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  • Doctors' beliefs can hinder patient care

    By Sabrina Rubin Erdely

    Updated: 11:26 a.m. PT June 22, 2007:

    Lori Boyer couldn't stop trembling as she sat on the examining table, hugging her hospital gown around her. Her mind was reeling. She'd been raped hours earlier by a man she knew — a man who had assured Boyer, 35, that he only wanted to hang out at his place and talk. Instead, he had thrown her onto his bed and assaulted her. "I'm done with you," he'd tonelessly told her afterward. Boyer had grabbed her clothes and dashed for her car in the freezing predawn darkness. Yet she'd had the clarity to drive straight to the nearest emergency room — Good Samaritan Hospital in Lebanon, Pennsylvania — to ask for a rape kit and talk to a sexual assault counselor. Bruised and in pain, she grimaced through the pelvic exam. Now, as Boyer watched Martin Gish, M.D., jot some final notes into her chart, she thought of something the rape counselor had mentioned earlier.

    "I'll need the morning-after pill," she told him.

    Dr. Gish looked up. He was a trim, middle-aged man with graying hair and, Boyer thought, an aloof manner. "No," Boyer says he replied abruptly. "I can't do that." He turned back to his writing.

    Boyer stared in disbelief. No? She tried vainly to hold back tears as she reasoned with the doctor: She was midcycle, putting her in danger of getting pregnant. Emergency contraception is most effective within a short time frame, ideally 72 hours. If he wasn't willing to write an EC prescription, she'd be glad to see a different doctor. Dr. Gish simply shook his head. "It's against my religion," he said, according to Boyer. (When contacted, the doctor declined to comment for this article.)

    Boyer left the emergency room empty-handed. "I was so vulnerable," she says. "I felt victimized all over again. First the rape, and then the doctor making me feel powerless." Later that day, her rape counselor found Boyer a physician who would prescribe her EC. But Boyer remained haunted by the ER doctor's refusal — so profoundly, she hasn't been to see a gynecologist in the two and a half years since. "I haven't gotten the nerve up to go, for fear of being judged again," she says.

    Doctors refusing treatment

    Even under less dire circumstances than Boyer's, it's not always easy talking to your doctor about sex. Whether you're asking about birth control, STDs or infertility, these discussions can be tinged with self-consciousness, even embarrassment. Now imagine those same conversations, but supercharged by the anxiety that your doctor might respond with moral condemnation — and actually refuse your requests.

    Doctors' beliefs can hinder patient care
    It seems as if one fails to conceive
    The meaning my name strives to achieve

    To a biological form you cannot relate-
    Because a reproductive cell is a gamete not gamate!

    It means to unite, -to become consolidated
    So without me in a.com, is there hope we'd be amalgamated?


  • #2
    Continued...

    That's exactly what's happening in medical offices and hospitals around the country: Catholic and conservative Christian health care providers are denying women a range of standard, legal medical care. Planned Parenthood M.D.s report patients coming to them because other gynecologists would not dole out birth control prescriptions or abortion referrals. Infertility clinics have turned away lesbians and unmarried women; anesthesiologists and obstetricians are refusing to do sterilizations; Catholic hospitals have delayed ending doomed pregnancies because abortions are only allowed to save the life of the mother. In a survey published this year in The New England Journal of Medicine, 63 percent of doctors said it is acceptable to tell patients they have moral objections to treatments, and 18 percent felt no obligation to refer patients elsewhere. And in a recent SELF.com poll, nearly 1 in 20 respondents said their doctors had refused to treat them for moral, ethical or religious reasons. "It's obscene," says Jamie D. Brooks, a former staff attorney for the National Health Law Program who continues to work on projects with the Los Angeles advocacy group. "Doctors swear an oath to serve their patients. But instead, they are allowing their religious beliefs to compromise patient care. And too often, the victims of this practice are women."

