Thursday, July 15, 2010

Misinformed Consent

Before any major medical procedure, a physician is required to to explain the risks/benefits of the surgery s/he is recommending, and possible alternatives to the procedure.  In this way, the patient learns the anticipated outcome of the procedure, and can weigh this against the severity of their symptoms and the potential side effects of the treatment.  Only when the patient understands these things can s/he make an informed choice.

The irony is that a woman may be more informed about a proposed gall bladder surgery than about the removal of her child from her womb.  While gall bladders are presumably called gall bladders even when being discussed in a medical setting, the object being removed from a pregnant woman is intentionally obscured.  As the local Women's Health Practice website demonstrates, the terms "child" or "baby" are often deliberately avoided in favor of the neutral terms "tissue" and "pregnancy."  Since an abortion clinic counselor has a vested interested in persuading a patient to abort, will they provide information about alternative to abortion?  The Women's Health Practice website includes no such information.

(Originally written 4/30/09)

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