Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Abortion and my day

Firstly, my day. It was a good one, thankfully. I had a few new people in one of my main bays who were fun to nurse. One of the patients was due for discharge, which is good because they are quite young and have experienced their first MI. Another patient and I spoke to this person about heat conditions, and it was very interesting to watch them share experiences and help each other out. With me facilitating, of course! They are also the main carer for a child with autism, so getting them home was a big relief. They expressed worries to me about bringing their children into hospital, as it can be a very sad occasion for the patient, as well as the kids. I was glad to wave goodbye to the patient and one of their offspring at around 12.

I got a little more experience and importance today in looking after a GTN infusion, due to one of our patients experiencing chest pain that was no longer abated by the GTN tongue spray. I personally think the patient needed a lie down and some peace and quiet, but I got to put the infusion together and help administer it, once the Doctor had (eventually) found a vein.

This also caused a bit of a rift with support workers which, as DGN has told me, is a necessary part of being an effective nurse. I was needed as a spare set of hands to help lift another patient back into bed, but this patient told me they didn't feel steady on their feet so the group agreed to get a hoist. Three people are not needed to use a hoist, so I went back to check on the GTN patient. When asked to help again (I repeat, a hoist does not need three people to operate it) I told them I had to watch the observations for my first patient. (NB. Being on a GTN infusion, which is when GTN is slowly administered directly to a vein, can cause vasodilation [dilation of the veins and arteries]. This can, in turn, cause blood pressure to drop [increase the volume and the pressure decreases] hence patients on GTN need constant observation. Every 15 minutes, you ask me). This obviously pissed some of the support workers off, however - one of their rank had already left early, and I am *not* an extra pair of hands.

So, I feel like I did good and I feel good even though everything is not good. If that makes sense. I've been looking after a patient in End Stage Heart Failure who is basically dying. I read the dispassionate medical notes about the patient's anxiety, and was further convinced of how I would never become a doctor.

There is little to be done for the patient except let them go home and live out the rest of their life outside of a hospital with their loved ones. It's sad, but it happens.


Now, abortion. 24 weeks stands, which is the important thing. I would've liked very much to be down, outside the Houses of Parliament when Dorries came out. Instead of rousing, well thought out chants by the pro-choice groups, I wouldn't grabbed some rowdy folk and sang, in the style of football fans everywhere:

You can stick your 20 weeks up your arse!
You can stick your 20 weeks up your arse!
Your arguments were full of shit,
And noone stood for it,
You can stick your 20 weeks up your arse!

So, not a good result but not a bad one, either. My opinion will be improved if this silly legislation requiring the signature of two doctors is taken out. Given Dorries thinks we're the 'abortion capital' of Europe (which Unity and others have proven is a pile of steaming manure) we have some draconian acts stopping women from actually getting one.

So, a half victory. Even so, I've been pissed off royally by the reaction of the right wing, man-led media of this country. 3D images of organisms in the womb and the words: "What about THIS baby's rights?" are examples of the typical ridiculous, wannabe emotionally charged pap pedalled by newspapers like the Daily Mail. This 'arguement' (I use 's because it barely counts as one) that organisms within the womb feel 'pain' is riddled with flaws. Firstly, pain is not a reliably measurable concept, even in adults. I'm not sure if Nadine Dorries has conferenced with the seemingly huge amount of foetuses she has watched be aborted (and on that note I'd like to say that if she, for religious reasons, did not want to have a nursing experience on a ward performing abortions she should've said so) and asked them if they're in pain and if she did whether she recorded this on a scale of 1-to-10. Secondly, other concepts like organisms 'walking' and 'sucking thumbs' in the womb are similarly pointless. They are would-be emotive snippets as opposed to actual logical, scientific debate - which is what the pro-lifers try to pedal, most of the time. If these simple behaviours mean something is fully alive and worthy of saving despite the mother's wishes then I hope all these pro-lifers are die hard vegans. Otherwise, they must have a hard time digesting their bacon on toast in the morning. Bacon that used to be a smiling, teet-sucking, happy-go-lucky newborn piglet. But I jest.

Here's the bottom line: Do you support women's rights? You do, or you don't. If you support women's rights, then control over her body belongs to her. If you think that some almighty gentleman living in any sort of Heaven should have any say in the abortion debate, you don't support women. You're pushing your ideas onto a massive slice of the population on the say so of an old, poorly translated book. Any reduction in the 24 week limit is an act akin to turning back the clock on women's rights. It's nothing but blatant patriarchy and I'm fucking sick to the back teeth of it. Old men (in dog collars or in silk ties) with their female stooges wanting to keep the yoke of control tightly around the neck of the female population.

[As for the decision that a father is no longer a prerequisite for a family (in the IVF context) also reported by papers like the Daily Mail in spectacular style, you'd think I was against such a thing, perhaps? The shite pedalled by right wing hacks and religious zealots gives the impression that fathers have been thrown to the wayside, which is a typical exaggeration. My view? I don't give two flying fucks. IVF is a precious waste of money in a system that can barely afford to hire enough nurses to do the necessary jobs that need to be done. If a couple, of a single woman, do not have the biological set up to have children naturally, I'm sorry. Ish. There's more to this world than self-replication, I believe, especially when the world and the country is already overpopulated. On that note - you know which other places are overpopulated? Orphanages. If you're desperate to have a young vassal to pass on your worldly wisdom to go and adopt a child. Sub-rant over.)

P.S. Good posts to look at re: IVF and Abortion and current affairs are:

And here


BenefitScroungingScum said...

Whilst I agree with you about adoption instead of IVF, it is so incredibly difficult to adopt that even with all the problems IVF entails it is probably more likely to result in a child than trying to adopt. IMHO sorting out the adoption system, including international adoptions would dramatically reduce the need for IVF. BG

OFMN said...

Completely agree with you. The adoption system isn't anywhere near perfect, and fuck, I'm sure sometimes it can be a ball ache. Should be made more accessible. Which would be both cheaper and generally more lovely (giving orphans homes = uber lovely) compared to IVF.