r/TwoXChromosomes 8d ago

Male anesthesiologist refusing to treat me due to positive at home pregnancy test and scheduled termination Support r/all

I have a surgery scheduled for tomorrow. I also had a positive at home pregnancy test- entirely unwanted- 4 days after a missed period. I scheduled a termination. There will never be a baby. My surgeon is okay with this, there is no medical reason to deny my surgery. The anesthesiologist, however, feels “uncomfortable” and is attempting to refuse to do the procedure. I have spoken to patient relations and a bunch of other people but the surgical team isn’t sure if I will be able to have surgery tomorrow or not due to the anesthesiologist’s “discomfort”. He says he will not feel comfortable administering anesthesia until after the termination. I’ve been waiting for this surgery for YEARS- trying to get access. And for about 7 months getting scheduled. I have taken the time off work and so has my partner who will be helping me recover. There is no legal or medical reason for this. He just feels “uncomfortable” and doesn’t want to do his job due to “ethical concerns”. I am incredibly distressed about this as I thought I WAS THE PATIENT- not the barely formed clump of cells that is currently smaller than a poppy seed. I’m a whole fucking person who is absolutely capable of making her own decisions. Please join me in my anger.

Edit: So many vile comments and DMs. I quite literally didn’t ask for legal advice, or for a debate, for this to get so popular, for trolls to stalk my post history. I asked for support on a sub for women. That’s all I did. That’s it. If that makes you mad, idk what to tell you.

Whether or not it’s a common legality, I’m still having my care compromised out of legal and/or ethical concern for a fetus I don’t want and that sucks. The end.

UPDATE: the nurse just called me and told me I’m scheduled for 9 am and gave me instructions and acted like nothing was out of the ordinary. We ride at dawn, ladies. To all the trolls, fuck you. Me and my clump of cells are getting surgery tomorrow (most likely) and there’s nothing you can do about it. 👊

Bro, I’m not suing anyone stfu ur unoriginal and boring

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u/Pr2r 8d ago edited 8d ago

If you don't have anything supportive to say don't say anything at all. Or you'll get banned.

Someone has already mentioned whatever defense of the anesthesiologist you want to share. Please don't.

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u/[deleted] 8d ago edited 8d ago

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u/[deleted] 8d ago edited 7d ago

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u/[deleted] 8d ago

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u/PGY0 8d ago

Yes. Pregnant women are more sensitive to most anesthetics. This effect is really only noticeable in the later stages of pregnancies. We do our best to avoid general anesthesia in pregnant patients because there is no stage of pregnancy that is unaffected.

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u/Pharmd109 8d ago

Not a lawyer. I am a pharmacist and we have the right to refuse morning after pills etc ethically IF and ONLY IF someone else can furnish it instead.

Probably the same thing here, the anesthesia provider may be able to refuse if his employer can accommodate with a replacement.

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u/beautifulsloth 8d ago

Came here as a pharmacist to say this too. So seconded from another locale I guess

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u/hhfajabags 8d ago

So appreciated!

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u/SnooCrickets2458 8d ago

If you're in the US make sure that the replacement is an in network provider. Short notice, I know but an out of network anesthesiologist could mean $$$$

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u/ghjm 8d ago

You can argue this with most insurance companies if you had no choice in the matter. If the choices you made - the hospital, surgeon, etc - are all in-network, then the whole claim for the entirety of the procedure should be treated as in-network. But like everything else in our ridiculous medical billing system, you'll get screwed if you don't stand up for yourself.

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u/hhfajabags 8d ago

I appreciate your professional insight!

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u/[deleted] 8d ago edited 8d ago

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u/insomniac29 8d ago edited 8d ago

Yeah, I'm inclined to go with this interpretation (and I'm a super feminist woman ready to jump down anyone's throat at the slightest hint of restricting women's healthcare). It doesn't sound like he's a pro-life goon, because he's willing to be involved in the surgery as soon as OP has the abortion, he just doesn't want to be liable for ending the pregnancy himself.

Edit: mods, why was the above comment deleted?

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u/magpiepdx 8d ago

This is exactly what I was thinking. I had a minor surgery, but was put under, when I was about 12 weeks pregnant. The surgeon made me get the okay from my clinic’s OB and I had to sign paperwork about knowing the risks.

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u/FG88_NR 8d ago

It's unfortunate the comment was deleted. It came off as a solid ratuonal to the situation.

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u/therealmegluvsu 8d ago

Out of curiosity, would a "I understand that the anesthesia I am about to be given may harm my unborn fetus should I elect to carry to term" waiver protect the anesthesiologist/hospital? I know you're not a lawyer, just curious.

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u/theartificialkid 8d ago edited 8d ago

Would it provide some protection? Maybe.

Would the doctor be advised to bet their career on that holding up in court? No.

