Patterico's Pontifications

9/15/2007

Lying to Women Considering Getting an Abortion: A-OK

Filed under: Abortion — Patterico @ 4:56 pm

But telling them the truth about their baby’s development, of course, would be seen by many as a terrible imposition on their sacred rights . . .

The Supreme Court of New Jersey has ruled that it’s OK to lie to women about the state of their pregnancy while they are deciding to have an abortion.

New Jersey’s supreme court has just decided that, as far as state law is concerned, an abortionist can give false information to a woman trying to decide whether to have an abortion.

Is there a “baby in there”? That’s what Rose Acuna wanted to know from her obstetrician-gynecologist. She was six to eight weeks along at the time. “Don’t be stupid. It’s only blood,” the physician, Sheldon Turkish, allegedly replied. (Turkish argues that he probably said, “It’s just tissue.”) So, three days later, Acuna went ahead with the abortion.

Turns out it wasn’t “just tissue.”

This ties in nicely with a piece I recently saw in the Daily Mail, which quotes women who have had abortions. Guess what? Of the six women whose abortions are recounted in the piece, four regret their decision.

Here’s Sarah Giles:

Today, I still have a huge sense of loss and feel that we did the wrong thing. Mike and I are still together, although the abortion nearly split us up.

I hope that one day we’ll get married and have children together – but I will never forget. Even today, I see pregnant women or happy young mothers with their babies and think: “That could have been me. It makes me cry.”

And Sarah Fry:

I was 18 when I went to my doctor and asked for an abortion. I’d only been with my boyfriend for a month. No obstacles were put in my way, and the whole process was so incredibly quick and smooth that I never really had the chance to think if it was something I really wanted to go through with.

. . . .

My abortion haunted me for years afterwards. I split up with the boyfriend I’d been with then, but when I met Martin and we started trying for children it took almost a year for me to conceive.

Then, at seven weeks, I had a miscarriage. I tried not to think about the abortion, but in January 2006, when we lost another baby at seven weeks, I was inconsolable.

In fact, I suffered two more miscarriages before getting pregnant with Tayla in December 2006.

When she was born in August of this year, I was thrilled – but when I look at her I sometimes think of the pregnancy I terminated.

Doctors haven’t confirmed a link between my abortion nine years ago and the subsequent miscarriages, but I can’t help but wonder if they’re connected – and inside I do sometimes blame myself.

Varria Russellwhite:

I was given a pill and then a pessary the following day, which induced a miscarriage. I was not prepared for what followed. After eight hours I gave birth to a small but fully formed baby.

As I watched the nurse carry it away in a pool of blood, I felt so hollow at the waste of a life. I could clean the mess off me, but couldn’t wash the guilt from my mind.

Sue Hulbert:

When I came to, I felt devastated about what I had done and immediately regretted it. I went home with this aching, empty feeling.

Alan didn’t wait long before cutting his ties with me and I fell into a deep depression. It took me so long to get out of bed each morning because I had to imagine I was dressing and feeding my lost baby. I gave him a name, Patrick.

One night, I wrote letters to my family and friends and took an overdose of antidepressants. But it wasn’t enough – and the next day I was woken by the phone. It was Alan, who realised I could barely speak and called an ambulance.

Multiply these women’s experiences by several hundred thousand and you’ll get a sense of what we’re looking at.

But if you told women the truth about what is going on inside them — and how they might feel afterwards — that, of course, would be unconstitutional.

I believe it was Yakov Smirnov who said: “What a country.”

UPDATE: Dawn Eden has some disturbing quotes from a woman whose quotes were edited out of the Daily Mail piece. This woman says she would do the same thing again — but it’s clear that the experience has scarred her life:

By the time I had the abortion, I was 15 weeks and two days pregnant. I went into hospital with my best friend for moral support, and the nurse gave me tablets to bring on labour. Because I was so far into the pregnancy, I had to give birth rather than have a straightforward abortion.

It was horrendous. After two hours the contractions started, and I clung onto the hand of the midwife. Once I felt the baby starting to come, I had to go into the toilet and let it drop onto a stainless steel tray.

“Don’t look,” said the midwife. “Keep your eyes straight in front of you and walk away immediately.” There was no way I could have looked down and seen my baby. I was numb.

By then I was bleeding heavily, but I was allowed to go home. I went straight to bed and told my mum I had a very heavy period. For two days I lay in bed, shocked and exhausted, but I still I knew I had done the right thing.

Three months later, I started university. I coped by just blanking the abortion out. I would make the same decision again, but it has affected my life. I am paranoid about getting pregnant, and haven’t had a successful relationship since.

Another abortion success story.

120 Responses to “Lying to Women Considering Getting an Abortion: A-OK”

  1. Was there a companion article about women who were sorry they’d had babies? I know a few of those.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (126965)

  2. Adoption is a wonderful thing.

    Patterico (2a8eaa)

  3. Thanks, Patterico, for posting on this.

    I read that DailyMail piece too and it reminded me of the several times I have talked with females in my life, a few of whom had abortions and don’t regret it, and several more of whom had abortions and regret it terribly.

    I’ve seen some so pained over this. I’ve seen a lot of reactions up to and including attempted suicide.

    I could never prove in a million years that is the only problem this woman had because I know it is not. But I also know she regrets what she did.

    I can’t even say anything to console her except that she’s a good mom now and loves her other children. This causes some financial difficulties for her as she is a single mom, but she is happier and the children, bright and alive.

    One difference I’ve noticed between the women I’ve known who had abortions and didn’t regretted and those who did: the latter were more decent.

    Not just in this area, but in every area. Less selfish. It’s something I could see.

    I admire these women for putting their name openly to their regrets. I hope they have learned something.

    I think they have.

    Thanks again.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  4. Former day job for 14 yrs: (female) inner city medical office mgr, worked w/ women facing unexpected pregnancies as a volunteer. I just HATE this lying to women crap. They are carrying children and better to know it before the abortion than after.

    Oh, how did I get into prolife work? My best friend 1st year of college was suicidal cause her s.o. pressured her into two abortions. I visited the graveyard w/her where she grieved her child.

    So don’t EVER tell me women know what they are going to face down the road when they plan to have a “quick, easy” abortion. How I wish somebody could get Planned Parenthood shut down for lying to women and profiteering off dead babies and wounded women.

    Do you know someone grieving an abortion BTW? http://www.hopeafterabortion.com. A great site and you can get directed to free help, anywhere you live.

    no one you know (1ebbb1)

  5. Was there a companion article about women who were sorry they’d had babies?

    Comment by Andrew J. Lazarus — 9/15/2007 @ 5:28 pm

    Whether women are “sorry” they had babies is not the point. The point is the babies are still alive.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  6. What Christoph said.

    And..I forgot the reason I brought up the office mgr gig: the docs in our office delivered a LOT of babies, some of the moms were ambivalent beforehand and some had been talked out of abortions by someone. Not a one did not take joy in her baby, some who had hardships or money problems notwithstanding–helped by prolifers in many cases by the way. MANY prev’ly abortion minded women told the doc they were so glad they didn’t have the abortion. Made me more prolife the longer I worked there.

    no one you know (1ebbb1)

  7. Was there a companion article about women who were sorry they’d had babies? I know a few of those.

    Maybe your mom will write one.

    fretful (497765)

  8. The democrat party supports abortion for only one reason. They’re afraid an actual child would take money from their pet projects from which they bleed millions into their own bank accounts. Shrillary said they were broke when they came to D.C. and now they were rich, rich, rich. Yep, eight years and somewhere between $50 and $150 (so much is in off shore accounts there isn’t a way to actually determine how much they have stolen) Million is rich and on a $200,000 per year salary. There isn’t anything criminal there is there?

