Skip to comments.The only religion that my patients see me practice is medicine [and secular humanism]
Posted on 11/02/2012 11:14:12 PM PDT by Slings and Arrows
When I was the director of undergraduate medical education for OB/GYN at a Midwestern university (a state school), it came to my attention that a medical student was refusing to have anything to do with contraception as it was against her religion.
So I spoke with her. I explained that over the course of her career she would undoubtedly see people from all walks of life with a myriad of religious and or personal practices. I explained that medical care is not about fulfilling any personal need beyond the need to help.
I gave the example of a doctor who is a Jehovahs Witness. Refusing to order a blood transfusion would be both unethical and malpractice.
I had an OB/GYN who practiced the same religion discuss how he felt that he could prescribe contraception and still honor his Church.
None of this mattered. In her eyes prescribing contraception was an affront to her religion.
What if you dont council a patient about condoms and she gets HIV? I asked.
Do you think its ethical for a woman to take time out of her day to come for a well-woman exam and not leave with the contraception that she wants and needs?
What if that woman leaves your office without birth control, gets pregnant, and is then beaten to death by her partner as pregnancy puts her at increased risk for domestic violence related homicide? I persisted.
My patients will know I wont prescribe birth control or discuss condoms. They will get the Creighton method, she said.
How? Will you have a sign? Will your receptionist tell every patient who calls? I asked.
If the answer had been, I realize my personal belief system puts me at odds odds with the standard of care so Im headed for pathology, I would have commended her for her insight and given her a passing grade with a note about her contraception issues on her transcript.
But she responded that she was going to be a family doctor.
I spoke with the Chief of OB/GYN and the Dean of the Medical School. They agreed that refusing to be involved in any way with contraceptive or safe sex counseling should result in a failing grade on the clinical component of the rotation.
They agreed, that is until she lawyered up. A public fight about teaching contraception would just be too much, you know?
Shortly thereafter I resigned as the director of medical education for OB/GYN and left for a different state.
If a doctor can refuse to discuss contraception, essentially proselytizing to patients, then we should not be surprised that some pharmacists will refuse to dispense it and be protected by the law.
Ask yourself, do you want your own health care provider to consider their own religious or personal beliefs first before offering you medical care? If so, then everything is up for grabs. Everything. From blood transfusions and addiction medicine to fertility therapies and weight loss therapies because it all depends on how you interpret any given scripture.
The only religion that my patients see me practice is medicine. Anything else, in my opinion, is malpractice.
Jennifer Gunter is an obstetrician-gynecologist and author of The Preemie Primer. She blogs at her self-titled site, Dr. Jen Gunter.
In a few years I will finish pharmacy school and have the honor of explaining to these people why giving Vicodin prescriptions to alcoholics is a bad idea.
[*No rats were harmed in the making of this rant.]
It's the beauty of Federalism.
You are going to be a pharmacist?
At the very least, I hope the doc is no longer in academia. Medical school is hard enough.
Just be honest and transparent. Patient can then decide if they are okay with it.
“She blogs at her self-titled site, Dr. Jen Gunter.”
I went to her site...VERY enlightening. Her most recent entry argues that Romney/Ryan are not pro-life. One of the reasons? They aren’t in favor of MANDATORY organ donation. Not an opt-out instead of opt-in system, but mandatory. That’s bleeping scary. Not unexpected, but bleeping scary.
Plenty of other rot on the site, too.
Yep, although what kind of pharmacist I'm not yet sure about. (Hopefully a good one.)
So, is Dr. Gunter by trying to keep the young MD from practicing her medical specialty guilty of imposing the same self restricting judgement on the young MD that she is accusing her of doing?
i.e. if you don’t agree with my opinion then I will limit your ability to exercise your opinions.
Wish you the best! Going to include natural stuff as well?
No,no - you misunderstand. Patients making their own decisions is only OK if they make the right decisions. Otherwise, they have to be told what do by Dr Jen and other people who think like her.
Per her subtitle under her name on her blog:
“WIELDING THE LASSO OF TRUTH”
my addition (as she interprets it!)
Got it in one. The authoritarian definition of freedom of conscience: “I am free to exercise my conscience, and you are free to exercise my conscience.”
Wow, Doktor Gunter fires off loaded question after loaded question. And then tries to pass herself off as logical. How can this doktor be credible in any way?
Dr Jen would get along well with Michael Bloomberg and David Kessler.
Nutraceuticals are included in the curriculum. Some are safe and efficacious. Others...not so much.
Doesn’t surprise me at all to find out she’s a Dom. ;^)
Pharmacists are straight shooters, problem solvers, in the ever more evasive, slippery, and remote, world of medicine.