Arizona Senate votes to let anti-abortion docs lie to pregnant women

The Arizona Senate has passed a bill that immunizes doctors from malpractice suits if they deliberately withhold information about prenatal problems because they don't want the woman carrying the fetus to consider an abortion. (Thanks, Nodeg!)


      1. Buncha damn troglodytes. 

        When is an effective presidential candidate EVER going to have a plank in his or her (her, I guess) campaign that explicitly states, “I will strictly enforce our brilliant founding ideal of the separation of church and state”?

        1. Unfortunately we are not headed TOWARDS a president taking that sort of stand.  We are headed almost directly away from it.

          Be afraid.  And angry.  Seems to work for conservatives.

  1. So doctors can make decisions on behalf of the patients without their consent? Nice job creationists…

    1. No!  That isn’t true.  You’ve got it all wrong.  Almost like you are confusing “women” with “people” instead of second class citizens.  

    2. “Under the bill, physicians could still be held liable for withholding prenatal information, but mere mistakes, such as failing to perform tests or detect birth defects, would not necessarily make a physician liable for the future care of that child.”

      People can always lie, I guess. But the language “still be held liable for withholding prenatal information” suggests if doctors deliberately do it, they’re, in fact, not immunized from malpractice suits. But as I said, people can always lie.

    1. Except for all those politicians who are either members of neo-Nazi groups, affiliated with neo-Nazi front groups, or have other close ties to neo-Nazis. Who do you think pushed that damn anti-immigrant law through?

      And this.

      And the fact it’s going to run out of water as the climate changes.

      1. Nazis actually would have euthanized anyone with mental or physical deformities as they were all about creating a “superior race.” So their plan would have been the opposite of the Arizona one (going straight to abortion-without-consent rather than forcing a less-than-ideal child on unsuspecting parents).

        Ergo, this has nothing to do with Nazis. It’s pure pro-life politics shoved down pro-choice throats, which, while repulsive in its own way, is not what Nazis would have done.

        1. Maybe not. But they were not known for consistency. And even if neo-Nazis weren’t behind this vote, they *are* way too influential, and they *were* behind the anti-immigrant bill, and through front groups like AmRen, they *are* behind similar anti-immigrant bills elsewhere.

        2. I think Marja Erwin is speaking from experience of Arizona politicians. Many are nazi’s or willing to swap spit or press the flesh with Nazi’s. Think the biggest little dictator in America, sherif Joe. He can’t be voted out he can’t be brought to justice by any DA, he doesn’t care if he’s seen hanging out with Nazi’s. It’s good for the kind of image he’s developed.

          Homegrown American Nazi’s aren’t like your German Nazi’s. American Nazi’s are infected with a backwoods strain of barley literate but literalist christianity. It’s their klan legacy and their “Christian identity”. They are pretty solidly anti-choice, especially for gentiles (a biblical word).

          1. ” backwoods strain of barley literate”

            That’s the funniest typo I seen all month.  Kudos.

        3. It’s okay not to know things, but one should not rub it in. 
          “Lebensborn”.  Look it up. 
          Taking control of reproductive rights is exactly what the nazis did, so you don’t really have to speculate what they would have done. 
          Increasing population by suppressing the already illegal abortions.  Standard procedure was to put unwed girls and women into mandatory maternity homes until shortly after giving birth. 
          The children would grow up in special orphanages to be raised under extreme indoctrination or given to “arian” families to be raised as Herrenmenschen. 
          Also, children of German soldiers with foreign women deemed “arian” (blonde, blue eyed) were taken to be raised German. 
          “Dem Fuehrer ein Kind”. 

          While you may be right that nazis would have mandated the abortion of  the “unfit”, “Ergo, this has nothing to do with Nazis.” seems like a silly thing to say.

          1. donniebnyc 
            Thanks, sometimes I mix up my first, second and third languages. 
            I’m not an expert, just paying attention.

  2. They may be sheltered from lawsuits, but I suspect that any given state medical licensing board would yank their privileges for ethics violations.

    Technically, I don’t think very many states have laws against sleeping with patients- But I’m sure there are former doctors who weren’t successful in convincing the board that legal=okay.

