s why I said the law should allow for Dr’s opinions. Because I don’t think dr’s should trump the law.

    actus (ebc508)

  42. If that’s true, actus, then the commerce clause is a dead letter as a limitation on Congressional power. With a federal police power, a cowardly mass media, and a First Amendment eviscerated by decisions like McConnell v. FEC, it’s at best an even bet that the US remains a free society into the next century.

    TNugent (6128b4)

  43. Actus responds:

    That’s actually pretty simple: the insurance carrier which was paying for the health care of the mother.

    Since there is so much insurance of women seeking abortions.

    Since the speculation concerned a woman who needed to become un-pregnant due to a threat to her life, one would expect that yes, there is insurance involved (even if it is Medicaid).

    Dana (3e4784)

  44. Since the speculation concerned a woman who needed to become un-pregnant due to a threat to her life, one would expect that yes, there is insurance involved (even if it is Medicaid).

    Why? because people with life-threatening conditions have insurance?

    actus (ebc508)

  45. Actus wrote:

    That’s between you and your doctor Mrs. The whole point of my pro-choice stand is that I trust women to make decisions about their uterus’. Not politicians and pundits and majorities.

    That’s between you and your slave merchant, Mr. A. The whole point of my pro-choice stand is that I trust plantation owners to make decisions about their economic requirements. Not politicians and pundits and majorities.

    Roger B. Taney, Chief Justice (3e4784)

  46. Actus wrote:

    Since the speculation concerned a woman who needed to become un-pregnant due to a threat to her life, one would expect that yes, there is insurance involved (even if it is Medicaid).

    Why? because people with life-threatening conditions have insurance?

    Yes, in effect they do. Perhaps you’ve missed it, but we don’t let people die in the streets.

    Dana (3e4784)

  47. Yes, in effect they do. Perhaps you’ve missed it, but we don’t let people die in the streets.

    No. We give them emergency relief when they’re on the verge of death. wonderful.

    That’s between you and your slave merchant, Mr. A. The whole point of my pro-choice stand is that I trust plantation owners to make decisions about their economic requirements. Not politicians and pundits and majorities.

    Ah taney. He would see women’s reproductive freedom like the massah and his slave wouldn’t he? What a guy.

    actus (ebc508)

  48. Yes, apparently the former Chief Justice would. What he would not have seen was the slave as a person with rights.

    Dana (3e4784)

  49. Yes, apparently the former Chief Justice would. What he would not have seen was the slave as a person with rights.

    Like I said. What a guy. A woman seeking an abortion is like the massah.

    actus (ebc508)

  50. Dana – isn’t there a degree to which the no-abortion-ever position makes a pregnant woman a person without rights?

    aphrael (e7c761)

  51. TNugent:

    Like it or not, I think the Commerce Clause has pretty much become an omnibus for federal regulation. Although I’ve expressed my preference otherwise.

    biwah (f5ca22)

  52. “That’s why I said the law should allow for Dr’s opinions. Because I don’t think dr’s should trump the law.”

    The law does allow for dr’s opinions. The law contains testimony that the procedure is never necessary for the health of the mother.

    “No. We give them emergency relief when they’re on the verge of death. wonderful.”

    Guess you never spent any time at the county hospital. The indigent get more than emergency room care. At taxpayer expense, of course.

    sharon (be9d4e)

  53. The law does allow for dr’s opinions. The law contains testimony that the procedure is never necessary for the health of the mother.

    Right. Congress is the final arbiter of medical truth.

    The indigent get more than emergency room care. At taxpayer expense, of course.

    More than ER care? That is news to me.

    actus (ebc508)

  54. 52 sharon

    The indigent get more than emergency room care. At taxpayer expense, of course.

    Bingo. Anecdotal, but offered into evidence. My eldest daughter is a paramedic covering an area abouts as nasty and mean as it gets in So. Cal east of south Central. Of the ER’s she rides on includes a very large county hospital.