Ultimately medical decision making is an interplay between the right of the patient to autonomy and the responsibility of the doctor to inform and advise. Whatever I sign at the time, if I end up harmed (or having my child malformed and disabled for life) as a result of the doctor’s treatment, there’s always a chance that I’ll say later that I wasn’t properly informed or advised about the risks I was signing up for. And that may or may not result in a judgment against the doctor, but either way the doctor will be tangled in a messy process for months or years while trying to care for their future patients.

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u/mr_potatoface 8d ago

Physicians have been successfully sued by men and women who later decided they wanted to have children after undergoing sterilization and signing waivers that it's irreversible, etc... The reasons for success include claiming the physician didn't clearly tell them it was irreversible, even though they signed paperwork stating that. Waivers are just a deterrent sometimes. If they try to sue, you can say... "You signed the waiver", and hope they drop the case. Even if you successfully defend yourself 99 out of 100 times, the 1 time someone successfully wins may ruin your career.

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u/misshangrypants 8d ago

Am surgical resident. We have waivers for women if they don’t want to take a pregnancy test before the surgery. There’s just so much liability involved that everyone is just trying to cover their ass. So I understand the anesthesia in OP’s story. Everyone is like this bc of how much doctors can get sued.

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u/tgor365 8d ago

No, because a birth defect lawsuit would be on the child’s behalf, and obviously a fetus can’t waive its legal rights. Even if the mother did waive, the father or possibly the child itself, once reaching maturity, could bring the lawsuit on behalf of the child.

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u/Matar_Kubileya 8d ago

There's also an issue where, depending on the nature and necessity of the surgery, said contract would be unconscionable.

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u/Friscoshrugged 8d ago

as an anesthesiologist I can tell you the consent forms are the most basic legal form and is bad news if not signed, but even a perfectly signed and informed consent does nothing for protection when a lawsuit hits. patients can sign waivers to a pregnancy test and assume the risks, BUT thats an entirely different story if they KNOW they are pregnant and still want surgery done. the pregnancy waivers are usually given to people who have reasonable expectations of not being pregnant. hysterectomy, early menopause, etc.

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u/ScottieRobots 8d ago

From my 'not a lawyer' level of understanding of American law, that would probably not provide any real legal protection. Things like this come down to how good is your lawyer, and how much money do you have to throw at it. Contracts get argued over and voided in courts all the time.

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u/Birdbraned 8d ago

From all the call centre stories regarding the waivers signed in other industries a la agreed credit payments, phone bills, purchase agreements, refund conditions, probably not?

Edit: Also all the "I know I was picketing outside your office yesterday, and you're all still murderers, but you have to give me an abortion now" horror stories.

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u/positivfeedback 8d ago

No. Every patient signs waivers like that for literally everything. Doctor still has a duty of care. If he did something reckless and it caused an injury he's liable.

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u/icefire555 8d ago

Every day, (American) courts debate over the validity of signed contracts. That's the joy of our legal system. And in some cases it makes perfect sense. And in other's it makes almost no sense.

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u/JW162000 8d ago

Seems reasonable when you put it like that

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u/rosey_62175 8d ago

Same, male physician not trolling. This is exactly what I thought too. The what if then law suit. Glad it worked out though and that OP can get the procedure. At a guess they either found another provider or the original one had a chat with the hospital lawyer to make sure they were covered.

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u/superiank 8d ago

Thank you. As a fellow MD, people underestimate how much this can affect our thought processes because there are some shitttttty people out there who will sue at the drop of a hat..

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u/I-commented-a-thing 8d ago

This makes sense to me, less "ethical concerns" more I don't know you and I'm covering my ass. Still, can't she get a waiver or something?

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u/Ashaeron 8d ago

Waivers don't mean shit in the us with a good enough lawyer, they're just a small hoop to jump through.

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u/Astroursa 8d ago

Yeah I was thinking this exact same thing.

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u/Strykerz3r0 8d ago

Exactly this. There is a reason that you must speak to anesthesiology, as well as the doctor, before surgery. The most I would say is a possible over-abundance of caution, but considering the risks with anesthesia, this is not a bad thing.

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u/gbyr9015 8d ago

Thanks for the levelheadedness, I was about to post something similar. The anesthesiologist only sees a massive lawsuit and termination of their medical license should the patient change their mind and continue the pregnancy. It’s not malicious, just legally the smart thing to do.

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u/marinamandala 8d ago

Not in Canada, that’s for sure… We have it OTC. I find it absolute BS that someone could refuse medical services to a person.

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u/[deleted] 8d ago

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u/queennehelenia 8d ago edited 8d ago

Are you in the US? I’ve never heard of a family doctor doing IUDs anyway, that’s more of an OB thing

Edit: today I learned! I have enough replies that I get that it’s a thing now. Maybe it’s just never come up at my family doctor. I use PPH for my OB stuff though so I’ve never thought to ask.

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u/hillsmah 8d ago

US primary care providers can have the training to place them. It’s a simple procedure.

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u/kimprobable 8d ago

Mine says they'll remove IUDs but she'd rather I go to an OB for insertion just because she's not comfortable with her ability to do it correctly.

