All across the country right now politicians are legislating health care willy-nilly. From the semi-reasonable to the patently absurd, many of these bills have some seriously twisted and harmful ideas about women’s health. Soraya Chemaly has an excellent post on HuffPo discussing this recent spate of legislation.
“Boy, it’s crazy to think we used to settle questions of paternity by
dunking a woman in water until she admitted she made it all up.” – Dr. Leo Spaceman, 30 Rock
Doctors have to take an oath to protect the health of their patients. Politicians aren’t bound by the Hippocratic oath of “First, do no harm.” Most politicians haven’t gone to med school, and they aren’t licensed to practice medicine and dispense medical advice. But they can still impact your health care with their uninformed opinions that carry no consequences for their lives.
What is the solution to this? Do we make politicians liable for medical malpractice? Do we require physicians sponsor medical-related bills, for which they could be liable for medical malpractice? Do we make the government itself liable for medical malpractice? Do we wait for people to die from ignorant legislation before we take action? Do we require a written statement from the Surgeon General’s office be read regarding any health-related bills before a vote is taken? Do we require a full medical disclosure of all the medical complications that could result from proposed legislation to be read before the bill is voted on?
So if an otherwise healthy woman is forced to carry a stillborn fetus to term, contracts gangrene and is forced to have a hysterectomy, thereby losing her chance to become pregnant again, should she be able to sue the politicians who introduced and voted in favor of the bill that prevented her from safely aborting the dead fetus?