    Scrapiron (d671ab)

  9. **sucks in air**
    😮

    no one you know (1ebbb1)

  10. Comment by fretful — 9/15/2007 @ 6:04 pm

    The words, right out of my mouth you took them.

    Thank God you washed your hands first. 😉

    McGehee (25adee)

  11. Personally, I think this is a pretty misleading description of the holding, but I’ll let people decide for themselves:

    Acuna v. Turkish

    As to the article, I don’t see anyplace where it says these women were coerced to get an abortion, or misinformed. Plenty of women probably regret it afterwards, and plenty of women don’t.

    One could just as easily post articles filled with interviews of women who feel they did the right thing.

    How about interviews with women who’ve had illegal abortions?

    Itsme (665878)

  12. Was there a companion article about women who were sorry they’d had babies? I know a few of those.

    Your mother, for one? When she beat you did she also yell: “You little bastard, I’m sorry I ever gave birth to you?”

    nk (474afa)

  13. The pain these women feel is so typical of all the women who have had abortions that I have known in 20 yrs of pro-life work. It is also typical that it was a boyfriend, husband, or parent that demanded the abortion.

    So much pain. So much loss.

    And yet, here we still are. Lying to women and women suffering for it.

    Rightwingsparkle (7b3bcb)

  14. How about interviews with women who’ve had illegal abortions?

    Comment by Itsme — 9/15/2007 @ 6:10 pm

    One, it was never very common, two, if they are so motivated to kill their children they are going to risk their health to do it, frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  15. Whether women are “sorry” they had babies is not the point. The point is the babies are still alive.

    No, that’s not the point of this thread. You’re welcome to oppose abortion on those grounds, but his article was about women who regret having had an abortion. And there are women who bore children (sometimes for similar reasons, e.g., to please bf/husband) who regretted it.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (126965)

  16. Well Christoph, since it was illegal, we’ll never really know for sure how “common” it was or wasn’t.

    Itsme (665878)

  17. It was less common then than it is now.

    And if some women perished while killing their children? Cry me a river.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  18. Christoph #17:

    You are fortunate that you’ve never known a woman damaged by an illegal abortion.

    Though you may never know if they ever got one.

    Itsme (665878)

  19. It’s unbelievable that this kind of debate even exists. Does no sterile cuckoo grasp that he, she or it would not be here making the argument for abortion if his, hers or its mother had considered him, her or it an “undue burden”?

    nk (474afa)

  20. Christoph #17:

    You are fortunate that you’ve never known a woman damaged by an illegal abortion.

    Though you may never know if they ever got one.

    Comment by Itsme — 9/15/2007 @ 6:36 pm

    In a just world she would be put to death for premeditated murder.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  21. Christoph #20:

    Your comment stands on its own.

    Really, there’s not a thing I could add.

    Itsme (665878)

  22. I thought this thread was about whether health care providers can lie to women to encourage them to have abortions. Why would that ever be a good rule?

    (And yes, Itsme, I have read the syllabus you linked. Here is the material part:

    “HELD: A physician has a common law duty to provide a woman with material information concerning the medical risks of terminating her pregnancy; however, there is no common law duty requiring a physician to inform a pregnant patient that an embryo is an existing, living human being and that an abortion results in the killing of a family member.

    1. A duty is an obligation imposed by law requiring one party to conform to a particular standard of conduct toward another. Courts generally will find a duty where reasonable persons would recognize it and agree that it exists, based on an analysis of public policy and notions of fairness. In weighing such factors, courts must consider current social realities and should be reluctant to impose a duty that society is unwilling to accept.”

    Got that? The “current social reality” is that since some people don’t think embryos are living beings, no one can believe it.)

    DRJ (4725f3)

  23. DRJ #22:

    I thought this thread was about whether health care providers can lie to women to encourage them to have abortions.

    DRJ, the thread may or may not be about that, but I think it is misleading to say that that’s what the court held.

    Got that? The “current social reality” is that since some people don’t think embryos are living beings, no one can believe it.

    But the holding wasn’t about what anyone can “believe.”

    Itsme (665878)

  24. For most medical procedures a fairly complete discussion is required. “Informed Consent” can not be present when it isn’t.

    Likewise, as far as I know, parental consent for a minor is necessary to lance a boil, but not to have an abortion.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  25. Itsme, I won’t get into a name calling debate with you beyond one word. It is worse than any epithet I could throw at you so I’ll start and end here.

    You’re evil.

    You’ll make light of that. So would any other evil person.

    I can’t do anything about that.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  26. Good luck to you, Christoph.

    Itsme (665878)

  27. Itsme,

    Did the doctor lie to the woman or not?

    DRJ (4725f3)

  28. MD in Philly #24:

    Likewise, as far as I know, parental consent for a minor is necessary to lance a boil, but not to have an abortion.

    Well, if the MD in MD in Philly stands for Doctor, you’d know better than most on this board, I’d suspect.

    Here’s some more background on the status of parental consent laws generally. I don’t know how current or complete the info is:

    Enclyclopedia of Everyday Law

    Itsme (665878)

  29. DRJ #27:

    Itsme,

    Did the doctor lie to the woman or not?

    Evidently he did not inform her of “the scientific and medical fact that [her six- to eight-week-old embryo] was a complete, separate, unique and irreplaceable human being,” as she claims he should have.

    Whether that is a lie is a matter of personal opinion. It is not a legal duty.

    Itsme (665878)

  30. Christoph, I’ve never run into anyone who so commonly calls other people “evil” as you.

    Self-righteousness is a dangerous emotion.

    Patterico (042513)

  31. Killing babies is more dangerous.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  32. Whether the physician in question said it was just tissue or only blood, he has tolled a ‘niche’, if you will, where he can justify the atrocity he commits. If its just tissue or blood, then there is no culpability, no blood on his hands, and no accusation of having brought harm will stand. In his own mind, anyway.

    Telling a woman its just tissue and/or blood, isn’t about the woman and the procedure – its about a doctor commiting a heinous act and rationalizing it and keeping his conscience from being seared.

    Dana (78e5fc)

  33. The majority of times I use that word you’ll find it’s related to killing babies. I think it fits. A perfect example of where Ann Coulter — often wrong — is 100% right.

    These people are slightly worse than slave traders. At least that allowed life after a fashion, although with horrible loss of freedom, abuse, and worse… but abortion?

    Mothers contracting for killing of their children? Fathers pressuring them to do so? Doctors carrying out the deed?

    If evil doesn’t describe it, I don’t know what does. If you don’t like it or agree that’s fine.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  34. Itsme-

    Your reference seems to give a clear discussion which is basically consistent with what I’ve been taught and observed over the years. There are state to state variations, which I couldn’t give you the details of but the article seems to clarify.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  35. Comment by Dana — 9/15/2007 @ 7:28 pm

    Hear, hear.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  36. MD in Philly #34:

    It must be a pretty confusing maze by now.

