Thursday, August 31, 2006

Your Body is a Temple

Oh boy, oh boy. Please check out this article from the Washington Post about faith-based clinics. (Click on above title for link.) Their premise is that they do not provide birth control pills or devices, abortions, or fertility treatments since these practices are contrary to their beliefs. So, women who frequent this clinic are taught natural fertility management--which I have absolutely nothing against (I even own a book on it)-- in order to control the size of their families. (Wonder what happens to infertile couples? Guess they just have to adopt. Or is that against god's will, too?)

Sure, these doctors have joined together with the sole purpose of creating a place where women with the same beliefs as theirs will be comfortable and they attempt to make their principles clear. But what about all the other women who seek birth control and are refused? They are not even referred to an outside doctor because that would be encouraging methods that the Christian docs don't support. Yikes! How can the patient's needs be refused by a doctor? By separating themselves from mainstream medicine, are such doctors contributing to the shortage of medical professionals? I suppose they only treat married women, too. Talk about closing one's eyes to reality.

These doctors and their church supporters claim that women going to non-member gynecologists find themselves ridiculed for not wanting to use prescription birth control. I find that hard to swallow. A choice is a choice. My doctor respects my choice to use the method that matches my desires and values, and only feels obligated to discuss statistical data and reported side effects. The final choice remains mine.

Whew, I'm all in a tizzy. I think what irks me most is that such practices are based on religion. One more way we divide ourselves and place only some of us on that higher moral pedestal.

3 Comments:

At August 31, 2006 4:30 PM, Anonymous Anne said...

Found your blog off of the Washington Post article.

I went to this practice for prenatal care and for the delivery of my daughter. I found them because Dr. Bruchalski is one of the leading medical experts on the treatments of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and actually was able to help me conceive naturally. I was very frustrated after seeing a series of OBGYN's that told me the only treament for PCOS was birth control pills, clomid and invitro fertilization. My research told me different -- but none of the doctors I saw was willing to put me on the necessary medication to allow me to conceive naturally.

Whether you agree with their "religion" or not, you can't deny that the people that work in this office are some of the most kind and gentle people in the world. I have never felt more at ease with an OBGYN ever.

Now, to your point about what are infertile couples supposed to do...well certainly they are proponents of adoption. They won't perform invitro, but you're welcome to choose another doctor if you don't agree with that stance. Also, when you call for an initial appointment, they tell you right up front that they don't prescribe birth control, don't perform abortions or invitro fertilization and then they ask if you still want to make an appointment. So, you make your choice up front.

There are thousands of OBGYN's in the DC metro area. It is always your choice as to which doctor you want to see. If you don't agree with their precepts, there are plenty of doctors that will prescribe what and do what you want.

 
At August 31, 2006 4:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also go to this clinic and am very thankful I found it. The clinic is very upfront about its position on contraception or abortion. Why shouldn't I have the choice to go to a practitioner who shares my beliefs about medical ethics?

 
At August 31, 2006 6:33 PM, Blogger katake said...

I suppose I should clarify my position a bit. I live in Canada, though was born and raised in the U.S., so I'm used to socialized medicine but also understand the U.S. system. A medical practice based on religious beliefs here would probably not mesh at all with government-provided health care--where all services are available to all people. Because I believe in this system, I feel that doctors should inform patients of all choices available to them, not only those they support. I also speak from a city where we have a shortage of medical practitioners, so further separation from general availability would limit access here. I honestly don't know if there are doctor shortages there.
*I appreciate the cool-headed responses that were written here, since this is certainly a contentious issue.

 

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