Should doctors get to withhold information from patients? – ctd.

Kevin Drum makes a valid point:

At issue is an Arizona bill that would bar “wrongful birth” and “wrongful life” suits. These suits have a long history, and are generally brought by parents who believe their physician failed to tell them about a prenatal problem that might have led them to seek an abortion if they’d known about it. Some states allow these suits, some don’t. But does the Arizona bill protect a doctor who, perhaps because he or she opposes abortion on principle, deliberately withholds information that could lead the mother to seek an abortion?

It doesn’t seem like it to me. The bill in question is SB 1359, and it’s pretty short. Here’s paragraph D:

This section does not apply to any civil action for damages for an intentional or grossly negligent act or omission, including an act or omission that violates a criminal law.

I guess it comes down to why we need the laws. If doctors commit malpractice, through negligence or intent, then they should be held accountable. We don’t need a new law to make that happen – it’s already law. These “new” laws are obviously about providing extra protection to doctors in this specific circumstance. Why would you need that? It seems obvious that it’s meant to protect physicians from people who are upset about not being told about a prenatal problem that might have led to an abortion.

Or is there another reason I’m missing? Why this specific protection in this specific instance? Why else does this law exist?

And let me make it clear that I have problems with this type of action because it seems to interfere with the doctor patient relationship. Period.

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