Great intentions that deserve a better implementation

Checking my email today, I ran across the following forward that a friend sent me:

Please take a minute and sign petition and pass on.

It could make such a difference to so many women.

A mastectomy is when a woman’s breast is removed in order to remove cancerous breast cells/tissue. If you know anyone who has had a mastectomy, you may know that there is a lot of discomfort and pain afterwards.

Insurance companies are trying to make mastectomies an outpatient procedure.

Let’s give women the chance to recover properly in the hospital for 2 days after surgery.

Mastectomy Bill in Congress

It takes 2 seconds to do this and is very important… please take the time and do it really quick!

Breast Cancer Hospitalization Bill – Important legislation for all women

Please send this to everyone in your address book. If there was ever a time when our voices and choices should be heard, this is one of those times. If you’re receiving this, it’s because I think you will take the 30 seconds to go to vote on this issue and send it on to others you know who will do the same.

There’s a bill called the Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act which will require insurance companies to cover a minimum 48-hour hospital stay for patients undergoing a mastectomy. It’s about eliminating the “drive-through mastectomy” where women are forced to go home just a few hours after surgery, against the wishes of their doctor, still groggy from anesthesia and sometimes with drainage tubes still attached.

Lifetime Television has put this bill on their web page with a petition drive to show your support. Last year over half the House signed on. PLEASE!! Sign the petition by clicking on the web site below. You need not give more than your name and zip code number.

http://www.lifetime tv.com/breastcan cer/petition/ signpetition. php

This takes about 2 seconds. PLEASE PASS THIS ON to your friends and family, and on behalf of all women, THANKS.

Now, being the skeptical person that I am, the first I did was check it out over at Snopes. As it turns out, this is one of those cases where the forward is not only valid, but is not out of date. Apparently, this piece of legislation has been popping up every couple years, only to die in some subcommittee. And it’s shown up in the current session of Congress, this time in the form of H.R. 119. For those who are interested, I would encourage you to check it out.

However, like the folks over at Snopes, I would encourage you to take a different route than signing an online petition. If you’d like to see this legislation pass, write your representatives in Congress directly and tell them so. Tell them that you are aware of H.R. 119 and that as your representative, you’d like them to give it their full support. After all, sending a personal missive to the folks you voted for is far more direct than being just another name on a petition.

Of course, before doing so, I’d also encourage you to research the whole topic quite closely. It seems that at least one organization that fights for adavancements in breast cancer research and treatment is not a fan. You might want to consider their arguments even if you end up disagreeing with them and supporting the bill anyway.

2 thoughts on “Great intentions that deserve a better implementation”

  1. STOP the demeaning of WOMEN! If it were MEN having their bodies maimed by surgeons, GOD knows a month at a luxury resort would be expected. Now, it’s “they’re only women, they need to get back on duty ASAP, plus spending too much money on them would be a really BAD idea.” BAH! Treat women with some respect puhleeze!

  2. Thanks for the comment, Tracy. Personally, however, I would be inclined to encourage you to try supporting your position with more reasoned argument and less hyperbole and straw men arguments.

    Please note that making a given procedure an outpatient procedure is not necessarily the same as telling the person having the procedure to “get back on duty ASAP.” After all, time to recover can still be taken at home.

    And that is the crux of the matter. Is it better for women to recover in the hospital or at home after this procedure. I don’t claim to have an authoritative answer (though based on my limited understanding of the situation, I think I’d personally choose to recover at home if I was in that situation).

    As for trying to make this a “men vs. women” issue, I will merely point out that there are plenty of procedures done on men which are also considered outpatient procedures. Vasectomies come to mind immediately. And from what I’ve heard from those men I know who have had that procedure done, it’s no walk in the park, either.

    Again, I have no authoritative answer on whether mastectomies should be done on an outpatient basis or whether there should be a mandatory two day hospitalization after said procedure. I simply don’t have the information or experience to make that call.

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