    Itsme (665878)

  37. Itsme,

    If we accept the Court’s (and your) opinion, when Rosa Acuna asked her doctor if there was a “baby in there” and he said “Don’t be stupid, it’s blood/tissue,” that was not a lie. Presumably you believe that response is a medical opinion or maybe you consider that a medical fact, but that view necessarily excludes the view that Rosa Acuna was carrying a baby.

    No matter what view you hold, it should not be okay to mislead someone who effectively asks “Is it a baby?” The question itself makes it clear that Rosa Acuna thought it might be a baby. Why didn’t the doctor say there is a fetus but it isn’t viable, and explain those concepts? I submit it’s because he thought “stupid” Rosa Acuna might have said no to an abortion. If she had known that she was carrying a non-viable baby, she might have decided to get an abortion anyway, but the doctor’s answer made her choice a foregone conclusion.

    I think this decision makes a mockery of informed consent in New Jersey.

    DRJ (4725f3)

  38. DRJ:

    The question was never whether his response to her question was a “lie.”

    It was whether she was given medical information in a way that a reasonable person would understand, and that the law required.

    Should he have taken a little more time to explain everything? Possibly. But it doesn’t evidence a breach of a legal duty.

    I think this decision actually stays within the parameters of existing informed consent law in New Jersey. Given the extreme positions of the plaintiff, and the untenable premise of her complaint, I think there are other cases out there that might address the question better.

    In my opinion anyway.

    Itsme (665878)

  39. Andrew —

    Do women deserve a straight-up answer on the issues surrounding the abortion, including medical risks all the way round — both if they don’t have it or if they do?

    To my mind yes.

    To your mind, suffering PC-Multi-Culti religion, apparently no. Your religion is just as strong on your mind as say, Billy Graham’s. You just worship a different god so it seems.

    In my own personal opinion, women can and should retain the right to an abortion within the decision set by the Supremes. It’s a woman’s own body.

    But just as if I go into surgery I deserve to know as informed consent all the risks associated with the procedure, so too do any women having an abortion. Including viability of the fetus, and possible ability to carry a child to birth later on. Or psychological fallout.

    The woman involved should have the right to make the decision on her own fully informed. Witholding ANY info imho is shameful. Perhaps you feel differently.

    If having children LATER is important to a woman and having an abortion has a risk to future fertility, and not having one might pose other risks to her health a woman should get the information she needs to rationally make the decision HERSELF.

    “Religious beliefs” either Christian or PC-Multi-Culti (which is a religion. let’s be honest) should not tip the balance either way.

    Jim Rockford (e09923)

  40. Abortion should never be an issue about whether you want to have a baby or not, because you have the CHOICE NOT TO HAVE SEX!!!! If you don’t want to have a baby, don’t have sex. DON’T HAVE SEX UNLESS YOU ARE WILLING TO DEAL WITH THE CONSEQUENCES!!! Its very simple.

    I realize some women are raped, and I’m not addressing that issue here. All the women reported in the article above gave no indication of rape.

    SHynes (4f304a)

  41. PS to DRJ:

    Actually, I shouldn’t have said “I think there are other cases out there” when I meant there may be cases down the line that will address the question better.

    Itsme (665878)

  42. Itsme,

    Your answer assumes there is a one-size-fits-all answer to Rosa Acuna’s question. I think health care professionals must tailor their answers based on the knowledge and sophistication of the patient.

    If the patient is a scientist or nurse, the doctor’s answer may reasonably assume more patient knowledge and sophistication than he would assume with a less medically knowledgeable patient. To do otherwise reduces informed consent to the equivalent of the warning on the side of a box instead of a medical judgment imparted by a doctor to a patient he examines and treats.

    DRJ (4725f3)

  43. DRJ,

    Your answer assumes there is a one-size-fits-all answer to Rosa Acuna’s question. I think health care professionals must tailor their answers based on the knowledge and sophistication of the patient.

    Well, I think the basis of the law is what a reasonable person would need to make an informed decision.

    One can speculate all day about what amount or type of information should be given in a particular situation to a particular patient, but it doesn’t seem fair to hold someone legally liable for not meeting such changing standards.

    Itsme (665878)

  44. DRJ,

    As to the medical sophistication of the patient, the court pointed out that what Ms. Acuna was demanding was not simply more medical information, but something based on a “moral,theological, or philosophical judgment.”

    Itsme (665878)

  45. I agree that the prudent or reasonable man standard is appropriate in the abstract but not when there is specific knowledge that the patient doesn’t understand. Would it be a defense if the doctor provided information in English to a patient who doesn’t speak English and he knew it? Of course not.

    Here, Rose Acuna’s question made it clear she wanted to know “Is this a baby?” or “Is this a baby yet?” Either question deserved more to the answer than “Don’t be stupid, it’s blood/tissue.” Frankly, just saying “Don’t be stupid” is enough to make all but the most confident patients shut up and sign the form.

    DRJ (4725f3)

  46. If Rose Acuna was looking for moral, theological, or philosophical judgment, would she have gone to her doctor’s office or to her family, friends, and/or church?

    DRJ (4725f3)

  47. Whether she should have or not, that’s what she evidently did, according to the court.

    Itsme (665878)

  48. DRJ #45:

    Sorry, I didn’t see this before I answered the other.

    Her question might have “deserved” more of an answer, but she doesn’t have a right to sue for malpractice if she doesn’t get an answer telling her a that the embryo was “a complete, separate, unique and irreplaceable human being.”

    I have never heard of a doctor calling a patient “suptid.” Maybe it happens, but I’ve never heard of it. In addition, I find it hard to believe he told her she wouldn’t live for more than three months with her kidney condition if she didn’t have an abortion. But who knows, maybe it happened that way.

    Itsme (665878)

  49. Hmm, I’ve never heard of a doctor calling a patient stupid. Or suptid for that matter.

    Itsme (665878)

  50. Itsme,

    46. DRJ: If Rose Acuna was looking for moral, theological, or philosophical judgment, would she have gone to her doctor’s office or to her family, friends, and/or church?

    47. Itsme: Whether she should have or not, that’s what she evidently did, according to the court.

    To say Acuna sought moral (etc.) advice because the Court says she sought moral advice is circular. There was no testimony recited in the Court’s opinion that Acuna’s question sought moral advice or that Dr. Turkish interpreted her question that way.

    Instead, the Court ruled as to the parties’ intentions as a matter of law, apparently because it found Acuna’s question was incapable of a medical answer and presumably also because Acuna knew or should have known the question could not be answered medically. That sounds like a legal reach to me. On the other hand, the appeals court held that the parties’ intentions were a jury question. I agree.

    But setting all this aside, the main problem I have with the decision is the Court’s willingness to arbitrarily negate the doctor-patient relationship in a way that protects the doctor. The presumption should be that Acuna sought medical advice from Turkish and that he responded in kind.

    DRJ (4725f3)

  51. I was given every opportunity. My parents would support and love both me and the baby. The nice young man offered to marry me. I was an A student, I had hopes and dreams that didn’t fit a baby. At age 16 I made the decision to terminate my unplanned pregnancy. Is it really a decision when a 16 year old makes it? In retrospect, I don’t think so. My priorities were so shallow I couldn’t see beyond the next month, the next year.

    That was 25 years ago. Do I still think about this child? Yes. Do I regret the “decision” I made? Yes.

