HHS versus First Do No Harm

Below is a letter my husband wrote our pastor who is very concerned about the new HHS regulation.   Sheila

Father Mark,

Much attention is being given to the fact that the HHS mandate seeks to force Catholics and some other Christians to violate their consciences by acting contrary to the teaching of their Church.

Not enough is being said about the effort to make some violate their consciences by prescribing drugs or doing procedures that they know to be harmful.

To wit: the WHO has labeled the chemicals of the BC Pill a Class 1 (worst kind) of carcinogen. A number of studies show that on the average a woman who takes the Pill for four years or more before her first full term pregnancy increases her risk of breast cancer by 40% compared to those who never take the Pill.  So girls who start taking the pill in high school and continue through college or trade school are really putting themselves at risk.  All too many doctors ignore this, but this is a huge class-action suit just waiting to happen.  The Obama administration would like the Catholic Church to be a defendant in this almost inevitable lawsuit because of its pre-eminence in the delivery of health care and the number of women covered by its insurance policies.  The expense of defense can only be imagined; also the expense of a judgment.  The Church has to oppose this at every level just for this reason alone, to say nothing of the more important moral reasons.  This is just one of the reasons why the Church’s teaching is true.

In 1993 two articles appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) that reported a causal association between vasectomy and subsequent prostate cancer. One number that sticks in my head is that 20 years after a vasectomy, such men had an 89% increased risk of prostate cancer compared to non-sterilized men.  When I was treated for prostate cancer at Loma Linda CA, I was surprised at the number of younger men in our group.  In my mid 70’s at the time, I was definitely in the upper age quartile of our group.  And this has typically been an older man’s disease.

Of course, just as behavior and cancer associations were denied in the Fifties through probably into the Nineties regarding smoking and lung cancer, so these associations are denied today.  But I think that will change.  On this past Jan 18-20 I had an email conversation with a 23 year-old woman who had sent me a routine request to include a link to her company’s website where it listed all sorts of health problems and how the company could offer legal help in getting malpractice damages.  I first replied sarcastically that I would consider that link after I saw that they were also helping women with malpractice suits for Pill-induced breast cancer.  The saleswoman had never heard about this, and I soon had her in touch with some experts on this subject.  She was personally shocked because docs had put her on the Pill when she was 16 to remedy some menstrual irregularities, and she was still on it.  I will have to follow up with her.  Dr. Chris Kahlenborn thinks that the Pill and breast cancer link will be purposefully ignored by the medical establishment until there are a sufficient number of malpractice suits.

I hope you can share all of this with your fellow priests.  One of the things we do in our course is to let the engaged couples know about these things.  We also promote and teach ecological breastfeeding, and one of its effects is to reduce the risk of breast cancer along with a good handful of other healthy benefits for the moms as well as 21 listed benefits for the babies.  I think that parish priests should use our manual to reinforce these facts.  Many of us need to hear the same thing from two or three different sources in order for it to sink in.

Our course should be seen not as a burden but as a blessing.

John K.

One Response to “HHS versus First Do No Harm”

  1. ac says:

    We recently spoke to some engaged couples about NFP and discussed several of these points. There were a majority of written evaluations appreciative of the information. Yet it was disturbing that some comments were along the lines of , “I don’t want to use NFP – I want to take my pills, patches and shots” or “The couple is giving out incorrect information”, or “These topics are misleading” .
    This makes me sad; we just pondered how some would not listen to Christ either , plus how Scripture says we will be treated the same way as Jesus was. I have been sad before that we were never told such information when we were engaged and so I always speak up now to others so that newlyweds can make much better-informed decisions than we did. Some don’t understand how much we care about them and just resent us “telling them what to do”.