What Do You Think?

    Here we go tap-dancing near a third rail again.  I (almost) always avoid any discussions concerning abortion, mostly because it is so toxic and intractable a conflict that it always descends into moralizing and screaming.  So we ain’t doing that, and this is NOT about abortion, strictly speaking.

    From the welfare sucks at NPR: “Montana voters rejected a measure that would have required medical workers to provide care to infants born prematurely or in rare instances of surviving an attempted abortion or face penalties, according to a call by the Associated Press.”  

    That’s an eye-catcher.

    From the phonies at Fox: “The pro-life legislation acknowledged that an infant born alive after an attempted abortion is a legal person and would have granted them the rights to medical care after birth.”

    Also an eye-catcher.

    Here is the ballot language: “This Act legally protects born-alive infants by imposing criminal penalties on health care providers who do not act to preserve the life of such infants, including infants born during an attempted abortion. A born-alive infant is entitled to medically appropriate care and treatment. A healthcare provider shall take medically appropriate and reasonable actions to preserve the life and health of a born-alive infant. 

    A born-alive infant means an infant who breathes, has a beating heart, or has definite movement of voluntary muscles, after the complete expulsion or extraction from the mother. 

    A health care provider found guilty of failing to take medically appropriate and reasonable actions to preserve a born-alive infant’s life under this Act faces punishment of a fine up to $50,000 or imprisonment up to 20 years, or both.”

    As I have pointed out numerous times, the quaint notion that the public actually trusts physicians has been a fiction for many years, and finally blown to hell by the profession’s awful behavior during COVID.  The public is always willing to punish doctors, as this latest demonstrates.

    Is there any merit to this particular bill?  Abortion is legal in Montana, and this bill would not have threatened, or even addressed that.  The requirement for “medically appropriate care and treatment” is vague and wide enough to drive a luxury tour bus of malpractice lawyers through.  I get why the pro-abortion side would hate this bill, and why the pro-life side would want to use this.  If an abortionist had a living fetus (viable) and let it die, that is indefensible.  If an OB or pediatrician was presented with an anencephalic infant that could not long sustain life, it would be cruel to prolong its suffering (and that of the parents) with so-called heroic measures.  

    Was this bill offered to address a real problem, or to develop another legal wedge that would trap physicians (and patients) in a constricting trap of definitions and threats that leave no room for judgment and compassion?

    The bill was defeated by roughly 52%-47%. 

    I’d really like to hear all of your opinions.  Was this bill a good idea, or a bad one?  Should physicians get reared up about this, or is it simply more tiresome media sensationalizing?  No politics please, but how should clinicians view the ethics and practicalities of this issue/non-issue?


    This content was originally published here.

    Latest articles


    Related articles

    Leave a reply

    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here