Needing an Intervention
Our preference for medical intervention shows a wider, more negative trend in America’s psyche.
One of the strangest concepts is “patient guilt.” This refers to the feeling of remorse that some people have when they visit a doctor. She is tempted to try to hide her troubles and make them seem less serious for the doctor. She’s ashamed to ask for help–she, a lowly nobody–from the great man in white, the medical professional.
It’s a sign of a almost religious reverence for medicine. Instead of viewing doctors as someone we employ to improve our health , we view them more like people who do for us . We have an odd desire to please and gain their approval. When previous generations received house visits, we will gladly give up half our workday in order to spend time with sick patients. We are led into the holy site by a scrub-clad acolyte and jump at the opportunity to hear the phrase “The doctor will see” This pilgrimaging can be used to get our monthly assurances of pardon and to make an indulgence to confirm that we truly are clean.
Tennessee’s post-Roe trigger law went into effect this week. Set to begin 30 days after the overturn of Roe v. Wade, the Human Life Protection Act was passed in 2019 and bans all abortions in the state, “except in situations where the abortion is necessary to prevent the death of pregnant women or prevent serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of major bodily function”–that is, in the treatment of an ectopic pregnancy. This law charges any doctor performing an abortion in Tennessee with a Class B felony. This could mean anywhere from three to 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. This is the same penalty as for armed burglary, but not for murder. These grounds allow us to say that the law can be considered mild.
But of course, all the usual suspects are up in arms. Because the law puts the burden on the doctor, not the state to prove that the doctor performed the abortion, they are angry. You will be upset about any ban, even one that has real consequences, if abortions are available on demand. Still, it is not only the ban but the idea that the licensed professional performing the abortion should have to justify it that has really twisted some knickers. It’s easy to understand why.
It wasn’t so long ago that we were called murderers for leaving the house without KN-95 masks over our noses and mouths. Covid showed that, in addition to being rule-mongers and nagging, certain Americans hold a sacred reverence for all things medical. Although it is true that they worshiped all doctors because there were plenty of differences within the medical field, the truth is that they bow to the rigidly uniform medical establishment. The only reason 2020, 2021, and even the beginning of 2022 were the way they were was because a significant portion of the population was, and is, desperate for its lifestyle to be approved by the white coats.
They are also eager for intervention by the white coats, an important corollary. We have become accustomed to intervention being the norm in the medical profession. The patient demands tangible solutions. Today, the doctor is expected to recommend something even if it’s preventative. This preference to take action is evident in the number of well-checks. Ironically, however, when we come home after two hours spent on fluorescents with feverish companions, only to find that we have a cold, it’s ironic. (It was for health’s sake, though.
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Patients sought a remedy for their chronic unhappiness. Rather than recommend a pastor to them, Klaus Schmiegel, who was a German man, invented Prozac. We now know that it is a placebo. Margaret Sanger explained that women wanted love and freedom without the need to have children. Now, the science of healing has made it a well-established branch. Every case involved a patient who was anxious to find the magic pill that would solve all of her problems. She didn’t think twice about whether or not the intervention was necessary. Is it possible that the doctor can be omniscient and also be omnipotent?
We shouldn’t disturb the delicate balance in nature by making any changes. Although it is obvious that illness requires treatment, does a headache need morphine to treat? This solution is wildly unlikely, but we would not be surprised if the doctor said so. Medical skills are vital. Doctors are just as important as pastors. However, to those who are given much, more is needed. It is the burden of proof on the doctor to prove his intervention. This applies not just in the case of ectopic pregnancies. He has to do it. Every time, at least one person’s life is in danger. In some instances, it may be two.
Tennessee has a new trigger law that is very good. The law bans abortion, but it’s also good for the patients and the doctors. Next, we should think about how other laws around drugs and public health can be changed to allow for the same.