Though the last time I went to the OB for that they sent in a PA to do it who fucked around for a very painful 20 minutes before they got the OB to come in and do it in like 2 minutes, no pain.

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u/QUESO0523 8d ago

My simple procedure could have cost me a pregnancy. She put it in wrong. And she was supposed to be the expert.

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u/gingergirl181 8d ago

Deceptively simple. It might not be complicated in terms of steps or time, but in terms of skill, absolutely it is. I wouldn't trust anyone but an OB to do it. So much that can go wrong with someone who doesn't know EXACTLY what they're doing that would require invasive surgery to fix. And given the care that most ordinary PCPs have towards anything having to do with the female reproductive system...yeah. No thanks.

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u/AlanFromRochester 8d ago

for an example from a different medical field, I know of a family dentist who avoids doing pullings - usually it's straightforward but since that's not his specialty he doesn't want to mess up a more difficult case

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u/hassenpfeffer_inc 8d ago

My NP wouldn't take mine out even though she was all up in there doing a pap. Maybe it's an NP vs MD thing, though.

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u/Turnip_the_bass_sass 8d ago

The NP at the practice I see is the only one on staff trained to do it.

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u/babypton 8d ago

I’m in the us and my primary care does my exams and placed my iud!

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u/redpandaonspeed 8d ago

Family Doctors (General Practitioners) insert IUDs in the US all the time.

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u/JulyFun3 8d ago

Except for Quebec, I had a pharmacist send me to another pharmacy because Plan B went against his beliefs. If you can get it elsewhere they don't have to sell it to you. And while you don't need a prescription, you do need to have a consultation with the pharmacist in Quebec. The second pharmacist was much nicer, reassured me that my pregnancy risk was very small from where I was in my cycle, but I could still take Plan B if I wanted to be sure.

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u/RiceKernel 8d ago

Yes, you are correct. If there is no easily reachable pharmacies with pharmacists willing to give you the Plan B, the pharmacist you visited has to give it to you assuming you are of sound mind and under no external pressure (boyfriend or threats as examples) as an unwanted pregnancy carries far greater risks medically speaking than taking a Plan B. Unfortunately, in Quebec, Plan B is classified as an "Annexe 2" medication (doesn't require a prescription) meaning that a pharmacist can give you that but he has to make a file and conduct a formal analysis of your health profile, hence the so many and usually standardized questions (we have a form that we read from). Finally, he has to document the process in your file at the pharmacy for medico-legal purposes. Medications that are on the shelves don't require this kind of arduous and frankly over-the-top process as if we look at our neighbour (Ontario) or even the USA, Plan B is sold on the shelves, not even behind the counter and sometimes in public vending machines ! I hope this helps clear up some confusion on the entire process.

Edit: clarity

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u/pm-me-your-lasagne 8d ago

What if person A refers you to person B, and person B refers you to person A?

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u/klased5 8d ago

You tell person B that person A wouldn't serve you, the onus is no on B to provide service or a person C.

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u/Liennae 8d ago

Yeah, I've had pharmacists more or less hand it over with a simple explanation, but I do remember once getting asked a bunch of questions about whether I was in a relationship or not, whether I was sleeping around etc. It was very uncomfortable.

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u/VelvetMafia 8d ago

This is just stupid, because Plan B is just a big dose of progesterone. If you haven't ovulated yet (and therefore cannot be pregnant yet) it delays ovulation by 3-5 days. But if you've already ovulated, it encourages implantation and retention of the fertilized ova. So if you're not pregnant it prevents pregnancy, but if you are already pregnant it makes you less likely to miscarry.

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u/frzn_dad 8d ago

Who in their right mind wants someone on their surgical team that doesn't want to be there? Personally I prefer they speak up and find a replacement than hesitate during surgery and risk my life. I don't care why they don't want be there.

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u/Emoooooly 8d ago

Frankly I'd prefer if there was a replacement. I wouldn't feel super confident with my life in the hands of someone who hesitated to go through with the operation for any reason, moral, legal or whatever. Humans are humans and if they aren't confident and prepared to do the job it would make me nervous.

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u/_PM_me_your_nudes_ 8d ago edited 8d ago

Unfortunately despite your absolutely undeniable right to choose what to do with your own body and how to proceed or not with a pregnancy, it is standard medical practice to not administer anesthesia to a pregnant woman regardless of term or impending pregnancy termination. Even if you are 1000% sure you will terminate, it is the anesthesiologist’s medical license that is at stake if something goes wrong with your procedure or if any complication happens to you or the embryo/fetus.

Even if you sign a waiver saying you won’t sue, the hospital has an internal board that could call him in for review.

Unless he is actually saying this for some sort of personal ethical reason, it makes sense from his perspective.

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u/mightywang 8d ago edited 8d ago

This. Let me preface, I am 1000000% pro choice and I am sorry this is happening. I am actually pretty suprised that the hospital and surgeon were ok with this. My hospital (in a blue state) would never go forward. I hope you get this all sorted!!!! Edit: Also wanted to add, I am a lady with a dumb username.