    1.  So, what you’re saying :sound of writing: is the next step should be infiltration and corruption of the Arizona state medical licensing boards with anti-abortion advocates. Thank you.

      1.  Easier said than done- Unlike a school board or zoning board which has locally elected or appointed members, medical boards are generally made up of  around 2/3 or 3/4 actual doctors. 

        There are not very many medical doctors who are that strongly pro-life.  Not that they don’t exist, it’s just that it’s a hard position to take when you have the specialized training to really understand things like ectopic pregnancies, translocated chromosomes, trisomy, anancephaly, hydranencephaly, acephaly, octocephaly, Tay-Sachs….

        1. Gah!  I just had a flashback to the horrible nightmares I had while pregnant after reading about a few of those (mostly fatal) abnormalities you just listed.

  3. Next these servants who have fashioned themselves as tiny lords will want to live in tiny castles and shout into the fields, “Work! And when you’re not working fuck without contraception!” Because they want a sea of humans to float their political yachts upon while doing no labor themselves and instead bask lazily in sunbeams like kept whores.

  4. If this becomes law, I guess women will have to leave the state to get proper, truthful, medical care.

    How can anyone have any dealings with a doctor that you know is prepared to lie to you to further their own interests over and above yours?

  5. At this point I think states are having  a competition to see how far back they can set us as a civilization, and how fast they can do it.

    The worst part is the Democrats are only slightly better than this, but if we vote against them we get stuff like this from Republicans.

  6. I’ve been asleep for 20 years.

    Could someone please explain why in 2012 elected officials are proposing (and sometimes passing) so much legislation against women’s rights?

    Secondly, if you consider yourself a) a woman and b) conservative, why you would vote for a Republican in 2012?

    I just don’t understand.

    I realize the Republican party, overall, does not believe in evolution, but this past year has been ridiculous if you are a sane person, male or female.

    1. Mostly because liberals stayed home during the 2010 election after Obama failed to make everything perfect during his first year in office.  This let the tea party sweep the elections, packing local and state offices with batshit crazy people who were handing out mimeographed pamphlets about the UN, black helicopters, and fluoridation a few months previously.

      1.  I LOVE mimeograph.    That’s the stuff that was so warm after coming off the presses and had a moistness to it?    Before Xerox copies and all?

        I used to press them to my face every pop quiz and exam.  It felt so good…..almost as good as the warm fuzzies.    The scent was just as enjoyable I can almost sense it now.


        1. You may be thinking of spirit duplicators. Our French teacher, Mister Hischfeld, used to use one a lot. The ink was violet and the paper reeked of alcohol. Ah, them were the days!

          1. They told a generation of us that those were mimeographs. I only learned last year that I’d been mistaken all this time.

            <homer>Stoopid falsified memories!</homer>

          2. At my school, way back in the late 70s, I recall the duplicated papers themselves being called mimeographs or dittoes depending on the teacher, but I don’t recall any reference to the machine’s monicker. What I do remember is the mesmerizing nature of that machine, which along with the smell, probably accounted for the many times I got myself sent “to the office”.

      2. Could someone please explain why in 2012 elected officials are proposing (and sometimes passing) so much legislation against women’s rights?

        Because in 2012, the U.S. has some elections coming up, including The Big One. And so, Republicans are once again firing up their base with all sorts of social issues so the base will be mad enough at Democrats to go out and vote against them.

        Also, a few Republican politicians actually believe all that Scary Old White Guy in the Sky crap.

    2. I’d suggest it’s because the GOP has *absolutely nothing to offer* by way of solutions to the country’s economic problems, so it’s passing socially regressive legislation as a way of holding onto its wacko-conservative base.  (Look at the anti-immigrant laws that have also been passed in Arizona.)  In this sense I think Limbaugh’s flame-out over Sandra Fluke was no “fluke” at all in relation to GOP agendas: when you’re totally running on empty, shore up that base — by any means necessary.  In relation to that goal, individual rights, for the Republicans, are quite expendable.

      1. I remember reading somewhere that there really isn’t much left for the conservatives to do. They got their wishes, all the important issues on their agenda have been realized to an extent that even Democrats are actually conservatives. 

