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22 August 2008 @ 09:18 pm
The new Conscience Laws  

Some explanation on the new laws regarding health care workers and the obligation to provide services involving abortion and sterilization.  Note that there are already protections in place, but the new law would revoke federal funding (to the point of requiring payback) to hospitals and medical societies that discriminate on the basis of conscience.

In other words, if a hospital who deals with rape victims on a regular basis declines to hire an individual for their ER who refuses to give a patient a morning-after pill, their funding can get yanked.

Here is the key quote of the article:
The regulation now faces a 30-day public comment period.

So comment on it.

Here is the text of the rule in its entirety.  They are OFFERING it to us for our opinions.  Within the document itself are multiple methods for getting in touch with the Department of Health.

I especially urge you to pay attention to this bill if you are among the many Americans who wants the government to become MORE involved in the issuing of healthcare to the indigent, and preventive care to the public at large.

I have an interest in this because I have a medical condition that requires that I be prescribed a drug that is also a contraceptive.  I am not an unusual case.  But my case is such that it might cause a conflict of conscience with the various health providers I come into contact with regularly.  There are legitimate medical reasons why a woman might be forced to terminate a wanted pregnancy.  The idea that she could be faced with that kind of a decision, and then be forced to search for a doctor who would help her, is appalling.

Doctors are free from the responsibility of deciding whether to treat racists, murderers, and war criminals.  That decision has been lifted from them, that is why they swear an oath.  The idea that a doctor who feels obligated to save the life of someone who's going to go and kill fifteen more people is repugnant beside the idea that a doctor may refuse to perform the removal of an ectopic pregnancy.  (You can't exclude that from this law.  You can't.  Abortion can not be legally defined as "only removing a baby from an irresponsible harlot with no sense of the value of life", so as to require doctors to perform some and not others.  Our legal system just doesn't work that way.)

Unlike naamah_darling, from whom I got these links, I have no problem with the pro-life stance.  But this isn't like a Christian bookstore, where if they censor, I can just go to another store.  I have absolutely not the slightest doubt that at some point, I will be asked to put my life into the hands of a medical professional, probably more than once.  I do not want to die because the hospital was strong-armed into hiring a surgeon whose personal beliefs complicate decisions regarding my treatment.  Being a doctor is complicated enough.

No comments, because I want discussion to spread OUT, not stagnate in my comment box.

Email them.  Don't succumb to feeling helpless, they WANT to know what you think, so even if you think this law is the best idea ever... tell them so.  And if, like me, you think that you understand why it was drafted, but still think it's a terrible idea, tell them that too.  And if, like naamah_darling, you think this is an atom bomb to the concept of human rights drawn up by troglodytic woman-haters, say that too.  Just don't let this 30 days pass without being heard.

Because it will affect you or someone you know.
Current Mood: worriedworried