Real concern for women makes RH opposition a no-brainer for doctor

MANILA, Oct. 8, 2012—Since preserving the health of patients and administering no harmful methods of treatment are part of the Hippocratic oath, a medical doctor openly expressed her opposition to any legislative measure that goes against this, particularly the reproductive health (RH) bill.

“There are many provisions in the RH bill that I will personally contest but from the medical point of view,  sigurado ang talagang labag sa kalooban ko ay to give something that will harm my patients,” said Liza C. Manalo, M.D., faculty and consultant at the Far Eastern University – Nicanor Reyes Medical Foundation (FEU-NRMF) Medical Center.

First, do no harm

Manalo pointed out that the number one bioethical principle for doctors and other health professionals is “Do good, avoid harm.”

“First, do no harm. Posibleng hindi mo mapagaling ang pasyente mo dahil sa sakit niya – cancer, for example. Gusto ko mang gumaling ang lahat ng pasyente ko from cancer…  talagang tatanggapin natin na may mga sakit na malala na [at] hindi na kayang pagalingin ng mga duktor,” Manalo explained.

Pero hindi ko man ikaw kayang pagalingin, ayoko namang ako ang maging dahilan kung bakit ka nagkasakit, and worse, ako ang dahilan kung bakit ka namatay. And in fact, when you require doctors to prescribe artificial contraceptives, that’s practically what you’re asking the doctors to do. To give a drug that I know for a fact can harm the health of my patients,” the palliative care specialist pointed out.

Manalo, who has spent years dealing with and treating women in poor communities in and outside Metro Manila, said that even unschooled folks have a clue as to the physical harm that taking hormonal contraceptives brings.

Birth control pills = steroids

Artificial contraceptives belong to the group of medicines called “steroids,” Manalo said, and when she informs her patients about this, many of them recognize the danger right away.

“Actually, sometimes simple folks understand immediately, and say, ‘Steroids, dok? Bibigyan mo ako? Di ba delikado yon?’ They know already that steroids are not given just like that… unnecessarily and unless the need to cure a medical condition outweighs the side effects,” she said.

Steroids are derived from a substance called “cholesterol,” Manalo continued, adding that this often elicits a significant reaction even from ordinary people: “’Ha? Cholesterol? Di ba nakabalot sa puso yon?’ So somehow they understand it, and knowing if that’s the kind of substance in pills, you will understand why the side effects are like that.  Kasi nga steroidal siya, derived from cholesterol ang chemical structure niya. The effects are primarily on the cardiovascular system.”

Healthy women suddenly experiencing serious conditions

Manalo enumerated blood clot, heart attack, thromboembolism, and pulmonary embolism as among the consequences that have commonly been seen in women for years as early as the 1960s.

“Thromboembolism, that’s the most common result in the 1960s when the pill was starting in distribution. Right away that’s the number one side effect of contraceptive pills that they were able to document,” she said.

“In fact, cancer came later; it’s thrombo-embolism that was causing the death of women – young people, previously well, walang sakit, bigla na lang dadating sa emergency room, ang taas-taas ng blood pressure, tapos ang diagnosis either heart attack or stroke,” the physician lamented.

House Bill 4244 and Senate Bill 2865 – often touted as a pro-women measure – proposes the pouring of billions of pesos in taxpayers’ money into the procurement and distribution of contraceptive drugs and devices, along with other supplies, procedures and programs considered part of “reproductive health care.”

Last year, the bill’s co-author Sen. Pia Cayetano revealed that the Department of Health (DOH) is asking for P13.7 billion for the bill’s implementation in 2012 alone, and continued to endorse the measure despite scientific studies and a warning from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) about Class 1 carcinogenicity of oral contraceptives.

“So as a doctor I will not do any harm consciously with full knowledge and full consent,” Manalo reiterated. “And I know that these artificial contraceptives are harmful, period. No ifs or buts. All they have to do is to check the literature.” (CBCP for Life)

  • http://www.facebook.com/lanceabet Alberto Clarito Acampado

    Mabuhay ka, Doc. May your tribe increase! God bless you always!