        All that’s left for them now, is make a lot of noise about shit that really isn’t really conservative but radical.  And real conservatives should feel threatened by this. Cuz you can’t have a small state with limited power and yet empower the state over a woman’s womb. That’s a contradiction. The GOP associated themselves with pro-lifers because the voter-base came in handy at the time. But  if you sleep with dogs, you wake up with fleas. The GOP is pushing radical issues which are basically large state solutions and as such may ultimately destroy what traditional conservatives hold dear.

    3. I also was asleep and have a question:

      Why is it, when men refer to restricting women’s contraception, women don’t immediately mention Viagra?  I’ve heard it brought up a couple times.  But not nearly enough.  Whenever men talk about all the “slutty” women demanding health insurance pay for their sexual needs, women should mention the “horndog” leches (many of them US congressmen) who demand health insurance pay for their sexual needs.

      1. The viagra thing and the fact that contraception is used by women for a whole bunch of other health reasons beyond just preventing pregnancy are very quick, easy responses that instantly expose the hypocrisy and stupidity of the opponents’ arguments. Unfortunately, I think the problem is more that the opposition and their supporters can’t be reasoned with. They KNOW their “I shouldn’t pay for women to have sex” argument is hypocritical bullshit, and what they really mean is “I fear and hate women and will do anything I can to harass them”. There’s no swaying that kind of irrational, primitive hatred with logic, and since the only people who support this shit are in that mindset, they’re not budging. There are no minds to be changed here, it’s simply a question of whether there are more rational, sane people or moronic cavemen.

      2. Why is it, when men refer to restricting women’s contraception, women don’t immediately mention Viagra?

        That’s exactly what happened when Bill O’Reilly went on “The View” earlier today. He responded with something along the lines of “because ED is a recognized medical condition” then hemmed and hawed about how he wasn’t a doctor.

          1. Yes, but birth control pills are also used as contraceptives. I’m not saying I consider this a justification for withholding birth control pills from women, but I’ve already had arguments about this with people who’ve said, “Then women need to find an another way to deal with their other medical conditions.” Or they’ve argued that birth control pills should only be prescribed when they’re treating a condition like PCOS.

            Personally I think women should have access to birth control without being asked why they want it, but, for the sake of consistency, if they have to explain why they’re asking for it then I think every time a man asks his doctor for a Viagra or Cialis prescription he should have to prove he needs it to get his wife pregnant, and not solely for recreational purposes.

    4.  Because liberals have the capacity to ask themselves: “Is it possible I’m mistaken?”  In politics skepticism and self-awareness are huge disadvantages as it turns out.

    5. Who ever said that women couldn’t be raised/conditioned/tempted into having an insatiable need to control and suppress other women? After all, they need to be able to justify their own existence to themselves (and their men), too.
      At least two of the most highly esteemed pieces of teaching texts (read: rule books) for women in ancient China were written by women. Said texts pretty much went into every aspect of life and gave instructions on how women should make sure to keep themselves as insignificant as, say, a piece of cloth. I mean, the Bible treated women like cattle, but at least a cow is a living mammal.

  7. Most of you aren’t reading the entire thing:

    ~If the bill becomes law, Arizona would join nine states barring both “wrongful life” and “wrongful birth” lawsuits.~

    Really, parents sue because they believe their baby shouldn’t have been born?

    But then again, a doctor can’t successfully diagnose a child in-utero, then say: “A fetus has rights but we don’t have  to tell a fetus via it’s mother that it’s sick.”

     See where I’m going with this? How is a doctor going to exam the child without the mother’s knowledge. In some situations, the mother has to have medical tests that require surgical punctures, such as an amniocentesis along with other  exams performed on her person to confirm certain diagnoses. Is the state saying they can tell a mother they are examining  for this or drawing blood and ordering tests for that, all the while keeping her in the dark  the entire time?

    Setting that scenario aside, which the mother would have to be informed about, because she’ll have to pay the bill and see what the charges are for, this leaves conditions that can be viewed visually or by running common tests. Only then might the doctor not say anything. Worse, the “babies doctor” may withhold certain tests results? 

    Now, lets set that all aside. Here is the REAL problem:

    “that could lead to the decision to have an abortion.”

