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When I hear stories about doctors showing such poor decision-making skills, I have to wonder how they got through medical school. I am assuming, at the very least, that this story is true. And I also I wonder if these doctors are making political decisions about the SCOTUS ruling on Roe v. Wade or if they are genuinely confused. Either way, these situations should not be happening.
The most horrific story I read was of a woman who was forced to carry the remains of a miscarriage in her body for two weeks. Her doctor refused to remove the dead fetus, due to the changes of the law in Texas, even though the fetus showed no heartbeat on the ultrasound. You can read the entire story here.
The timid doctors who are supposedly afraid of breaking the law for removing a dead fetus appear to be unconcerned that the pregnant woman might die if the remains are not removed:
Dr. Lillian Schapiro, who has been an OB-GYN in Atlanta for more than 30 years, said carrying around a dead fetus is also dangerous to the mother.
‘She can develop an infection that can make her sterile and never able to have children again,’ she said.
Or even worse. ‘When the baby dies inside, the baby starts to release parts of its tissue that can get into the mother’s blood supply. It can cause organ failure. It can cause death,’ Schapiro said.
And let’s not forget that the threat of lawsuits (which is often present in the medical field) hangs over everyone’s head.
So what should be done in light of these confused doctors?
John Seago, president of Texas Right to Life, said he considers any obstacle facing abortion patients to be a ‘very serious situation.’ He attributed such problems to a ‘malfunction in the communication of the law, not the law itself.’ adding ‘I have seen reports of doctors being confused, but it is a failure of our medical associations to provide clear guidance.’
Were there no guidelines for dealing with miscarriage up to this point? There have been guidelines that could have been followed until these doctors could clear up their confusion:
Sarah Prager, MD, an obstetrics and gynecology professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine, said in a typical early miscarriage, when cardiac activity has stopped, patients should be offered three options for tissue removal.
D&Cs are recommended when patients are bleeding heavily, have anemia, have problems with blood clotting or have certain conditions that make them medically fragile, Dr. Prager said. Some other patients also choose to have a D&C, finding them emotionally easier than a lengthy procedure at home.
Another option is medication – usually mifepristone, which weakens the membrane lining the uterus and softens the cervix, followed by misoprostol, which causes contractions. These pills are used for abortion medicine.
The third option is “anticipatory management”: waiting for the tissue to pass on its own, which can take weeks. It is unsuccessful for 20 percent of patients, who then require surgery or medication, said Dr. Prager, co-author of Abortion Management, Guidelines for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
When possible, patients should be allowed to choose the method because the lack of choice adds to the trauma of losing the desired pregnancy, doctors and patients said.
If a woman has experienced a miscarriage, the medications listed obviously would be used to remove the miscarriage remains, not to abort a living fetus.
Frankly, I think most of the protests listed here are political, not practical. We have no way of knowing which of the doctors described are pro-abortion or pro-life, but we are talking about miscarriages. And for those doctors who are concerned about not risking the life of the mother, don’t you think they might transcend their political beliefs and take ethical, practical, and life-saving action?Published in