And yet, according to a recent study of 1,102 women ages 20-49 published in “Cancer Research”, certain formulations of oral contraceptives (artificial birth control) raised the risk of contracting breast cancer by as much as 50%. The study authors note that the results are likely more accurate than prior studies due to the fact that they did not rely upon self-reporting, but rather upon electronic pharmacy records.
If a doctor prescribes a medication, there is an awareness that it means introducing a foreign agent into the body. Medications carry known risks and potential complications, as well as unknown ones. The physician’s job is to weigh the potential risks against the potential (or expected) therapeutic benefit, and to determine with the patient whether taking a certain medication is the best course of treatment.
The problem is that artificial contraception has no therapeutic benefit for most patients who take it. It is usually not prescribed to treat a medical condition. Rather, in the vast majority of cases, it is used to prevent pregnancy, and not treat disease or symptoms of a disease.
What this means is that with artificial contraception, there is no true risk analysis undertaken by the physician. In agreeing to dispense it, the physician has already abandoned the ordinary standard of care. Birth control is not healthcare. There is no therapeutic benefit, but there is still (significant) risk in taking the medication. But that risk is offset not by a therapeutic benefit, but a (perceived) social one.