    During the hot season, they have at least a couple of well known ‘homeless’ guys that will lay down in a field so someone will call in a “dead body”…they are then transported to ER, given a bed, food, a chance to clean up, airconditioning.

    Lots of people in her area, too, use ambulances like taxis’, calling in ‘fake’ calls then demanding to be taken to hospital “a” or hospital “b”. Whereupon they later slip out of the ER when no one’s looking because it is close to the destination they wanted.

    Why should they care? It’s not like THEY will ever pay for it.

    Her ambulance company is lucky to collect 30% of their billings.

    So those WITH insurance get hit with a higher bill to cover the indigents…who by law neither the ambulance company nor the ER can refuse transportation or treatment.

    Darleen (f20213)

  55. 53 actus

    See above. Understand that both indigenous and illegal aliens use the ER as regular doctor care.

    Darleen (f20213)

  56. See above. Understand that both indigenous and illegal aliens use the ER as regular doctor care.

    And so you can go in there and get your cancer treatments, etc… for free?

    actus (ebc508)

  57. Aphrael asks:

    Dana – isn’t there a degree to which the no-abortion-ever position makes a pregnant woman a person without rights?

    No. Rather, it is a position which states that the rights of the woman are equal to the rights of the child, but that the specific rights involved may not be equal. Basically, it says that the right to life outweighs all others, that the life of one may not be sacrificed for a consideration which is less than life for the other.

    Pregnancy is a temporary condition, Aphrael. It may be terribly inconvenient for the pregnant woman, but, in the end, it is temporary. Abortion, on the other hand, is a rather permanent inconvenience for the child who is killed.

    Dana (3e4784)

  58. “And so you can go in there and get your cancer treatments, etc… for free?”

    The short answer is “yes.” My mother worked at the county hospital for a number of years in various wards and saw first hand that no one is turned away from receiving medical care because they cannot pay.

    Do they get a nice, private birthing room when they have babies? No, because there aren’t funds for that. But they do get a doctor who is just as much a medical doctor as any you’ll find anywhere else.

    There were plenty of indigent patients on the medical and surgical floors she worked on, as well, including one little guy who lived in a cardboard box under a bridge, but would come to the hospital when he was sick. He couldn’t be released back on the street because of local laws, so the hospital staff had to find him a place to live,usually a local shelter. Within 2 weeks, he would be back under the bridge in a new cardboard box. In short, he preferred braving the elements to living in a shelter or anywhere else.

    Toward the end of her career, my mother worked as an oncology nurse and, yes, she administered chemo to indigents. Shame on you, Actus. You should know better.

    sharon (be9d4e)

  59. The short answer is “yes.” My mother worked at the county hospital for a number of years in various wards and saw first hand that no one is turned away from receiving medical care because they cannot pay.

    Wow. That solves the health care problem in this country.

    actus (ebc508)

  60. “Wow. That solves the health care problem in this country.”

    Yep, this is why all the whining and hand-wringing about how we need national healthcare is self-serving and disengenuous.

    sharon (be9d4e)

  61. Yep, this is why all the whining and hand-wringing about how we need national healthcare is self-serving and disengenuous.

    Because we in effect have it and everyone with insurance is a dope?

    Do you have insurance?

    actus (ebc508)

  62. “Because we in effect have it and everyone with insurance is a dope?”

    Having insurance is a personal decision one makes. Getting health care when one needs it is available regardless of ability to pay.

    “Do you have insurance?”

