Saturday, June 15, 2013

American Medical Association Perjures Itself In Amicus Brief

In their defense, they weren't alone. Here's the list of other organizations that went right along with them:
The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Obstetricians and 
Gynecologists and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American 
Public Health Association, the American Medical Women's Association, the National Perinatal 
Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the National Association of Social 
Workers-Mississippi Chapter, the National Women's Health Network, iWomansHealth, the 
Institute for Health and Recovery, and the Baron Edmond de Rothschild Chemical Dependency 
Institute of Beth Israel Medical Center. 

Here's what the Amicus Brief had to say that was so damning:
"Moreover, science has failed to prove that in utero exposure to illegal drugs causes unique harms to a fetus 
distinguishable from those caused by other uncontrollable factors." - a quote from page 3, http://www.ama-assn.org//resources/doc/legal-issues/mississippi-v-buckhalter.pdf

That's a pretty bald lie.  Here's what the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, one of the organizations that signed on to the amicus brief as an authority in the matter, is quoted as saying by the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychology

"According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, pregnant women should not drink any form of alcohol. Pregnant women who think they have should be aware of the serious and negative effects of alcohol on the development of the baby (fetus). In the United States, prenatal exposure to alcohol is the most common cause of birth defects. Exposure to alcohol during pregnancy causes damage to the brain and affects the child's behavior, these effects can be prevented by 100 percent."

The AACAP goes on to say that, "alcohol is poisonous to the child that grows inside the womb."  That's just alcohol. Imagine what meth amphetamines do to a child growing inside the womb.

Let's look at what the March of Dimes says about this:

"Another commonly abused amphetamine is methamphetamine, also known as speed, ice, crank and crystal meth. A 2006 study found that babies of women who used this drug were more than three times as likely than unexposed babies to grow poorly before birth (5). Even when born at term, affected babies tend to be born with low birthweight(less than 5½ pounds) and have a smaller-than-normal head circumference.

Use of methamphetamine during pregnancy also increases the risk of pregnancy complications, such as premature birth and placental problems (5). There also have been cases of birth defects, including heart defects and cleft lip/palate, in exposed babies, but researchers do not yet know whether the drug contributed to these defects (5).

After delivery, some babies who were exposed to amphetamines before birth appear to undergo withdrawal-like symptoms, including jitteriness, drowsiness and breathing problems."

Not enough, you say? Okay, well, let's dig a little deeper. Here is an article on the damaging affects of prescription opiate abuse and the health of the newborn, caused by the in utero exposure to the opiates:
"Compared with all other hospital births, newborns with NAS were significantly more likely to have respiratory diagnoses (30.9%; SE, 0.7%), to have low birthweight (19.1%; SE, 0.5%), have feeding difficulties (18.1%; SE, 0.7%), and have seizures (2.3%; SE, 0.2%). " - http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1151530

That article comes from the Journal of the American Medical Association.  That is a clear and irrevocable refutation of their statement that "science has failed to prove that in utero exposure to illegal drugs causes unique harms to a fetus distinguishable from those caused by other uncontrollable factors." Apparently, they should spend a little time reading their own material.   The medical studies they furnished in the amicus brief were all from 2005 or older, ignoring completely newer findings among their own journals. 

This speaks of something much, much, darker than a perjury case, though.  It begs the question of why they would submit such a brief, with such a clear and easily refutable lie written into it, on behalf of a woman accused of killing her unborn child with methamphetamine use. The claim they have in the brief is that their concern is that drug addicted women will abort more often to avoid detection and incarceration, or that it will prevent these women from seeking treatment.  If that were their true intention, though, why undermine your argument by leading off with such a preposterous lie? Why not simply admit that it is possible that the methamphetamine use may have led to the death of the child, but that prosecuting the mother benefits no one., including the child?  Whose interests are really being protected by this?  It certainly isn't the child's.

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