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
68 thoughts on “Note To Dr. Vesna Roi: Homophobes Can’t Be Doctors….Ethical Ones, Anyway”
Well said. Despicable.
OK, this is an overreach, since it’s punishing the kid for the sins of the parents.
I assumed you would have no trouble agreeing with me that this was over the line.
But do you agree that it would also be unethical for a doctor to refuse to treat the couple themselves, or any one of them, based on their sexuality and marital status? Because that would be a flat out breach of every medical ethics code in existence, for over a thousand years. Not that I want to influence your answer…
To render medical treatment? of course it’s unethical to refuse, UNLESS they were withholding relevant health information or asking for treatment I wasn’t qualified to give. Same deal with myself as an attorney (although I don’t practice in the divorce area and would refer a gay divorce to a family law specialist) . Same deal with the emergency services, the firemen can’t slow-foot the response to a fire in a gay bar, the cops can’t refuse to investigate an assault on a gay couple, and the EMS can’t refuse to treat an injured gay man (but they can say they have to take appropriate protective measures for exposure to body fluids).
Of course, and thanks for noting that it’s a tenet of legal ethics as well…though as you know, lawyers have an out if they are so repulsed by a client that they feel they can’t be an advocate.
Too true, which is why Ron Kuby was ok to say he couldn’t represent accused terrorists who represent “an ideology which would see me put against a wall and shot and my wife and daughter in burqas.” That said, if I were a family law specialist, I wouldn’t want to be hauled before the ethics committee for refusing gay clients solely on the basis my faith was so offended that I couldn’t be an effective advocate, because I think the politics of the situation would render a fair hearing under those circumstances difficult.
Oh, I think you’re paranoid. Lawyers are urged to take all clients, but they can refuse anyone too, and without stating a reason. “I didn’t like him” is an ethically acceptable answer—just an implicit rejection of the spirit of 1.2 (b)
It’s phrased that way to make it clear that lawyers don’t endorse or agree with or even like their clients necessarily, but to also leave the lawyer room to have a practice where he or she only takes causes he supports
Yup. Still not sure I would want to put it to the proof with an ethics committee with my license on the line.
Are you saying that had the check up been for one of the parents, you would have been ok with the doctor refusing service?
I didn’t say that. I said visiting the perceived “sins” of the parent on a kid is painfully obviously wrong.
I think you said more than that, but you gave Jack the right answer.
I’m glad you think so.
Get used to this. The AMA and physician groups have been publishing guidelines suggesting pediatricians ask a lot of questions about their parents’ homes and behaviors, which they will judge worthy or unworthy (and report to DHS). Physician, you are the mechanics for the human body. Don’t think you are a higher class of humans put on this earth to judge all of the ‘average’ people. Charge your $100 blood money to prescribe $11 of amoxicillin for the ear infection we already know the kid has and quit telling us how to run our lives.
(you will note in this publication that they count 20 year olds as ‘children’ to make their figures even somewhat meaningful)
You mean like “do you own a gun?”
This behavior is wrong in every possible way.
I’m so often struck dumb by the way people treat each other and then act astounded that people find it unacceptable.
I think it’s part of the “feelings” culture. People are constantly saying things like, “you don’t know my life,” “that’s my opinion,” and “you made me feel…” as if feelings were the only and ultimate judgement of behavior. There was a time in the 80’s and 90’s when kids were taught to use statements of feelings as unassailable logic.
Yes, that was a bit of a wakeup call in law school, when the first assignment’s grade was penalized for saying “the plaintiff feels” with a big red “decisions of law are not based on emotions!”
Still grappling with this one myself, and one day I have to come up with an answer to the question “does my revulsion at homosexual behavior and my determination to prove that those who accused me of same because they were mean, stupid bullies who peaked in high school trump all other considerations?”
Breached: Basic Christian ethics. Whoever those prayers went too is not the same God I pray to, I suspect your final paragraph is too accurate.
Nonsense. Same God. She just wasn’t listening for an answer
Yes, what that so-called doctor did is truly disgusting, despicable, and un-Christian. If ever there was a simpler case where behaving according to the Golden Rule applies, I don’t know of it.
