Friday, February 03, 2006

Neither sleet, nor ethics, nor dark of night, nor threat of law shall stop the culture of death on its appointed rounds...


Having found myself on the campus of the University of Illinois this afternoon, I passed a demonstration calling for the removal of Kathryn Waldyke, a physician at the McKinley Heath Center there on campus. They were not protesting the fact that she is pro-choice, or rather, not merely protesting for that fact alone. While I would share their hopes of a pro-life medical center--I wouldn't want my student fees supporting contraceptive/abortifacient services--I wouldn't expect it in a state school while Roe v. Wade is in force; they probably don't expect it, either.

Anyway, I only heard part of the spiel from the protester with the megaphone, but what I did hear was alarming. One student went in for a regular checkup, if I'm not getting my anecdotes mixed up, and without being asked Dr. Waldyke wrote a prescription for the morning-after pill with six refills, telling the student patient "If you don't need them, give them to your friends." Another time, an undercover student reporter made an appointment with Dr. Waldyke, and told her a story about the student's 15 year old sister who had, shall we say, an accident while having sex. The doctor agreed to prescribe Plan B to the sister, sight unseen.

You shouldn't have to be pro-life to see the problem here. In the United States, it's illegal to share your prescription drugs with someone else, and unethical to suggest you do so; and while it's not illegal in many states to write prescriptions without a thorough exam (I have talked to people who have called their doctor, complained of flu-like symptoms, and had the Rx faxed to a pharmacy so these people could save some trouble), it should never be trivialized, especially under such circumstances as what in most states (including Illinois) would be statutory rape. I am unaware of any report to the police on this matter, although I'm sure I am not in full possession of the facts.

I don't even know what else to say. I probably don't really need to add anything.


Anonymous said...

Dr. Waldyke is my physician at the University of Illinois. She is wonderful, very personable, funny, down to earth. She takes the time to explain symptoms, treatments, etc. She is active in her community, intelligent, and informed. This is probably why she gave the prescription. What options do you think a 15 year old girl has in our society if she wants an abortion? What is the alternative, a coat hanger in a back alley? I think that if you should be outraged it should be at the system and not Dr. Waldyke. Issues like teen pregnancy are far more complex than you can understand.

Ed Pie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ed Pie said...

Thanks, but I can in fact understand teen pregnancy, or rather, the fundamental moral issues, well enough to know that objective evils don't become good through good intentions or desperate circumstances, and that crimes committed with good intent are still illegal.

If you have a more transcendent argument, please present it and explain why I can't apply "terminate the pregnancy" to "terminate the toddler."

Doctor Waldyke, meanwhile, is part of the system. What options do you think an unborn child has in our society if the mother wants an abortion?

Do you know how many coathanger abortions were actually performed before 1973, relative to ones performed in clinics by discreet doctors?

Do you know whether abortion rates rose or fell after prophylaxis became widely available? Hint: not the latter.

I'm glad you have a doctor you're comfortable with, but being funny, friendly, socially minded, and intelligent does not make sharing prescription drugs or declining to report statutory rape any less illegal.

It's really hard to see abortion as a good idea, hardly even rising to the level of "necessary evil" in today's society, when the most sanguine arguments for it are grounded in the assumption that we should remove anything that might prevent minors from having sex.