Mass. Suspends Nonessential Medical Procedures, But Considers Abortion Essential


So this is apparently a thing, thanks to COVID:

That’s the headline on an article from MassLive about the availability of health care procedures in the state of Massachusetts during the coronavirus outbreak.

Quoth a memorandum sent out this week by the state’s top public health official, Massachusetts won’t be performing any “nonessential, elective invasive procedure.”

OK. I can think of one of those right off the bat. The memo’s author, Elizabeth Kelley, director of the Massachusetts’ Bureau of Health Care Safety and Quality, isn’t quite on the same page I am.

“Terminating a pregnancy is not considered a nonessential, elective invasive procedure for the purpose of this guidance,” Kelley wrote in the memorandum, according to MassLive.

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Dr. Katrina Armstrong, physician in chief at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, told MassLive that  “employees at MGH are working to stop procedures that don’t need to happen in the next couple of months,” MassLive reported.

“Employees are setting up up ‘major telehealth capabilities’ right now for important procedures or treatments that don’t necessarily need to be done face-to-face, like diabetes treatment,” she said.

That’s still a bit misleading, though. See, here are the procedures that Massachusetts sees as, if not inessential, not essential: “Hip and knee replacements, injections into a joint space or body cavity, colonoscopies and similar procedures.”

Oh, those.

Does this show liberals consider abortion to be more important than actual health care?

Armstrong told MassLive that “[e]verybody is looking to see what we can delay safely,” while adding that “the medical systems will need a moment to relax” post-COVID-19, whenever that happens.

Regardless, as horrifying as the news to much of America might be, Massachusetts abortionists have gotten the news that their practices won’t be affected by the pandemic.

Here are, per MassLive, some good examples of what you won’t be able to obtain under MassCare or whatever it’s called, which I’m sure isn’t that because of that the MassProblems they would incur with that appellation:

Any procedures involving skin incision
Injections of any substance into a joint space or body cavity
Orthopedic procedures, such as a hip replacement or knee replacement
Colonoscopies, bronchoscopies, kidney tube placements and other endoscopic procedures
Invasive radiology procedures
Most dermatology procedures
Invasive ophthalmic procedures, including “miscellaneous procedures” involving eye implants
Tooth extractions and other oral procedures
Podiatric procedures such as removing an ingrown toenail
Skin or wound debridement
Sound wave treatment to break down kidney stones
Gynecological exams and/or endometrial biopsy

I remember hearing my father talk about his father’s slow death from colon cancer in the pre-colonoscopy, pre-chemotherapy era of the 1960s. Different time, different procedures — but assume, for a second, you were a cruel fairy who could giveth and taketh away a medical procedure at a whim. I guarantee that if you knew what suffering colon cancer could entail, you would not consider colonsocopies nonessential.

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Hip replacements? That doesn’t sound too elective if your hip joint has ground to a halt, but hey — what do I know?

Knee replacement? You know the drill.

Meanwhile, here’s the thing I can tell you about pregnancies: Almost all of them, statistically speaking, will resolve.

Colon polyps? Left be, they can become malignant.

A fetus? Leave it be and it becomes a child.

Here’s the unspoken part behind this whole policy: If abortions aren’t done now, they’ll become a problem.

In fairness, there’s no doubt about the end result of an uninterrupted pregnancy. If you sneer at abortion but sneer at an unmarried, pregnant woman, you’ve arguably sneered at someone who’ll make a much more difficult moral choice than you’ll likely ever have to face. Obloquy and shame shouldn’t be a part of the equation.

Yes, people go way, way, way too far with, “Judge not, lest ye be judged.” But this is not one of those times.

Here’s the counterpoint: You may be on the receiving end of the obloquy, but your baby’s life shouldn’t depend on your discomfort. Beyond that, we ought to judge medical procedures not by the discomfort they produce but on the discomfort they preclude.

A colonoscopy can preclude the most dreadful sort of death imaginable. Stopping a knee or hip replacement stops you from enjoying life.

An abortion stops life, period.

That’s the difference. Thanks for making the moral rot behind your decisions abundantly clear, Massachusetts.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture