Skip to comments.Doctor and patient both say their liberty was violated -PLUS Rita Cosby glad FOX showed her the door
Posted on 08/03/2005 3:36:00 PM PDT by Former Military Chick
A California lesbian who sued her doctors for discrimination after they refused to artificially inseminate her is now fighting both them and the state's largest medical association over whether doctors should have the right to refuse treatment on religious grounds.
The California Medical Association has taken the position that, in addition to being able to choose which procedures they perform, doctors should in some situations be able to choose whom they treat.
A trial court judge ruled in 2003 that the doctors attending to Guadalupe Benitez of Oceanside could claim a religious exemption from performing the procedure on her and that decision is now on appeal before a San Diego appellate court.
A group of gay and minority rights organizations say in a court filing that siding with the 30,000-member medical association would pave the way for widespread discrimination under the guise of religion.
"If the position that's being promoted by the California Medical Association and the physicians in the case carries the day, then we've blown a hole in civil rights protections in the state of California," said Joel Ginsberg, executive director of the San Francisco-based Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, one of the 16 groups that filed a brief in Benitez's case.
Ginsberg offered the hypothetical examples of an Orthodox Jewish restaurant owner who refuses to allow men and women to sit together or a Muslim shop owner barring women who do not wear head coverings.
The medical association, which filed a friend-of-the-court brief in May, softened its stance when its leaders learned last week that a doctor in the case had said under oath that she would not inseminate "a gay couple," said Peter Warren, the association spokesman.
"We're re-examining (our brief) based on additional facts that came to light," Warren said. "The important thing is for us to make the right decision here and determine whether to be involved in the case."
The association's executive committee will discuss the issue at a meeting Monday in Sacramento, he said.
But Jennifer Pizer, the lawyer for Benitez, said, "Whatever the motive was, whether marital status or sexual orientation, it's an issue of whether religion gives people a free pass to ignore laws that apply to everybody else. Any type of discrimination that today is illegal, it would be open season on any of those because religious freedom deems it not discrimination anymore."
Benitez said her doctor told her and her partner of 11 years during their first visit to the clinic in 1999 that she would not perform a certain type of artificial insemination on Benitez because Benitez is gay.
Benitez said she was speechless at first but the doctor then told her that another physician at North Coast Women's Care Medical Group - the only fertility clinic covered by Benitez's health plan - would perform the insemination when the time came.
"After she said that, I said, 'OK, we're OK. I respect your decision, as long as you're saying another physician will help me.' But obviously that wasn't the case," Benitez said.
Benitez's doctor treated her extensively, but when it came time to inseminate her with a syringe inserted into her uterus, all of the doctors at the clinic refused.
Whether they did that on the grounds of her sexual orientation or marital status is important because the Unruh Act, which protects the civil rights of Californians in business and commercial settings, protects people from discrimination based on sexual orientation but not marital status.
The California Medical Association has argued that the doctor had the right to refuse Benitez treatment because of a religious conviction against unwed parents.
Once the Fourth District Court of Appeal in San Diego rules whether the doctor can make that argument the case will return to Superior Court for trial.
(Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service, http://www.shns.com.)
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Our next SITUATION, from Southern California, pits a doctor against her lesbian patient. Thats after the doctor refused to artificial inseminate the woman, claiming a religious exemption from performing a procedure. Now a gay group is suing the doctor and the states largest medical association for discrimination.
Now, I see why theyre mad. But the bottom line here is, you cant compel a physician perform a procedure he or she is opposed to morally. I just dont see how you can do that. I just dont see how the government can say, you may be opposed to this, but were going to force you to do it. Theres nothing liberal about that. Thats authoritarian.
CROSBY: Give me a break. Whats appalling in this case, Im truly middle of the road. But I think it is shocking, he basically said in depositions laterhe goes back to the fact she wasnt marriedthat was the real reason. But then he said the lesbian issue.
Give me a break. Hes a doctor. If this is what hes supposed to do and what the state is saying he should do
MADDOW: And if were a tonsillectomy and this doctor said Im not going to perform a tonsillectomy on this woman because shes a lesbian. Is that ok?
CARLSON: I would say the doctor has a rightisnt the Left always saying its up to the doctor and the conscious and the conscious of the patient. It ought to be up to the conscious of the dr. Its a sole practioner that could make the decisions.
MADDOW: What if a person is bleeding on a hospital bed? He going to say Im not going to operate because shes a lesbian?