    I have a full life, a wonderful son who is 14 years old and brings me a great deal of joy. I don’t dwell on my past mistake. But when the subject comes up, I have very strong feelings.

    I will never forget or forgive myself for taking the life of my own child. Women should not be put in the position to “choose”. Abortion isn’t a choice that should have to be made by any young woman.

    Vebe (b100a9)

  52. DRJ #50:

    To say Acuna sought moral (etc.) advice because the Court says she sought moral advice is circular. There was no testimony recited in the Court’s opinion that Acuna’s question sought moral advice or that Dr. Turkish interpreted her question that way.

    I don’t believe I said she sought moral etc. advice because the court said so. I was responding to your question as to whether she would have sought such advice from her doctor or from friends, church, etc. Which I took to mean, was she seeking moral etc. advice from her doctor?

    Whether or not she couched it in those terms or whether or not the doctor interpreted it that way, the point is that the court said the question that she DID ask posited a moral, theological, philosphical, etc. basis that was beyond the scope of the medical information required.

    Instead, the Court ruled as to the parties’ intentions as a matter of law, apparently because it found Acuna’s question was incapable of a medical answer and presumably also because Acuna knew or should have known the question could not be answered medically. That sounds like a legal reach to me. On the other hand, the appeals court held that the parties’ intentions were a jury question. I agree.

    Well, Acuna did set out her intentions pretty clearly in her complaint. And the court did rule on the legal boundaries of that.

    But setting all this aside, the main problem I have with the decision is the Court’s willingness to arbitrarily negate the doctor-patient relationship in a way that protects the doctor. The presumption should be that Acuna sought medical advice from Turkish and that he responded in kind.

    I don’t think it was arbitrary at all. I think it stayed within the parameters of existing informed consent law in New Jersey, and declined to extend it to impose liability on a doctor who did not respond that the embryo was “a complete, separate, unique and irreplaceable human being.”

    Really, I think it is a pretty flawed case if one is wanting a full exploration of what is implied in the idea of informed consent.

    But that’s just me.

    (By the way, I want to say I enjoy the civil exchange of ideas here…a stimulating conversation. In fact I missed part of my HBO movie to follow your posts.)

    Itsme (665878)

  53. Andrew:

    And there are women who bore children (sometimes for similar reasons, e.g., to please bf/husband) who regretted it.

    You know, you’ve said that twice. Do you really know people who say this?

    Abortion is one thing, but anybody who goes around telling people she wishes her children didn’t exist is one cold bitch, if not an abuser.

    Glen Wishard (b1987d)

  54. Dear Vebe,
    If you see this, I’m so sorry for your pain and regret. The grief of abortion stays around for a very long time, as you said – 25 years for you.

    There is help for you. Please visit that website mentioned above. A lot of people have taken advantage of the (free) help it can direct you to, anywhere you live. Actually here it is again:

    http://www.hopeafterabortion.com

    no one you know (1ebbb1)

  55. Itsme,

    The question was never whether his response to her question was a “lie.”

    You might want to have a look at the title of the post.

    Meanwhile, I’ll be wondering how the “just tissue(s)” that once “lived” within Jesse Davis and Laci Peterson rated murder charges without them being babies in the eyes of the law.

    Pablo (99243e)

  56. Patterico, no one ever discusses what abortion does to men; I guess the public feels it doesn’t affect them at all. Somehow after three decades, we have seen the feminizing of the culture. I saw quite a number of men last year at the March for Life whom shared their stories with me. It takes courage. As we know, no one wants to admit a mistake, no one wants to take responsibility for their actions and usually repeat the same cycle.

    Also, those who have a child before or after their abortions, have seen different treatment with their children and I don’t have space to let you know how survivor syndrome (children who ‘made’ it, and found it about their mothers abortions), affects children and their self-esteem. Let’s just say respect is lost for the parents.

    The drug, suicide and repeat abortion stats should be studied. The After Abortion site attempts to do that.

    I also, since it’s all about choice, would like to know how many have chosen to have their babies after the Planned Parenthood ‘counseling’ session.

    We haven’t entered into tissue sales for medical labs, people still don’t believe that. It’s not tinfoil, it happens.

    I’m reminded of the Life Dynamics (site) cases in states where they recorded phone calls to abortion clinics where clients (underage), were told to lie about their age and if the offender was older, not to report that… lies in order to get Medicaid or taxpayer funded insurance to pay for the abortions… without contacting the parents or reporting the offenders (which they are to do). A lot of repeat sexual offenders have clinics as their ally.

    P.S. Dr. Bernard Nathanson, one of the founders of NARAL and aborter of untold numbers, is now pro-life and his story is amazing.

    It would be nice to remind everyone in the future of the backgrounds on Roe v. Wade, Doe v. Bolton, what the situation was, what happened after and lastly their pro-life stories. Both cases were started with lies and continue with lies.

    With all the medical advances and the plethora of birth control, there is no normal reason for abortions to take place. Responsibility has to be taught. If you don’t respect life, children mean nothing… you get more sexual and all kinds of abuse and child murder. Disposible kids. Check the stats.

    Call me alarmist… but after Schiavo and other cases, we aren’t that far off from our own Groningen Protocol here in the US.
    That’s the other side of freakonomics.

    Ali (c3e71e)

  57. Well, for anyone interested, this is my story.

    Rightwingsparkle (7b3bcb)

  58. I will never forget or forgive myself for taking the life of my own child. Women should not be put in the position to “choose”. Abortion isn’t a choice that should have to be made by any young woman.

    Comment by Vebe — 9/15/2007 @ 11:16 pm

    Of all the painfully obvious lies spewed by the allegedly “pro-choice” ideologues, this might be one of the very worst: the idea that a 16-year old or a 14-year old is really even making a “choice” at all.

    They can’t drink. Smoke. Own a gun. Or serve in the military. Or see a frickin’ R-rated movie. Or enter into a legal contract. Or be held legally responsible for adult crimes, depending on their age. Or even – and the irony is rich – CONSENT TO SEX in many cases, depending on the jurisdiction.

    Yet we are simultaneously told that they have an inviolable right to abort a baby – a choice that they can’t possibly understand or be held responsible, if we remain consistent to all of the above legal and moral treatments of children.

    It is beyond ridiculous. It is a spectacle of the absurd. She can’t consent to sex. She can’t enter into a contract. If she commits a crime, she is treated as a child.

    Yet that same 14-year old girl is suddenly endowed with the wisdom to make the ultimate life and death decision, a decision she will live with for the rest of her life.

    Some religious folks might even suggest she’ll live with longer than that.

    And even though she probably isn’t trusted to buy her own clothes (after all, child labor laws won’t let her work!) … on this particular decision, she doesn’t even have to ask her parents. In fact, she’s got a legal right not to.

    It’s insane. Insane.

    Cristoph up there is right. The whole thing is evil. It’s interesting that he mentioned the slave trade, because every single argument offered by pro-choicers is echoing the arguments offered by 19th century advocates of slavery.

    They all boil down to property rights. Sometimes the arguments use the same words. Read any abolitionist debate from the 1840s or 1850s. In every case, the word slavery will be easily interchangeable with “abortion.”

    The same arguments. It’s property. It is MINE. My choice to make. Because it is not human.

    Oops.

    The same evil.

    And I know one thing with absolute certainty: however confused we may be on the issue today, our descendants will view us EXACTLY the way we view slave traders of past centuries.

