Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Planned Parenthood Telemeds - The Future of "Women's Health Care"?

Telemedicine is a rapidly growing practice of interactive clinical medicine in which patients are consulted and medical information is transferred to the patient via teleconferencing hook-up. It may also be used for remote medical exams or procedures.

In Iowa a few months ago RU-486 was administered via skype. Planned Parenthood doctors are now able to talk to and dispense RU-486 to a patient in a remote location using a camera and microphone hooked up to the internet. This allows two-way communication between doctor and patient after on-site staff has counseled the woman. The doctor, after "visiting" with the pre-abortive woman, can then press a computer button to activate the opening of a drawer at the patient's location for her to receive the pills. The woman then takes the first pills as the doctor watches.

THIS IS HEALTH CARE? On the contrary, it only allows the doctor to further distance self from the act that initiates an abortion, and only intervene when complications occur, putting an ever greater burden of guilt on the woman.

Only a physician can prescribe RU-486 and it isn't even a safe drug due to the kinds of complications that can occur. These include hemorrhaging that may require blood transfusions or incomplete abortions that may require a surgical abortion procedure.

In the first six years after the drug was made available in the US, the FDA acknowledged the following statistics*:
  • six deaths
  • nine life-threatening incidents
  • 232 hospitalizations
  • 116 blood transfusions
  • 88 cases of infections
  • 1070 adverse events reports

Yet Planned Parenthood, a supposed advocate of "women's health", would administer this drug with less medical attention and supervision. Isn't there something the least bit wrong with this picture? With Planned Parenthood, women's reproductive health is slipping further and further into abuse and neglect.
Not only that, "Planned Parenthood of the Heartland is making a killing on medical abortions," says Operation Rescue President Troy Newman who has collected evidence in Iowa against smaller Planned Parenthood clinics. They have no licensed physician on site so the overhead costs are much less than in doctor staffed clinics, yet they charge insurance companies $1,000 for this "doctor-less medical  abortion". This is 2½ times the national average. Women who pay cash for the identical procedure pay $500 - half of what insurance companies have to pay. Such over-billing allows Planned Parenthood to keep their smaller clinics up and running while it drives up the cost of health insurance. Blank Check government funding of abortion will assure that that will not change. Planned Parenthood has laid claim to a gold mine with the "telemed abortion".
Operation Rescue also discovered that Planned Parenthood does not abide by FDA protocols for RU-486 abortions with regard to dosage and number of recommended office visits. Even for follow-ups, the woman never has access to a licensed physician. Depending on the method of administration, RU-486 has a failure rate of 7-20%, and with no licensed physician immediately available to them, women are often left in life-threatening situations.

*Letter from David W. Boyer, Assistant Commissioner for Legislation, Food and Drug Administration, to the Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources (May 2, 2006) (on file with Subcommittee).

Information from:
Telemed Abortions in Iowa by Jeanne Monahan, May 19, 2010
Telemed Abortions - A Dangeorus and Costly New Trend Opinion by ChristianNewsWire, March 29, 2010 
Abortion via Skype? Iowa Investigates Dangerous "Telemed Abortions" Opinion by ChristianNewsWire, (May 04, 2010)

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