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u/ski_all_year 8d ago

This right here. He may 100% see OP's need to be operated on and treat OP as a human in her own right and not just an "incubator" but all professionals are bound by certain regulations for conduct. He may very well be risking his license. Even if OP doesn't sue, a nurse who doesn't know the full story might report him anonymously and no number if waivers signed by OP will defend his career. I really don't think this is about some personal opinion of the anaesthetist. I think its him working within his practising license

I know OP is looking for support. The best suggestion I saw was get an OB/Gyn to do the termination concurrently. Unfortunately in medical fields there often isn't wriggle room with regulations for the whole spectrum of grey in real life. Good luck OP. I really hope it works out for you.

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u/sznfpv 8d ago

This is absolutely the information required to see the issue clearly. The anesthesiologist is making the decision based on the guidelines of their profession and those guidelines are there for a reason . It would have been great if her primary care provider or surgeon had explained the consequences pregnancy would have on the timing of elective surgery but that boat has sailed . I feel bad for OP but you can’t ask someone to risk their livelihood to preform elective surgery.

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u/FDR-9000 8d ago

Yup bingo. Anesthesiologists always have a bullseye on their backs. Taking needless risks is a bad idea

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u/sleepybarista 8d ago

I agree. The anasthesiologist has no guarantee that OP or anyone else isn't someone who will turn around and decide they want to try to get a big lawsuit-payday by claiming harm to an unborn child. We're always told in nursing to watch out for our own licenses because no one else will so I can understand a doctor wanting to do the same.

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u/SemperFeedback 8d ago

This is probably the only logical response here.

This is not the patriarchy acting up, this is the actual policies in a lot of hospitals and his actual license might be on the line and I don’t see why he should break protocol for you. You might be better off asking for a change at the state level but don’t make him a scapegoat for doing his job properly.

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u/ArazNight 8d ago

On the off chance that this anesthesiologist agrees to this surgery and OP did change her mind (not saying that she will - just theoretically speaking) and she decided to keep the baby, the procedure could lead to potentially devastating affects on the baby. It makes perfect sense for a doctor to refuse to perform the surgery until that risk is completely mitigated. I disagree with OP on this one and am siding with the doctor. Surprised the surgeon is okay with proceeding. Sorry, you are going through this OP, hope everything works out well for you.

Edit: spelling.

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u/TheUltimateSalesman 8d ago

THIS. I don't even understand any other arguments.

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u/meg-c 8d ago edited 8d ago

I agree with this… I work in pre-op and my hospital wouldn’t do an elective surgery on a pregnant person, regardless of wanting to bring said pregnancy to term. It’s not that they don’t want to, but there are far too many litigious possibilities.

Sorry, OP… really truly sorry. I hope things go well tomorrow and they’re able to do it. You could try to sign a pregnancy test refusal (if they try to give you one) and just play dumb…

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u/mursilissilisrum 8d ago

I feel like healthcare and the unstably litigious probably go hand in hand.

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u/AtomR 8d ago edited 8d ago

And, OP isn't replying to you. She made her mind based on responses by non-medical professionals. Telling the males to gtfo by her, doesn't help either.

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u/ImFineJustABitTired 8d ago

She made up her mind way before posting here lmao

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u/Hurricane_Michael 8d ago

Say he's uncomfortable is his polite way of saying he is covering his ass from malpractice and not likely due to any ethical concern. Why the emphasis on the MD being male? A female MD would've likely done the same.

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u/Fettnaepfchen 8d ago

Agree that this is probably the situation. OP, you have the right to ask for another anesthesiologist though. It is not true that surgery or rather anaesthesia on pregnant women is strictly forbidden though, there are several approaches to choose from.

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u/Savome 8d ago

Pretty much this. People in this thread are jumping to conclusions about a professional with their career at stake.

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u/trextra 8d ago

Can you ask the surgeon if they have an OB/Gyn colleague who would be willing to do the termination at the same time?

I don’t know what sort of procedure you’re having, but pregnancy termination is very simple and straightforward. And the fact that you’re willing to sign forms and have it done at the same time may go a long way toward assuaging the anesthesiologist’s concern.

I’m sure it’s mostly liability, and not ethics. But having the above discussion will quickly sort out which one it is.

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u/Goreticus 8d ago

100% about liability, lets say a different person was in OP's position, but decided after her surgery she wanted to give the baby up for adoption instead or w/e the case, and the baby miscarried because of the anesthetic. The hospital could be held liable for the miscarry even if the baby was scheduled for termination before hand.

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u/JessAnon2020 8d ago

Liability is the reason given my husband is also an anesthesiologist and does legal work for lawyers who works for patients who sue their doctors and take them to court. You are making this out to be a female/male perspective issue in some ways. I think it is mostly a legal issue for a doctor who faces A LOT of liability and risks A LOT (risks his whole career, his financial stability, his family) if he does something risky or outside the standard in his field. Anesthesiologists will rarely do something outside the norm or the standard in their field, because the risks are too high. In this case, one risk is that the patient changes their mind about pregnancy termination (it happens all the time, that people change their mind) and now the anesthesiologist is liable for any possible medical issues that occured to the fetus. The anesthesiologist would be opening himself up to huge liabilities, especially since if he winds up in court, he will have to explain why he did something that is not the norm, since doing things by a certain standard or protocol is the best way to avoid being held liable for unwanted outcomes.

