Monday, November 07, 2005

Oh, so THAT's what he meant by consent

Kleinheider solves one of the great mysteries of Tom Coburn. Thanks, Kleinheider. Coburn, as you recall, is the jackass Senator from Oklahoma who, when accused of sterilizing a teenage girl without her consent, bragged about sterilizing many teenage girls. Now, he claims he got consent from all of them, including his accuser, but if you check out the details, things are a little sketchy.

The woman says she never consented to the procedure. He said he got oral permission for the sterilization, but a nurse failed to get written consent.

Coburn has said he intentionally did not report the sterilization on a Medicaid reimbursement to ensure the woman would not have to pay for the procedure.

So, he claims to have gotten consent; she says she never gave it (and there's some strange Medicaid misreporting going on, leading one to wonder why, if he had consent from her, he was hiding the fact that he did it). Let's move on to Kleinheider's revelation. He's reporting how Coburn said that he, as a doctor, when questioning Roberts, used his "medical skills of observation of body language to ascertain [Roberts's]uncomfortableness and ill at ease with questions and responses." Coburn credits his keen medical eye with being able to tell that Roberts was truthful and forthcoming with his answers. Kleinheider thinks this is reasonable. He says, "There is no reason to believe that Coburn's knowledge of the human body would not make him a more informed and astute observer of such things. Surely, it's not an exact science and I don't think Coburn would assert that it is -- but I gotta think it can be instrumental in constructing an informed opinion." Tada! Mystery solved. Coburn didn't need written consent from this girl because he was able to use his highly-tuned medical skills of observation of body language to ascertain that she wanted him to sterilize her, whether she said so or not. Anyway, Kleinheider has a nice little bit in his post about 'tells.' Through using my blogger skills of observation, I've detected one of Coburn's. Coburn on sterilizing underage girls: "I've done this lots to women who have come in with emergency things who have asked me to sterilize them, underage." Coburn on being asked if he's detected people lying with his super-keen skills: "Uh-huh, lots of times." My deduction: if Coburn uses the word 'lots,' he's in the middle of telling you something outrageous and somewhat frightening.


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