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At UC you can only get contraceptives to stop you being gay

By johnboy - 17 October 2012 57

An interesting yarn in Crikey today about UC student James Kent and Dr Rehana Dutton:

In August 2011 Kent visited Dr Rehana Dutton at the university’s Health and Counselling Centre, after hearing from other students that Dutton refused to prescribe contraception. ”I went in primarily just to find out what the Billings and rhythm methods were,” Kent, the former general secretary of the University of Canberra students association, told Crikey. “And then I thought, if she cares this much about contraception, there’s a chance she might also be homophobic as well. I brought up I was same-sex attracted to see what would happen and that’s when things got weird.”

Kent tells Crikey that when he told the doctor that he’d been experiencing “thoughts about men” and asked whether these thoughts were natural, Dutton queried whether Kent had been feeling depressed. After Kent pressed further on whether his same-sex attraction was normal, Kent says that Dutton told him the evidence was inconclusive and she suggested a hormone imbalance may be to blame.

According to Kent, she then wrote a referral for a hormone test, and suggested a hormone treatment such as implanon?—?a female contraceptive inserted under the skin?—?may be effective. Dutton also suggested he speak with a priest and gave Kent the number for CatholicCare, a church-based social services organisation.

A fascinating approach for a seat of higher learning.

What’s Your opinion?


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57 Responses to
At UC you can only get contraceptives to stop you being gay
dpm 10:02 am 18 Oct 12

Flyinghurts said :

..In relation to Ms Rytir’s experience with asking for a prescription, I’m surprised that they didn’t have a sign up at reception advising patients that this particular doctor won’t provide advice on contraceptives. I thought that was common practice in medical centres

As CSRI said, there is a sign (or two?) in the reception there mentioning a certain Doc only talks billings method etc. re: birth control…..
The other part of the discussion was certainly an odd ‘referral’. e.g. :
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-07-11/priest-faces-more-charges/4123960

colourful sydney rac 9:54 am 18 Oct 12

Solidarity said :

She practices to her own set of ethics, if you don’t like it well…. see another doctor? If she doesn’t believe in contraceptives, that’s her prerogative….

sure, but referring a patient to a priest?

Imagine the controversy if she refered a patient to a scientologist.

Solidarity 9:44 am 18 Oct 12

She practices to her own set of ethics, if you don’t like it well…. see another doctor? If she doesn’t believe in contraceptives, that’s her prerogative….

chewy14 9:44 am 18 Oct 12

colourful sydney racing identity said :

I am pretty sure that there is a sign saying that this doctor will not provide contraception. Personally, I am appalled that a medical practioner is allowed to let their religious beliefs inform their treatment of patients, but apparently it is acceptable for them to do so.

However, how on earth can it be acceptable for a doctor to refer a patient to a priest?

I agree, although I’m actually OK with doctors not doing things against their religious beliefs. But referring someone to a priest for having gay thoughts? Puhleasse.

bundah 9:41 am 18 Oct 12

Whoever employed this bigot gets a massive fail in vetting!

Flyinghurts 9:31 am 18 Oct 12

If a doctor can’t provide advice on something due to lack of experience, knowledge or due to their own moral / ethical positions, they should refer the patient to another doctor who may be better suited to assist. Not to a priest.

In relation to Ms Rytir’s experience with asking for a prescription, I’m surprised that they didn’t have a sign up at reception advising patients that this particular doctor won’t provide advice on contraceptives. I thought that was common practice in medical centres

colourful sydney rac 7:51 am 18 Oct 12

I am pretty sure that there is a sign saying that this doctor will not provide contraception. Personally, I am appalled that a medical practioner is allowed to let their religious beliefs inform their treatment of patients, but apparently it is acceptable for them to do so.

However, how on earth can it be acceptable for a doctor to refer a patient to a priest?

