05 May 2006

Gender Ethics

I watch Grey's Anatomy, it's one of my vices. This last week's episode is summed up on another site, but they seem to miss the point of one of the sidestories.

a pregnant woman who already has six kids wants her tubes tied secretly so her husband won't know, because they're catholics and it's apparently good for tv shows to bash catholics and their beliefs. she tells the doctor she wants her tubes tied, intern says she should tell her husband or call the police if he's been abusive. patient says husband is great guy, she just doesn't want to have more kids and doesnt want him to know. so during the c-section, the doctor cuts her tubes and calls it a 'complication'. intern tells husband to get a lawyer, doctor hates intern, patient is happy but won't tell husband to call off lawyer to hide her position.

it seems that most people think the doctor did the right thing, the intern is an asshole, and the patient is the victim of an evil oppressive cult that should be abolished. they seem to think that the lack of a signed 'informed consent' for surgical sterilization, and falsified patient records (both done by the doctor, not the 'asshole' intern) are perfectly fine and should not be questioned. it gets stranger. most of the people that i've heard blame the intern for exposing fraud happen to work in health insurance, doing fraud prevention. Curious about why insurance costs keep going up?

Goe, because fraud is theft with more digits.


Jaxia said...

The pregnant lady agreed to pay for it out of her own pocket.

The intern is just pissed off because his own life is going to hell right now. If he had kept his mouth shut instead of spreading his misery, there wouldn't have been a problem.

It's sad that the religion doesn't put HER health first, and would rather people keep making more babies. And, it is sad that her husband was more concerned about his religion than the well being of his wife.

Goemagog said...

she could say whatever she wanted to, the patient did not sign a consent form, and the doctor who did the procedure committed two felonies (sterilizing someone without their consent and lying on the patient's chart). the husband never actually gave an opinion on any of it, except confusion when told of the sterilization. everything was the patient's assertion, and the patient refused to discuss it with the husband. for all we (and the doctors) know, the wife was lying about the reasons. since the procedures were done together, even if the patient paid cash, they'd still be bundled when billed to insurance.

Goe, holding his position.

Jaxia said...

How can it be billed to insurance if there is no record of it?

A woman has the right to do whatever she wants to her body. She didn't need her husband's permission.

She did have the woman's consent. She just doesn't have proof of it. It is because of people like the husband that the signature is so important.

Goemagog said...

the signature is important because it's the only record that the patient consented. the patient had the right to make whatever choice they wanted to, but until they sign a consent form, they haven't made a choice, they've formed an opinion. The doctor was the one who made the choice, something the doctor had no right to do, and something you would vigorously oppose if the doctor made a choice that you disagreed with. medical records are legal documents, and to purposefully omit is just a big of a crime as deliberate falsification. most hospitals do their billing from chartnotes, so anything noted (and it all has to be) will be billed if it's billable. it comes down to you believing that it's okay for your beliefs to be imposed on others.

the patient has to live with the consequences, so only the patient could make that commitment, but the patient didn't, the doctor did.

Goe, big fan of george.

Rachmeg said...

I haven’t watched the show, but it sure sounds like a cheap slam on the Catholic faith.

What the setup makes clear is how easily the secular “woman’s right to her own body” is shown, and expected to trump any and all previous commitments and promises that she made of her own free will in the bonds of marriage. In fact it champions those who would break established laws and practices to ensure it.

I guess in modern times the bonds of secular marriage are easier to get out of than Credit Card debt.

It sounds like they made the husband out to be a real jerk too, do you think this was done to draw a parallel to fanatical Islam, or just to make the injustice done to his marriage more palatable?

In the movies, the guys taking their married buddy out to get laid doesn’t play as funny or forgivable unless the wife is a real bitch or cheating on him as well. In real life it doesn’t ever play as funny.

Rach, Thinking the next Disney movie of the week will be about the moral superiority of George abandoning Martha and the kids.

Goemagog said...

the only times the father spoke were when asking about what happened after the fact. he wasn't really portrayed badly as not portrayed at all. all the information on the father actually came from the mother. i have noticed that medical and crime dramas in general tend to promote bigotry and hatred of whatever socioeconomic groups aren't fashionable in hollywood that week.

Goe, not looking forward to the future.

Kate said...

I didn't see the episode, but...

informed consent and right to her body issues aside...

this sounds like a breach of George's duty of confidentiality to his patient. I don't know about Washington (this is a Seattle hospital, no?) but many, many states impose a duty of confidentiality on doctors.

just my belated 2 cents. I suppose I'll have to try to see the episose somehow.

Goemagog said...

it wasn't george, it was the other guy. and he didn't tell the father anything other than 'get a lawyer', and that was after the father had asked him to explain what happened. federal hipaa laws are tighter than state restrictions, and telling someone to get a lawyer wouldn't actually violate hipaa privacy. the interns biggest failing that episode (he encouraged the patient to just be honest with her husband so it was all above-board) was that he didn't report the doctor to hospital or state ethics boards.

Goe, 'splainin.