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u/EmiliusReturns 8d ago

At 4 days post-missed period they’re probably just going to give her abortion pills to be honest. It wouldn’t even be a procedure yet.

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u/meismariah 8d ago

It can be and it’s completely up to the person. The in clinic procedure can often be easier and less painful than the medication method, even earlier on.

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u/poodlebutt76 8d ago

Yeah, they'll give her ru486 but it's not instantaneous, it's like a large period over many hours, I'm not sure she wants that going on during the surgery.

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u/kuromiii 8d ago

They likely won't because of risk of infection and they don't like to keep patients under anesthesia longer than they have to.

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u/trextra 8d ago

The second concern is valid, but risk of infection is procedure-dependent, not number of simultaneous procedures dependent, iirc. It really depends on what other procedure is happening. I agree, if there’s hardware being implanted, that’s a no-go.

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u/BtheLee 8d ago

OP never said how far along she was but if she does require surgery to terminate surgeons would rather kill two birds with one stone and do both procedures at once. It’s safer than putting someone under twice

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u/FargoLevy 8d ago

I definitely read that as "if she does require surgery to terminate surgeons"

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u/Boloar Coffee Coffee Coffee 8d ago

They must be eradicated

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u/hhfajabags 8d ago

I kind of did. I tested 4 days after a missed period. So 2-4 weeks?

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u/BtheLee 8d ago

So then you’re looking at a chemical induced abortion which can have bleeding complications and you need to be stuffed full of blood before they will do surgery. They most likely won’t give you a transfusion because you’re not critical and by the way it sounds this isn’t an emergent surgery (where the anesthesiologist has no choice but to perform or pass the duty along immediately to another anesthetist) bit more likely an elective/non-emergent surgery where they can turn you down and even put you on a waiting list. Depending on what type of surgery you need if you’re searching for surgeons you can also search for an anesthetist. Preferably one with a maternity background since dosing is different in pregnancy

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u/bedbuffaloes 8d ago

I had a surgical abortion at a similar date.

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u/Irishwol 8d ago

"size of a poppy seed" is pretty early. That's a medical abortion, basically a drug induced period. While generally straightforward it's not a timed or swift procedure, involves a drug load on the body, induces a heavy bleed and is a stress on the body not advisable given surgery is less than 24 hours away. Same as you can't have your covid jab so close to surgery.

That being said your anaesthetist is a twat and should be swapped out. Anything less is a mockery of good medical practice.

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u/limoncelIo 8d ago

basically a drug induced period.

It’s likely going to be more intense and painful than a period. Better to compare it to an early miscarriage.

https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/abortion/the-abortion-pill/how-does-the-abortion-pill-work

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u/Savannah-Banana-Rama 8d ago

I don’t mean to say this in a way that will put fire on the flames or really to defend him but more looking at this from a risk standpoint, but it could be that this Anesthesiologist is worried about the potential liability on his part if he does put the OP under for her surgery.

He could be worried about being sued for malpractice if OP had changed her mind and decided to carry the fetus to term and came out with birth defects that could be traced back to exposure to anesthesia.

I don’t think he’s refusing on ethical or moral grounds, OP did say he was fine with administering Anesthesia after her termination. I can see that he would probably be facing a lot of liability concerns IF the fetus was carried to term.

I could be wrong though and maybe he is a religious whackadoo, but from a legal standpoint I could understand his concern.

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u/OhSoManyThoughts 8d ago

Fact that the Anesthesiologist is fine doing his job after the termination suggests that that it’s less about the termination being planned/occurring and more about him not being comfortable doing it before the termination happening. As mentioned by others, OP - you saying that you have a termination planned unfortunately means little in this situation, because people do change their minds. If the meds he provides harm the fetus in any way, he’d be open to liability, and I can see why he’s uncomfortable with that. And I’m sure you can too. I’d just recommend getting someone who’s not uncomfortable with the situation (another anesthesiologist from the hospital or elsewhere).

I’m sure you’ll be able to get a resolution though getting both done - the surgery and the termination, in no time. Push the hospital for a replacement and I’m sure they’ll oblige. Good luck with your procedures!

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u/kmkmrod 8d ago

The anesthesiologist is uncomfortable because after the surgery but before the termination you can change your mind and cancel the termination.

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u/insomniac391 8d ago

I agree. Putting myself in the anesthesiologists shoes, theres a risk associated with working on a patient whos currently pregnant, if OP is going to terminate theres no risk in just waiting until after. I dont think it has anything to do with OP not being respected because shes a woman.

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u/nocomment3030 8d ago

This isn't refusing care. This is delaying non urgent care. I am a surgeon and I would postpone the procedure unless there was a risk harm in doing so.

