Dekho Hamara Amreeki Desh !

By K S Venkataraman


We’ve occasionally published stories under Dekho Hamara Hindustan highlighting how uninformed some of the Indian elected officials can be. The rights of elected officials to publicly display how dumb they are have no geographic boundaries. Here is an Amreeki version.

In February 2015, the Idaho legislature held a hearing on a bill that proposed to ban doctors from prescribing abortion-inducing medications through telemedicine. Idaho’s state representative Rep. Vito Barbieri (GOP) (see the picture) was in the committee hearing of people both supporting and opposing the bill.

Rep. Barbieri of Idaho

Dr. Julie Madsen, a physician who provides various telemedicine services in Idaho, was opposing the bill that will restrict doctors from prescribing medications to terminate pregnancies such as the “Morning-After Pill.”

The legislators were asking Dr. Madsen about colonoscopy to see if it could be done noninvasively. Here are the exchanges in the hearing:

  Rep: Barbieri:  You mentioned the risk of colonoscopy. Can that be done by drugs?

    Dr. Madsen:  Mr. Chairman, Rep. Barbieri, it cannot be done by drugs. It can, however, be done remotely, where you swallow a pill, and this pill has a little camera, and it makes its way through your intestines, and those images are uploaded to a doctor who’s often thousands of miles away, who then interprets that.

    Rep. Barbieri:  Follow up, Mr. Chairman.

    Chair:  Rep. Barbieri.

    Rep. Barbieri:  Can this same procedure then be done in a pregnancy? Swallowing a camera and helping the doctor determine what the situation is, with the … …

    Dr. Madsen:   Mr. Chairman and Representative, it cannot be done in pregnancy simply because when you swallow a pill, it would not end up in the vagina.


    Rep. Barbieri:  Fascinating! That certainly makes sense, doctor.

The laughter in the room at Dr. Madson’s response to Rep Barbieri’s question was not a polite one. It was derisive because of  the Republican state representative’s ignorance on the basic anatomy of the human body.     —     The End

…    —  By K S Venkataraman

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