Monday, April 9, 2007

Veto Counter Arguments

It's Monday now. Yup, still pissed off. Still hurting. Starting to get really offended.

So I decided that we needed to address the specific "reasons" for the veto. If we are going to say he's wrong, we need to show how he's wrong. So here they are, in order of appearance . . .

1. . . . The term “stillbirth” is not used by statistical health agencies. Rather, “fetal death” is used. The bill creates a new category of “births” in New Mexico and authorizes the issuance of a formal state certificate for “birth resulting in stillbirth.” . . .

“Fetal death” can happen any time during the course of a pregnancy. Before 20 weeks, under 500 grams is termed a miscarriage. After 20 weeks, over 500 grams is termed a stillbirth. The State of New Mexico does not require the filing of a Report of Fetal Death for a fetus under 500 grams. That means hospitals and healthcare providers are only required to report stillbirths. We are not creating a new category of births; we are simply calling them what they are, still births.

State statutes don’t call live births simply “births.” They are called “live births.” So we are not redefining what is considered a birth in this state. Is there really no room to include stillbirths? We feel there is plenty of room.

2. . . . The amended bill would require production of two documents . . .

Actually, one of the two documents is already required by the state, we are simply asking it to be renamed. New Mexico is the only state in the country still using a Report of Fetal Death. Changing the title of this document to Certificate of Fetal Death does not effect the content of the document, but it does institute a consistency found across the country.

We are also asking that the Certificate of Fetal Death be a permanent document with no destruction date. Most other states do not require the destruction of these documents at any time. There is no reason they should be destroyed, but there are many reasons they should be kept.

The other document is completely optional and is generated only upon the request of the family. Families will not be forced to request either of the documents, in fact.

3. . . . two documents for a single event . . .

I have to say, this reason offends me the most.

My son died 4 days before he was born still. Those are not the same event. If the timeline were reversed and he had been born 4 days before he died, we would have received a certificate of live birth and a death certificate without anyone thinking twice about it. But because he died before he was born it is suddenly the same event?

It doesn’t matter if a baby dies 5 days, 5 minutes or 5 seconds before they are born, the two are still not the same event any more than they would be if the order were reversed.

4. . . . lead to confusion . . .

Confusion for whom? I’m not confused, Carin isn’t confused, any parent who has ever lost a child this way will not be confused. I don’t really care if some bureaucrat in an office somewhere is confused.

Really the only people who need to be clear on it are the people that it is going to effect. Families who have stillborn babies and the healthcare providers or institutions who have to walk them through the long, hazy, painful days following their loss. It doesn’t really matter if everyone else is confused by it.

Truthfully, those who are confused are probably the same people who assume we, as parents, already get a birth certificate and/or death certificate afterwards. Not that they are malicious in their lack of knowledge, but it never occurred to many people that we’d have to fight for this. And a part of me says, “That’s great. I’m glad you do not understand it or know the details of it because that would mean you’ve been through it. And I don’t wish that upon anyone.”

5. . . . potential fraud . . .

Identity theft is really what we are talking about here. Right? But the possibility for identity theft from these two documents is no greater than for any other birth certificate or death certificate.

In fact, it might be less. The title of each document is clear in its description of the outcome. Certificate of Fetal DEATH. Certificate of Birth Resulting in STILLBIRTH.

Insurance fraud is the other suggested crime related to these changes, but I am at a complete loss as to how that is even possible. Especially, again, when both documents clearly state that the child in question is dead.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Advance. Advance,.. and never retreat. This is too important.