Wednesday, November 30, 2005

I read this post on The Well Timed Period and found the logic lacking.

ema, if having an abortion is so much safer than carrying a pregnancy to term, do you counsel your pregnant patients to get abortions? Do you advise them of the 1000% increase in relative risk to which you refer in this post?

BTW, the link you provided for this astonishing statistic is just a statement without any link to real stats to support it. Is this in the US, or do these numbers come primarily from the developing world? What about New Hampshire?

You quoted the New Hampshire Medical Society and asked the question: “Is the standard of care for a patient with a serious health condition to have to wait until her health status becomes near death?” To what “serious health condition” are you referring? How common is this condition in a teenage girl? The law does provide for judicial consent if the girl cannot/will not discuss her pregnancy and medical conditions with her parents.

Your comment “According to New Hampshire legislators…if the patient is female” is a little ridiculous. Why bring gender into a discussion of pregnancy? There is no comparable condition in males. Are you suggesting that the legislators in New Hampshire are such sexists that they would only apply this law to females? Name one medical condition, short of immediate threat to life or limb, where a physician would not be required to obtain consent from a parent for a boy or a girl. As I wrote here, in the ER I can't even give a Tylenol without parental consent.

Besides, this law doesn’t require consent, only notification. Name any surgical procedure other than abortion where a physician is not required to seek parental consent, again, aside from immediate threat to life or limb, for an unemancipated minor.

You state, “And just to be clear, receiving adequate care after an abortion is independentof parental involvement; it’s the standard of care.” Tell me, if you are called to the ER to evaluate a 13 year old girl with a severe post-abortion complication requiring hospitalization or surgery, are you going to proceed without parental consent. I don’t know what state you are in, but in Tennessee, we wouldn’t.

If you saw a 14 year old girl in the ER with abdominal pain and fever, 6 hours after an abortion, with free air on the x-ray, would you take her to the OR without talking to her parents? I doubt it.

I don’t disagree that allowing a minor to consent to carrying a pregnancy to term and not allowing her to consent to an abortion is inconsistent.

You bring up HIPAA. Notifying a parent of treatment of a minor is not a violation of HIPAA, as any physician should know. Aside from your comments regarding a pregnant minor carrying a pregnancy to term, what medical issues would you not discuss with a 13 year old's mother?

How many abortions a year are provided “to protect the health of the mother?” Ignore the fact that if this is her first pregnancy, she isn’t a mother. This argument is always brought up in discussions of abortion. You state, “…until, their health deteriorates to the point where the only options left are treatment or death.” How often does this happen? Again, we’re discussing a generally very healthy patient population. To what conditions are you referring?

Would you take issue with a law that simply stated, "Any physician must seek parental consent prior to providing medical services, other than life/limb saving, to any minor?" This would apply equally to boys and girls.