…to child of mother with tattoos. The story is here. And there is much discussion about it on the internets.

Dr. Gary Merrill, of Christian Medical Services, in Bakersfield, CA, is in private practice and has limits on who he will treat. Amongst the exclusionary criteria are presence of tattoos or body piercings.

I think that it is hardly a Christian principle to deny medical care to children because of the lifestyle choices of their parents. As a Catholic, I’m offended by the use of Christianity to justify this decision. As a pediatrician, I’m disgusted by any rationalizations for the denial of services to the most medically underserved portion of our population. As an earring-wearer, I’m offended by the thought process that leads to an assumption that I am a tool of the devil.

Yet his practice is not an emergency room and is not subject to EMTALA as a matter of routine obligations. His practice is a private practice, and unless he had a prior existing relationship with this patient, I think he is probably within his legal rights to make this decision.

And as much as I disagree with him, as much as I would never take my kids there for care, I defend his right to run his practice in whatever misguided fashion he desires.

I guess he gets my most recent nomination for Moron of the Week.