From another perspective, though, Jack: I consider myself a homophobe. I do so because I do not know any better way to characterize the “provocation” that goes on inside me besides “fear,” whenever I am impacted by awareness of homosexual conduct (and I mean, typically and most intensely, awareness of such by direct observation which, I guarantee you, impacts me unlike most behaviors I observe directly, including Jimmy Kimmel child-exploitation pranks and some of the recent murders by the ISIS combatants).
I do not think a homophobe, confessed or not, is necessarily so dysfunctional that he or she must be deemed incapable of behaving pervasively and consistently in an ethical manner. But I do think that such behavior as the so-called doctor’s toward the same-sex couple AND THEIR CHILD must be accounted for to the fullest extent of the actor’s culpability.
I have not had the formal sit-down with a lawyer yet, but expect that soon I will do so, to begin what will be the long, grueling road – with much political teeth-gnashing – to equal treatment and equal protection under the law for homophobes which is becoming ever more clearly necessary every new day.
We have control of our actions, but not our feelings.
There are many people with irrational, yet genuine visceral aversions (though that’s too mild a word) to gays, or blacks, or jews, or Intersex people. They find them unbearably icky.
Does that make them bad people? Not in the slightest. It’s only when they can’t accept that these feelings have no moral basis, that in order to feel good about themselves because of this animus, they manufacture excuses like “I hate the Jew because they drink the blood of Christian children” that they become something monstrous.
A doctor who feels such animus towards blacks, but treats black patients with the same care and professionalism he shows to whites, is arguably ethically superior to someone else not subject to that handicap. In any event, the problem is so real, so widespread, that it was felt necessary to mandate such equal treatment in law. A doctor who cannot treat black people because of personal animus should not be licensed, any more than a driver unable to do a 3-point turn should have a licence, no matter how competent they may be in other areas of driving. It’s a necessary part of the job.
Ms Roi did the ethical thing – she realised that she was incompetent to practice medicine in this case, so handed over her patient to someone who was. As far as I know though, she didn’t perform the next step, of handing in her license to practice, as she is by her own judgment, incompetent to practice medicine. To continue would be unethical.
A doctor who feels such animus towards blacks, but treats black patients with the same care and professionalism he shows to whites, is arguably ethically superior to someone else not subject to that handicap. In any event, the problem is so real, so widespread, that it was felt necessary to mandate such equal treatment in law.
Which is why bias itself is not unethical.
Thanks so much, Zoe, for one of the best reasoned explications of prejudice and how to think of people who express it – expression being a form of acting on it – without wincing, losing one’s cool, or writing a legislator, and without forgetting that the speaker is a human being who may not be able to help himself.
The main post and your examples are rather beyond bias (which as I think Jack has described it, is a leaning that can and should be controlled and balanced when recognized) and into the realm of overt bigotry. This may be just a matter of definition; if so, I’m sure I shall be corrected.
I am about to email this post and your wise words along to friends, including coworkers who train volunteers for crisis line work. No matter how disturbing or against the grain it may be for the volunteer personally, the calls or online chats frequently involve having to recognize and validate extreme bias as an irrational part of the callers’ anxieties in order to separate out the feelings they can’t control so they can be encouraged to put the bias aside (without labeling it), and start to help themselves realistically.
Coverage by a highly diverse group of volunteers includes national lines and global chat, so a significant part of training has to do with identifying one’s own biases as well as, demographically, just about everyone else’s. The ideas here will go far in alleviating a major frustration in new volunteers. Again, thanks.
Thank you. You couldn’t have said anything nicer.
Knowing that I’ve helped, in however minor a way, other people on the other side of the planet – that makes me feel better than anything else could.
I’m Intersex, and in a particularly bizarre way. I don’t look unusual, but any medic, dentist etc who sees my records or MRI scans does a double-take, Few humans naturally change sex. Many, medics in particular, feel visceral revulsion at that, many go into the profession to make mutilated and deformed bodies look normal, to heal them.