    Compared with the highly publicized issue of pharmacists who refuse to dispense birth control and emergency contraception, physician refusals are a little-discussed topic. Patients denied treatment rarely complain — the situation tends to feel so humiliatingly personal. And when patients do make noise, the case is usually resolved quietly. "The whole situation was traumatizing and embarrassing, and I just wanted to put it behind me," Boyer says. She came forward only after a local newspaper reported an almost identical story: In July 2006, retail clerk Tara Harnish visited the same ER after being sexually assaulted by a stranger, was examined by the same Dr. Gish — and when her mother called Dr. Gish's office the next day to get EC for Harnish, she was refused. "Then I knew it wasn't just me, that this was a larger problem and it could happen to anybody," Boyer says.

    Harnish, 21, was shocked by the way the doctor treated her. "He seemed more concerned with saving the (potential) pregnancy than he was with my health," she says. "He turned me away when I needed medical help. That's not what a doctor is supposed to do." Harnish was too shaken by her rape to pursue the matter; her mother called Harnish's gynecologist for a prescription. Then she called the newspaper. Despite the attention the story attracted, Dr. Gish continues to work at Good Samaritan Hospital. Spokesman Bill Carpenter will only say that "the issue has been resolved internally, and we're going to move forward."

    ...
    It seems as if one fails to conceive
    The meaning my name strives to achieve

    To a biological form you cannot relate-
    Because a reproductive cell is a gamete not gamate!

    It means to unite, -to become consolidated
    So without me in a.com, is there hope we'd be amalgamated?

    Comment


    • #3
      That's exactly what's happening in medical offices and hospitals around the country: Catholic and conservative Christian health care providers are denying women a range of standard, legal medical care.
      phew! glad they didn't say it was Muslims that were doing that... Giving Plan B isn't a transgression against Islam-


      or, at least i dont think...

      let me get back to y'all on that-
      It seems as if one fails to conceive
      The meaning my name strives to achieve

      To a biological form you cannot relate-
      Because a reproductive cell is a gamete not gamate!

      It means to unite, -to become consolidated
      So without me in a.com, is there hope we'd be amalgamated?

      Comment


      • #4
        Depending on the mathhab you follow, most say it's haram to do abortion 40 days after copulation. Taking Plan B (or any abortion pill) a day or two after it is not haram.

        If one follows Imam Al Ghazali, he disaproves of abortion even one day after copulation.
        It seems as if one fails to conceive
        The meaning my name strives to achieve

        To a biological form you cannot relate-
        Because a reproductive cell is a gamete not gamate!

        It means to unite, -to become consolidated
        So without me in a.com, is there hope we'd be amalgamated?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by amalgamate View Post
          phew! glad they didn't say it was Muslims that were doing that... Giving Plan B isn't a transgression against Islam-


          or, at least i dont think...

          let me get back to y'all on that-
          A Muslim doctor WOULDN'T do that... cuz if he or she wanted to impose his or her beliefs on the patients, then they should just go and practice in a country where their beliefs are law.

          This is illegal - these doctors should be in trouble.

          Depending on the mathhab you follow, most say it's haram to do abortion 40 days after copulation. Taking Plan B (or any abortion pill) a day or two after it is not haram.

          If one follows Imam Al Ghazali, he disaproves of abortion even one day after copulation.
          In the math'hab that I follow, it's only haram after the baby has a soul - I mean, if it's still early and the baby is just a few cells then can you call that a baby? No... but if it has all it's vital organs and it's body is human-like, then that's haram... cuz then it's murder. Four months is the limit.

          Even then, I've heard of some cases where it was either keep the baby and the mother dies, or an abortion and save the mother.

          Comment


          • #6
            In the math'hab that I follow, it's only haram after the baby has a soul - I mean, if it's still early and the baby is just a few cells then can you call that a baby? No... but if it has all it's vital organs and it's body is human-like, then that's haram... cuz then it's murder. Four months is the limit.
            the time when the soul is breathed into the fetus is on the 40th day. That's the day it is determined by Allah weather the baby will be a boy or girl, poor or ritch, happy in this life or sad.

            The 'four months' issue comes from a weak hadith- not a math-hab. The majority of mathahib have come to conclude, from various ahadeeth, that after 40 days it is haram to do abortion.
            It seems as if one fails to conceive
            The meaning my name strives to achieve

            To a biological form you cannot relate-
            Because a reproductive cell is a gamete not gamate!