    Yep. Are you indigent?

    sharon (be9d4e)

  63. Sharon,
    The national debate on healthcare cannot be laid upon the shoulders of hospitals by ‘giving’ away healthcare. Becuase even though indigents are provided care there is this little technique called “Cost Shifting” As a Nursing Administrator of a for profit Surgical Center I do not have to engage in cost shifting for I do not accept indigents for care in my facility. Pretty heartless huh? Well, if I were to get the Board of Directors to permit me to provide indigent care, what do you think I may do to provide materials, drugs and services to these patients. You guessed it. Increase the costs to the paying or insured patients, shifting the cost. And that is what is driving the cost of healthcare up, amongst other factors such as; frivolous litigation which fuels rising insurance costs.
    So, while your Mom’s hospital was providing care to indigent patients they had to charge 3.50 per pill for tylenol. And that is the result of letting congress make medical decisions. What would happen if everyone was able to get medical insurance provided to them with a premium payment based on financial need? Cost shifting could be made illegal, each person going into the hospital would be covered for the costs they incurred. We don’t need socialized medicine what we need to do is subsidize insurance. And let an EMT report your Ambulance abusers once to their insurance company and that would come to a quick halt. And believe me, when an insurance company lays it’s eyes on the controversy about parital birth abortion, it will die on the vine. The risks are too great. What if the child lives? Then the insurance company may be liable for the childs lifetime care. Then the lack of coverage for these and other controversial procedure will be their death knell.
    Whew. It’s time for me to sit down and shut up.

    paul (464e99)

  64. Having insurance is a personal decision one makes. Getting health care when one needs it is available regardless of ability to pay.

    This is amazing news.

    Yep. Are you indigent?

    I’m a student with no income. A fellow student went to the hospital with a broken ankle and no insurance. Ended up with a 15K bill. Where’s his free stuff?

    actus (6234ee)

  65. actus

    No one said people are not going to get billed.

    COLLECTING the bills is another thing. As I said above.

    Understand, medical care is not a right. You have no more right to the services of a doctor than the services of a plumber. It is by charity alone, people’s own sense of wanting to help that allows a lot of people to get medical care they wouldn’t otherwise. Harelips and cleft palates go unrepaired in third world countries. Not here. There are very many places to get treatment that are of no or little cost to the patient. City of Hope comes immediately to mind. The Shriners have been funding Children’s Hospitals for years.

    TANSTAAFL, actus. Your fellow student is learning an expensive lesson in self reponsibility. He’ll just have to make payments on that bill (if he is honest) as if paying a car payment. I hope you have at least been wise enough to pay for hospitalization insurance. Pay now or pay later.

    Darleen (f20213)

  66. Paul

    Subsudizing insurance is not the answer until the tax code is revised so individuals can deduct their premiums just as businesses and corporations can. We need insurance companies eager to market to individuals rather than the not always great choices the corporations hand to their employees because the employees are obliged to take it.

    PLUS we need to break the AMA’s government endorsed monopoly on medical schools. They deliberately keep the supply of doctors low and the cost of school high. A lot of docs graduate with such astonomical loans that they HAVE to look for high billing practice or hospital to be able to pay off the loans. Thus again, skewing the supply/demand factor of the market.

    Darleen (f20213)

  67. Darleen,

    PLUS we need to break the AMA’s government endorsed monopoly on medical schools. They deliberately keep the supply of doctors low and the cost of school high. A lot of docs graduate with such astonomical loans that they HAVE to look for high billing practice or hospital to be able to pay off the loans. Thus again, skewing the supply/demand factor of the market.

    Before becoming an Administrator, I was an Operating Room Nurse for over 20 years. I have had many a late night conversation with Internists, Surgeons, Radiologists etc. It’s not the Vast AMA conspiracy keeping the number of Doctors so low. It’s limitless liability, higher divorce rates, increased suicide rates, horrific lifestyle, late nights, early mornings, missed birthdays and a whole host of things that keep people out of Medicine. Or maybe there is a vast Nurse conspiracy fueling the nursing shortage as well?
    I wonder how many lawyers there would be if they had to face the liabilities,regulations and conditions we in medicine face?
    BTW, if the AMA had a monopoly on medicine, there would be no chiropractors,podiatrists or D.O.’s in this country, to mention a few.

    paul (464e99)

  68. Paul

    The daughter I mentioned above just started nursing school this month (will be an RN by 12/2007)… the school had 1500 applicants and took 120.