CARLSON: You dont draw the line. If this doctor is not an employee of the government, you cant tell him which job he has to perform and which job he cant?
CROSBY: But this was through her health care process. She was part of this healthcare system.
CARLSON: Well, first of all, she got the procedure done somewhere else, which is not even germane to the principle of it.
MADDOW: The standard historically is that a physician can decide not to do a particular kind of procedure because he or she doesnt want to.
CARLSON: Thats right.
MADDOW: You cant decide which patient youre going to do it on or not. Thats discrimination. Its the same reason I cant walk into a restaurant
MADDOW: If I walk into a restaurant and a person who owns the restaurant says Im not going to serve you a meal because you, Rachel, are gay. That person cant do that, because thats discrimination. Thats why we have the
CROSBY: Maybe they dont like blondes. Give me a break.
CARLSON: In the end you cant force someone to do something hes morally opposed to if he doesnt work for the government.
CROSBY: Then you know what then, dont be a doctor. Also if you are going to be a doctor, have a big sign out saying Ill only take patients who do X. Make it clear.
CARLSON: Make it clear, but it sounds like this physician, who is a woman, did make it clear. Shes still being sued by a group that wants to force her, ram it down her throat. They cannot call themselves liberal. There is nothing liberal about that. Liberalism is allowing people to do what they think is right.
MADDOW: Could a restaurant owner say I will not serve gay people?
CARLSON: Its prohibited by law. I believe that private organizations ought to be able to make their own decisions, however repugnant they are. However much I disagree with them you cant force people to do things.
CROSBY: But this was part of her healthcare plan.
MADDOW: Are you OK with the segregated lunch counter?
CARLSON: Im totally, totally, morally opposed to it!
MADDOW: OK, but you defend the right to do it.
CARLSON: Im not defending the rights in this case. Youre not going to suck me into that.
MADDOW: But what about
CARLSON: Hold on. Let me you asked me a question. Slow t down.
MADDOW: OK, let me clarify when you are done.
CARLSON: Let me answer. I wont be pulled into a false analogy to the civil rights movement, where I sound like Bull Connor (ph). Im stipulating that ahead of time.
Let me just say, again, a doctor should never be compelled to perform a procedure he or she finds morally repugnant. Even if we disagree; even if I disagree, you disagree, you disagree, its a private doctor. You cant force him to do something against his conscience.
MADDOW: Tucker, if that doctor performs inseminations.
MADDOW: And that doctor will perform an insemination on a straight person but not a gay person, is that ok?
CARLSON: If that doctor says, as this doctor did, it is against my religion to do thisand by the way, I dont want to inseminate a single parent, then I say you cant force him. I can say its outrageous. I can say it is wrong, maybe I will say its wrong, but you cant make him.
CROSBY: I say he gets out of the business. I say hes in the wrong profession.
MADDOW: The doctor said in a sworn deposition, I wont do this because the patient is gay. Marital status is a complete red herring and so therefore
CARLSON: Hold on, we dont know its a red herring.
MADDOW: The doctor admitted in a sworn deposition, I did not perform this procedure because the patient is gay.
CARLSON: Well, let me just say, for the record, the California Medical Association is taking the position, this is not a crackpot group of religious extremists, its the California Medical Association, which has fought for gay rights in medicine, is saying the doctor didnt want to do it because she didnt want to inseminate a single mother. Thats their position.
CROSBY: Theyre saying its OK. I also take issue with them.
MADDOW: You cant get out of saying you are right or wrong by saying somebody else says it too.
CARLSON: I think were making progress, but my position remains unchanged. You cant force people to act against their own conscious.
MADDOW: Youre wrong.
I think it is wrong to force them to do that, perhaps I am in the minority on this but a doctor should be allowed to choose who their patients are.
You're right. And I don't miss Sweet Polly Purebred one bit since she left Fox, do you?
This is confusing. Who the heck is "Crosby"? What does this have to do with Rita Cosby?
"This is confusing. Who the heck is "Crosby"? What does this have to do with Rita Cosby?"
Thought the same thing on first pass.
As I have said, why cannot a doctor choose to not care for a patient.
If a patient abuses drugs, doctor shops, the doctor can say adios. If a doctor feels they cannot perform surgery and the patient insists, they go for another opinion.
If a doctor feels that insemination of a lesbian is not something he/she feels comfortable doing than I say bravo. Just like the pharmacists who disagree with providing birth control pills.