    Guaranteed.

    PB (df860b)

  59. Is it really a decision when a 16 year old makes it?

    Yes — try robbing a bank or shooting your neighbour at 16 and watch what happens.

    In retrospect, I don’t think so.

    Fair enough. I disagree.

    My priorities were so shallow I couldn’t see beyond the next month, the next year.

    Something that affects us all at times. But doesn’t allow us to kill another, lawfully.

    That was 25 years ago. Do I still think about this child? Yes. Do I regret the “decision” I made? Yes.

    I’m glad. For you. It shows you developed character.

    I have a full life, a wonderful son who is 14 years old and brings me a great deal of joy. I don’t dwell on my past mistake. But when the subject comes up, I have very strong feelings.

    Again, I think this is to your credit.

    I will never forget or forgive myself for taking the life of my own child.

    Nor should you. But asking your higher power and your now deceased child for forgiveness is probably a good idea.

    Women should not be put in the position to “choose”.

    It should be against the law, yes, to protect children. However, choice can’t be bypassed merely because a law exists.

    Abortion isn’t a choice that should have to be made by any young woman person.

    There. Corrected.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  60. Comment by PB — 9/16/2007 @ 7:39 am

    Agreed.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  61. Especially this part:

    And I know one thing with absolute certainty: however confused we may be on the issue today, our descendants will view us EXACTLY the way we view slave traders of past centuries.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  62. See the update for another disturbing story.

    Patterico (2a8eaa)

  63. Thanks, Patterico; I saw that reference to the woman whose quotes were edited out, censored by the DailyMail (they censored themselves), but I couldn’t remember where I had found it (it was Dawn Eden) so I didn’t bring it up.

    I realize you take the calm intellectual approach to fighting for unborn children and I respect that; I welcome all allies.

    Just as many different kinds were necessary to overcome slavery, so, I suspect, it will be with this. Legally overturning the practice would be my strong preference.

    Making it universally understood as a morally repugnant act — and destructive cessation of innocent life — also would; they’ll go together in tandem.

    More extreme solutions would not be my preference. In any event, I don’t have the power to implement them.

    Charging into the South in 1840 gun in hand to overturn slavery would have been very noble, and foolish. Similarly, you don’t have to worry about my “self-righteoussness”. I have self-control.

    Enough self-control includes being very consistent in my statement this action is evil and those who advocate it are evil, something you disapprove of saying.

    Others who are as much on “my side” as you are approve of it as this thread indicates. And that works for me.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  64. how do you pro-lifers feel about ready access to contraception for the 14- and 16-year old girls you claim to care for so much and speak for?

    lol@christoph judging others as “evil”. am i evil too? i am pro-choice, because i don’t think it’s any of my business what goes on between a pregnant woman and her doctor.

    i am one of the few pro-choice people who does not fear an overruling of roe v. wade; i know that the resulting backlash would destroy the legislated morality culture.

    assistant devil's advocate (0804af)

  65. am i evil too?

    Yes.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  66. you only answered one of my questions. how do you feel about ready access to contraception? unless you’re for it, you’re blowing smoke out of two orifices at once.

    assistant devil's advocate (0804af)

  67. I’m for it. And use it. And if it fails to work, I will count my blessings even while determining how to support the life I’ve created.

    Whether I love the woman or not (I do love the woman whom I use contraception with) or whether we’re together, I will not harm my child. I will love, support, and protect my child to the best of my ability.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  68. Pablo #55:

    The question was never whether his response to her question was a “lie.”

    Since DRJ and I were discussing the court holding, I thought it was clear that we were talking about the question before the court.

    Itsme (73e330)

  69. Pablo #55 cont’d:

    Meanwhile, I’ll be wondering how the “just tissue(s)” that once “lived” within Jesse Davis and Laci Peterson rated murder charges without them being babies in the eyes of the law.

    Plenty of states do have fetal homicide laws. As does the federal government.

    In California:

    Sec. 187, Cal. Penal Code

    Itsme (73e330)

  70. ada #66,

    No rational person opposes contraception. There are mentally handicapped girls who “medically” go on the pill at age eleven because they don’t need a pregnancy on top of all their other difficulties.

    The ones who have dirtied the issue are not the literalist Catholics or fundamentalist Baptists. It is the NARALists who oppose any mention of abstinence in sex education.

    nk (474afa)

  71. I do not know NJ’s informed consent law, but this sniffs of an exception due to the proposed procedure. Here in Oregon, when my patient asks for more information, I am obligated to supply complete (as far as what the patient wants to know) and accurate information. I don’t know if this is explicit in the law, but surely the patient has a right to know the nature of the procedure.
    What if the doctor was proposing removing a kidney? I cannot believe the court would consider “It’s just a piece of tissue, sign here” as valid informed consent.
    The broadening of informed consent requirements has been a large part of the expansion of medical malpractice liability in recent years. It is rare to see a court contract such requirements.
    BTW, when I would have flunked my embryology final in med school if I’d answered any question, “it’s just a piece of tissue” and I would have been doomed to practice in New Jersey.

    Teflon Dad (5879e8)

  72. I find it interesting that the doctor told her (by her account) that it was “just blood.” I don’t mean to throw gasoline on the fire, but I wonder if he might be a Muslim. The Qur’an says that the fetus is ‘alaqa, which means a blood clot, in 22:5, 23:12-14, 40:67, 75:37-39, and 96:1-2 (a good parallel translation of the Qur’an can be read at http://www.oneummah.net/quran/quran.html). In fact, this is one of the main problems in reconciling the Qur’an with modern science. A Christian medical doctor, who analyzed this issue at http://www.answering-islam.de/Main/Campbell/s4c2b.html, wrote:

    In the dictionaries of Wehr and Abdel-Nour the only meanings given for ‘alaqa in this feminine singular form are “clot” and “leech”, and in North Africa both of these meanings are still used. Many patients have come to me to have a leech removed from their throats, and many women, believing that the fetus goes through a stage as a clot, have come to me in the dispensary asking for medicine because their periods haven’t come. When I would answer that I couldn’t do that because I believed that the fetus was a person, they would say, “but it’s still blood.”

    Again, I have absolutely no idea whether her doctor is a Muslim, but when I read her claim that he told her “It’s just blood,” I immediately thought of this.

    Jim (1bc17b)

  73. Is no one disturbed by the actions of this woman? She had already had two children. Does she really need Dr. Daddy to tell her early pregnancy turns into delivery of a baby?

    Dr. Turkish performed a service that Mrs. Acuna sought, consented to, and paid for. This is a frivulous lawsuit at its finest.

    Poor Rose Acuna — a child trapped in a women’s body.

    lc (1401be)

  74. i am one of the few pro-choice people who does not fear an overruling of roe v. wade; i know that the resulting backlash would destroy the legislated morality culture.

    What backlash? First off, overturning would just hand the issue back to the states, where it properly belongs. The majority of states would keep some semblance of elective abortions; however, it would then start to reflect the values of the constituents and, actually, the majority of American opinion on abortion. IE little/no restriction of seeking an abortion for an adult woman, of sound mind in the first trimester.

    But things like parental notification, restriction/regulations of 2nd & 3rd trimester elective abortions, etc would come to pass.

    Not a bad thing.

    In reference to contraception, I have no problem with non-drug, barrier-method contraception sold over the counter with no age limit.