That is why until recently, the birth of a child with ambiguous genitalia was seen as a medical emergency, requiring swift surgical action to make them look cosmetically normal, even at the expense of fertility and genital sensation. Even if the sex that was assigned turned out to be the wrong one, that only devastated the patient’s’ life, it didn’t make unbearably uncomfortable the lives of everyone else round them – especially their family
We’ve largely persuaded the medical profession not to do this any more, and provide counseling services to parents of Intersex kids. It’s an uphill battle at times, and if cultural or religious advisors get involved, it can get pretty fraught.
I know quite a bit about irrational phobia in good, ethical people. I try to ease their discomfort, while still asserting my right to exist.
This also helps me not to be a complete hypocrite when it comes to my own irrational biases and prejudices. Recognise that you have the bias, that the bias is irrational, don’t beat yourself up about it, just behave to others exactly the same as if you didn’t have it, forgive yourself and move on. It often remits at least partly over time with exposure.
Except in the case of Justin Bieber fans.:)
This is shameful. I can’t imagine a pediatrician with so much prejudice. I am sorry that the parents are not sueing. This should not be legal. It is certainly immoral.
Unethical, not necessarily immoral.
Unethical, not necessarily immoral.
Well I am going to take a bit of a different argument. They weren’t refused treatment, there was a doctor waiting to see them, the baby received the treatment they made the appointment for. If this was a single provider pediatric practice I would say unethical as hell as some treatment is better than no treatment but whatever reason she felt she couldn’t developed a good relationship with them, I would say it is better for her to send them someone else. So based on this flawed idea, if it was a bakery with multiple bakers or law firm with multiple lawyers specialized in a given area is it unethical for a individual lawyer or baker to pass based on personal bias so long as the service is provided? Refusal in an emergency or access to specialist is clearly unethical, but when you find the individual repulsive and treatment is readily available is it unethical to arrange for treatment by another qualified doctor? If so how far does it extend? An adulterous couple? A glutton, someone who has had several abortions? Or how about a convicted rapist? Where is the line?
No I am not equating homosexuality to rape, gluttony, adultery or abortion just thinking of a spread of things an individual may find morally repugnant.
There is no valid reason for rejecting the child. Based on this doctor’s reputation and their research, the parents wanted HER. Both the law and medicine hold that everyone has or should have the right to a doctor or a lawyer of their choice, not just whoever will deign to see them or who is desperate for a fee. Doctors, unlike pharmacists, are not fungible. She doesn’t get an ethics pass because the baby didn’t languish without care. Moreover, she gratuitously insulted and humiliated two women who did nothing to her, and treated them like they, and their baby, were shit on her shoe.
Wait a minute here, there is no “right” to the doctor or lawyer of your choice. Not every criminal defendant has the right to have Bruce Cutler or F. Lee Bailey, and every lawyer has the right to decide, after looking at the facts of the case, whether he will take the case, although if he doesn’t take the case, for his own sake, he best be able to give an acceptable reason why he didn’t. Not every patient has the right to the best doctor available, although it might be something as simple as that doctor doesn’t take that patient’s insurance. That said, once a doctor HAS agreed to take a new patient, that doctor needs to follow through on the appointment. If later he leaves the practice (as my primary care doctor did) that’s something else.
There is a right to lawyer, technically not in civil cases but de facto, and every lwyer’s creed I’ve reviewed both urges lawyers to take on all clients who have non-frivolous cases regardless of other factors, like wealth—especially wealth. There are also either rules or other supporting statements condemning discrimination against potential clients.
This is absolutism at work, applying the Rule of Universality. If a lawyer can reject a qualified client who has a case or grievance who can or is willing to pay just because he’s a Jew, for example, every other lawyer can too, and that individual is unprotected and has no protection.
Professionals have an obligation to serve society and its members, and are supposed to help human beings. Everyone, as Jefferson said, has a right to be treated like a human being. An ethical lawyer and doctor as well accepts clients and patients accordingly. I’d say the duty of a doctor is very similar to that of a criminal defense lawyer.