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u/TheMania 8d ago

Want to add not just legal liability - if you change your mind and the fetus-turn-baby is damaged by the procedure, how is that fair on the anesthesiologist that swore to do no harm? It's something they have to live with either way.

And even then, and this one may be slightly more controversial, whilst I firmly believe anyone should be able to get help to terminate - I don't see how that turns to "any anesthesiologist can be made to administer drugs that may/may not harm a pregnancy". It's not a sanctioned method, you're basically asking for off-label/illegal abortion, justifying that you'll get a real one afterwards anyway if it doesn't work. Completely okay with not being okay with that.

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u/jarockinights 8d ago

Not to mention, anesthesiologists are notoriously super cautious about anything that could come back to sue them. We had to get our ENT to talk down the anesthesiologist because she didn't want to anesthetize our son because he had a runny nose. The problem was that he had a perpetual runny nose because of his tonsils and adenoids which we were trying to get surgically removed.

They are just really really risk adverse.

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u/yesac1990 8d ago

yup they have to be. They have a risky job but thats also why they get paid the most.

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u/erenee121 8d ago

This. Exactly. It's a liability.

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u/helpivebeen 8d ago

This exactly. Harm to an unborn child that leads to a lifetime of issues is a huge liability in the medical files. I’m a nurse and that’s why we do pregnancy Tests on you even if you’ve had your tubes tied etc. the payout if for the lifetime of the injured person and no doctor is going to take that liability. If she changes her mind and baby has any issues she can sue. She could sue years later. I wouldn’t want any part of this case as a nurse to be honest. People are horrible and always looking for a payout for something.

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u/ska_dadddle 8d ago

At the last facility I worked, females didn’t get ANY medication until a negative pregnancy test. Never had sex? Sixty five years old and had a total hysterectomy? Nope. Policy for the company was NOT EVEN TYLENOL until the female peed on a stick and someone in medical confirmed the negative. I’m a pro choice woman, and I dealt with countless angry other women, but I get it from a legal standpoint. Just the company covering their ass.

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u/morningisbad 8d ago

I feel like this is pretty obvious. He could harm the "fetus" (if it's even referred to as a fetus at this point) and if OP changed her mind, he'd be in a very bad spot.

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u/marinamandala 8d ago

Definitely this. My chiropractor wouldn’t X-ray me, when I was trying, until I was sure I wasn’t pregnant. They don’t want to harm a fetus nor do they want to get in trouble.

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u/what-the-hack 8d ago

> chiropractor

Dentist wouldn't x-ray without getting a release from obgyn when wife was pregnant. 1 side for 1 tooth.

Ask if a release from obgyn is enough.

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u/Scary_things_ 8d ago

I think it's probably this too.

The issue we should be fighting for is faster abortions.

In my state you have to call to say you want an appointment, have a nurse talk to you about the procedure, then wait 24 hours have another call with a Dr then in another 24 hours you can schedule.

It's fucking bullshit. If some women want to take more time to think about it that's okay but for the rest of us that are living child free just let me schedule an appointment and go get my procedure.

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u/platon20 8d ago

Here are the relevant questions:

  1. Is this an emergency surgery?

That's really it. If it's an emergency then the gas doc needs to find an alternative doc or do the procedure himself.

However if it's not an emergency then the doc has every right to walk away. The anesthesia group or the surgeon can provide an alternative doc.

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u/Known-Balance-7297 8d ago

Around 10 years of civil litigation experience here. It is very likely because of malpractice liability. You’d have standing to sue. I wouldn’t be admissible that you had an abortion scheduled. He’d be professionally liable, face huge increasing malpractice premiums, ect.

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u/Long_Bong_Silver 8d ago

What about the liability if she didn't actually follow through and didn't get an abortion? If the baby was born with defects, could he be sued for malpractice.

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u/Greedy-Gold 8d ago

Yup. He'd be on the hook for life altering care (well his insurance) but it could be enough to end his career or lose privileges to practice at that hospital.

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u/OG_wanKENOBI 8d ago

Im not a doctor but an EMT and i do everything to cover my own ass from getting sued/ taken to court so I just assume Hes just worried about his own ass thats all. Worried that if you decide to cancel the termination and something ends up wrong with the child or child birth it could come back in the ass to bite him.

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u/phunny5ocks 8d ago

From a healthcare professional point of view, I get where the anesthesiologist is coming from. You’re saying you’re going to terminate the pregnancy, but what if you decide to keep it post-procedure, that’s their license on the line. So I’d feel uncomfortable too.

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u/derrymaine 8d ago

Thank you for your input!

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u/wisersamson 8d ago

The now deleted comment this is adding onto was from an anesthesiologist who was simply trying to explain how their job works, I feel as a healthcare professional transparency on how we make decisions is important so I'm still putting this input here

Even in my field (physical therapy) There are times I have to deny certain treatments to women who are in early pregnancy and have run into nearly the same situation: she says she's getting an abortion so it doesn't matter. Well, that's all good and I support that but my medical license is still on the line EVEN IF she goes through with the abortion, because I DID the contraindicated procedure KNOWING she was pregnant.

