Friday, October 3, 2008

Funnily (is this a word?) enough...

I had a patient who showed up for a new OB visit wanting an abortion. Sad stuff. So I counsel her, explain that we don't do abortions, blah blah blah. I felt like crying. I just find it hard to imagine being in such a difficult position. Anyway, after she left, I was trying to decide what codes to put on her superbill so asked the doctor (one of the ones I like and respect) what he would put. He then proceeds to tell me I should have sent her for an ultrasound. I guess the reasoning being that she would see the baby, and then decide to keep it.

Umm...I didn't say anything to him...yes I am a chickenshit but I am probably the only pro-choice provider in the office. Makes for a wee bit of awkwardness (sp). However, this practice of sending women for ultrasounds to convince them to keep a baby....makes me squeamish...it's hard to put into words. It's just not right for me to do. It seems very unfair and low-handed. So I just said she was already gone and left it at that. I know it's not just him...others in the practice have told me they do this. Crap, I felt like I was sleeping with the enemy!

4 comments:

slh35661 said...

Our job is to help women help themselves. We should be sure they understand the consequences of these decisions and that they may have to deal with things like grief later on. This is information. But to coerce them for our own beliefs is unethical, in my humble opinion. I am pro-life, but I mean that in the sense that I believe life is in and of itself valuable and precious. But I am pro-choice in that I believe these decisions are between the woman, her God or version of whatever higher power she has, and her provider. I feel strongly that life is wonderful and to be cherished, but I feel equally as strong that government needs to stay out of the decision making about a woman's body and her choice to continue a pregnancy or not. I also think well-meaning providers do things like what you are referring to in this post like giving them ultrasounds can be done in the spirit of trying to make sure she understands what she is doing, but at the same time it is manipulative. We walk a fine line doing those things.

Ciarin said...

Very insightful and I agree with your statements!

mitchsmom said...

Plus, she would get an u/s in an abortion clinic anyway, right? Don't they do them to confirm dates before ab's?

How do the MD's justify that for insurance,etc.? Say that it's just a pregnant person & they are confirming dates? Sounds kinda like fraud to me, ordering procedures without true cause!

Jen said...

That's a horrible thing for that MD to suggest. What an ass. If he doesn't want to do terminations that's fine, but it is WRONG to try and put your beliefs on someone else. Jerk.

And yes, they do do ultrasounds at planned parenthood etc for dating, but we always ask the patient if they want to look or not, and we RESPECT that!