Monday, May 3, 2010
On my ob/gyn rotation, a 30 year old woman presented to our clinic with diffuse abdominal pain for 6 weeks. She noticed increase girth in her abdomen for the past month and had increased satiety. Additionally, she also noticed a 10 pound weight loss in the past 4 weeks.
Her lab results returned with an increased white blood cell count (noting inflammation) and an elevated CA-125 (a non-specific marker for ovarian cancer). On ultrasound, we saw an enlarged right ovary with a solid mass. After discussing options with the patient, we recommended doing a biopsy of her right ovary. The next week, the biopsy came back positive for ovarian cancer.
After a long discussion as a team, we decided to tell the patient that everything came back normal with her biopsy and it was a benign mass. We would then convince her to get pregnant as soon as possible by convincing her that this mass could possibly cause fertility issues in the near future. We feared if we told her the true results, she might opt for a hysterectomy -- wasting a perfectly good opportunity to bring a child into this world. Although we only knew this patient for a couple of weeks, we thought it best to make a decision for her by not telling her the results of the biopsy. Clearly, as physicians, we know what was best for this patient and her life. And, if she followed our advice by getting pregnant, she could die in her mid-30s from ovarian cancer knowing that she served her ultimate purpose as a woman. And we could all sleep better at night.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME???? As if you couldn't figure it out, this is a completely made up story. However, piggy backing off of Mr. Banana Grabber's post on Friday, not completely different from what Oklahoma is doing with this insane law.
As a future physician and ob/gyn, I cannot imagine looking my patient in the face knowing that something was seriously wrong with her baby, and telling her everything is perfectly fine. It's sick. And any doctor who knowingly does that should lose their license and never be able to practice again. Women and men on all sides of the debate should be outraged. Even if you are rabidly pro-life, you should be extremely offended that a doctor could make a decision for you and not tell you crucial information that you would need in order to prepare for the birth of a special-needs child. Even Sarah Palin should be outraged, as the mother of a baby with Down syndrome.
Imagine if the daughter of one of those moronic legislators delivered a severely deformed baby, thinking the whole time it was perfectly healthy because the doctor said it was...there would be hell to pay.