  • http://www.facebook.com/victorborlaza Victor Borlaza

    katatapos ko lang mag exam sa Pathology cvs module. ang dami ngang nakalagay sa libro, Robin’s, about the CVS effects of Oral Contraceptives.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_N4Y4VUD5P6ETHPNR2ZJA2ST72I Monique

    It’sn just an opinion of one doctor and it has no scientific importance. If ncontraceptives are really harmful wouldn’t there be a consensus among nOB-GYN doctors to ban them completely?

    • http://www.facebook.com/ajuperez Anthony Perez

      Kotong and hulidap are bad, and yet policemen still do it. See the logic?

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_N4Y4VUD5P6ETHPNR2ZJA2ST72I Monique

        Comparing one thing to another that is really not related in order to make the one thing look less desirable is a faulty comparison. Logical fallacy. Tsk tsk…

      • Guest

        You’re comparing kotong and hulidap which are crimes to using contraceptives. Where is the logic there?

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_N4Y4VUD5P6ETHPNR2ZJA2ST72I Monique

        You’re comparing kotong and hulidap which are crimes to using contraceptives. Where is the logic there?

        • teachertwish

          I believe the logic is this: Pharmaceuticals (profit-oriented) want their medicines to sell. They do so by “bribing” doctors with expensive vacations and other similar treats. This apparently happens. Please look for CBS American Greed episode exposing Pfizer (the issue on celebrex).

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_N4Y4VUD5P6ETHPNR2ZJA2ST72I Monique

            Corroborating evidence please. An expose is not enough to be accepted as an evidence in itself.

          • vokkin

            Wahaha. All over the world? You are swaying the truth to favor your cause. Nice try.nnnLets stop building roads, the cement companies will make tons of profit.

          • hum

            @vokkin:disqus it is happening all over the world. my gf is a nurse in a hospital and they enjoy at least 3x a year a free all expense paid vacation/outing from Pharmaceutical companies in a FIVE STAR HOTEL or EQUIVALENT.get it? if the nurses get these (bribery) how much more the doctor get?

          • vokkin

            hum, if an industry is involved in unethical business practices, does that mean their product is unsafe? Do you not think other industries practice that as well? nnnThe RH bill was not crafted to make pharmaceuticals sell. The RH bill is being proposed to solve a specific set of problems, it is only incidental that their products are required. Just like cement is required in building roads. Do you want me to tell you what goes on behind closed doors in road construction negotiations? If they practice bribery, should we stop building roads? nnnYour argument is a fail.

          • vokkin

            And they urged our solons to propose an RH bill to make them sell more? Another conspiracy theory is all you have.nnn

      • vokkin

        All countries have FDAs or its equivalent. These products would’ve already been banned. They are all wrong and you are right? Psss

      • vokkin

        And yes, that is a stupid analogy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sheeenzz u0647u0644u0644u0627 u063au0621u063au0621u0628u0627u0649

    if that’s her opinion then she should include that to her health teaching. in fact, she should include everything there is to know about contraceptives, both the pros and cons.. that’s the point of the RH bill, the freedom of information and education regarding reproductive health; so the patients can make their own decision. they should have the freedom to make their own decisions and not be forced by other people who have other opinions

    • http://www.facebook.com/ajuperez Anthony Perez

      Nobody is stopping anyone from seeking information and education regarding RH. Do you need a law to be educated about RH? Go to the internet and read. If poor people do not have access to the internet, they should go to a health center. It’s all there. Do you need a law for all that? Sus. n

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_N4Y4VUD5P6ETHPNR2ZJA2ST72I Monique

        What if the mayor of the city issued an ordinance banning the distribution of contraceptives to the city funded hospitals and clinics just like what happened during Atienza’s term as mayor of Manila? Where would these people go then? People need the RH bill passed so this will never happen again. Why deny people the right to choose? If they want to use natural or artificial method of birth control it’s entirely up to them. Nobody has the right to dictate to people what they can and can’t use. That’s violation of human rights.

