Monday, February 12, 2007

Students Protest for Compassionate Care

Last Friday, a group of students from Yale College, Yale School of Medicine, and Yale School of Nursing protested in front of St. Raphael's Hospital in order to call attention to the need for compassionate care for rape victims. You can read the Yale Daily News report on the protest here. They targeted St. Raphael's because the hospital will not provide emergency contraception to all rape victims who request it. There is currently a bill in the state legislature that would require all hospitals that receive state funding (and St. Raphael's does receive some state funding) to provide emergency contraception to all rape victims, regardless of the hospital's religious affiliation. Emergency contraception, a high dose of birth-control hormones, can prevent pregnancy up to 120 hours after unprotected sex; clearly, it is should be an essential part of treatment for women who have suffered sexual assault. St. Raphael's has also intimated that if the compassionate care bill passes, they will stop treating rape victims so as not to violate the new law. This response would be unconscionable. I hope that the protest on Friday showed St. Raphael's that their policies do not go unnoticed. I also hope that those who saw the protest or heard about it will contact their state legislators in the hopes of getting the compassionate care bill passed. As the protesters on Friday made clear, women deserve compassionate care.

4 comments:

callie said...

I think it's interesting that the movement for emergency contraception for rape victims is called "compassionate care." Providing EC to rape victims doesn't seem to me to be compassionate care but rather -basic- care.

If a hospital doesn't believe in giving women basic care-- such as preventing an unwanted organisms (babies) from growing in their bodies after rape-- than it shouldn't be in the business of being a hospital.

callie said...

sorry, meant "then it shouldn't be in the business of being a hospital"

estv said...

callie, i just want to agree with you on changing the language from "compassionate" to "basic" care. offering EC is an act of necessity, not generosity.

Maggie said...

I agree with you both about EC being a part of basic care, and to be honest, I don't know why the legislators who proposed to bill called it "compassionate care." I assume there is some political motivation - perhaps they thought it would be more effective to characterize the opponents of the bill as heartless or callous? In any case, yes, EC is a necessary part of women's health care.