That right of refusal argument to justify discrimination doesn’t fly when said medical profession gets their education at a medical school paid for by the taxes of all members of society , including its LGBT ones.
I think you’re comparing things that aren’t really comparable with lawyers and doctors. There are parallels, don’t get me wrong, but the way those professions operate, and why they would need that personal information, is different. But all of that is ultimately irrelevant.
I’m not sure what the law is where this doctor operates, but the law is separate from ethics. And ethically, you should expect to be able to receive service without discrimination. If a doctor or lawyer decides not to take you on because their schedule is full, or they aren’t familiar with the part of their field your case pertains to, or because you smell funny, absolutely they have every right to say no. But if they decide to take you on, and then realize that you’re gay, or a woman, or black and decide explicitly on that (as was the case in this) then that is inherently discriminatory and ethically wrong.
Yes, exactly right. I hope that came across in what I said – this doctor decided to take on the patient, and then, not because of the patient, but because of the patients’ parents, changed her mind. BTW, I’m a big defender of religious freedom, but I also don’t put a lot of stock in decisions prefaced with “I’ve prayed about this,” especially if it prefaces a decision the listener is not going to like, because 1. It’s an attempt to elevate the decision morally, by saying it was a decision based on talking to God and it’s therefore not up for discussion because you can’t argue with God, and 2. It’s an attempt to avoid taking full accountability by essentially saying someone else (God) was in on the decision. If you can’t treat this patient, or you want to end a friendship, or you simply don’t want your kid going to a movie you think he isn’t quite ready for, there are plenty of reasons for all of those decisions that originate on the temporal plane and will support the decision adequately without involving God.
I would submit that Dr. Roi should consider who the Physician actively healed and ministered to.
I would submit that what the good doctor had issue with was her ability to build a healthy relationship with the child’s parents. That because of her inability to build that relationship she could not provide the most effective care, regardless if you think she is a bigot she seems to have placed the babies care above her career. She will be destroyed.
That’s a pure rationalization for bigotry in this case. A doctor who can’t examine a baby because she has a visceral reaction against parents she doesn’t like because of the fact that they ARE TOGETHER..she doesn’t know if they engage in lesbian sex, voodoo, cuddling, or four hand piano…and despite the fact that she doesn’t know them…isn’t placing anybody’s care over her career. She’s placed her religious fanatic hatred of same-sex couples above her medical oath and her profession’s ethics. What a patient looks like, smells like, worships, eats or sleeps with is of completely no concern to a sane, competent, ethical, compassionate doctor, and if it is, then she’s no doctor. You can’t spin this, Steve. If she can’t look at every patient as a human being, and nothing else,that she is trained and obligated to treat, then she’s no doctor. The technical term for what she is would be cruel, irrational, homophobic asshole, I believe, and she deserves to be destroyed.
I must have missed where she called them dogs and told them she wished them dead. Bigoted, yes she is but although what she did is more than micro aggression it is a far cry from fanatic hatred. Did I miss where in the story they cited her fondness for beheading gays?
Under your premise above only the top doctor and Lawyer would get business, that they would have to serve everyone, we know that is not true so just so long as they don’t break the law free market is in effect, what you seem to have in mind is full socialized medicine, if that is not the case where is the line?
First paragraph: straw man and #22, and I think you know it. “You’re not good enough for me to treat your innocent baby” is insult and humiliation enough…I bet she’d treat a puppy, with dogs as parents.
Second paragraph: inexplicably obtuse. As with lawyers, a professional can turn down a patient/client for many reasons—the doctor isn’t qualified, the patient can’t pay (although that’s not always an ethical justification either)the doctor is booked and can’t take any more patients. But turning down a patient because of her reasons is unacceptable, rejected by the AMA and the profession’s ethics. Your socialized medicine argument is so divergent from reality that I’ll do you a favor and ignore it. There is more to the professions than just free market principles—that’s why they are licensed, certified, get special training, have ethics codes and get paid the big bucks.
Jack, I don’t disagree that she was unethical. I just question if there is any acceptable reason based on effect of service in which it would be the ethical thing to send them to another doctor. Is there no chance of an ethical dilemma?
