Doctor Refuses To Treat Child Of Lesbian Couple
This past September, at the suggestion of their midwife, expectant parents Krista and Jami Contreras met with Dr. Vesna Roi in the hopes that she would be their pediatrician. The meeting went well, so they were pretty surprised a few months later when they brought their new daughter Bay in to see her.
The couple was instead greeted by another doctor, Dr. Karam, who informed the couple that he would be treating their daughter that day rather than Dr. Roi, because she had “decided this morning that she prayed on it and she won’t be able to care for Bay.”
Dr. Karam, Jami Contreras states, also told them that Roi “didn’t even come to the office that morning because she didn’t want to see us.”
Apparently, Roi’s beliefs as a Christian conflicted with her job as a doctor. She asked herself “What would Jesus do?” and decided that Jesus would probably not treat a baby if he did not approve of her parents. Naturally. Pretty sure there is a whole part in the Bible where he firsts makes sure that non of the lepers are gay.
After word of the incident made it around social media, Roi finally sent them a letter on Feb. 9th, apologizing for having missed the appointment, but not for being a bigot.
Via Fox Detroit:
“After much prayer following your prenatal, I felt that I would not be able to develop the personal patient-doctor relationships that I normally do with my patients.”
“We do not keep prenatal information once we have our meetings so I had no way to contact you.”
She apologizes, saying, “I should have spoken with you directly that day,” and “please know that I believe that God gives us free choice and I would never judge anyone based on what they do with that free choice.”
Oh no! She’d never judge. Something else entirely was getting in the way of her ability to treat this child. Perhaps she was afraid that by interacting with these women, she might suddenly just catch “the gay” herself?
Although it’s illegal to not treat someone based on their sexual orientation (or the sexual orientation of their parents), doctors are allowed to refuse treatment if it conflicts with their religious or personal beliefs. Unfortunately the latter negates the former. It’s highly unlikely that a doctor would refuse treatment to an LGBT person for reasons having nothing to do with their religion or “personal beliefs.” I cannot even begin to imagine how that would work.
On the one hand, I’m going to say that this couple dodged a bullet with this doctor. We rely on our doctors to be impartial–and in some cases, detached–in order to get the job done. Even in just a practical sense, I am not sure I would feel confident in a doctor who would have a hard time treating someone due to their religious beliefs.
On the other, if you only feel like you can treat a particular segment of the population, maybe being a doctor isn’t for you–or at least being a secular doctor. They have religious hospitals, go work at one of those, and avoid the possibility of these incidents altogether. I’m sorry, but if your religious beliefs conflict with doing your job and providing treatment for people, then you have no business working at a secular hospital and giving people the wrong impression like this.