    Adolescent girls should be under a doctor’s care if ANY hormonal contraception is prescribed.

    And, IMO, if any doctor discovers a minor girl is having sex with an adult male, they should be mandated to report it to the authorities.

    Darleen (187edc)

  75. I meant a woman’s body.

    lc (1401be)

  76. “And, IMO, if any doctor discovers a minor girl is having sex with an adult male, they should be mandated to report it to the authorities.”

    And the parents, too? Because after all, if there are pregnancies, abortions, and the very probable potention of being surprised by grandparenthood sooner than later, and considering they are legally responsible for these minors, their notification should supercede even the authorities.

    Dana (34f3fb)

  77. Jim #74, you link to the doctor who analyzed the issue didn’t work….got another?

    Dana (34f3fb)

  78. Bravo, Patterico.
    A great post. Thank you.

    Dave Pierre (63537c)

  79. […] Patterico’s Pontifications and […]

    The Right to Lie « The Reformed Pastor (849bb7)

  80. Teflon Dad #73:

    It is rare to see a court contract such requirements.

    Do you really think the court was contracting what New Jersey law required? I thought it pretty much articulated the boundaries. Legally speaking of course.

    Itsme (5cb561)

  81. Jim #74:

    I find it interesting that the doctor told her (by her account) that it was “just blood.”

    Actually, he disputed telling her that.

    Itsme (5cb561)

  82. Glen, yes. I don’t think I know a mother who didn’t want any of her children, but I do know a few who were sorry about a final, unexpected pregnancy. And these are married, older women, not teens.

    I’m always a little worried about counterfactual analysis like Vebe’s comment. It’s easier to retroactively fantasize the ease of being a 16-y.o. mother than really to live it. If she had taken that route, today she might be wishing she’s gone the other way.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (126965)

  83. lc #75:

    Does she really need Dr. Daddy to tell her early pregnancy turns into delivery of a baby?

    Well, according to the court document, she did acknowledge in deposition that she understood that very fact.

    Itsme (5cb561)

  84. Comment by Andrew J. Lazarus — 9/16/2007 @ 11:39 am

    Ease of the parent vs. life of the child. There’s a describe I call you evil.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  85. * a reason

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  86. Dana, 79

    Linky

    Might work.

    Uncle Pinky (3c2c13)

  87. Itsme #52:

    (By the way, I want to say I enjoy the civil exchange of ideas here…a stimulating conversation. In fact I missed part of my HBO movie to follow your posts.)

    I feel the same way except I missed part of the USC-Nebraska game. They aren’t my teams but that kind of match-up is something I’m rarely willing to miss.

    DRJ (4725f3)

  88. DRJ #52:

    Which makes TiVo a big plus. Heh.

    Itsme (5cb561)

  89. LC #75,

    Rose Acuna apparently testified in her deposition that she understood she would end up with a baby at some point. Perhaps she was more knowledgeable than you give her credit for and her concern was what stage her pregnancy was at: Had the embryo implanted? Was it a blob of tissue or did it look like a baby yet?

    When Dr. Turkish told Acuna that her fetus was still just “blood/tissue,” I suspect she felt she had moral permission to proceed with the abortion. This supports Itsme’s analysis of the case but I also believe Acuna was seeking medical information regarding her stage of gestation – which was 6-8 weeks – and that does not support the exemption to informed consent the New Jersey court outlines in this case.

    Patterico has previously shown us what a 6-8 week fetus looks like (scroll down). I think it looks more like a human than blood/tissue, and I think a jury would agree. That’s also why I think the New Jersey court wanted to decide this case as a matter of law.

    DRJ (4725f3)

  90. Itsme #90,

    Our TiVo broke and is being repaired, and I’m not as handy at DVR as TiVo. (I know they are the same thing but TiVo is still easier.) Isn’t it amazing how addicted you can get to technology?

    DRJ (4725f3)

  91. DRJ #91:

    and that does not support the exemption to informed consent the New Jersey court outlines in this case

    Once again, I don’t think it was outlined as an exemption to informed consent at all, but rather as being within the parameters of existing informed consent law in New Jersey.

    Evidently New Jersey does not have a codified informed consent law with respect to abortion procedures. Rather than leave courts with the unenviable task of deciding whether each and every interaction falls within the common law requirements, maybe the state legislature will provide statutory direction.

    Itsme (5cb561)

  92. DRJ,

    I appreciate what you’re saying. I just think a 29-year-old woman who has already had two children should already have a firm idea of what an abortion is and what her feelings are about it.

    I’m originally from New Jersey and live in a neighboring state now. I’m not so sure a New Jersey jury would have been very sympathetic to Rose Acuna.

    lc (1401be)

  93. DRJ #92:

    It is amazing. I must confess I have not yet figured out how to record things on TiVo (at least how to record the things I want it to record), but I do like the replay/fast forward feature.

    Itsme (5cb561)

  94. Itsme – You’re right this isn’t an exemption to informed consent but I think it operates as if it is.

    LC – Without knowing more about Rose Acuna’s intelligence and knowledge level, I agree it would be hard to decide in her favor on these facts. But that’s a different question from whether a judge should decide this case as a matter of law or whether it’s a jury question. One of the reasons we have trials is that things sometimes look different after the evidence is presented to a jury.

    DRJ (4725f3)

  95. #78 Dana

    And the parents, too?

    Oh yes, of course. Sorry I didn’t make that clear.

    Darleen (187edc)

  96. A couple of things:

    Historically doctors have been looked at as an authority. In many cultures healing and religious practice (hence moral and spiritual understanding) are mixed. Even in not too distant past we had “Marcus Welby, MD” who was a venerable wise and compassionate man, not just a “biotechnician”. Doctors often make life and death decisions, one hopes they have some kind of moral compass. Given all of these considerations, it is not unreasonable for the patient to have looked to the doctor for an opinion that was “not medical” but also had the moral concern of “am I doing the right thing”?

    The doctor had the moral duty of a physician to address the patient’s concern. If it was a question he felt unqualified to answer he should have said so. If he had an answer but realized his was only one of several possible opinions given by others he could have offered his opinion with an explanation and rejoinder that it was an opinion of his and others would have other opinions.

    I can see a doctor saying, “Don’t be stupid”. He/she probably would not want to communicate, “You are stupid”, but rather, “That’s a stupid idea (-you don’t have to be concerned with that”. Somewhat like saying, “don’t be silly”. We really don’t mean, “You are a silly person” as an insult, we mean it’s a silly idea, don’t worry about it.
    Though not meant as a direct insult, it could easily be construed as that. Many people do not feel the freedom to directly address the issue, “Excuse me, but did you mean to say I was stupid?” and give an opportunity for resolving the issue.

    Forbid it!! that legislatures should start trying to define what specifics constitute “informed consent” for all medical procedures. When asked, “Is it a baby?”, the best answer would be to show a picture of what the fetus looks like at that stage, describe if it could or couldn’t survive out of the womb, and explain that some people think it is a “baby” when only a one cell fertilized egg, but others don’t (“I don’t” says the doctor) “unless the baby is able to survive out side the womb”, or “able to survive outside the womb without fancy medical care”, etc.
    The “problem” with that is it takes time, and is a “major hassle” if asked immediately before the procedure is to be done.