Now my situations are never very high stress, nearly everything I do as a DPT can be done a week later with no real issue, in the case I mentioned I just moved starting that modality till the session after her termination, she got the termination on schedule and all was well.

HOWEVER I still find some fault in the surgical staff in OPS case, they should fully explain exactly WHY they cannot. If its something that is not allowed than it's not allowed no matter the waiver you sign. I also find it unprofessional for the surgical team to not have a united front, there should not be a solo person on the team uncomfortable, they should have discussed this privately and had a united front, either all yes or all no, otherwise the patient feels SOMEONE is doing something wrong, or against them personally.....which is literally the situation unfortunately. The hospital should make it work so both operations can be done safely and without interfering with each other. If that means pushing someone else back slightly who has waited less time than that's fair, or someone with an elective surgery. There are ways to make this not that big a deal.

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u/ambulancisto 8d ago

Med malpractice attorney here: likely this. Those waivers aren't bulletproof.

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u/cracked_belle 8d ago

Absolutely. And not just based on if OP changed her mind, because I imagine even early pregnancy and hormones might affect the pregnancy. No way would any person with a professional insurance premium as high as an anesthesiologist's even touch it. I'm sure the policy has a big fat exclusion with the words "knowingly" and "pregnant person" in it.

OP, get a blood test for pregnancy at the hospital, if you haven't already, in the event the home test was wrong.

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u/docfarnsworth 8d ago

yeah, this was my first thought as well

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u/RedShirtDecoy 8d ago

Bro, I’m not suing anyone stfu ur unoriginal and boring

you may not but others may have in a similar situation. its not personal, its the doctor covering his ass.

and I say that as a 100% pro choice, child free woman. You are making this personal when its most likely not.

Good luck with the surgery tomorrow. I wish you nothing but the best in the future.

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u/DConstructed 8d ago

I agree with derrymaine, the anesthesiologist is legally covering his own ass.

It's not so much about ethics. He may even be prochoice or neutral. You are currently pregnant. He gives you drugs then if anything happens to the pregnancy after than he may be considered liable and sued.
He doesn't know you personally and has no reason to assume one way or the other that you will do what you claim you're going to do.

He is choosing not to risk his own well being.

Which I'm sure is infuriating since you need his services.

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u/E_tu_Esse 8d ago

That’s their license on the line. They don’t know you.

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u/Calm_Tonight_9277 8d ago

Anesthesiologist here: there is data to support a link between general anesthesia in the first trimester and spontaneous abortion, as well as low birth weight, but if you’re counseled regarding this risk, the decision is entirely yours. That said, as an anesthesiologist, there is no obligation to provide anesthetic care if I’m in any way concerned about my ability to adequately/safely deliver it, as long as I (or my group), can provide another physician, and the case is elective. From what I see here, at the very least, you were not counseled properly about the clinical anesthetic risks vs the benefit of the elective surgery, and you weren’t provided a reasonable alternative. It’s a shame, and I’m sorry to hear it. Most of us are much better equipped to handle these situations, and able to take all factors into consideration. I hope the surgery goes well, and you ask lots of questions beforehand!

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u/rick261119 8d ago

Both parents are anesthesiologists. They often refuse cases on account of potential for issues.

Anesthesia during pregnancy is risky for both mother and child. I understand your intention to terminate, but you’re expecting a stranger with high malpractice rate to simply take you on your word.

It is clearly unfortunate and inconvenient timing with the pregnancy and the impact on your needed medical procedure.

Would it not be in everyone’s best interest to reschedule for a week later?

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u/L_EssDee 8d ago

"He says he will not feel comfortable administering anesthesia until after the termination." It doesn't sound like he's taking some sort of anti-abortion stance. It seems he's still willing to administer anesthesia. Like other comments mentioned, he could just be concerned about potential liability.

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u/MerrycatsCastle 8d ago

I think the problem here is the anaesthesiologist has to believe/possibly put his job on the line over you coming through with the abortion. That’s a big risk for him to be fair. That being said, I’m really sorry this is happening to you; it’s absolutely terrifying & I hope it gets sorted!

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u/Humdedummy 8d ago

Just wanna say good luck for your surgery tomorrow! I'm glad they got a replacement (I assume that's what's happened) and hope all goes well. Onward and upward!

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u/UTfilms 8d ago edited 8d ago

I’m sorry you feel this way but the anesthesiologist has a right to refuse service - no body is entitled to the right of work from another person. Find another anesthesiologist.

It’s also put themselves under unfair liability. If they don’t feel right you should respect that.

