Sunday, December 21, 2008

Bush is still president???

In a giant middle finger to the country as he is about to waltz out of off, President W. Bush and his administration has enacted some rules for healthcare providers via the Department of Health and Human Services. 

Very little about the Bush administration could surprise me anymore, but I was completely disheartened when -- despite the written opposition from more than 200,000 Americans, 150 members of Congress, a bipartisan coalition of governors and attorneys general, the American Medical Association, and women's health organizations like Planned Parenthood -- the Department of Health and Human Services issued a last minute regulation that will undermine health care access at nearly 600,000 pharmacies, clinics, and hospitals across the country.

This sort of "take the drapes on your way out" approach is the final chapter of an administration that has prized political ideology over health care for their entire eight years -- and the rule issued yesterday, with little more than 30 days left in office, is the ultimate holiday gift to the extreme right.

Under this new rule, doctors and health care workers of all kinds can deny patients vital health care information and services, without the patient even knowing. No patient is exempt from the reach of this rule: sexual assault victims could be denied information about emergency contraception that could prevent unintended pregnancy, moms hoping to time their pregnancies can be denied contraception at their local pharmacy, young adults hoping to be tested for sexually transmitted infections could be denied treatment by health care employees who oppose premarital sex.

In short, this rule is likely to create total chaos in an already stressed health care system, and for low-income women and families, this rule may spell the end of the few available health care options. Essentially, any patient that utilizes health care at a provider that receives any federal funds will be subject to the luck of the draw in terms of what kinds of reproductive health care they are offered. This might seem far-fetched, until you realize that groups like Pharmacists for Life have campaigned nationally to have pharmacies refuse to provide women birth control prescribed by their physician.

This seems to be what the new rules are saying: that if you are a health care provider and do not believe in something, you are not ethically required to offer it. Birth control and abortion tend to be the big two that people are mentioning, but my question includes questions like PEP or STD treatment... etc. etc. etc.

I thought I was being taught that we don't place our personal judgments on our patients when we enter the healthcare field...

...but apparently a few people skipped class that day.

Planned Parenthood has a petition up to ask Pres-elect Obama to reverse these rules. I signed it -- will you?


Unknown said...

This legislation is just sickening. Thanks for sharing it. Now I'm off to share what you shared. Wow.

Not Important said...

Signed it.

This would also extend to stuff like this.