      • vokkin

        You obviously know nothing about what is included in the schools systems curriculum, what the RH education program contains AND the real situation of the poor people. You want those ignorant to go to health centers and ask? Eh hindi nga nila alam eh, ano tatanungin nila?nnnDid you know that more than 50% of our youth believe they will NOT get pregnant on their first sexual intercourse? Tsss

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_N4Y4VUD5P6ETHPNR2ZJA2ST72I Monique

    n The CBCP and anti RH people choose and pick publications and doctors nwhose claims are in compatible with their views. They present these nclaims as facts even if they are mere claims and nothing else. Claims nthat have no scientific evidences to back them up and not peer reviewed nby the medical community.

    • http://www.facebook.com/ajuperez Anthony Perez

      Combined OCPs are group 1 carcinogens as told by the IARC. Don’t tell me that’s neither scientific nor accepted by the medical community.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_N4Y4VUD5P6ETHPNR2ZJA2ST72I Monique

        Where did you get your “twisted facts”, from Anti-RH Facebook page?

        • teachertwish

          Monique, IARC. Anthony Perez mentioned his source. Please read up before judging anyone as giving away “twisted facts”.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_N4Y4VUD5P6ETHPNR2ZJA2ST72I Monique

            If that so, would he be kind enough to give the link for his source?

          • surprised

            You do know how to do research, do you?

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_N4Y4VUD5P6ETHPNR2ZJA2ST72I Monique

            The burden of proof lies with someone who is making a claim.

      • vokkin

        Why ain’t it banned?

        • hum

          plain and simple our country is corrupted….money can change anybodies mind…and as what i’ve said conraception is a multi-billion industry.

          • vokkin

            There are FDAs and their equivalent in almost all countries. It is either they are all wrong and you are right or they all accepted bribes. Do you have any better conspiracy theories than this? And like I said, contraceptives are incidental to the RH issue. Heck, not even 1 Senator brings this issue up, bakit kaya?

      • vokkin

        Why don’t you ask the Philippine Ob-Gyne Society if they prescribe OCPs. Yan ang medical community. Kaso hindi pa kayo nakakapag-lobby sa kanila:-)

  • Christene Pearl F. Arandia

    with all medicines there are good effects and bad effects. its up to the doctor to weigh the benefit:risk ratio. all the RH bill is saying is to provide access to all depending on the choice of the couple

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/NV25ZPWMBDYFXEYR3AWQ43ZS5E Hein S

    Bishop Socrates Villegas said the problem of Declining number of Believers lay with the ARROGANCE and HYPOCRISY within the Church.

    • vokkin

      What about the leadership?

  • Rogie Ylagan

    well, if someone stays away from emontional noise of this world and will at once think freely, it’s really a no-brainer option not just for the doctors but for everyone. RH bill is a no-no.

    • vokkin

      Huh? Trying to sound profound?

  • vokkin

    No drug, and yes I did say no drug, is ‘guaranteed to be safe’ in that they all can have side effects. However, the contraceptive pill is safe in that the risks are no greater than if you take paracetamol (biogesic) – something those who claim it can cause cancer forget to mention. The medical benefits, economic benefits, and life improving benefits for poor families outweigh ANY genuine non-religious objections. nnn(by a popular commenter named Sam)

  • Densio from Massachusetts

    ok ka doc… hope you will tell all the filipinos about this…

  • hum

    contraception is a multi-billion-BILLION industry….u know whats nextnnn

    • vokkin

      Trying to sound profound? Its not working:-)

  • Monique

    Fox News as your source?! Laughable! Bwahahaha!

  • natasha

    There are many studies that prove that pills are dangerous for women. To promote such is not only harmful to women and preborn children , but makes it easier for men to use and abuse women.

The Truth About Human Love – Orientations on Conjugal Love, Gender Ideology and Family Legislation

“By its very nature the gift of the person must be lasting and irrevocable. The indissolubility of marriage flows in the first place from the very essence of that gift: the gift of one person to another person. This reciprocal giving of self reveals the spousal nature of love. In their marital consent the bride […]

CONNECT WITH US