Psychiatrist upbraids her profession for ignoring risky behaviour
|Dr. Miriam Grossman isn’t pro-life yet. She doesn’t know that “emergency contraception” can end a pregnancy. She also doesn’t know that abortion is always wrong, even when “neutral healing ground” is offered for recovery.
No, Grossman isn’t pro-life yet – but her book is already a boon to pro-lifers. A UCLA campus psychiatrist who published the volume anonymously before “outing” herself, Grossman is sufficiently frustrated to have begun speaking out against the manipulative special-interest groups that are more committed to their agenda than to student mental health: “My profession has been hijacked. I cannot do my job, my patients are suffering, and I am fed up.”
In Unprotected: A Campus Psychiatrist Reveals How Political Correctness in Her Profession Endangers Every Student, Grossman uses the cases of disguised individual patients to condemn the ideological double standards by which she feels straitjacketed. Many years after putting her hand down at a conference when she “didn’t have the guts to be the sole challenger” to the zeitgeist, she is finally dipping her toes in the waters of resistance.
Grossman powerfully challenges the contradictions that she faces on a daily basis. Although we are told that women are the same as men, disproportionate student appointment requests are from females – heartbroken by failed sexual relationships and by “hook-ups” that lead nowhere. Although unlimited academic and career counselling is lavished on women pursuing lengthy higher education, never mentioned is how their chances are diminishing of someday welcoming the children they vaguely expect.
Although “safer sex” is considered both possible and ideal, sexually transmitted infections are not always cured and their consequences can be devastating. Although “health” advisories suggest that “HIV is here to stay and anybody can get it,” the fact is that “what spreads HIV is anal sex, shared needles or a partner who does those things.” Although diversity is a cherished value, students of faith simply aren’t accommodated like those pursuing “alternative lifestyles.”
Exercise, non-smoking, good nutrition and even osteoporosis prevention are university dogma. “The message is loud and clear: learn about your health, take care of yourself. There are consequences to your lifestyle, so work at changing it. Have the fruit instead of the pizza, take the stairs, not the elevator. Sure, it’s not fun, it takes discipline and self-control, but hey, that’s what we’ve got to do to stay healthy. Later on, you’ll be glad you did!” A the very same time, college-sponsored websites and health centre brochures facilitate deadly habits – paraphilias, cruising and risky sex.
Public health is sacrificed at the altar of confidentiality for just one medical condition. “If I delay or fail to report (a student at risk of tuberculosis), I will be in violation of state regulations and subject to citations and fines. I might also be in trouble with the medical board, as failure to report suspected TB – or measles, syphilis, chlamydia, meningitis and 46 other communicable diseases – is considered unprofessional conduct.” But a promiscuous gay man cannot be compelled to moderate his behaviour or even made to submit to HIV testing. “Why am I mandated to protect Tom, but not Brian?”
Hundreds of miles from New Orleans, her school reached out to even potential Katrina victims, while ignoring the certain trauma to at least a portion of those students who have suffered gruesome chemical abortions. “Will someone please explain to me: why does psychology, in its quest to identify and counsel every victim of possible child abuse, sexual harassment or hurricanes, leave no stone unturned and then go berserk at the suggestion that maybe, maybe, some – not all, but some – women and men hurt for a long, long time after abortion and they, too, need our help?”
Grossman intends this book as a wake-up call for parents. That she does not yet share every concern of pro-life parents is no reason to disregard her thorough documentation and incisive commentary. “The nurse teaching your daughter about herpes, the social worker reassuring your son about his homosexual thought – these people may have a vision for social change that you don’t share,” she warns.
Parents disturbed by the falsification of healthcare will indeed find the book an essential resource. Likewise, health and helping professionals, as well as activists – of both the student and the lifelong learner varieties – will find the book a valuable tool in effecting meaningful change.
Clinical social worker Theresa Smyth, MSW, RSW is the family and society reporter for The Interim.