'Right of conscience'. Is this a good thing? - U2 Feedback

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Old 12-19-2008, 03:03 AM   #1
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'Right of conscience'. Is this a good thing?

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'Right of conscience' rule issued for health workers


By Rob Stein, Washington Post | December 19, 2008

WASHINGTON - The Bush administration yesterday issued a sweeping new regulation that protects a broad range of healthcare workers - from doctors to janitors - who refuse to participate in providing services that they believe violate their personal, moral, or religious beliefs.

The controversial rule empowers federal health officials to cut off federal funding for any state or local government, hospital, clinic, health plan, doctor's office or other entity if it does not accommodate employees who exercise their "right of conscience." It would apply to more than 584,000 healthcare facilities.

"Doctors and other healthcare providers should not be forced to choose between good professional standing and violating their conscience," Health and Human Services Secretary Michael O. Leavitt said in a statement.

The regulation, which was issued just in time to take effect in the 30 days before the change of administrations, was sought by conservative groups, abortion opponents and others as necessary to safeguard workers from being fired, disciplined or penalized in other ways.

Women's health and family planning advocates, abortion-rights activists, members of Congress, and others criticized the regulation, saying it would create major obstacles to a variety of health services, including abortion, family planning, end-of-life care, and possibly a wide range of scientific research.

The 127-page rule is the latest in a flurry of federal regulations that the administration is implementing before President Bush's term ends, including a number that would weaken government protections for consumers and the environment.

Although the Obama administration could reverse the rule, it would require a lengthy process. Last month, however, Senator Hillary Clinton of New York, and Senator Patty Murphy of Washington, both Democrats, introduced a bill to repeal the regulation legislatively.

In response to criticism that the original version of the rule was too broad, the final rule clarifies that it does not apply to entities that are unlikely to use federal funds for health services or research, such as programs that provide financial assistance for home heating for low-income families. But the rule continues to cover a broad range of workers, including support staff, trainees, and even volunteers.

"Many healthcare providers routinely face pressure to change their medical practice - often in direct opposition to their personal convictions," said Joxel Garcia, assistant secretary of health.
Personal convictions, how broad is this?
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Old 12-19-2008, 07:11 AM   #2
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No, I don't think that this is a good thing. It'll make health care a lot less dependable (i.e. do you get a person that'll treat you or not?).

And personal convictions is broad. Here's a comment I read:
Quote:
Right now the Bush administration is working on a "right of conscience" rule that would allow medical personnel to refuse to participate in medical procedures they personally object to. The current administration hopes that some doctors and nurses will refuse to perform requested and legal abortions just because the doctors or nurses are personally against abortion. What the administration is forgetting, however, is that such a rule is a two-edged sword. Suppose there is another Terri Schiavo case--and comatose patients are quite common--and (part of) the family wants to let the patient die. Then using the "right of conscience" rule, doctors, nurses, and technicians could refuse to go anywhere near the machines, which would undoubtedly result in many cases of euthanasia because the machines weren't being operated properly and nobody was willing to adjust them.
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Old 12-19-2008, 07:43 AM   #3
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This reminds me of a discussion we had over here a while ago about civil servants refusing to marry people of the same sex. My position is that if your job requires you to do things you deem unethical, try to work it out with your employer or go look for another job.

By the way, is this law limited to procedures, or are you also protected if you refuse treatment to certain people you have a problem with. What if you don't want to deliver a baby because it's born out of wedlock? What if you don't want to treat gays because they're icky? Or Republicans because they're evil?

And what if your refusal to perform a procedure directly endangers the patient's health?
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Old 12-19-2008, 09:08 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by DrTeeth View Post
By the way, is this law limited to procedures, or are you also protected if you refuse treatment to certain people you have a problem with.
[...]
[What if you don't want to treat] Republicans because they're evil?

And what if your refusal to perform a procedure directly endangers the patient's health?
From what I understand of this regulation, the above is valid, should that be your personal, moral or religious conviction.
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Old 12-19-2008, 09:31 AM   #5
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If you're not going to provide the service, don't take the job. Morons. The only way I can think of around this is to open a private hospital where you don't take emergency cases - that way you're free to let people drop dead in your medical center to protect your morals. But for those of us that are not batshit insane, if we go to a hospital for a procedure, we better get the goddamn procedure.
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Old 12-19-2008, 10:31 AM   #6
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Why not get rid of the hypocrattic oath and all medical ethics why you're at it?

What a bunch of fucking idiots...
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Old 12-19-2008, 08:00 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by BonoVoxSupastar View Post
Why not get rid of the hypocrattic oath and all medical ethics why you're at it?

What a bunch of fucking idiots...
will not give a lethal drug to anyone if I am asked, nor will I advise such a plan; and similarly I will not give a woman a pessary to cause an abortion.

If doctors stuck to the hippocratic oath there would be no abortion, i'll take the consensual ethics thank you very much.
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