Remember that bill that would allow Michigan’s EMTs and doctors to refuse to treat gay patients on “religious grounds”? Well, in case you were wondering why laws, bills and ideas like this might be bad, take a gander at the story of two local moms whose daughter was denied care because of her parents’ sexual orientation.
Jami and Krista Contreras of Oak Park were just as excited as most parents when they found out that they were having a baby. They were so excited, in fact, that they had the perfect doctor – based in Roseville – picked out months in advance.
The pediatrician, Vesna Roi, who has been practicing for 19 years, takes a holistic approach to medicine, using natural oils and probiotics on her patients, which is something that appealed to the couple. She knew that the women were lesbians before agreeing to see their child, the Free Press reports.
She took back that promise, however, while the couple sat in her office with their 6-day-old daughter, Bay, for her first check up. Another doctor told the couple that Roi had changed her mind after much prayer and decided that she couldn’t treat the baby – a decision that is perfectly legal, Wayne State University constitutional law professor Robert Sedler told the Free Press.
See the doctor’s apology letter here.
The couple kept their story under wraps since last October when the incident occurred, but recently broke their silence.
“We want people to know that this is happening to families. This is really happening,” Jami told the Detroit Free Press. “It was embarrassing. It was humiliating … It’s just wrong.”
Roi, citing HIPPA laws, would not comment on the incident, but that didn’t stop a slew of local Detroiters from commenting on the doctor’s action.
“The ‘apology’ letter is laughable,” writes Free Press reader John Hopkins. “‘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.’ Except you just did that.”
Others, like Mike Sprang, argue that the doctor was well within her rights to deny a service, and suggests those who don’t agree with the decision take their business elsewhere.
Doctors take a Hippocratic Oath that binds them to “prevent disease whenever [they] can…[and] remember that [they] remain a member of society, with special obligations to all [their] fellow human beings…”
So, doesn’t this mean that she had an obligation to treat the Contreras’ daughter – as a fellow human? Call us crazy, but we think so.
So, what do you think? Was this doctor within her rights to deny this patient care or should medical treatment always come before a doctor’s personal beliefs?