    Years ago I had a patient ask me to refer her for an abortion on the grounds that it would be medically difficult for her as a diabetic, it would make it harder to control her blood sugar. I reviewed with her the fact that in the months I had known her she had not demonstrated much of a concern for controlling her sugar before, and that I thought her depression (for which she refused treatment) was making it difficult for her to be motivated to take care of herself. I told her I would not refer her for an abortion because the reasons she was giving did not appear to be “honest” reasons- furthermore, I was opposed to elective abortions on general principle. She could call her insurance card information and find how to get a referral, including getting a new primary care doctor if necessary. I also offered to set her up for an appointment with a counselor to talk and give more detail about options. All of this was done rather calmly and straightforward.

    Many weeks or so later I was surprised to see her in my office again, for her diabetes. She had obtained a referral for an abortion but did not need to change her primary (me). Even though I refused to be part of her decision to have an abortion, she felt that I was honestly concerned for her health and treated her with respect, and wanted to continue to be my patient. So I think medical/ethical discussions can be had where the pt doesn’t have to feel “bullied” and everyone has the integrity of their conscious.

    A corollary topic that hasn’t been raised- there is much controversy whether or not there is evidence that women who have had an abortion are at higher risk for breast cancer. Obviously, if that became an accepted conclusion, informed consent of every abortion would need to include discussion of that risk.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  97. MD in Philly –

    On my part, I thank you for your thoughtful and informative response.

    So you think state legislatures should not codify informed consent procedures? Because they would be perceived as the ceiling rather than the threshold? Or…?

    Itsme (ed6081)

  98. PS to MD in Philly –

    I thought it had been pretty well determined that there was no association between abortion and breast cancer risk. For instance:

    NCI factsheet

    But possibly you know more detailed info on this.

    Itsme (ed6081)

  99. MD in Philly,

    I also appreciate your comments. However, I’m having a difficult time imagining any circumstance that would justify a doctor telling his patient “Don’t be stupid” or even “Don’t be silly.”

    DRJ (4725f3)

  100. Well, some doctors can say it with a look.

    Itsme (ed6081)

  101. Itsme,

    Plenty of states do have fetal homicide laws. As does the federal government.

    Obviously, as Misters Peterson and Cutts could readily attest. My question is how can one commit homicide (the killing of a human being) against “just tissue?”

    Pablo (99243e)

  102. Itsme-

    re # 100, Informed consent is about a doctor communicating with a patient relative facts to the patient’s satisfaction. To codify what it should include would be a flow sheet 20 pages long with many branch points.

    Just one example:

    A. The risk of anesthesia is typically small for a healthy person. A particularly anxious person may say, “I don’t want all of the details, this is considered ‘pretty safe’, right?” The person wants to hear that over 95% of the time things go fine, but not 100%, and since the operation involved is over a serious situation (say appendicitis), it seems quite reasonable and “I would have my wife or mom have the operation”.

    B. Someone could feel that “A” was not adequate information, even though it seems that the level of information was what the patient desired, was not inadequate, and supplied what the patient needed to make the decision. Such a person could argue, “But you really didn’t inform the patient of all of the things that could go wrong, you just tried to allay her fears and were complicit in her denial. You needed to tell the risk of malignant hyperthermia, idiosyncratic drug toxicity to the liver causing her to need a liver transplant, infection and possible sepsis or endocarditis from the IV site. Maybe she’ll have anoxic brain damage because the ET tube is not positioned correctly, or a stroke because her neck is twisted at an odd angle. Or even, maybe, something will be missed because staff were distracted talking about the background music the circulating nurse puts on… In other words, one could actually be cruel to a patient by spending so much time on rare occurrences that the bottom fact of how safe things “typically are” gets lost.

    re #101, you have referenced a good site from a respected source. That said, while the established medical community maintains there is inadequate evidence to suggest a link between abortion and breast cancer, the established medical community denies significant risk of emotional turmoil over having had an abortion as well.
    Without going over the original research, I note that the NCI fact sheet states that among the things that increases the risk of breast cancer is “a late age at time of birth of first full term baby.” Whether that is one way of looking at the statistics that includes women who have had previous abortions and then eventually carry a child to term or not I do not know. I am not saying the NCI is wrong, but I wouldn’t assume the “No link” is unassailable either. Remember, the “Medical Establishment” as a whole considers elective abortion at the mother’s choice as a valid procedure, even if a majority of individual physicians do not approve.

    DRJ- Doctors are people and have different personalities, different degrees of relationship with patients, lapses of judgement, and good and bad days like anybody else. And I’m NOT necessarily saying it would be an acceptable practice (maybe that’s what you think I imply).

    For instance, a patient asks his doc about Viagra, “Doc, the commercial says something about if I have an erection for more than 4 hours I should call you. If that happens to me, I think I’ll be too busy to call you.” The doc may reply with a “don’t be ridiculous”, don’t be stupid, etc., which may be appropriate given the jesting by the patient and the degree of familiarity.

    If an older and condescending doc says “don’t be stupid/silly” in the context of the article, I think it would be inappropriate, but I could see it happening.

    I’ve heard attorneys in courtrooms say things that I though were more offensive, FWIW.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  103. “Itsme, I won’t get into a name calling debate with you beyond one word. It is worse than any epithet I could throw at you so I’ll start and end here.

    You’re evil.

    You’ll make light of that. So would any other evil person.

    I can’t do anything about that.”

    – Christoph

    Get off your fucking high horse, Christoph.

    Leviticus (b987b0)

  104. I had written a lenghty post earlier that is apparently “lost in (Cyber) space”.

    Briefly:

    Itsme #100- Because it would be a ridiculously long document with many branch points for discussion. Informed consent is a process where a doctor and a patient discuss a procedure/treatment, etc. in a way that satisfies the patient’s level of desired information. One does not necessarily describe a given procedure the same way to a high school drop out, a professor of physiology, a compulsive accountant, and a fearful widow. A specified amount of information is not the issue, giving enough information in a way that is useful to the patient is the issue. No way a legislature could craft legislation that would begin to cover all of the scenarios.

    — #101- You link to a good source, and I cannot say that they are wrong. But, I would point out that one of the things that increases risk is older age at time of first child carried to term. I would have to go back to the studies and look to see how they analyzed the data in regards to “lumping” and “splitting”. How much is that risk weighted by women who have had pregnancies “not carried to term” as opposed to women who never were pregnant. They don’t say that never being pregnant is a risk, not how old one is when first becomes pregnant, but how old when a pregnancy is carried to term is the issue. This suggests that the risk may be linked to having been pregnant but not carrying a child to term earlier in the reproductive years.
    Remember, this is the opinion of the “Medical Establishment” which also denies any significant psychological problems associated with an abortion and approves of abortion on demand (even if a majority of individual physicians would disagree).

    DRJ- I didn’t mean to convey it would be appropriate for the doctor to say that, but that I could see it happening.
    The patient getting an Rx for Viagra says, “Doc, if I get an erection that lasts for 4 hours I don’t think calling you will be the first thing on my mind.” with a wink, the doctor tells his patient of 25 years, who he sometimes golfs with, “Don’t be stupid”. Such a case may be appropriate in context. More often it would be too condescending even if not meant as a direct “You’re stupid”.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  105. I had written a lenghty post earlier that is apparently “lost in (Cyber) space”.

