Jami and Krista Contreras waited in the exam room for their newborn child’s first checkup. Then they were informed that the doctor they had asked to see had decided, after “much prayer,” that she could not treat the baby because its parents are lesbians.
Presumably the doctor,Vesna Roi, does not habitually require her patients’ parents to fill out a questionnaire to prove the are sufficiently morally worthy to have their infant receive medical care. Nonetheless, so vile does she consider this couple that she feels it is the Lord’s will that she withhold her services from the innocent child they have undertaken to love and raise.
I probably do not need to tell you, and I certainly should not have to remind “Dr”–and I use the title advisedly–Roi that this cruel and hateful conduct is a flaming breach of medical ethics, though no rules should be necessary to persuade a medical professional to have a heart and a soul.
BREACHED: American Medical Association Principle of Medical Ethics I. A physician shall be dedicated to providing competent medical care, with compassion and respect for human dignity and rights.
BREACHED: American Medical Association Principle of Medical Ethics X. A physician shall support access to medical care for all people.
No, Michigan, where the lesbian couple live and where this despicable travesty of a doctor works, does not have a law against, say,a physician on the scene refusing to render emergency assistance to a wounded and bleeding accident victim because he is gay and, you know, icky and evil; or, as in this case, refusing to give a tiny baby a check-up because its parents don’t meet the religious standards of the pious jerk with the doctor’s license. Many states do, but it’s unwise: this is not like the case of a pharmacist, whose job—find the right drugs and dispense them—is more or less routine. Doctors need to apply judgement and personalized care, and that’s hard to do when you are consumed with irrational hate and disgust. It is hard, but not impossible, if the individual is a competent and professional physician, whose ancient profession long ago addressed that problem by directing that the only qualification for eligibility as a patient is humanity.
Vesna Roi doesn’t understand that, which should disqualify her as a doctor. Not only is her nauseating rejection of the Contrerases child medically unethical, it fails any ethical test under the sun. She is gratuitously and pointlessly harming an infant and humiliating her parents. What good, for them, society or even Roi does that accomplish? It won’t force Jami and Krista to stop loving each other, or to break up their family. It won’t bolster the brief against same-sex marriage; if anything, it will undermine it: what decent person would want to be associated with such cruelty? It brings shame to her profession and undermines respect and trust. Her conduct has no beneficial aspects at all to balance its harm; it fails the ethical standards of reciprocity, absolutism and utilitarianism.
After the Contrerases went public with Roi’s unprofessional rejection of their baby, the pediatrician sent them as asinine letter of apology, saying in part,
“Dear Jami & Krista, I am writing this letter of apology as I feel that it is important and necessary. I never meant to hurt either of you. After much prayer following your prenatal (visit), I felt that I would not be able to develop the personal patient doctor relationship that I normally do with my patients.”
She never meant to hurt them. It never occurred to her that having a surrogate tell them that their relationship was so repugnant to a doctor that she couldn’t keep her gorge down sufficiently to give an examination to a their infant child. That’s a lie, or she is an idiot. When a result is an obvious and unavoidable consequence of a considered course of conduct and with full knowledge of that fact, one proceeds with the conduct anyway, then that consequence is intended.
And if her prayers produce guidance to act the inhuman way Roi did, she would do well to check her connection to the Almighty. Her entreaties are being routed elsewhere, like Hell.
Facts: Detroit Free Press