View Full Version : Wiccan Woman harrassed by Christian Doctor.

12-03-2005, 01:11 PM


NILES Bias at the doctor’s office?

Wiccan says she got lecture, not birth control prescription she wanted
By DEBRA HAIGHT H-PCorrespondent

NILES — Amanda Blake believes in being prepared.
So, when she turned 18 and started dating, she got the blessing of her father and went to get birth control pills even though she had no plans to have sexual relations with anyone.
She didn’t count on seeing a doctor who she said gave her a lecture about morality and her religious beliefs and didn’t prescribe any kind of birth control for her.
The physician, Dr. Delbert Huelskoetter, practices at the Southwestern Medical Clinic’s Niles office on South 11th Street. He could not be reached for comment.
Blake’s complaint is that during a Nov. 21 appointment with the doctor, she was not examined, and the doctor never gave her a prescription for birth control pills. She said the doctor questioned her for at least 20 minutes about her moral beliefs, career options and religion, and charged her $68 for the visit, which she paid.
She said she was unaware of the Christian roots of the Southwestern Medical Clinic organization before she went there for an appointment, especially since the Niles clinic also has a walk-in clinic.
Amanda Blake, her dad, George Blake, and Amanda’s Wiccan pastor, Lady Rhiannon Dunham, believe that Amanda was discriminated against at least in part because of her Wiccan beliefs.
Wicca is described in Webster’s dictionary as “a form of witchcraft ... characterized by pagan nature worship and white magic.” Blake said she was upset not only by the doctor’s personal questions but about his refusal to answer any of her medical questions about birth control options.
“Not one medical question was brought up,” she said. “He just talked about religion and charged me $68. I found out later he did diagnose me with depression because I cried.” “To me, it’s a basic right (to get pills),” the Niles homeschooler said. “It’s normal and responsible to get birth control. People make such a big deal about safe sex, and that’s important. I have no plans to go out and lose my virginity, but I want to be prepared.” Southwestern Medical Clinic administrator Warren White said he couldn’t comment on the specifics of Blake’s situation because of federal privacy regulations. He did say the organization’s Web site clearly states its Christian approach to medical care, witnessing and missions.
“The Southwestern Medical Clinic is a Christian organization,” he said. “We provide medical care for the whole person, which includes treating their psychological, emotional, spiritual and physical needs. We care for everybody and anybody that comes through the door.” White said the clinic has no set policy on the distribution of birth control pills.
“It’s up to the individual physician,” he said. “We have some who do prescribe the pills and others who won’t prescribe them because of their personal beliefs.

... There’s no law that says you have to prescribe birth control pills. It’s up to the individual physician and his or her personal beliefs.” White also said the clinic doesn’t have any policy allowing for discriminating against people because of their religious beliefs.
“We welcome anyone regardless of their beliefs to receive care from us,” he said.
He said if people are upset with a doctor or any other clinic employee, they can talk to the office coordinator or contact him directly at the organization’s Berrien Springs administrative office.
“I have an open door policy,” he said.
Amanda Blake said she would like a public apology because of what she felt was a “personal attack” by the doctor.
The Blakes said they went public with their complaints because they thought it was important to let people know how she was treated. “It is a little unnerving to talk about it,” Amanda said. “But if I don’t talk about it, he wins. It’s about freedom of religion and having control over your own body. Somebody has to stand up. Nothing will change if people don’t stand up.” George Blake said he hasn’t decided whether he will file a lawsuit against the clinic and the doctor. He said he asked the clinic giveAmanda’s money back, which it refused to do, and has contacted the American Civil Liberties Union to get their help.
Amanda Blake said the doctor “asked me if I was sexually active, and I said, ‘ no,’ ” she said. “He then asked me if I planned on getting married, and I said ‘no’ again. He asked me why I needed the birth control pills, and I said I wanted to be prepared. I’d rather not screw up and end up pregnant. “I thought I was being responsible. He then gave me a speech about how it was better to wait for marriage with all the diseases out there, but I said ‘I don’t have to.’ ” Amanda said the doctor asked about her religious beliefs and whether she went to church. When she said she was Wiccan or pagan, she said the doctor looked “shocked and affronted.” He went on to ask her about her career plans, urged her to see a Christian counselor, and finally denied her request for a prescription for birth control pills, she said.
“I actually started crying,” she said. “The way he was saying it, he acted like I was doing something criminal. I felt humiliated and put on the spot. After about 20 minutes he said he wasn’t going to give me a prescription. I said if I understood the law correctly, he had to. He said he had taken an oath to do what he knows is right and not what he thinks or believes is right. I said that a lot of people think they know what is right but it’s really their personal opinion.” George Blake said he was proud of his daughter for taking responsibility and planning ahead before taking the step to becoming sexually active.
“It’s alright for him to give his religious opinion. I don’t fault him for that,” he said.
“But I do fault him for not following through and giving her the pills. ... I’m asking the clinic and the Medical Association to restrict this doctor’s practice to medicine and leave the preaching for home and church.” Amanda Blake said she has been a Wiccan for four or five years and attends Dunham’s group, which is based in Leonidas, Mich.
In her view, her beliefs shouldn’t matter.
“This isn’t the 1700s,” she said. “The Puritans aren’t in control any more.” “We as pagans still face modern day persecution and that’s exactly what he did,” Dunham said. “He made her feel like she had done something wrong and tried to get her to go to a Christian counselor. I think it’s grounds for a lawsuit. It’s modern day persecution. ... He should never had crossed the line as to whether she’s a Christian or not.”

If you'd like to contact the clinic, feel free to do so at [email protected]

12-03-2005, 05:42 PM
Yet one more reason the world, or society seems to be in a downward spiral.
Some people can't leave other people's own beliefs alone, and must push their views on them, requested or not.
I live with this daily at my work, but have learned how to make a mockery of it {much to the blood-boiling of my bible thumping co-workers 8) }, but to hear that these things go on ALL AROUND is just sickening.
I give the girl two big thumbs up for wanting to be a responsible young adult. Seems that's getting more and more rare these days, too!
Jumping off now... :rant:
Thanks for letting me rant!