If this is their choice than the consequence may be of word of mouth and they lose their business. Doctors are to do know harm. But, these are private folks and should be able to say yay or nay.
I want to run an ad on MSNBC that says you screwed up big when you gave your interpretation of the Supreme Court decision in 2000 about the Florida ballots. MSNBC will not run that ad. If they will deny me the free speech I am entitled to then they need to not be a broadcaster.
I used to like you, but your arguement here is the lamest I have ever seen. It sounds as tho' you took the contrary position just to have someone take the contrary position.
In a million - no, make that a billion - years, that's a term I never would have used to describe the breathless one.
Is that Tucker Carlson? That twerp makes me twinge whenever I see him. The damage that he does to conservatism is just appaling. Richard Mellon Scaife should pay him to get him off of the air.
If a doctor can be forced to artificially inseminate a patient, can he then be forced to do abortions? Very scary situations can evolve from this.
Please read the second part of the interview. Rita Cosby use to do the Big Story on FOX, on the weekends.
Her pro. attitude went south for me when she sucked up to the ma and pa Jackson.
She is now with MSNBC. Good riddance.
Just a clarification there is a show on MSNBC, called the Situation. Cosby was a guest, promoting her new show, and one of the topics and doctor who refused to inseminate a lesbian, and she is now miffed.
Cosby seems to think a doctor cannot refuse care and further thinks the doctor should leave the profession.
She also called herself a middle of the road kind of gal. She thinks MJ was not guilty, give her the hook, she is now MSNBCs problem.
1 All discussion shows involving reporters sitting around pretending to talk to one another are unwatchable and unwatched.
2 The media's downfall can be traced to when they started interviwing each other rather than going out and actually covering the news and real people who do things.
I'm surprised that doctors treat patients who do not have a "release of liability" statement signed.
Yes it does, it is am important subject and Cosby's remarks just pushed me over the edge.
There is no way a doctor should have to do something they feel morally is incorrect. If you do not like him, than let folks know. He is a private provider, who needs this headache.
Jesus said: "And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore, they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder." -from THE BIBLE: Matthew 19:4-6
Didn't really read the post but I hated Crosby on Fox, glad she's gone.
Also, for Rita Cosby, good riddance, and don't let the door hit you in the ever expanding butt on your way out the door.
This is but a little preview of what would happen if, God forbid, HillaryCare ever comes to America.
I also think I'd refuse to inseminate on the basis of the legal difficulties it could cause me opening me up to lawsuit.
I tend to agree. This wasn't an emergency situation where the doctor refused to treat her because she was a lesbian.
This was a purely elective procedure and I think the doctor has every right to refuse to perform such procedure. She's free to go to another doctor.
I really enjoyed your comment and that is something not discussed. They are no longer journalists they are trying to look like they would come over to play a game of cards and while there chit chat about the current news of the day.
The transcript in it's whole can be found here http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8787555/.
It all started with the pharmacists. Once they knew they could get rid of those who won't dispense due to religious grounds the door opened to go after the doctors.
Yes, it is Tucker from Crossfire. Hey I am channel surfing in the summer time.
I can tell Cosby's voice and decided to see what MSNBC was doing with her once I heard her thoughts on the doctor, that she was middle of the road kind of person, I shot an email to FOX saying thank you for showing her the door, not offering her a contract, because she felt she deserved more than FOX was paying her.
Now then, her new show is up against FOX and unless you are Joe or most shows fail on MSNBC, I predict her's will not last the year.
That's a little different- an employer should be free to fire a pharmacist who has religious objections to filling certain prescriptions. However, if the employer is okay with letting their employee opt out of filling scrips for birth control, doing abortions or artificially inseminatin lesbians, that should also be his right.
So am I, the article is about a doctor refusing to inseminate a lesbian and Cosby seems to think the doctor should leave her practice, she does not deserve to practice medicine.
Furthermore, if I were a female, I would not want a reluctant person poking around in this intimate space.
Five will get you ten that one of these liberal females turns around and accuses the poor doctor of rape with an object after forcing him to do the deed.
I was thinking the same thing. If the state can force this then they could force doctors to perform abortion, euthanasia etc.
I thought involuntary servitude was outlawed.
Except for the special case of the Emergency Room (where a pre-condition for working there is that the doc must provide life-saving treatment for whoever walks in), I agree with you. A doc should be allowed to accept, or not accept, whoever he wants, for whatever reason seems important to him.