    How the fuck do they arrive at that? How do they come to that assumption. How, How, How? “Oh, she’s rich and famous, so we can tell her.” Or “No, this girl is a young, black, single, living on her own, working full time and going to school. We won’t tell her.”

    Fetal Profiling.

    My head is spinning.

    1. Really, parents sue because they believe their baby shouldn’t have been born?

      If you feel like perusing some dark things that cannot be unseen just spend a few minutes googling “horrible birth defects.” Then imagine one of those doomed babies was yours and your doctor deliberately didn’t warn you beforehand. In the very least it shouldn’t be too hard to imagine why some parents might consider such a lawsuit.

      1. I agree. My point exactly. I didn’t want my comment to fall into the TLDNR bucket. 

        There must be a list? A list of disease/disorders the doctor will or won’t address? Why would a doctor want that power? It’s up to the parent. 

        Here’s the other issue. Just don’t  tell his  patient she’s pregnant? Where does it end? 

        1. You know that up until the 1970s it was standard procedure to tell cancer patients that they didn’t have cancer and to tell terminally ill patients that they were going to recover? This is just retro medicine.

    2. Kinda doesn’t matter. This is doctors being allowed to lie to their patients by state law, which violates human rights, which violates federal law, which makes this bill a massive, MASSIVE waste of time and money. These assholes know it’s not going to pass, they just want to pound their chests and ROAR like the mighty douches they are. On that note, I’m moving to Norway.

    3. Given how much medical care costs in the US, I don’t find it at all difficult to believe that there are many, many families that simply could not withstand the financial impact of bringing a severely disabled child into the world. And what about the lives of such a family’s other, already born children in that scenario? But of course anti-abortion types don’t really give a toss about ‘life’ once it’s outside the womb…

      1. I agree. But the bill separates pregnancies into classes. What about the morning after pill? What about patients going directly to an abortion clinic?

        The ONLY way this will work, is for a doctor with this belief system to divulge it to his patients. Bar None. I believe doctors should have convictions, there’s many faith based hospitals. If they lose patients and money due to their beliefs, that’s the cost they must pay.

    4. You should read the story about the woman who had to watch her baby die, unable to breathe, because she could not have had it aborted. Yes. So much more humane. It’s so much better to watch the child you wanted to have die slowly in terror and pain. How loving of you to wish that on people. 

      1. Bringing up both sides of the argument doesn’t mean I support the side you’re most passionate about, It’s responsible dialog. Please read my entire post, I’m only quoting the new bill, so you’re for it? 

        1. I apologize for my poor use of the second person in English there. No, I’m not for it. I’m for unquestioned abortion access and the right to sue over withheld information. Some women actually chose to deliver children with extreme disabilities, and that is absolutely fine so long as it is a choice. Not everything is so obvious, especially when you have the backdrop of expecting parents. It’s actually probably pretty easy to lead people to believe something they’d rather believe such as “this test doesn’t likely indicate what it might seem to” and so forth. I say probably there. I know damned well it is easy to mislead people this way.

    5. What if a doctor could predict a condition that could kill the mother, and said nothing? Does the father not have a right to sue if he is left without most or all of his family?

  8. Government should be just small enough to insert in a woman’s vagina and just large enough to come between her and her doctor.

    1. & to kill a couple hundred thousand brown people & spend a couple trillion dollars every couple of years.  But I’m getting off topic.

  9. May I rescind my Arizona residence now?

    Seriously, there has been a move afoot in Tucson to get us the hell out of Arizona. 

    1. I’ve been wondering for quite awhile now how anyone with progressive/left values can abide with abiding in that state.

      But then I realize it’s not all that different in that sense, really, from abiding in Fortress America itself.

      1. Or living in Austin, which as far as I can tell is a separate landlocked state inside Texas.

  10. Great. So every pregnant woman in Arizona has to go out of state to learn whether or not her child actually has a birth defect. Or spend a lot of time going, “REALLY? Are you SURE my baby doesn’t have anything wrong? Really? Are you LYING to me? I won’t get an abortion but tell me the truth.” If I was an OB provider, I’d be royally pissed off right now. 

