Politics: Legitimate and Illegitimate Medicine

Posted: May 19th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Ethics, Politics | No Comments »

I strive to avoid political topics here that stray beyond direct, immediate applicability to genital cutting. We all have our own set of beliefs. I have mine, but I do not wish to turn anyone away from Choose Intact’s focus because we disagree on something unrelated. I write this with that idea in mind, although I don’t think the comparison I’m about to make is particularly controversial.

The challenge we face as advocates for bodily integrity and autonomy for all revolve around the two core facts in what we oppose: non-therapeutic genital cutting on non-consenting individuals. This story (from 11 days ago) involves a comparison on both points (emphasis added):

A District Administrative law judge Monday refused a request from a Wisconsin Avenue pain doctor to reverse temporarily a decision by the DC Department of Health that stops him from writing prescriptions for powerful pain medications.

Dr. Alen Salerian runs the Salerian Center for Neuroscience & Pain in far Northwest, and had his right to prescribe Class Two narcotics suspended earlier this month. That action followed by less than two days, and contradicts, a Drug Enforcement Administration decision that allows him to write these prescriptions until 2015.

In court documents, The Department of Health maintains Salerian “has prescribed highly addictive controlled substances to patients without medical sufficient necessity.”

With pain management, the government prohibits a doctor-patient relationship where a therapeutic need exists and all parties consent in order to achieve some tangential (i.e. irrelevant) political objective. That is, our government holds the belief that “Drugs are bad” higher than the care and well-being of individual citizens. It rejects science because it’s not politically acceptable. Real people are suffering because we’re allowing politics to prohibit medicine.

With genital cutting, the government creates a doctor-patient relationship where no therapeutic need exists and not all parties consent in order to order to achieve some tangential (i.e. irrelevant) political objective. That is, our government holds the belief that “Parents may choose (for their sons only)” higher than the care and well-being of individual citizens. It rejects science because it’s not politically acceptable. Real people are suffering because we’re allowing politics to encourage culture masquerading as medicine.

As I said, I have an opinion on the story beyond the scope of this blog. If yours differs, I think and hope we can disagree without disputing the hypocrisy this post highlights. Here we have a scenario for activists that demonstrates exactly why the individual needs to be the primary concern in our activism for genital integrity. Anything that disrupts the focus from individual people – the distinction between patient and victim – is our target. We need to continue interacting with our elected representatives to eliminate this hypocrisy and to correct our approach to rights, ethics, and science. It’s currently skewed away from all three. If our representatives won’t listen, we can and should work to elect new, better representatives.

Link via The Agitator.



Leave a Reply

  • *