    Briefly:

    Itsme #100- Because it would be a ridiculously long document with many branch points for discussion. Informed consent is a process where a doctor and a patient discuss a procedure/treatment, etc. in a way that satisfies the patient’s level of desired information. One does not necessarily describe a given procedure the same way to a high school drop out, a professor of physiology, a compulsive accountant, and a fearful widow. A specified amount of information is not the issue, giving enough information in a way that is useful to the patient is the issue. No way a legislature could craft legislation that would begin to cover all of the scenarios.

    — #101- You link to a good source, and I cannot say that they are wrong. But, I would point out that one of the things that increases risk is older age at time of first child carried to term. I would have to go back to the studies and look to see how they analyzed the data in regards to “lumping” and “splitting”. How much is that risk weighted by women who have had pregnancies “not carried to term” as opposed to women who never were pregnant. They don’t say that never being pregnant is a risk, not how old one is when first becomes pregnant, but how old when a pregnancy is carried to term is the issue. This suggests that the risk may be linked to having been pregnant but not carrying a child to term earlier in the reproductive years.
    Remember, this is the opinion of the “Medical Establishment” which also denies any significant psychological problems associated with an abortion and approves of abortion on demand (even if a majority of individual physicians would disagree).

    DRJ- I didn’t mean to convey it would be appropriate for the doctor to say that, but that I could see it happening.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  106. Lest we forget, this is afterall is New Jersey.

    The Jersey Supremes have a history of being, let’s say it .. stupid.

    These the same guys who said it was OK for a Torricelli-Lautenberg swap, even though the deadline for ballot changes had passed (Democrats in TX argued otherwise with deLay).

    Never mind the law .. it’s New Jersey.

    Neo (cba5df)

  107. The Tuskegee Syphilis Study became notorious because it was conducted without due care to its subjects, and led to major changes in how patients are protected in clinical studies. Individuals enrolled in the Tuskegee Syphilis Study did not give informed consent and were not informed of their diagnosis; instead they were told they had “bad blood” and could receive free medical treatment, rides to the clinic, meals and burial insurance in case of death in return for participating.

    Thw Jersey Supremes wrote, in effect, that Rose Acuna was just a “common Negro” and didn’t need to know any more.

    Neo (cba5df)

  108. Pablo #104:

    Itsme,

    Plenty of states do have fetal homicide laws. As does the federal government.

    Obviously, as Misters Peterson and Cutts could readily attest. My question is how can one commit homicide (the killing of a human being) against “just tissue?”

    I see. Sorry I misunderstood.

    I’d be the last one to argue there’s any uniform logic among all the laws out there.

    Itsme (a4f97b)

  109. MD in Philly #106:

    Thanks for another thoughtful reply.

    I can’t disagree with your point about the difficulty of coming up with a helpful informed consent statute. In fact I believe some are being litigated because many doctors find them intrusive and misdirected. So it is left to the court to determine where liability lies, I suppose.

    I agree about the studies. Still, I think the initial studies that suggested a direct link between abortion or miscarriage and breast cancer have been pretty much discredited…though there seems to be consensus that many breast cancers are hormone-driven (or determined). Maybe with more time and data, a more accurate picture will emerge.

    Itsme (a4f97b)

  110. My apologies for the multiple posts. (If you look at the time on 105, that was when I submitted it. Hours later when my follow up post(s) were written it still had not appeared. (I wonder if some of the language and topics covered held it up in the server?)

    The general opinion of doctors is even if one does a perfect informed consent, a patient/litigant can later say, “But I didn’t really understand what the risks were.” Which to some extent is true about most of negative human experience until we’ve experienced it firsthand (perhaps with positive experience also). So someone who has a rare but “valid” (i.e., not because of negligence) poor outcome could rightfully say, “I never dreamed it could have turned out this way”.

    So it may be left up to lawyers and a jury to decide, but to decide what? That the doctor had done what was adequate to inform? That the doctor had succeeded in getting the patient to really understand so the consent was truly informed. That the patient was suffering and never expected that to happen so is owed something by the doctor, or by somebody and the doctor is the most likely source?

    Because of this reasoning the more cynical feel/act like it doesn’t matter anyway, so why bother trying to fulfill some standard that won’t hold up in court. The less cynical do their best to inform the patient and have clear consent because it is the right thing to do, to h___ with the consequences or what the legal department says.

    This line of thinking may not be as real of a concern as doctors think, but this is a common view. I would be interested to hear what you lawyer folk think.

    As far as the abortion/miscarriage and breast cancer studies go, maybe some of the studies that most indicate a link are the ones that are flawed. I think I communicated that I was not claiming a strong position from having thoroughly reviewed it myself. I have had plenty of things to do other than get involved in public policy discussion on abortion. Those who (thankfully) are involved are not likely able to be involved in the things I’m busy with.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  111. Itsme,

    I’d be the last one to argue there’s any uniform logic among all the laws out there.

    It seems to me that legally defining what the very nature of a thing is based on who wants it dead is a bit more substantial failing than a simple lapse of logic.

    Pablo (99243e)

  112. MD in Philly – Having previously handled medical malpractice litigation for a PA-based company, informed consent and privacy issues were some of the larger drivers of lawsuits directed at the medical profession. Certainly, John Edwards and the hucksters that pushed the C-section percentages through the roof were a large driver as well. I always thought that Med Mal juries should be comprised of 6 doctors and 6 non-doctors.

    JD (f6a000)


  113. I always thought that Med Mal juries should be comprised of 6 doctors and 6 non-doctors.

    Comment by JD — 9/18/2007 @ 5:00 am

    Good luck with that one, JD. In the courthouse I work in, doctors think they’re way too holy to participate in jury duty.

    lc (643040)

  114. I think most people who have jobs and commitments don’t like the interruption, be they doctors or the office staff of doctors, or the patients of doctors. Having been on a jury and appalled at the level of reasoning ability and prejudice against police, etc., that is supposed to disqualify a juror that was evident, I always encourage people to see it as a meaningful civil responsibility.

    JD, were some of the informed consent cases you were involved in akin to the jaded perspective doctors have I described above, or were they more reflective of docs who clearly didn’t give enough meaningful information?
    But if every doctor, professional, college grad, and non-college grad who speaks intelligently thinks they won’t be selected because they can think for themselves too much (instead of buying an argument that was dramatic but flawed in every other way), it is hard to be enthusiastic to go and sit all day to be rejected and sent home. At least that is my experience in Philadelphia County.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  115. Sorry, 2nd and 3rd paragraphs should be switched in post 117.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  116. Okay, if abortion is so wrong and woman are being lied to and will most likely regret having this abortion done…
    who is going to adopt the one I cant afford to raise after a condom busted.

    It isnt that I am a bad person or that I dont love being a mother… an accident happened and now I have to decide what is best for me, my family and my future… It doesnt it make it easy and it doesnt make me feel any better but the right to choice is for each individual to make…

    I dont think EITHER side pro choice or pro life should push to have there way or say,
    people know what they want and they dont need signs with brutal pictures or shouted scriptures…just as much as they dont need sugar coated terms about what is really going on with their bodies fed to them.

    People arent stupid and cant claim to act as if they were lied to when they turned a blind eye to what they know is right and wrong to them in there own heart.

    Shan (e475d5)

  117. Please come to my local paper and make a comment on this issue.

    http://www.oaoa.com/news/mass_20447___article.html/pfeifer_life.html

    Jaded (fe8e60)


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