If she really thinks she can’t do a good job, sure, right, she needs to get someone else to do it. Then she needs to seek psychiatric help.
You do know who the “Physician” is, right?
well the thing about is…when someone starts with….I prayed on this….we leave the world of logic, common sense, reason, ethics and legality.
By saying she prayed on it, she is saying that she received an order from a supreme being that she must obey above all other considerations.
Is that it? Or does it just mean “I’m not taking this lightly”? She didn’t say the prayer was answered. I’ve always assumed that God had a prayer screener, like on radio talk shows…
Dr. Vesna Roi and her husband Dwayne Roi live in Plymouth, Michigan. Dwayne Roi had a business — Tristar Fire Protection — but — according to court filings found on the internet, it might appear that he shafted his union employees and they had to sue him to get what they had earned. Nonetheless, he is on the board of Plymouth Christian Academy. And he’s dabbled in ice cream, including running Cool Family Treats LLC out of their home address.
Really great discussion happening here! Doesn’t happen very often on comment boards but, you guys are intelligent, informed, and really witty. I laughed out loud several times reading your back and forth! With that said, while there may be no legal precedence, it is without a doubt ethically questionable. Being a mother or two young children, I know how important the relationship with your pediatrician can be. You have to see them for almost an hour every month for the first year and then once a year after that. How could we expect Dr. Roi to keep down her lunch when she would have that much interaction with Lesbians? Please note my sarcasm. I like my Pediatrician but, we’re not friends. We don’t have a “special” relationship. We don’t socialize or even see each other outside the office. I am looking at her justifications for what they are… BS. This case is unlike any of the other discriminatory stories we’ve heard lately in the fact that her profession has to take an oath of conduct. Why… why would you waste so much money, time, and effort getting a doctorate degree and license if you were not an ethical person? I accept all the points that have been made about patient refusals for non-insurance, scheduling etc, but when did doctors develop the right to refuse service based on the person? This just doesn’t seem right any way you cut it. Plus, with all of the publicity and the AMA and AAP condemning these actions, I can’t imagine this will bode well for this medical practice.
Thanks, Sarah…good comment, and it’s always nice to have someone begin their first foray here with kind words rather than an attack. I hope you weigh in often.
Hi Sarah. Nice to hear from someone with your mom point-of-view. You sound like the kind of parent every pediatrician would love.
Unfortunately, I have an answer to your rhetorical questions “why would you waste so much money, time, and effort getting a doctorate degree and license if you were not an ethical person?” and that is in a branch of my own family where the young person chose to go for the medical degree (along with a degree in Business Administration, on the side, as it were), and then settled comfortably and profitably into the specialty of forensic psychiatry. Having declared a hatred “for people in general and their bodies in particular,” this doctor has sat in his office (or on the nearby beach, who knows?) and read depositions or police reports or videos of interrogations or other legal documents, and thus made his judgements for nearly 50 years. Usually, he brags, he could make a correct diagnosis without ever having to see the “client” — though I was told he had once been ordered to make at least one telephone interview — and very very rarely having to appear at a trial to defend his diagnosis. Everyone except, apparently, the judges he regularly serve is relieved that he will soon be retiring.
I personally feel that the doctor deserves credit for her honesty. As a mother, I would rather know of any negative feelings which could perhaps lead to feelings of discomfort while treating my child. Even though I never formed any type of relationship with my sons’ pediatrician outside of the office, we developed a very warm and trusting one as caregiver/patients. Little kids pick up on feelings, even ones that adults try to hide from them, so why not try to avoid situations where a child feels either void of receiving warmth, or feels like any warmth is contrived? I would much rather have the opportunity for children to grow up as unafraid of medical visits as possible, knowing that their doctor truly cared about them (and me), and went above and beyond, with jokes, and hugs, etc. As for the idea that Dr.Roi should be stripped of her license, I completely disagree. My theory is that the LGBT crowd wants to be accepted for who they are, well shouldn’t she be afforded acceptance of who she is? Obviously, the situation would be different when speaking of emergency care. Otherwise, isn’t honesty about each individual’s feelings the right way to go, as long as they do no harm and hold no malice. As far as I can tell, the doctor did the right thing to remove herself from a situation that she felt lacked the potential for the ideal doctor/patient relationship. Even though I don’t share her feelings, she has the right to have them, and also the right to be honest about them without starting a hellstorm. Just to be perfectly clear, this is a non-emergency – what it is, is the very beginning of what could be a 20 some year relationship. I think the parents should be grateful for her honesty, as now they have the chance to find a physician with whom they can build an ideal relationship with. I think this is all much to do about nothing. Quit whining and move on.
