Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Hot Button

Okay, fair warning. This is a hot button with me. A big one. For many years I took birth control pills for two reasons -- not wanting offspring (because I knew I wasn't going to be the kind of mother any kid would want) and for a medical condition (adenomyosis) which is second cousin to endrometrosis. Never once did I ever worry that my pharmacist or my physician would deny me adequate care. Why do I mention this? Recently Mr. Bush has instituted a last minute change that allows pharmacists, doctors, etal. to refuse to supply medications and treatments if they are contrary to the provider's religious beliefs. This will allow a pharmacist to refuse to honor your prescription for contraceptives, emergency or otherwise, and for doctors and nurses to refuse to assist with medical procedures that they deem unacceptable. Now this problem has been growing for years, but now our departing president has made it nationwide.

I was a nurse for about ten years. I would never have thought of telling a patient I would not treat them because of my religious beliefs. It would be the same as informing an African-American or a Native American that I wouldn't treat them because they weren't white. I've taken care of patients who were physically combative, drunk or high on lord knows what. I've been explosed to countless diseases, including those that could have easily killed me. Part of the job. I knew that going in.

So when did it become "me first, then the patient?" You may be against contraception, abortion, etc. I have no objections about that. Still, your beliefs should not become my problem if I'm trying to have a prescription filled while trying to obtain emergency contraception after rape or to prevent another pregnancy. To be blunt, it's none of your damned business.

If this change had occured a few years back, I might have been the one facing a pharmacist who refused to serve me or, worse yet, confiscate my prescription. He or she would be making the decision that I should get pregnant or continue to suffer from my medical condition. WTH? This has gone overboard.
I respect your beliefs right up to the point when they infringe on my medical care. If you don't honestly feel you can offer full service to your customers or your patients, get the hell out of the business. (I did mention this was a hot button, right?)

Mr. Obama will overturn this, but that can take months before the changes come into effect. In the meantime people will be playing G*d with other folks' lives. Making decisions as to their care that they are not qualified to make. Since I no longer have the equipment needed for this sort of medication I will not see the day when someone refuses me care. It's probably best. It would have gotten way ugly. Years ago,
when I first became a nurse, I would have laughed at anyone who told me this would come to pass. How wrong I was.

Thanks. I needed that.

1 comment:

Pam Wyant said...

It's been 8 years and I'm still asking myself how the hell that guy got elected.....TWICE!!! What an idiot. Thank God Change is Coming!!!