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just between ourselves

By Diogenes (articles ) | Aug 19, 2005

The website of a Texas abortion clinic makes it very, very clear that they don't want their customers patients taking their complaints to outside agencies.

Our approach has produced excellent results, with hospitalization very rarely needed, mainly due to ectopic pregnancies or clotting disorders. Complications, however, may occur in all surgical procedures and hospitalization and treatment of such events by a Board Certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist is readily available.

Should you develop any problems, remember to call us FIRST. A physician is on call 24 hours a day. Early detection and treatment of problems offer the best results.

We are the professionals best suited to handle post-abortion problems in the office in the safest and least costly manner, usually in our office. Should you go to an emergency room for treatment, the staff may not be sympathetic to your circumstances and familiar with specialized abortion care and management of its complications. This could result in unnecessary procedures, including general anesthesia and major surgery.

Incredible. Suppose we were dealing with a laser vision correction clinic or a liposuction studio. Is it likely that they could get away with such blatantly manipulative scare tactics, clearly designed to cover-up "mistakes" by keeping the information inside the loop? When have you ever heard a real physician advise you not to go to an emergency room if you develop unexpected medical problems? When have you ever heard a real physician discountenance ER treatment because of cost? When have you ever heard a real physician make a blanket insinuation that hospital-initiated major surgery (to remedy problems subsequent to his own treatment) may be unnecessary?

Yet more bewildering is how it happens that the ordinarily punctilious "health care profession" gives this kind of sleaze a pass. Not only does it obliquely disparage the competence of other physicians, but the ploy of keeping potential malpractice under wraps ("call us FIRST") is patently self-serving and underhanded. If a cut-rate cosmetic surgeon instructed face-lift patients to return to him and only to him to fix post-op bleeding -- "and stay away from the ER" -- would the District Attorney, much less the licensing board -- let him get away with it? Would Kate Michelman, for that matter, send her daughter to him without a qualm?

Abortion is sustained by a political clout grossly disproportionate to the modest abilities required to conduct the craft. The umbrella of that clout provides a lot of shade in which marginal characters can operate and dodgy procedures go unchecked. This gives the lie to the movement-fuelled concern about the victims of back-alley abortions. If that concern were genuine, NARAL and NAF would be hyper-keen to expose incompetent licensed practitioners, but in fact they collude in hushing-up bungled jobs and help keep the hacks in business. It's not that they're indifferent to the mother's well-being, but their interest in the doom of the dead baby overwhelms all secondary considerations. After all, healing is a delicate and complicated endeavor, but nobody gets fastidious about death.

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  • Posted by: - Aug. 21, 2005 2:51 PM ET USA

    Pretty scary. And the not-so-veiled threats continue in the "after-care" section of the site. In the event that something goes wrong, patients are warned, in dire, bold faced caps: REMEMBER, IF YOU SEEK MEDICAL CARE ELSEWHERE, WE CANNOT BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ACTIONS OF OTHERS OR THE RESULT.

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