This is a follow up to Planned Parenthood, Abortion and Fetal Tissue Harvesting. Those who read the original post know that the information is gruesome and morally repulsive. For those who didn’t read the original post, here are the basic facts:
The National Institute of Health Revitalization Act of 1993 made it legal for the government to fund fetal tissue research. This generated a drastic increase for fetal tissue, at which point the fetal tissue harvesting industry started skyrocketing through the roof…oh, excuse me, I meant that is when donating fetal tissue for treatment and research skyrocketed through the roof. Check out this Planned Parenthood site. It’s explains most of the details, including the laws that are involved in obtaining and distributing fetal tissue and stem cells.
Did you notice the part where it says:
Both (NATO Act and NIH Revitalization Act) do permit, however, “reasonable payments” associated with the removal, transportation, implantation, processing, preservation, quality control, and storage of the tissue (USCA, 1988; USCA, 1993). (Emphasis mine)
You see, it’s illegal to actually buy fetal tissue, but money does exchange hands. How this works is simple. Mother wants abortion and signs consent to release tissue for donation. Abortionist donates tissue to tissue broker, who then donates tissue to research facility. Research facility pays tissue broker a processing fee and tissue broker pays abortionist a site fee and/or procurement fees. Somewhere in all of that, abortion referral agencies get a cut on the action. Research facilities get grant from NIH for fetal tissue research. No money goes to the mother.
How much money exchanges hands in all of this? I wish I knew. The most recent information I’ve been able to find is dated 2000, which is over 10 years old, which stated this:
Opening Lines had a price list that advertised costs for various fetal body parts, such as: $999 for the brain of a fetal child between 22-23 weeks, $150 for skin, $325 for a spinal cord, $550 for reproductive organs, and $75 apiece for eyes, according to March 2000 accounts of ABC’s 20/20 and the Kansas City Star.
(Miles) Jones told 20/20 producers during an episode that aired on March 8, 2000, that he was able to make $50,000 a week from the sale of fetal body parts.
Stop and think for just a moment about how much money exchanges hands in this process. A total of $2175 per fetus (w/o including organs) is stated in the above comment. How many abortions took place in 2009? Well, Planned Parenthood alone claims (and even brags) about completing a total of 332,287 abortions. According to this reference, that was 27.5% of all abortions that took place that year. If this information is true, then there were roughly 1,230,000 abortions in this nation during the year 2009. Even at “price rates” that are 10 years old, this projects that over $2.5 billion dollars exchanged hands.
The above information is so morally repulsive that it took me a few days to actually absorb it, but once I got past that point, I found myself wondering why the Joint Commission (or one of the other accreditation organizations) hadn’t stepped in where the abortion industry is concerned. For those unfamiliar with the JC, they are one of the accrediting agencies used by CMS to verify processes and procedures that meet CMS standards. Accreditation organizations serve more than one purpose. On one hand, they provide external objective oversight to what occurs in the process of providing health care. OTOH, they also provide a deterrent to slackers who might be tempted to let health care standards drop off. If an organization doesn’t get accreditation, they aren’t approved for Medicare and/or Medicaid payments. Some of the services supposedly provided by PP are funded via Medicaid, so it just made sense that accreditation of some sort would be required.
Then I found out that the JC (or JCAHO as it was formerly called) isn’t the accrediting agency overseeing abortion facility processes…the National Abortion Federation (NAF) and the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) provide accreditation for this sector of the health care industry. The industry is self-accredited by an organization that offers public health care services as an affiliate of the accreditation organization. I don’t know who made the decision to allow PP to be self-accredited, but they’ve more or less granted PP carte blanche to rig the system in whatever manner they choose from the top down.
Hence my title about the letting the fox design the security system for the henhouse.
The entire situation has medical paternalism written all over it from beginning to end. Medical paternalism is a phenomenon that can be displayed when a health care provider or organization has a point of conflict (whether that conflict be moral, ethical, legal, social, or monetary) that can cause the provider to be selective in the options that are provided to a patient regarding patient treatments in an effort to persuade the patient to choose the course of treatment that the provider would choose for them. And yes, I’d say that in the case of an abortionist or an abortion referral agency, knowing that there could be greater potential profits made from the donation of fetal tissue than from actually providing an abortion would be a conflict of interest.
Medical paternalism is also a violation of a patient’s rights under the Patient Self-Determination Act. When most people think of PSDA, they think of Advance Directives, but it is the patient’s right to autonomy that supports the Advance Directive inclusion into PSDA…just like it is the patient’s right to autonomy that is being violated when medical paternalism exists.
Setting medical paternalism aside, things are about to get interesting now that PP is self-accredited. In regards to the health care industry, the doctrine of charitable immunity was replaced with the doctrine of corporate liability back in 1969 via the Darling v. Charleston case. So far, PP has been able to avoid any major involvement in medical negligence of abortion providers because the court has displayed a tendency to give PP the benefit of the doubt that as a not-for-profit agency they are “acting in good faith”.
Now that they have become self-accrediting, will they be able to claim ignorance of the qualifications of an abortionist? Will they be able to say that they acted in “good faith” when they recommended a patient to an unqualified health care provider that PPFA credentialed within their own agency? Will they be able to continue to claim that they were unaware of substandard conditions with a facility? Or will the court begin to hold them accountable within the context of corporate liability and breach of duty?
May God help us; I hope the latter proves to be true.