This is not a post on abortion. Let's not even go there. This is a post on who gets to practice medicine.
So Utah passed a law -- signed by their governor after how many years of medical school? -- that mandates doctors to give general anesthesia to women having abortions after 20 weeks of gestation. Legislators sometimes unwittingly attempt to practice medicine and pass laws that interfere with the doctor patient relationship, but this is the first time I've heard of legislation that demands a procedure that endangers a patient's life. The theory is that the fetus might feel pain and that general anesthesia given to the mother might alleviate any pain felt by the fetus. I'm not sure there is any basis for that-- at one time mothers were routinely given general anesthesia and I believe the babies still cried upon arrival into the world (~alas, I was one of those babies born during the era of giving anesthesia to the moms, but I can't say I remember much). Babies are no longer born with the routine use of general anesthesia for the mother in childbirth because it's dangerous. You can read about the Utah law here.
So doctors in Utah, how does this work? Do you unnecessarily endanger the life of a mother for no valid medical reason, not to mention jacking up the cost of procedure, because a legislative body says you must? Or do you refuse and risk sanctions? Or do abortions for woman who are more than 20 weeks pregnant just stop?
So if law makers can mandate risky procedures and the unnecessary administration of powerful medications, regardless of patient need, then where does it stop? Can they mandate that all patients brought to psychiatry ERs by the police must be injected with anti-psychotics, regardless of whether they are indicated? Can they mandate that everyone who has had a suicide attempt must take Prozac for life? Where does it stop?
Utah, what are your doctors thinking? Why aren't they screaming their heads off? Congratulations, your governor is now your doctor.