I just returned from some terrific travel. I was in Italy and Tel Aviv (fun and family) and a week later, I flew to New York. This last trip was for the Save the Children gala. Once more we celebrated and honored those who helped the organization save newborn lives, provide prenatal to mothers and medical care, nutrition, education, security (and a future) to underserved children in the US and worldwide. I’m so proud to be a part of this organization. While abroad I was peppered with questions about our election. Europeans and Israelis just can’t understand what’s happening. And I was hard-pressed to explain…
I just received a letter from The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of which I am a fellow. (Somehow the appellation “fellow” does not sound gender appropriate.) Rather than openly suggest who the College felt we should vote for, they asked us to consider if we know how our vote would impact our Ob/ GYN practice. I know that there are huge efforts to influence the vote on so many issues but I thought this was an additional interesting approach… In the letter, the College detailed several important issues that impact their members and ultimately the health care of more than half of our population.
The first was legislative interference. They questioned whether we as physicians support the sanctity the patient/physician relationship? And whether we believe that the government should be able to dictate the information that we share with her patients? They then considered medical liability. Would we vote for medical liability reform? Would we cap damages as part of a comprehensive medical liability reform? They point out that rising liability costs have driven many ACOG members out of obstetrics.They state that 99% of OB/GYN’s will be sued by the end of their careers. Not because they are negligent, but because it reflects the uncertainty of delivering a perfect baby even with the very best care. As a result of these numbers the average age when an OB/GYN stops practicing obstetrics is now 48 years old! The last issue raised dealt with patient access to contraception. They questioned the fellows as to whether they support federal/state funding of contraceptives? Does that include funding for emergency contraception? And do they agree that insurers should be required to provide coverage for contraception. They point out that in the recent years the Supreme Court Hobby Lobby decision and congressional attempts to cut funding for Title X and Planned Parenthood’s preventive services through Medicare has had an impact on many states.
Now we know how Trump would respond (belligerently, uninformed and ungrammatically). All of the questions posed by the College that represents board certified OB/ Gyns revolve around women’s reproductive and health rights and the rights of physicians trying to care for them. Although they didn’t state outright that a vote for Trump would have an extremely negative impact on all these issues it’s clear that they implied that their fellows should vote for Hillary Clinton. Thank goodness and I’ll proudly keep my membership….
I have always been a tremendous Hillary supporter. Not only has she devoted much of her last 30 years of public service to help ensure the health of children, and the rights of women. She has extraordinary experience and intelligence and would be a formidable president. I’m not sure that this medical website is the place to denounce Mr. Trump, others have done that extraordinarily well. See Thomas Friedman’s column in the Wednesday New York Times ” Donald Trump Voters Just Hear Me Out!”
I do know that my website will be coming out on Friday before the elections and hope that those of you who are my former patients and others who simply read my website to get medical information will vote on Tuesday and make the right choice!