            It means to unite, -to become consolidated
            So without me in a.com, is there hope we'd be amalgamated?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by amalgamate View Post
              the time when the soul is breathed into the fetus is on the 40th day. That's the day it is determined by Allah weather the baby will be a boy or girl, poor or ritch, happy in this life or sad.

              The 'four months' issue comes from a weak hadith- not a math-hab. The majority of mathahib have come to conclude, from various ahadeeth, that after 40 days it is haram to do abortion.
              The four months issue comes from the former Mufti of Syria (Allah yirhamo)... al weak hadith al

              Comment


              • #8
                I'm saying that the 'four month' issue is not a whole math-hab in itself. it's just a hadith- just like the hadith that speaks about the '40 days'. mathahib base their judgement upon these hadith and i was told that the '4 months' one is weak.

                Sheikh Ahmad Kuftaro i'm sure mentioned the hadith and spoke of the abortion issue. It is a greatly studdied issue. But it's hard to believe that he approved and allowed abortion at four months.

                Just look at the detailed growth of the fetus:



                "16 weeks (4 months) - ...eyebrows, eyelashes and fine hair appear. The child can grasp with his hands, kick, or even somersault. "

                Abortion Methods

                Just understanding the process of abortion at 4 months, it's definitely 'murder', and so yes the Mufti has discussed it but i'm sure didn't verbally approve of it as an applicable hadith.
                It seems as if one fails to conceive
                The meaning my name strives to achieve

                To a biological form you cannot relate-
                Because a reproductive cell is a gamete not gamate!

                It means to unite, -to become consolidated
                So without me in a.com, is there hope we'd be amalgamated?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Okay, I'll ask my dad... he's the one who did the abortion.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    okay...i asked my pops and this is what he said:

                    first of all, the lady that got that late abortion (5 months) asked the mufti if she could get an abortion cuz the baby was extremely deformed and had little chance of surviving outside the womb.

                    then my dad asked the mufti when is the latest a woman can have an abortion and he said three months - then my dad said that the baby's heart is beating by then. Then the sheikh didn't have an answer....

                    so, um... do whatever you conscience allows you to, i guess

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      girl... that's what you DON'T rely on. 'do whatever your consience allows..." you rely on the shari3a.

                      There are a few factors that are involved here in this 'abortion'.

                      1.) baby severely deformed
                      2.) lady is 5 months preg.
                      3.) yo Bob got word that 3 months is the max
                      4.) 'baby's heart is beating by then'


                      First of all, from what i've read abt the topic, a baby's heart starts beating at 2 months, or near the end of the first month.

                      Secondly, the fact that the baby is 'severely deformed' could be an exception to the '4 month' limit. But i'm not saying it is. This basically puts the individual in a difficult situation.

                      Thirdly, all in all, Islam is known for the 'simplicity of it's doctrine' and it's aim is to ease difficulties. But nevertheless what is law is law. We just have to keep in mind that the choices ppl have to make in their life isn't that all black n white. That's why there are Muftis and scholars qualified to make a fatwas in these trying circumstances.



                      .. wa innallaha a3lam.

                      It seems as if one fails to conceive
                      The meaning my name strives to achieve

                      To a biological form you cannot relate-
                      Because a reproductive cell is a gamete not gamate!

                      It means to unite, -to become consolidated
                      So without me in a.com, is there hope we'd be amalgamated?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        actually, there's a hadith (i don't have it memorized) that says if there's something black and white... and there's like NO answer - trust ur conscience (istafti qalbak) .

                        About when the baby's heart starts beating - pops didn't say that it starts beating at 3 months... he said it's ALREADY beating by then .

                        The baby wasn't just physically deformed - it's organs were too... ya3ni it couldn't survive outside the womb.

                        yeah seriously - even if a mistake was made (islamically) then Allah ain't no cruel tyrant that'll burn u in hell for something u didn't know about... i still stand by the conscience thing (just make sure it ain't haram b4 u do it)

                        Comment

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