    1. Actually, the immunity from prosecution isn’t the same as ordering doctors to lie to their patients. What will happen is women who want accurate medical advice will go to physicians who are honest and compassionate and don’t have an agenda. This is a non-issue.

      1. What will happen is women who want accurate medical advice will go to physicians who are honest and compassionate and don’t have an agenda. This is a non-issue.

        And that’ll get figured out after the first couple thousand women find out the hard way. If you think that’s a non-issue, somebody obviously missed something on a scan somewhere.

        1. Exactly. Doctors are now arguing they don’t have to divulge their convicitons because they will lose patients. There needs to be a new Patients Bill of Rights, to include they have a right to know if a doctor/facility doesn’t cover a service paid for by the patients carrier, ANY service. 

      2. Yes, because the first thing that happens upon conception is that the pregnant woman gains the ability to read minds, and is thus able to tell just by meeting a doctor whether or not he/she has an agenda. Sure. Also, agenda-less doctors are available on every street corner, insurance never mandates that you go to a particular medical facility, and– look! Puppies and rainbows!

  11. Arizonans have to everything they can to support secession.   Then after a democratic vote, they can rise up, exterminate the republicans and declare the new republic.

  12. Next up… Doctors will be required to tell pregnant women that they have inoperable tumors.

    “But you said it was an inoperable tumor LAST time, doctor.”
    “Well, I THOUGHT it was. It just turned out to be a baby. Or maybe God turned it into a baby — some kind of miracle. But I’m afraid it really is an inoperable tumor this time.  You’re going to die.”

    And until the new system is learned on a society-wide basis, anyone who makes the standard conversation with pregnant women — “congratulations,” “when are you due,” etc. — will be grabbed off the street, thrown into the back of a van and driven off for debriefing.

  13. Part of all this is probably a concrete manifestation of Future Shock. As it grows increasingly obvious that we live in ludicrously fast-changing times, wherein it is extremely difficult to gauge what life will be like in even a few years, a growing number of people will cling to a past that no longer is, and feels “secure,” even if it flies in the face of rationality. Of course there’s actually no hope of regressing society at large — these people are fighting a losing battle. I say we let them have water-deprived Arizona, and the Midwest, etc. and the rest of us can “peer in” from time to time, as if these strange places called “Middle America” and “The South” are the anachronistic reservations described in Brave New World.

    1. I really hope this is true, and that all this absolute backwards insanity is just the result of insecure, cowardly, ancient fossils who are scared of all these newfangled “civil rights” and “computers”. If all it takes for the country to regain some semblance of rationality is for a few hundred thousand old people to kick the bucket, then the future could be pretty bright. I really have a hard time imagining anyone my age or younger (~30 years old) who would support all this shit.

      1.  What I don’t get is that your country was founded on its peoples rights; fleeing oppression from European governments.

        It’s funny isn’t it, that it was all for nothing.

    2. No, we should NOT abandon so called “flyover country” to these Luddites. If you give them an unassailable place to dwell, these bullies will just use it as a springboard to invade elsewhere. To paraphrase LOTR, “[said bullies] have the will to dominate all life.” Their sense of righteousness does not respect bounds or borders.

      You should re-read “Brave New World”. The Alphas, for all their prodigious technology, were not all that advanced. There was still classism, elitism, and sexual violence against women. Likewise the reservationist were not that primitive. They knew history, how to make things, how to remember them. An important thing to remember is that no grouping of people is homogeneous. There are always good actors and bad actors

    3. Hey….many of us live in the Midwest and like it.  Besides, where do you think most of your food comes from?

  14. AZ gets more christian extremist every day.
    When will they begin to line up and shoot those who won’t bend the knee?

  15. I’s not like this shit is new.

    If the bill becomes law, Arizona would join nine states barring both “wrongful life” and “wrongful birth” lawsuits.

    NINE states.  Arizona would make 10.  So at least we’re not the 1st?

    1. Too bad it won’t fit on your license plates.
      “Arizona – Not the first state to legalize medical mendacity”
      Well, you could still fit it on bumper stickers.

  16. Ultimately, I think this should be allowed, but the doctor should be obliged to identify him or herself as having or not having this prejudice. Like a “Not an Uncooperative Jerkoff Seal” or something to that effect.

