Saturday, May 21, 2005

Yes, But What Do The Manhole Covers Have To Say?

Colorado Governor Bill Owens (R) vetoed legislation last month that would have required all hospitals in his state to adhere to the standard of care for female rape patients:

Colorado Governor Bill Owens (R) vetoed legislation last month that would have required all hospitals in his state to provide rape victims with information about the availability of emergency contraception. Gov. Owens said he objected to the legislation because it would not have provided victims with the "full, balanced and detailed array of information" needed to make a decision about emergency contraception.


What does would not [provide] victims with the "full, balanced and detailed array of information" needed to make a decision about emergency contraception mean?

In addition, he said the bill did not include provisions to protect the right of hospitals with religious affiliation or moral objections to emergency contraception to opt out of the requirement. While the bill offered health care professionals the right to decline to offer emergency contraception, it did not provide that option to institutions, Gov. Owens said. "This bill would violate fundamental constitutional principles by forcing an institution to say things to patients that it explicitly does not believe to be morally or ethically valid," Gov. Owens said in his veto message.


What pertinent fundamental constitutional principles is the Governor referencing?

When it comes to providing medical care, how do institutions say things to patients? [I'd like to think the Gov. doesn't believe buildings talk to people. And, with the exception of torters, everybody understands that medical care isn't rendered by an institution's CEO, board of directors, or whatever other generic institutional representative you can think of.]

If the standard for medical care is belief, what is the point of the FDA, the DHHS, or any other government regulatory agency? Also, will all the Colorado malpractice lawsuit verdicts won by patients be overturned? [Since there's no standard of care, you can't be guilty of malpractice. As long as a physician believes he/she is providing morally or ethically valid care, whatever subpar medical care the patient is receiving should be just fine.]

Last, but not least, when the first hospital, where, for example, Christians and Wiccans are refused treatment because the institution explicitly does not believe treatment of such patients to be morally or ethically valid, opens in Colorado will Gov. Owens be there to cut the ribbon?

I've already asked a lot of questions, but I saved the most important and relevant one for last: What do the many manhole covers, in the parking lots, and streets surrounding the healthcare institutions, have to say to patients? I, for one, should like to know.

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