GPs duty is to their patients

The HoS reports:

A young woman was refused the birth control pill because she had not yet done her “reproductive job”.

Melissa Pont, 23, said her family practitioner, Dr Joseph Lee, would not renew her pill prescription, instead lecturing her on a baby’s right to live and on using the rhythm method, an unreliable family planning technique that involves having sex only at certain times of the month.

That’s appalling.

I’m all for the right of doctors not to be involved in abortions, on conscience grounds. But to refuse a patient as you think she should be reproducing is appalling behaviour.

The NZ Medical Association said doctors can refuse treatment in non-emergency situations if their beliefs prohibit it – but they are required to refer the patient to another doctor.

Lee was initially reluctant to do that, Pont said, and she was concerned other women in her situation might not have had the confidence to argue back.

Prospective patients should be aware that if you see Dr Lee he may refuse to help you, so best to see another doctor.

Lee, a doctor at Wairau Community Clinic in Blenheim, stood by his views and actions. “I don’t want to interfere with the process of producing life,” the Catholic father-of-two told the Herald on Sunday.

Lee also does not prescribe condoms, and encourages patients as young as 16 to use the rhythm method.

Teen pregnancy might be a girl’s “destiny”, he said, and it was certainly not as bad as same- sex marriage.

Oh Good God. He wants 16 year olds to be getting pregnant, because it was their destiny.

Most Catholic doctors have no problems at not letting their personal beliefs interfere with their jobs. Sadly Dr Lee is not one of them.

The only circumstances in which he would prescribe the contraceptive pill would be if a woman wanted space between pregnancies, or had at least four children.

“I think they’ve already done their reproductive job”.

Hear that women? Don’t stop at three!

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