    1.  Why should any doctor be able to valuable withhold information from their patient and THEN be protected from legal repercussions?

      1.  Again, the protections would be based off of the idea that the doctor is legally required to declare his or her prejudices surrounding performing such procedures. In other words, if you are an expectant mother and you actually know the doctor would withhold such information from you if given the chance, it is your fault for selecting a doctor who openly stated he or she would do such a thing. My objection is that you could visit an OB/GYN and not know his or her prejudice.

        1.  Just playing along with this bad idea, should doctors be expected to divulge their political positions on medical procedures, or should they have the freedom to keep it private? (Throwing up in my mouth a little bit here.)

          1.  The state is presenting that it is okay for a doctor to lie about the medical status of a woman’s unborn fetus because the doctor in question morally objects to being an accessory in an abortion. Fine. I believe that this policy essentially violates the rights of patients and the Hippocratic Oath that every doctor is required to take, but if the Arizona senate doesn’t think so… I can argue against it all I wish, but that doesn’t protect patients from the consequences of dishonest doctors.

            So, as a compromise, I suggest that any doctor who would be inclined to lie to his or her patient due to their moral objection to abortion should be required to disclose this to all prospective patients. If the doctor doesn’t get this seal or certification, then any bad information he or she gives to his or her patient should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

          2.  And just to take this point a little bit further, there was a series of incidents in Illinois (I think) where women were attempting to obtain “Plan B” and their pharmacists had moral objections to providing it and were legally permitted to do so. Wouldn’t it be easier if you walked up to the door of the local CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, etc and next to the name of the pharmacist on duty was a symbol indicating, “Look. If you attempt to obtain ‘Plan B’ which is within your legal rights, I will — not only — refuse to provide it to you but also stall your attempts to get it elsewhere. It may be in your best interest to go elsewhere.

          3. To BadIdeaSociety, re: pharmacists and objections of “conscience” — I don’t know if this is a viable option, but I think the best policy is for people to exempt themselves from working as providers or health professionals, if part of their normal and legal job function is against their religion or morality. Not that their prejudices should be indulged by letting them selectively do their jobs. You’re either a pharmacist who provides what anyone legally requests, or you stop  being a pharmacist because the requirements of the job seem immoral to you. You’re either a doctor who does what doctors are supposed to do, or you stop being a doctor because the requirements of the job seem immoral to you.

            If we’re stuck with politicians who are more worried about religion than medical ethics (and in some situations we are), then your strategy would be good in the short term. In the long term, legal treatments should not be up to the whim of each individaul pharmacist or doctor.

    2.  A mandatory sign on their door that reads “I may or may not tell you the truth”.  That should be enough to put anyone off using that practitioner.

      1.  You would think so, but we live in a country where a textbook sticker that reads “Evolution is only a Theory” is interpreted as “Evolution is a Lofty Hypothesis Created by a God-Hating Heathen” rather than “Evolution is About as Close to a Fact as You Can Get Without it Actually Being Called a Fact.”

          1.  You won’t get any arguments from me on putting a sticker on a biology textbook saying, “Evolution is a Fact” but I think that even scientists would prefer the use of “Theory” but the people who pushed the stickers know that the average person considers the word “theory” as being synonymous with “prediction” or “hypothesis.”

            I would prefer the sticker, “The world laughs at America for having so many proud, uninformed evolution deniers.”

          2. Yes, I’m with you.  Maybe my point will be clearer with another well-known scientific theory.

            There is a theory of gravity; no one denies this.  But there is also the fact that things stick to the ground with a measurable force (proportional to weight).  In other words, in addition to the theory of gravity there is also the fact of gravity.  Newton’s theory of gravity was superseded but no one floated off the ground when that happened. 

            In the same way, there is the fact of evolution — populations of organisms change over time and you can see this first-hand in peppered moths or finches or the fossil record.  And then there is a theory explaining why this happens.  There is a theory of evolution but even if there wasn’t or if it turned out to be wrong we would need a new theory to explain populations of organisms changing over time — the fact of evolution.

        1. No, evolution is a fact.  

          There’s a lot of confusion created by the phrase “the theory of evolution.”