TallBoy 3:27 am 18 Oct 12

poppy said :

I think this doctor is abusing their right of refusal to treat by having a blanket refusal to provide contraceptives. Most people would accept that a doctor has a right to refuse treatment under reasonable grounds. This doesn’t seem like one of them. I think that the doctor’s right to refuse to treat should be amended so that a doctor is not able to have a blanket refusal to provide treatment or medications that would reasonably be expected any doctor in their situation/speciality would provide. At the very LEAST doctors who unreasonably refused to provide a service should not be permitted to bill medicare for this (and the patient should also not be required to pay). What a rort of taxpayer’s money if this doc is costing the taxpayer $35 to say sorry I don’t prescribe the pill. It would also be contributing to doctor shortages through wastage of appointments. Not to mention the long term cost of the damage that could be done to the young persons physical and mental health after being turned away so harshly in what could have been their first attempt at discussing an embarrassing subject with a doctor.

So poppy, are you saying that doctors should not have the right to refuse services which contradict their religious beliefs? Are they not reasonable grounds in your book?

Are we not being just a tad dramatic about this poppy? Do you realize how hysterical it sounds to talk of the “harshness” of this doctors visit causing long term physical and mental damage. We all have the luxury of choice when it comes to the doctors we see, we can walk out at any time. What’s more, how do you know what the nature of the interaction was, or how harsh it was? Unless your name is Kent or Dutton I would think you have no idea how it played out.

Mr Kent was clearly comfortable enough with his sexuality to bring up the subject just to “see what would happen” after he suspected a homophobe doctor. Even if it was someone coming out for the first time you would still sound ridiculous.

Why should we expect doctors who are religious to prescribe a contraceptive if they believe that doing so implicates them in an unlawful act according to their religion? Who are you to tell them that they should? Simply find another doctor and stop howling.

Its a good thing that people far more clear minded than you are in charge of things like medical registration boards, otherwise we would all be waiting longer to see doctors.

Why am I constantly surprised by the lack of moderate voices on a website like this?

poppy 9:26 pm 17 Oct 12

I think this doctor is abusing their right of refusal to treat by having a blanket refusal to provide contraceptives. Most people would accept that a doctor has a right to refuse treatment under reasonable grounds. This doesn’t seem like one of them. I think that the doctor’s right to refuse to treat should be amended so that a doctor is not able to have a blanket refusal to provide treatment or medications that would reasonably be expected any doctor in their situation/speciality would provide. At the very LEAST doctors who unreasonably refused to provide a service should not be permitted to bill medicare for this (and the patient should also not be required to pay). What a rort of taxpayer’s money if this doc is costing the taxpayer $35 to say sorry I don’t prescribe the pill. It would also be contributing to doctor shortages through wastage of appointments. Not to mention the long term cost of the damage that could be done to the young persons physical and mental health after being turned away so harshly in what could have been their first attempt at discussing an embarrassing subject with a doctor.

kakosi 9:01 pm 17 Oct 12

This sounds a bit odd.

Deref 8:02 pm 17 Oct 12

That’s got to be a case for deregistration, surely!

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd 6:18 pm 17 Oct 12

Gross.

Ban dutton.

Here_and_Now 5:12 pm 17 Oct 12

dpm said :

I suspect it is more related to the particular Doc in question, and painting all of UC with the same brush is a little OTT….?

While it wouldn’t be quite the same as a headline, I agree with dpm over the ‘all of UC’ thing. I can tell you from experience that such issues don’t apply to the whole health service there.

Pretty appalled with the doctor in the story, though.

colourful sydney rac 5:06 pm 17 Oct 12

It is about the specific doctor not the health centre as a whole and certainly not the uni. Still is absolutely appalling though.

dpm 4:54 pm 17 Oct 12

Besides being on the same site as UC, I suspect the health centre has little to do with promoting the “seat of higher learning’s” policies and positions (on any matter). I suspect it is more related to the particular Doc in question, and painting all of UC with the same brush is a little OTT….?

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