July 16, 2006


A Medical Crisis of Conscience (Rob Stein, 7/16/06, Washington Post)

In Chicago, an ambulance driver refused to transport a patient for an abortion. In California, fertility specialists rebuffed a gay woman seeking artificial insemination. In Texas, a pharmacist turned away a rape victim seeking the morning-after pill.

Around the United States, health workers and patients are clashing when providers balk at giving care that they feel violates their beliefs, sparking an intense, complex and often bitter debate over religious freedom vs. patients' rights.

Legal and political battles have followed. Patients are suing and filing complaints after being spurned. Workers are charging religious discrimination after being disciplined or fired. Congress and more than a dozen states are considering laws to compel workers to provide care -- or, conversely, to shield them from punishment.

Proponents of a "right of conscience" for health workers argue that there is nothing more American than protecting citizens from being forced to violate their moral and religious values. Patient advocates and others point to a deep tradition in medicine of healers having an ethical and professional responsibility to put patients first.

You aren't putting patients first if you assist them in evil acts.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 16, 2006 5:34 PM

Looks like the Leftists are going to have to ban the tactics they claim to have invented in the 60's.
Should be fun watching them try to square this circle....

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at July 16, 2006 7:03 PM

Be careful what you dema... ask for. Our progressive German friends have run into the situation of whether or not to force unemployed women to take work in their new legal brothels or face having their benefits cut-off.

Posted by: curtish at July 16, 2006 9:28 PM


That's an urban legend, created by typical, reality challenged modern journalists.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at July 16, 2006 11:06 PM

I support the right of those pharmacists who disapprove of the "rhythm method" to refuse to sell calendars.

Posted by: Joseph Hertzlinger at July 17, 2006 1:03 AM