I refer you to Zoe’s comment earlier in this thread:
1. My theory is that the LGBT crowd wants to be accepted for who they are, well shouldn’t she be afforded acceptance of who she is?
Sure, and something she “is” disqualify her from practicing medicine, because she can’t hew to professional standards. She could also be accepted as a moron, but morons should be doctors either.
2. Obviously, the situation would be different when speaking of emergency care. Nope, no distinction. How does the doctor know it isn’t an emergency without examining the child? The profession doesn’t have different standards for urgent care. Doctors are obligated to practice medicine an do what’s best for the patient. If what’s best is “Don’t traet this patient because you are so disgustd by her parents that you might harm her,” then what’s also best is to find another line of work.
“Otherwise, isn’t honesty about each individual’s feelings the right way to go, as long as they do no harm and hold no malice.”
Professionals are there to help people, nit tell them that they are hated. Should pastors be as “honest”? Professionals are supposed to be able to do their best despite such feelings. If they can’t, they aren’t professionals. Do you really think lawyers LIKE the criminals they represent?????
“I think this is all much to do about nothing. Quit whining and move on.”
Your other comments are just wrong: this one is absurd. Would you say the same to a black couple or mixed race rejected by a doctor?
I presume for consistency’s sake, you’d have no issue with a homosexual doctor refusing service because of visceral reactions towards Christians?
Or maybe a Hindu doctor refusing service to a child because of visceral reactions to the owners of a Steakhouse?
Maybe a hardcore pacifist doctor refusing service to a child because of a visceral reaction to his parents being General Patton?
Maybe a reservist soldier who is a doctor refusing service to a child because that child’s parents being the most virulent America-hating Leftists cause a visceral reaction?
As long as they were HONEST about it!
As a Christian hospice nurse, I find the pediatrician’s behavior unprofessional and self serving. Nurses and doctors take care of Everyone….street people, atheists, any race, any philosophical viewpoint. Our ONLY mission is to provide topnotch healthcare and promote wellness. If I turned away every patient that didn’t make me feel happy and comfortable and all warm inside Id have to reject a fair number of them, and I’d rightfully be fired quickly or have my license revoked..My job isn’t to take care of people that make me feel good or abide by my moral beliefs. That’s not what healthcare is about. The problem is in the Dr’s inability to put her medical calling above her prejudicial emotions. That’s what professionals do. Healthcare professionals don’t pick and choose….She needs another profession. Another TERRIBLE example of religion gone wrong.
Kudos to you, Sheena, you have the correct attitude to be a nurse. And Texagg04, as a matter of fact, yes, I would not disagree with any of those scenarios. This is a doctor, in a PRIVATE PRACTICE, she is not practicing in an ER, or a public clinic, AND she was choosing against beginning a relationship, not denying care. Another physician kept the appointment in her place, which happens frequently in the medical world, so they were offered the services that they expected to receive. I don’t know the woman (Dr.Roi), but taking the leap to believe that she wouldn’t care for people in dire, or even just somewhat necessary circumstances,e.g. coming across somebody hurt, but not dying, on the street,etc., is an extremely harsh critique. I highly doubt that she would turn her back on somebody in need, this is being blown way out of proportion. I understand the parents’ feelings of hurt, anger, aggravation with the prospect of beginning the hunt for a new doctor, but if that’s the worst thing to ever happen to them at the hands of a doctor, it’s not that bad. I just find it ironic that so many people who supposedly fight for equality, freedom, and free choice, really don’t want these things at all. There are plenty of other doctors for them to choose, they are being denied nothing. I imagine it would have been better for Dr. Roi to have lied in your opinions.
just when I thought the Free Market discussion had been settled…
Will be a busy Saturday, will get to this this evening.
