One Advocates Opinion
Roe Vs Wade is getting plenty of attention now that it has been overturned. There are marches and demonstration and plenty of angry people and for years there have been marches and demonstrations outside abortion clinics too. If you wonder if I have an opinion, I do, but you won’t hear it from me. Let me explain. It’s the work that I do that keeps me keeping my opinion on medical or healthcare matters to myself.Years ago, a volunteer told me, after starting to work with us, that she could not be an advocate for people who are transgender. She would be willing to pray for them, but could not be a patient advocate and support them. Of course, she was soon gone from Pulse, but it has always left me wondering if advocates can truly advocate for someone with different beliefs or values.
Patient advocates are human and if someone were asked to be a patient advocate for a young woman having an abortion and the advocate did not support abortion, could the advocate do it? Should the advocate be expected to do it? Should an advocate share their beliefs and values before taking on a client? Or just turn down a case? If they turn down a case, does that mean an advocate does not truly have the patients best interest front and center but instead, has their own values before the patient’s needs?
When I did a training with a hospitals leadership on working with patients who are disabled, one of the senior leaders said that people with physical disabilities are so much extra work when they must deal with wheelchairs. The others in the room gasped but I suggested that the honesty was refreshing. She was facing the elephant in the room and now we could discuss it and find a way to deal with it.
I believe that if we are truly put on earth to help people, our differences should make us unique and interesting. If we are to support people as their advocate, we must meet them where they are and take into consideration that we all do not have the same beliefs or values. It may be a case-by-case situation but I just wanted to share that I’m OK with people who believe differently than me. It won’t affect my work.
I would love to know what others think.