Thursday, February 19, 2015

Wouldn't be my call, but it's not my call.

If you read only the headline, your reaction is probably to condemn the pediatrician as an evil, narrow-minded, heartless woman.

But if you read more than the headline, you see:

//Jami and Krista Contreras live in Oak Park, Michigan, a state without protections for LGBT people, and the state the 6th Circuit ruled can deny marriage to same-sex couples. But when they found a pediatrician who met their requirements, and knew they were a couple, they were thrilled to bring their six-day old newborn baby to her for her first wellness checkup.

The couple met with Dr. Roi before their baby was born, and were pleased. But they say when the got to the office of Dr. Vesna Roi at Eastlake Pediatrics last October for the baby's first checkup, they were told that they would have to see a different pediatrician. Now they're speaking out because they feel a great sense of injustice.

A few weeks ago, Dr. Roi sent them a letter to explain her decision.

"I never meant to hurt either of you," Dr. Roi writes. "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."

"Please know that I believe that God gives us free choice and I would never judge anyone based on what they do with that free choice," the letter, obtained by the Detroit Free Press, continues. "Again, I am very sorry for the hurt and angry feelings that were created by this. I hope that you can accept my apology."

She signed the message, "Blessings."

The Contreras couple are not satisfied.

"We want people to know that this is happening to families. This is really happening," Jami Contreras says. "It was embarrassing. It was humiliating. ... It's just wrong."//

So, the pediatrician was concerned that she couldn't overcome her own prejudices in forming a relationship with the mothers of the child, and she felt that would be detrimental to her care for the child, and she exercised her freedom of choice/conscience/contract in the best interests of the child.

Is this evil?

Is this even wrong?

It's not the direction I would go in, because, frankly, I just don't care enough, but that would probably be true if they were smokers or adulterers or spoke like Okies. Also it seems like a great business opportunity for doctors who have a more inclusive approach to their marketing.

We recognize that freedom means that some people will make choices that other people disagree with, but the alternative is to make this pediatrician into a kind of slave and to punish her for exercising her freedom of choice and conscience.

Nothing in this article says that the child is not being cared for, or that the pediatrician would have made the same decision if she was the only available pediatrician.  Insofar as she doesn't have a monopoly on pediatric services, isn't her exercise of her choice over her body?

It would seem that this is less about health care for the baby than about punishing someone who holds an ungood badthink opinion.

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