Last week, Ohio Right to Life issued a press release on a forced abortion in Dayton, announcing complaints filed by our friends at Dayton Right to Life with the State Medical Board of Ohio. According to a citation report by the Ohio Department of Health, the Kettering abortion facility, Women’s Med Center, violated Ohio Administrative Code 3701-83-07 (A)(2), which states, “Each patient shall be allowed to refuse or withdraw consent for treatment.”
This morning, the Columbus Dispatch is running an editorial (copied below) that reflects on the “troubling” nature of the abortionist’s actions. As the editorial board writes, “It is very troubling that a doctor subjected a patient to a nonemergency, elective medical procedure when the patient was not competent to make judgments about that treatment.”
This editorial is undeniably significant. As the largest and most influential paper in the state, the Dispatch is shining neutral, bipartisan light on why this should be taken seriously.
The thrust of the Dispatch’s opinion is to highlight the political nature of this case in a pro-life state with pro-life lawmakers and laws. But the politicization of this case is not owned by pro-life leadership. The politicization of this tragic case belongs to Ohio’s abortion lobby, NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, which has avoided condemning the facility’s violation of a woman’s “right to choose” for the last week, a contradiction of the “pro-choice” mantra.
The Dispatch wisely underscores the importance of informed consent in any medical procedure, demonstrating how this case transcends the abortion debate as a much larger violation of the medical code of ethics:
“The doctor’s decision to proceed is likely unethical and might be illegal, according to Dr. Ryan R. Nash, director of the Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities at Ohio State University. ‘The basis for informed consent by patients is the right of refusal,” he told The Dispatch. ‘The patient has the right to say no right up until the time of the procedure. It’s ethically obligatory.'”
As this story continues to grab the attention of our state’s opinion leaders, we remain insistent that a violation of a woman’s right to refuse an abortion is taken seriously. The dismemberment of a human child cannot be undone. As a state, we need to ensure that a woman’s right to informed consent is protected. To do otherwise would have grave implications not only for the life of the unborn child, for the very dignity of abortion-vulnerable women.
Director of Communications
Ohio Right to Life
88 East Broad Street, Suite 620
Columbus, Ohio 43215
614/547-0099, ext. 304
Editorial: Abortion fight politicizes case
Wednesday August 10, 2016 5:41 AM
A case in which a doctor performed an abortion on a woman who was known to be high on drugs raises an important question about medical ethics. But any disciplinary action that might be taken could be muddied by abortion politics.
In the spring of 2015, an abortion was performed at Women’s Med Center in Dayton on a patient who was so high on drugs that, after the abortion, she had to be hospitalized and treated for a suspected overdose.
The friend who drove the woman to the clinic told staffers that the patient had taken the muscle relaxant Soma and painkillers Percocet and Suboxone and “perhaps some heroin.” According to the Ohio Health Department, which investigated the case, the patient was so intoxicated that she could not walk, converse or hold up her head.
Despite this, a doctor performed the abortion because the patient already was dilated by pre-surgery treatment, and might have delivered the baby prematurely or had a miscarriage.
Though the patient had consented to the abortion the day before in the presurgery phase of the procedure, on the day of the surgery, by performing the abortion on a woman who was not in a responsible state of mind, the physician essentially broke Ohio law by denying her the opportunity to reconsider her decision, said Paul Coudron, executive director of anti-abortion group Dayton Right to Life
Complaints against the clinic have been filed with the Ohio Medical Board by Dayton Right to Life and the Ohio Department of Health. The status of the case remains confidential until presented to the board by board staff.
It is very troubling that a doctor subjected a patient to a nonemergency, elective medical procedure when the patient was not competent to make judgments about that treatment.
The doctor’s decision to proceed is likely unethical and might be illegal, according to Dr. Ryan R. Nash, director of the Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities at Ohio State University. “The basis for informed consent by patients is the right of refusal,” he told The Dispatch. “The patient has the right to say no right up until the time of the procedure. It’s ethically obligatory.”
But any decision that might be made by the state medical board will be colored by abortion politics, because the chairman of the board is Michael Gonidakis, president of Ohio Right to Life. And Ohio lawmakers have been imposing conditions on Ohio abortion clinics to the point where half have closed. Those conditions are enforced by the same Ohio Department of Health that has joined in the complaint against the Dayton clinic.
Already, the clinic and NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio have raised the issue of whether a state medical board headed by an abortion foe can be trusted to make an objective decision about this case.
Gonidakis argues that he has no control over the decisions of the other 11 members of the board who would debate and vote on any sanctions to be imposed in this case. He also said he will recuse himself from the case if board attorneys advise it. A recusal is advisable whether or not board attorneys suggest it. If sanctions are imposed, it is important that they be seen as objective enforcement of medical ethics and not as a further attempt to undermine another of Ohio’s shrinking number of abortion providers.