          Evolution itself is an observed fact.  We see it in the lab, we see it in the wild, and we see loads of evidence in the fossil record.  We can make it happen at a vastly accelerated rate by applying artificial selection.  

          Nothing theoretical about it.  Saying “organisms evolve” is like saying “the cloudless daytime sky looks blue.”  It’s an observable fact.

          Darwin’s theory -what’s called “the Theory of Evolution” – was that the observed fact of evolution in nature could be explained by natural selection.    

          That theory is well-supported by evidence (though it may not be the complete and comprehensive explanation – there may be some other factors driving evolution as well).

          But evolution itself is stone-cold fact.  Nothing theoretical about it.

          1. I am not an evolution denier, but as a reasonable admirer of science, I accept credited scientific theories to be “Theories” and that the word “Theory” actually means something that has been consistently tested and has proven to be true.

            I actually prefer the word “Theory” because while scientists overwhelmingly tend to agree that evolution is happening and is an ongoing process, there have been subtle refinements in how we understand evolution since Darwin published his theory and I imagine there will be subtle changes in the coming centuries as our understanding is improved through things like DNA mapping. I just wish more people accepted the concept of a “theory” as being as profound as the world of science does.

            I hesitate attributing the word “fact” to evolution simply because of the lack of complete and comprehensive explanation that you even mention.

            Calling evolution “only a theory” is like calling the atomic bomb “only a firecracker.”

  17. Talk about going too far. The United States is now telling people how they should run their lives. I hope the states also plan to pay for and raise that child with problems, since they decided to control the rest of their life.

    1. Doctors take an oath to do their job REGARDLESS of their morals.  

      If we want to talk about morals, some people (could be teachers) oppose black people from being educated…..should THEIR morals be more important than the law?   Maybe their moral fiber should be protected.

      If Doctors do not feel comfortable doing their job, they should go into something else.

      1. This. Doctors, ideally, should be able to treat anyone, ANYONE, with compassion and professionalism. Saving lives and promoting health should be their number one priority, no matter what they personally think of the person. If a wounded rapist collapsed on their doorstep, they’d probably call the police, yes, but they would also save his life regardless of his crime. It’s not hard to see why this is important, either- do you really want racist doctors refusing to treat hispanics, or religious doctors refusing to treat atheists, or your own doctor refusing to treat you because he doesn’t like the way you voted in the last election?

  18. Arizona should pass a law that doctors do not have to inform men that their numbers from their prostate test are high for cancer or tell men they do not need a colon or prostate test at all.  Those silly tests don’t mean anything right?

    Or Perhaps doctors should not tell people who have cancer their results?  If they are going to die anyway, why tell them and let them and waste the doctors time with silly things like chemotherapy which  allow those patients to have a few months to live.  

    Making an uninformed choice makes much more sense than knowing what to be prepared for or decide what you cannot handle.  What is one more baby abused to this nation?

    1. I was going to say that the analogy you’re making fails because there’s no wacky religious morality when it comes to colon or prostate cancer. But all you’d need would be to take a Christian Science or similarly extreme anti-medical position. If a person gets colon or prostate cancer, it’s God’s will. If that person has enough faith (size of a mustard seed?), then God will remove the cancer. Therefore tests for those kinds of cancer could lead to people getting surgery or treatment, confirming they have no faith in God. It encourages people to have faith in doctors instead of God. So these tests should be eliminated.

      (And now I’m thinking of Xeni’s recent tweets and I feel like crap for joking about it. Sorry. All the more reason to get superstition out of medicine and politics.)

    1. I’d find it hard to believe it could ever stand up.

      Here in the UK we slip in some pretty nasty laws (nothing quite this aggregious, your right wingers are a different breed to ours), but they tend to fall over as soon as they try to use them and it’s taken to the European Court of Human Rights.  Our conservatives hate the EU, I assume primarily because collectively the EU is pretty good on the human rights front.

      I won’t pretend to know too much about American rights past the first amendment, but you must have some kind of process in place to deal with this kind of thing? Or maybe not, I suppoe if we were to pull out of the EU then civilised folk here wouldn’t have much of a safety blanket.

      1. There is a process – sue, and then appeal the suit all the way up to the US Supreme Court if need be – but that takes millions or even tens of millions of dollars of lawyers.

