Should Doctors Be Allowed To Lie To Their Patients? Scott Walker Thinks So


Scott Walker is no stranger to flip-flops, it seems. In order to curry favor with social conservatives in Iowa, recently, he touted his anti-choice position by saying he supports so-called personhood amendments which say that life begins at conception, and which would ban pretty much all abortions. They would also ban some forms of birth control. However, he also signed into law legislation that would, as he put it, leave that decision to a woman and her doctor.

According to Think Progress, when Walker was part of Wisconsin’s state legislature, he not only supported anti-choice positions, he actually supported legislation that would allow doctors to lie to their patients about severe fetal abnormalities, if the doctor feared his patient would seek an abortion.

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What kind of person supports a doctor lying to their patients? Even a lie of omission is a lie. Legality aside, that’s a huge breach of ethics and breaks the trust that must necessarily exist between patients and doctors. It’s absolutely ridiculous and absurd that any lawmaker would support such a thing.

But support that, they do. According to The Raw Story, in Arizona, they tried to pass such a measure a few years ago. The bill would have protected doctors from lawsuits if they withheld such information from their patients, who only found out after the child was born that it had a disability. GOP State Senator Nancy Barto said she couldn’t believe that people were suing doctors over something like that.

Of course, at the time, Sen. Barto also said that if there was evidence that the doctor had intentionally withheld information, then a lawsuit was warranted. Preventing that, however, is the whole purpose of these laws: They’re supposed to allow doctors to withhold information if they don’t want such information resulting in an abortion.

Kansas also tried to pass something like this. These Republicans complain up one side and down the other about the government getting between patients and their doctors, and yet, they want doctors to know what information the government believes women should hear, and what information women shouldn’t hear.

If this is still a position that Walker holds, then he’s not fit to be the governor of a state, let alone president. It’s not clear whether he still holds this position, but one has to ask, which is it, Governor Walker? Should the decision be between a woman and her doctor, or between the woman, her doctor, and the government?

Featured image by Gage Skidmore. Licensed under CC-BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

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