This is a doctor, in a PRIVATE PRACTICE, she is not practicing in an ER, or a public clinic
Once again, you are making a distinction that medical ethics do not acknowledge. The standards for all doctors and medical professionals are the same.
This has been discussed many times here, or at least this concept, so I’ll keep it brief.
1) The Free Market balances things out, slowly, and probably better. That doesn’t mean however that all behavior on the market IS ethical even if it were allowable.
2) The measure of the ethicality of this situation is NOT whether or not there exists a remedy to the situation… in this case, the presence of a doctor to whom the baby can be taken to DOES NOT alleviate the unethicality of the situation (should it so prove to be unethical).
3) In the Free Market, we permit buyers to discriminate, because they are the buyers. Person A doesn’t like Doctor X but does like Doctor Y, Person A is free to choose Doctor Y before Doctor X.
4) Should we permit sellers to also discriminate between buyers? Hm. Hyper-free market types would say YES! If Seller A doesn’t want to sell to black people, let them not sell! Someone else in the market will dive in and take their market share and beat them out and the market will fix the problem. To an extent this actually DOES work, albeit slowly.
5) However, Kant’s Universal argues against it. AND
6) In some sectors of the Market, such as Doctors & Medical Expertise, the market doesn’t necessarily behave like a perfectly Free Market. And certain Doctors can almost always be seen as miniature monopolies. This really precludes the ability to discriminate, without reducing a buyer’s options to harmful levels.
7) So, if a buyer (in this case a PATIENT) is refused the help they need on the grounds of “I don’t like your parents”, that person IS being harmed.
After reading some of the prior comments again, I will reiterate, even though I am sure the point will be lost by most. Another doctor stood in for her, so there was no imminent danger possibly being unaddressed. She works in a private practice, so depending on the ownership of the practice, her behavior could result in her employment termination, or in the practice continually losing business as a result of her actions. Businesses operating in a free market will either sometimes fail, or they succeed, based upon reputation. Trying to overly regulate with legislation sets us all up to be in business/relationships which we would be better off without. I know that I would rather manage my affairs with people who are honest,and not those who maybe right off the bat would hold a negative attitude about me.
Ethics, Karen, ethics. You are missing the point. What she did was unprofessional, unethical, and wrong.
I agree that it was unprofessional, but not unethical, or wrong. Only because this is an area of the profession which often encompasses more family involvement. For instance, foreseeing a possible future situation when the child is possibly entering into sexual activity, and Dr. Roi perhaps thinking there would be potentially awkward, if not downright offensive conversations at that time. The relationship between a pediatrician and patient can require a very different type of trust, along with honesty and the ability to openly communicate about topics that would never emerge in different types of practices. Another example, cases of neglect, or abuse…pediatricians are often the front line, and it would not help matters much if there was more trepidation ( than normally), when consulting with the parents. I view this story as a singular event, not some mass onslaught of kids being rejected by physicians. The viewpoints expressed which ran along the lines of the doctor not being able to suppress her gorge at the thought, etc.etc., are concluding ideas of hate, when it may all stem from the exact opposite. Perhaps she felt she would someday possibly fail the child, as her advocate, or her advisor, or that she would inadvertently cause harm. Otherwise, I question what type of standard should be in place, what criteria be met by all pediatricians…if the day comes that a patient requests an opinion about sexual relationships , is rubber stamped approval the bar to be set?
I am not confident her arrangement for another provider in the practice to take over the scheduled appointment covers her with respect to Michigan law regarding patient abandonment. She had established care with the patient and scheduled an appointment. She clearly has the legal right to discharge the patient but adequate notification is required. This MI case is of interest. http://www.michbar.org/opinions/appeals/2003/080503/19860.pdf