Member Groups

The Catalyst
The newsletter of the ISBA’s Standing Committee on Women and the Law

May 2007, vol. 12, no. 4

Mastectomy Hospital Bill in Congress

A mastectomy is when a woman’s breast is removed in order to remove cancerous breast cells/tissue. If you know anyone who has had a mastectomy, you may know that there is a lot of discomfort and pain afterwards. Insurance companies are trying to make mastectomies an outpatient procedure. Let’s give women the chance to recover properly in the hospital for two days after surgery. 

There’s a bill called the Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act, which will require insurance companies to cover a minimum 48-hour hospital say for patients undergoing a mastectomy. Its about eliminating the “drive-through” mastectomy where women are forced to go home just a few hours after surgery, against the wishes of their doctor, still groggy from anesthesia and sometimes with drainage tubes still attached. Lifetime Television has put this bill on their web page with a petition drive to show your support. Last year over half the House signed on. You can participate by writing your Congressperson or by signing the Petition on line at 

Like with all legislation there may be reasons which are not readily apparent for not supporting any particular pending Bill. If any of our readers know of such reason not to support the Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act, please feel free to contact the editor, at and your input will be reported.