Thursday, November 20, 2008

Get another job or turn in your license!

Recently, in an effort to push through as much as possible before leaving office, Mr Bush has passed an abortion ruling that will "sweeping new protections to health care providers who oppose abortion and other procedures on religious or moral grounds" It will prevent anyone receiving federal moneys from discriminating against anyone who doesn't want to participate in these areas due to religious or moral convictions. The fear is that this is going to empower pharmacists and others who take the same stance with birth control, the day after pill, etc as they do with abortion.

With this ruling, there is an increased chance that a woman in an ER that has been raped will not be given the choice of getting a prescription to Plan B ("the morning after pill"), or a woman going to a local pharmacy (maybe the only one in her neighborhood or for miles around) being refused when trying to fill such a prescription, or even a woman being refused birth control pills! Simply because the person she deals with is against abortion, birth control, etc.'s my real problem with all of this. These people should get out of the business or at least find another job! If you do not want to, or cannot perform these duties, find another job. Simple.

I am a RN, and have been for over 32 years. As a RN it was my duty to follow doctors orders, even if I disagreed with them, unless I knew it would cause a patient harm. For example, a patient comes into an ER with flu symptoms. This patient has no other medical diabetes or heart disease, no chronic conditions, pretty much a healthy adult with the flu. If the ER doc orders an antibiotic, which is useless against viral infections I must administer it. I can argue with the doc, but if he insists and writes the order, I am required to follow it. Now change the story to a person with a known allergy to penicillin and a doctor's order for penicillin, well now it is my duty to refuse to give the medication. The difference is that in the case with the allergy there is a very good chance this prescription will cause harm, while giving it for the flu with no allergy will not likely cause harm.

Now, what would happen if, in the first case, I refused to give the medication? At the very least I would be disciplined, at worst I could be fired.

I have a cousin that is a Jehovah's Witness. She doesn't believe in receiving blood or blood made products. She should she be able to refuse to give a patient a unit of blood? It is her religious belief that no one should be given blood products....but how long do you think it would take for her to be fired if she claimed it was against her religion?

I have no problem with people having religious convictions. I just have a problem with them imposing those convictions on others.

If a doctor or nurse doesn't want to be involved in abortions or birth control or the morning after pill, they shouldn't work in areas where those issues will arise. If a pharmacist has a problem with birth control or Plan B they should get into another business.

Friday, November 14, 2008



I almost cried when I read this article today: 
Acid attack keeps Afghan girls away from school

Men on motorcycles splashed acid on young women (girls actually) who were apparently going to school. Simply because they were headed to school, to learn, they were attacked, viciously attacked. Men with bottles filled with acid stopped and threw it at groups of girls on their way to school. Some of them were with teachers. Some of the girls were lucky, but at least one will be scarred for life and one still cannot see....she may be blind for life.

Horrible, disgusting. But it's even worse. This was a planned attack. According to MSNBC, at the same time, in 3 different places men on motorcycles attacked girls simply because they were going to school. A planned attack!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Olbermann: Gay marriage is a question of love

Finally tonight as promised, a Special Comment on the passage, last week, of Proposition Eight in California, which rescinded the right of same-sex couples to marry, and tilted the balance on this issue, from coast to coast.

Some parameters, as preface. This isn't about yelling, and this isn't about politics, and this isn't really just about Prop-8. And I don't have a personal investment in this: I'm not gay, I had to strain to think of one member of even my very extended family who is, I have no personal stories of close friends or colleagues fighting the prejudice that still pervades their lives.

And yet to me this vote is horrible. Horrible. Because this isn't about yelling, and this isn't about politics. This is about the human heart, and if that sounds corny, so be it.

If you voted for this Proposition or support those who did or the sentiment they expressed, I have some questions, because, truly, I do not understand. Why does this matter to you? What is it to you? In a time of impermanence and fly-by-night relationships, these people over here want the same chance at permanence and happiness that is your option. They don't want to deny you yours. They don't want to take anything away from you. They want what you want—a chance to be a little less alone in the world.

Only now you are saying to them—no. You can't have it on these terms. Maybe something similar. If they behave. If they don't cause too much trouble. You'll even give them all the same legal rights—even as you're taking away the legal right, which they already had. A world around them, still anchored in love and marriage, and you are saying, no, you can't marry. What if somebody passed a law that said you couldn't marry?

I keep hearing this term "re-defining" marriage. If this country hadn't re-defined marriage, black people still couldn't marry white people. Sixteen states had laws on the books which made that illegal in 1967. 1967.

The parents of the President-Elect of the United States couldn't have married in nearly one third of the states of the country their son grew up to lead. But it's worse than that. If this country had not "re-defined" marriage, some black people still couldn't marry black people. It is one of the most overlooked and cruelest parts of our sad story of slavery. Marriages were not legally recognized, if the people were slaves. Since slaves were property, they could not legally be husband and wife, or mother and child. Their marriage vows were different: not "Until Death, Do You Part," but "Until Death or Distance, Do You Part." Marriages among slaves were not legally recognized.

You know, just like marriages today in California are not legally recognized, if the people are gay.

And uncountable in our history are the number of men and women, forced by society into marrying the opposite sex, in sham marriages, or marriages of convenience, or just marriages of not knowing, centuries of men and women who have lived their lives in shame and unhappiness, and who have, through a lie to themselves or others, broken countless other lives, of spouses and children, all because we said a man couldn't marry another man, or a woman couldn't marry another woman. The sanctity of marriage.

How many marriages like that have there been and how on earth do they increase the "sanctity" of marriage rather than render the term, meaningless?

What is this, to you? Nobody is asking you to embrace their expression of love. But don't you, as human beings, have to embrace... that love? The world is barren enough.

It is stacked against love, and against hope, and against those very few and precious emotions that enable us to go forward. Your marriage only stands a 50-50 chance of lasting, no matter how much you feel and how hard you work.

And here are people overjoyed at the prospect of just that chance, and that work, just for the hope of having that feeling. With so much hate in the world, with so much meaningless division, and people pitted against people for no good reason, this is what your religion tells you to do? With your experience of life and this world and all its sadnesses, this is what your conscience tells you to do?

With your knowledge that life, with endless vigor, seems to tilt the playing field on which we all live, in favor of unhappiness and hate... this is what your heart tells you to do? You want to sanctify marriage? You want to honor your God and the universal love you believe he represents? Then Spread happiness—this tiny, symbolic, semantical grain of happiness—share it with all those who seek it. Quote me anything from your religious leader or book of choice telling you to stand against this. And then tell me how you can believe both that statement and another statement, another one which reads only "do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

You are asked now, by your country, and perhaps by your creator, to stand on one side or another. You are asked now to stand, not on a question of politics, not on a question of religion, not on a question of gay or straight. You are asked now to stand, on a question of love. All you need do is stand, and let the tiny ember of love meet its own fate.

You don't have to help it, you don't have it applaud it, you don't have to fight for it. Just don't put it out. Just don't extinguish it. Because while it may at first look like that love is between two people you don't know and you don't understand and maybe you don't even want to know. It is, in fact, the ember of your love, for your fellow person just because this is the only world we have. And the other guy counts, too.

This is the second time in ten days I find myself concluding by turning to, of all things, the closing plea for mercy by Clarence Darrow in a murder trial.

But what he said, fits what is really at the heart of this:

"I was reading last night of the aspiration of the old Persian poet, Omar-Khayyam," he told the judge. It appealed to me as the highest that I can vision. I wish it was in my heart, and I wish it was in the hearts of all: So I be written in the Book of Love; I do not care about that Book above. Erase my name, or write it as you will, So I be written in the Book of Love."