    Now, only about 20 years ago, my now-late mother-in-law took me aside in order to discourage my daughters from entering nursing..even though she had been an RN for almost 40 years – headed the biggest maternity hospital in New Jersey, and HER mother and most of the good Irish women in her family were all nurses. She told me at the time that RN’s were being treated like sh*t and the ‘professionalism’ was compromised. A lot of women left the profession and a lot didn’t enter it.

    I think a lot of that has changed in the last 5-10 years.

    I didn’t say the AMA has a monopoly on all medicine, but they and only they can give a thumbs-up or down on the opening of a new medical school. When the AMA seized power over medical schools in the early 1900’s they pretty much shut down over half the number of schools at that time..including drastically lowering the number of women and minority doctors.

    I do not dispute the stress related events you list that many doctors experience, but that comes from two things… the set in stone way the AMA demands medical school/training be implemented AND a society that settles everything by lawsuit. Doctors work under an almost seige mentality which sometimes sees patients as potential litigants rather then someone to help. AND it causes too many doctors to cover up for the incompetent amongst them.

    Darleen (f20213)

  69. “I’m a student with no income. A fellow student went to the hospital with a broken ankle and no insurance. Ended up with a 15K bill. Where’s his free stuff?”

    First of all, being a student who has “no income” is not the same as being “indigent.” Secondly, the fact that your fellow student received medical care reinforces what I said; medical care is available to everyone regardless of ability to pay.

    It’s indicative of the mindset of the national healthcare set when you say “where’s my free stuff?” Of course, there is no “free stuff.” Someone has to pay it. Usually taxpayers.

    sharon (fecb65)

  70. COLLECTING the bills is another thing. As I said above.

    Oh I see. So we don’t have free medical care. We have the guarantee that you will remain poor and bankrupt until you pay off the bill.

    Secondly, the fact that your fellow student received medical care reinforces what I said; medical care is available to everyone regardless of ability to pay.

    But you just said we’re not indigent. I think law students have ‘ability to pay.’ We get six figures in student loans, so clearly someone thinks we have ability to pay.

    actus (6234ee)

  71. No actus… I don’t know what you’re drinking but there is no such thing as “free care” anywhere in the world.

    Why do you think your need gives you a blank check on the talents/time/education of someone else?

    Darleen (f20213)

  72. “Oh I see. So we don’t have free medical care. We have the guarantee that you will remain poor and bankrupt until you pay off the bill.”

    Oh, such hyperbole. You are law students. You will not be “poor and bankrupt,” unless you do not pass the bar exam. A better question is why you think you should get free health care when you most certainly have an ability to pay.

    “But you just said we’re not indigent. I think law students have ‘ability to pay.’ We get six figures in student loans, so clearly someone thinks we have ability to pay.”

    No, Actus. A law student with “no income” isn’t the same as the guy in a cardboard box under the bridge. Your friend received medical attention regardless of his ability to pay, which is exactly the same as the indigent person. Why are you so bitter at the idea that you don’t get a free lunch? And as for your student loans, it is your choice whether or not you take out student loans. No one is forcing you to do so.

    sharon (fecb65)

  73. I think that banning a medical procedure is an awfully difficult thing to do, although I completely identify with Patterico’s beliefs on this particular topic.

    I wonder if it would be more efficient to allow most abortions, but make it possible for the mother to be prosecuted for an irresponsible (to be defined later) abortion — e.g. a 35th child, a heroin baby, most abortions in the third trimester, etc.

    I haven’t worked out the logistics in my mind but I’d be curious to hear what Patterico and his readers think.

    Anthony (452466)

  74. . You will not be “poor and bankrupt,” unless you do not pass the bar exam.

    We’ll certainly not have wealth so long as we owe on health care devts.

    A better question is why you think you should get free health care when you most certainly have an ability to pay.

    I think its quite a fascinating thing you’re doing here: from each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs.

    actus (6234ee)


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