I would go further, and say I disagree with the "civil rights" laws that demand a business owner not refuse business to people he's rather not serve. If somebody only wants to seat or employ left-handed Lithuanians, that's his business (literally)
I agree. Unless it's a matter of life and death, a doctor should be able to refuse any treatment he doesn't want to perform, and refer the patient to another practice (or invite them to get out the phone book and find one themselves.)
I give it 6 months -- tops.
Remember "The Edge with Paula Zahn" on FOX News circa 2000 ("The Edge" aired at Greta's current time slot)?
Well, I agree. But a lot of pharmacies are owned by the pharmacists and some of the issues were to force them to fill prescriptions. My come back was to have your prescriptions filled somewhere else. Then they got into the "what if it is the only one in 100 miles" discussion.
I'm glad she is gone....now her true liberal loon leanings can come out...she no longer has to hide that she's a bleeding heart liberal...
And the larger question is: while denying anyone access to public facilities based on race (defined by genetics) is unconstitutional, where in that grand document does the right to artificial insemination by a private physician exist, be the recipient gay, straight, or otherwise?
And furthermore, some doctors may adhere to Christian principles that some behaviors are based upon the concept of sin. If we are going to say that gays (defined by behavior) are entitled to artificial insemination, then what other behaviors are we going to ignore and require the procedure to be performed? And doesn't the right of "free exercise" of the doctor's religion, specifically spelled out in the constitution, trump a right to be inseminated, which is a non-existent "right" apparently cut out of whole cloth?
First of all, this is not a tonsillectomy or a lunch being served. The former is just the removal a scrap of diseased tissue and the latter is a reference to the civil rights controversy---about serving people who can't change their skin color, as opposed to lesbians who have free will in regard to their behavior.
However, if the doctor is taking part in a health care racket---er, plan---and he has agreed to take patients according to certain rules, in order (I would think) to obtain certain benefits or advantages in his medical practice, then I'd say he is obliged to stew in the juices he chose for himself---or get out of the Faustian contract.
"A California lesbian who sued her doctors for discrimination after they refused to artificially inseminate her is now fighting both them and the state's largest medical association over whether doctors should have the right to refuse treatment on religious grounds."
Since when has ones sexual orientation qualify for religious discrimination?
Spit the nuts out Rita. We can't understand you.
I agree. Mental illnesses are protected under the ADA. That's what she should be suing under.
Typical leftist tactic, change the parameters of the argument because you're wrong. Maddow would defend lesbianism even if said lesbian had inflamed tonsils. Too funny. Cosby is right. Homosexuals use their "lifestyle" (and I deliberately use that in quotes) as an excuse at every turn.
I predict her show will last a month and a half based on two factors: 1. MSNBC can't program their station worth a damn, and 2. She'll be up against the O'Reilly Factor re-run at 11pm ET. I start channel surfing when FOX News starts breaking news and tells me what I already know.
Generally it's because of non-compliance issues, but I've seen it for other reasons too.
If a Muslim restaurant owner refused to seat women not wearing the hijab, the government of California would bow down and worship him. If an Orthodox Jew refused to seat women and men together, there would be a class action lawsuit and they'd drive him right out of business.
And I quote Ayn Rand in asking "Do you want to be lying on a table at the mercy of a man holding a knife, when you have compelled him against his will to operate on you?"
Frankly, my dear, I decline.
YOU SAY "I would go further, and say I disagree with the "civil rights" laws that demand a business owner not refuse business to people he's rather not serve. If somebody only wants to seat or employ left-handed Lithuanians, that's his business (literally)"
[HEAVY SARCASM ALERT]
OOH you evil evil person. That would require freedom of choice. That would mean that [GASP] government was not allowed to control private businesses. You heretic...What are you anti-government or something? Don't you know that Government just wants to help us.
I have been saying that for 35 years. If a business pays its taxes and has no reliance on public funds, how can a government tell it who it can or cannot serve.
Freedom should mean just that, FREEDOM
Agreed. The physician in question, because of religious conviction, can choose not to perform a procedure. An interesting case to be sure.
The worst are shows like Reliable Sources where the topic is themselves, and they pretend to be sophisticated and to ask penetrating questions about the media. Retch.
You know, it just occurred to me after reading the beginnings of this post - Rita Cosby is missing!! OMG!! /sarcasm
I agree, unless a life-saving procedure is in question.
There is no life threatening situation. There is no obligation to treat.
Physician's turn away patients all the time.