Home > Uncategorized > Some vested interests are more equal than others

Some vested interests are more equal than others

In the running for this week’s ‘Ya gotta be kidding me, right?’ award is this little gem.

A woman intending to have an abortion will be required to have counselling. By this I am not shocked. I wish I could be, but it’s been a long year and my usual reserves of political indignation are running frighteningly low. Patriarchal interference in women’s reproductive decisions seems more like a logical next step at this stage than something that might shock. But their explanation for the proposal is worth paying some attention to.

According to Miss Dorries, the current system means that women receive advice on terminations from a “remote abortion provider, with a vested interest”.

This proposition is an amendment to the Health and Social Care Bill – a bill that will radically change the way health care is commissioned in this country. It will open the door for all sorts of remote health providers, who some believe will have invested interests since they will make, you know, money.

The reasoning behind the amendment creates a powerful precedent – because the reason for compulsory counselling isn’t, of course, that women are raving hormonal loons who can’t be trusted to make decisions about their health or their bodies. The reasons being given for this are not even a shiny new chorus of ‘won’t somebody please think of the children.’ No, the reason for this is that an organisation with a vested interest cannot be trusted to make medical decisions.

So here are the options:

a) Dorries and Fields are weird, cowardly little creeps who actually want to make ‘impartial’ counselling compulsory before a woman has an abortion for other reasons that they are afraid to say out loud.

b) ‘Impartial counselling’ is an important measure that must be addressed whenever patients receive advice or treatment from a body that might have a vested interest.

Since there’s no way this is a sly measure to control women’s bodies and choices while making it sound as though it is designed to protect vulnerable women at one of the more difficult times of their lives, it must be (b).

So when private interests are commissioned to treat patients, we will each need counselling first, which will help us come to terms with our health and their decisions. After all, before taking antibiotics, some counselling will reassure us that the provider chosen by the consortium does have our chest infection’s best interest at heart. If I’m told I need my appendix out, I will of course require counselling first – after all, they have an invested interest, and it’s possible I could have gone for months without the thing exploding.

There’s really only one thing that confuses me about this. What if they tell me I need counselling? Will I have to have counselling before a third party health care provider with an invested interest tells me I need counselling? Since this government is fast making me lose my mind, I may need an answer to that one quickly.

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