  19. This is like passing a law that states Doctors don’t have to tell you if you have cancer or not.  God, and I thought people in Arizona weren’t stupid.

  20. If Doctor is making a pro-birth decision against will of patient, there may be other types of lawsuits than malpractice that remain possible. Like being forced to pay for upbringing / medical care of the child, breach of trust, fraud, etc.

  21. Sorry to hear that the Voices of Ignorance and Stupidity are still thriving in the US. The Religious folks seem to be missing the point that the more stuff they get enacted like this, the more they are serving “Evil”(tm), not good. I will avoid Arizona by default – although currently I would not visit the US without an extremely good reason (I live up in Canada). 

    1. I wonder if all this bat-shit crazy stuff is actually for national security.  Maybe it’s not even happening, and websites like BoingBoing are written by the TSA, with the sole aim of putting people off ever wanting to travel to the country.

      Or maybe it is real and they’re trying to get rid of all their civilised citizens, who I assume are at least moving out of states like this, if not the entire country. I know it’s not all bad – but these are some pretty fucking weak links.

    1. They either don’t care (since no one else matters) or they consider it a point of pride (we must be doing something right because everyone else is howling about it).

  22. How would a doctor take advantage of this law without violating the Hippocratic Oath and throwing out medical ethics? I would like to hear more interviews with medical ethicists on some of these new laws, this one and the unnecessary invasive ultrasound for example.

  23. Is Arizona now officially the worst place on Earth, or is it still second to the interior of the Chernobyl sarcophagus?

  24. I would love to see the Republican women with a conscience organize a massive hold out on sex until these jokers stop this crap.

  25. Read the bill. It doesn’t apply to intentional acts or omissions. Doctors can’t lie to pregnant women. Mr. Doctorow, I expected better of you.

    1. I did read the bill, and more.  Here’s the bill:

      With respect to Section D, my questions are:
      (a) What defines “intentional or grossly negligent act or omission”?
      (b) What defines “omission that violates a criminal law”?
      (c) What defines evidence of such omission?

      What is especially interesting here is that this bill adds a section to Arizona Revised Statutes, Section 1, Title 12, Chapter 6, “Special Acts and Proceedings by Individual Persons.” Chapter 6 deals with such matters as motor vehicle subleasing, libel and slander, and product liability.

      In contrast, it is Chapter FIVE that encompasses “Actions Relating to Health Care.” I think it’s more than a little odd that SB1359, which clearly is a health care issue, has been placed in a different chapter within the law.

      Within Chapter 5, you have the following text

      —– text begin —–

      12-563. Necessary elements of proof

      Both of the following shall be necessary elements of proof that injury resulted from the failure of a health care provider to follow the accepted standard of care:

      1. The health care provider failed to exercise that degree of care, skill and learning expected of a reasonable, prudent health care provider in the profession or class to which he belongs within the state acting in the same or similar circumstances.

      2. Such failure was a proximate cause of the injury.

      —– text end —–

      There is nothing in 12-563 about “intentional or grossly negligent act or omission.”  Again, given those definitions in the chapter of Arizona law related to HEALTH ISSUES, I seriously question why the placement of SB1359 Section 12-718, “Civil liability; wrongful birth, life or conception claims; application” has been placed not within a chapter on health, but within a chapter on such things as motor vehicles, libel, and product liability.

      Here’s the source material:

      1. Thanks for providing the link to the bill, it was thoughtless of me not to include it. Here’s the HTML version for the .pdf wary:

        As for your questions,
        (a) an act or omission is something a person meant to do or not do (intentional) or did or did not do so carelessly that the negative result was obvious (grossly negligent).
        (b) there are some acts that are required by law, not doing them violates criminal law. An unrelated example might be paying your taxes.
        (c) the lack of the evidence of the action being done would be evidence of omission.

        As far as placement of the bill in the statutes, note that nothing in the bill restricts it’s jurisdiction to the medical field. The bill applies to everyone, and as such it isn’t too dissimilar to other statutes in that chapter. A hypothetical example might be that a male with an unknown genetic defect would not be liable for wrongful birth if a child he helped conceive expressed the defect.

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