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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Some fetuses have more right to life than others
Posted by Jill | 4:12 PM
There's an old, tired, and spectacularly unfunny joke, usually told by people who aren't Jewish, that the ultimate Jewish dilemma is "free ham."

I was reminded of that joke today when I read this:
Since Senator Russell Pearce became president of the Arizona Senate this year he’s ushered in a barrage of anti-immigrant legislation, most famously the assault on the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of birthright citizenship. Now the original sponsor of the infamous SB1070 has introduced a new bill that should attract even more notoriety. This one has the ominous overtones of being all but guaranteed to cause great harm and even death to some of the people in this state.

Senate Bill 1405 reads as follows:

A. BEFORE A HOSPITAL ADMITS A PERSON FOR NONEMERGENCY CARE, A HOSPITAL ADMISSIONS OFFICER MUST CONFIRM THAT THE PERSON IS A CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES, A LEGAL RESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OR LAWFULLY PRESENT IN THE UNITED STATES. THE ADMISSIONS OFFICER MAY USE ANY METHOD PRESCRIBED IN SECTION 1-501 TO VERIFY CITIZENSHIP OR LEGAL STATUS.

B. IF THE ADMISSIONS OFFICER DETERMINES THAT THE PERSON DOES NOT MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF SUBSECTION A OF THIS SECTION, THE ADMISSIONS OFFICER MUST CONTACT THE LOCAL FEDERAL IMMIGRATION OFFICE.

C. IF THE HOSPITAL PROVIDES EMERGENCY MEDICAL CARE PURSUANT TO FEDERAL REQUIREMENTS TO A PERSON WHO DOES NOT MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF SUBSECTION A OF THIS SECTION, ON SUCCESSFUL TREATMENT OF THE PATIENT THE ADMISSIONS OFFICER MUST CONTACT THE LOCAL FEDERAL IMMIGRATION OFFICE.

D. A HOSPITAL THAT COMPLIES WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF THIS SECTION IS NOT SUBJECT TO CIVIL LIABILITY.

What this means is that anyone who is admitted to or receives emergency care at a hospital will have to prove that they are lawfully present in the United States. This of course presents a whole hornet’s nest of problems-- the least of which is hospitals will most likely not appreciate being saddled with the added responsibility of immigration enforcement.

Suppose a woman who's in the country illegally has a pregnancy emergency and shows up at a hospital. Does that mean that the wingnut position is to let the fetus die rather than allow a woman (vessel, in Wingnutistan) who is not in the country legally to receive treatment?

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5 Comments:
Anonymous ShortWoman said...
Well well well.

Apparently the idiots have forgotten that most people don't keep proof of citizenship on their person. This was supposed to be "fixed" by REAL ID.

Actually, the hospital will still have to treat the patient. I don't see anything here that goes against EMTALA. But we should (and probably won't) end up with a situation where immigration offices are buried by calls: "Hey, we've got 42 people in the ER with only drivers licenses: no green cards, no passports, no birth certificates, no social security cards. Guess you guys are gonna have to come check out every single one of them!"

The sad part is that this **** will mean that people with murky immigration status won't go to the doctor with their pneumonia, tuberculosis, measles, or whatever. This will be particularly hard on victims of trafficking.

Blogger Barry said...
That "free ham" joke isn't funny. I like Gentile jokes much better. Did you hear the one about the Gentile who walked into a tailor's shop and said "How much is that suit in the window?" The tailor said, "600 dollars," and the Gentile said, "I'll take it!"

Blogger D. said...
Logically, yes.

Not that logic has anything to do with it, but pointing this out to Arizona Right-To-Life people may cause a nice cognitive earthquake. Don't tell 'em I said so.

WV: "momet" I leave that to imagination.

Blogger Fixer said...
I've only heard the "free ham" joke from Jews.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
If I weren't so lazy and unable to complete anything, I would find out Russell Pearce's mother's address and send her a note.

Dear mother of Russell Pearce,

You have committed the worst sin that a mother can possibly commit.

You raised a fool.

Please, go on TV and apologize to the rest of the humans for having done this.