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u/S-Avant 8d ago

Ok- I’m glad you’re getting your surgery tomorrow, it’s your life and if you’re a responsible, rational person you should be able to do what you think is best for you. But, now simmer down a little and heat me out. I’ve worked in surgery and diagnostic imaging for 17 years, and I don’t know a single Dr that wound do the surgery. do not misconstrue this to sound like I’m not in support of your decision But here’s a good reason- and you don’t even need a reason with medical liability the way it is- this is just the stuff off the top of my head: 1.Let’s say you have your surgery tomorrow and there’s a complication with anesthesia or something else and you then have to cancel the termination you have scheduled? 2. The anesthesiologist and the medical facility that’s doing your surgery has to consider that you may have the surgery and then change your mind about having the termination. And if there were any complications from that point on the facility, or any provider, could be remotely liable for administration of certain drugs while you were pregnant. 3.a simple complication or anesthesia event could prevent the Dr performing your termination from being able to treat you properly.

Again, no hate here, if you’re an adult and liable to and for your own self then good’on ya and best of luck! BUT! There are definitely legitimate reasons that would make it complicated for a medical provider.

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u/ohcanadarulessorry 8d ago

Depending on your surgery a chemical termination may not be possible after. It’s a large blood loss that will happen, and a huge change in your hormones that will affect your blood pressure. Wound healing can be severely impacted by this process. I’d be surprised if a doctor would prescribe the termination medication immediately after a surgery.

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u/RareBeautyEtsy 8d ago

Good luck and hugs.

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u/yesac1990 8d ago

yup and that's why they are independent contractors rather then hospital staff there insurance is expensive because there risk is high

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u/Mental_Ingenuity_310 8d ago

Totally pro choice but what are you thinking?? Yeah easy for you to decide until he has the medical malpractice claim ruin his career if you decide to change your mind next week. Think about his responsibilities to his career and family before claiming it is about being pro life or whatever. Professionals have to take measured risks and I would say hell no to you

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u/Fishtoots 8d ago edited 8d ago

Edit: glad to see your update! Sorry I even suggested something that triggered the trolls. Here’s to a speedy recovery ❤️

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u/vivalavega27 8d ago

Indeed . If I were in her shoes I'd totally understand and post pone. OP is just one of those hard people to deal with. You can tell by the way she speaks through her writing and by the updates on her post.

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u/kflave249 8d ago

You definitely don’t want to give anesthesia a reason to cancel the case, because they will!

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u/Izrud 8d ago

I also hope it works out for her, but I'm not sure what a lawyer will do in this case?

"Anesthesiologist refuses to provide service to a patient, due to a major and pertinent change in health immediately preceding previously scheduled medical procedure."

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u/glass_house 8d ago

Lol right? You can’t force a doctor to perform surgery on you, ever. And frankly, not wanting to put a pregnant woman under anesthesia is more than reasonable... Good luck suing over that.

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u/moistestsandwich 8d ago

I know part of my recent elective surgery was providing a urine sample morning of to ensure I wasn't pregnant before performing the surgery. I actually don't know what would have happened if the result was positive but I assumed that the surgery wouldn't have happened based upon the nurses not starting any sort of prep until they had that result

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u/Raincheques 8d ago

No elective surgery while pregnant is the norm so if you had been pregnant, the surgery would have been cancelled on the spot.

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u/aisuperbowlxliii 8d ago

And most likely a losing battle. Most professionals have the right to refuse a service to cya. Better safe than sorry because in this case, you're damned if you do, damned if you don't in his eyes.

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u/AlkalineBriton 8d ago

Exactly. How is this not obvious to the whole thread?

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u/michiococku 8d ago

Because they're not interested in getting the facts, they're interested in recreational outrage.

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u/ccfccc 8d ago

No attorney will take this case, you cannot force an anesthesiologist to do an elective case, especially since there are new medical circumstances that need to be taken into account.

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u/raouldukesaccomplice 8d ago

He says he will not feel comfortable administering anesthesia until after the termination.

Is the implication here that he does not feel comfortable giving anesthesia to any pregnant woman?

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u/RadioactiveReindeer 8d ago

There are risks in giving anesthesia to a pregnant women, I would assume that's the reason why he's refusing/uncomfortable with it, not because of moral/religious reasons as he's fine if done after termination.

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u/IlIlllIIIIlIllllllll 8d ago

I'm not an anesthesiologist but as a doctor I wouldn't do something that could harm the baby even with scheduled termination. Once I harm the baby are you FORCED to get the abortion? of course not, you have the right to change your mind.

Like I wouldn't start a woman on a medication that would cause birth defects until after the abortion was done. Is that such a crazy position?

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u/Uranusisaflytrap 8d ago

It seems like he doesn’t have as much of an issue with the abortion as much as potentially being the one to cause the miscarriage (regardless if there is going to be one after anyway) as well as covering his butt legally if he does. (Said it wasn’t an issue until after)

I mean refusing to work on a woman because she wants an abortion and refusing to do it in case you kill something he may consider a life are two massively different things.

But I’m glad everything worked out! I hope you have a quick and easy recovery OP!

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u/bombbodyguard 8d ago

It doesn’t help that OP focuses that the anesthesiologist is a male which kind of insinuates that she is blaming his gender for the reason for the refusal? Anyways, hope it all gets sorted for everyone’s sake.

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