One of the last “Fuck You’s that George Bush left the people of America was the so called conscience clause. What it essentially means that if you are in the medical field, from the hospital administrator to the pharmacist and you object to something on moral grounds you can say “I think this is wrong” and get to bring things screaming to a halt and you can’t be fired for doing it.
This could mean that essentially it was legal for a catholic doctor to not only refuse to give a rape victim the morning after pill, but also refuse to refer the patient to another doctor. It would also mean that if a Pharmacist was opposed to birth control, they could refuse to fill the prescription. If your primary care doctor, needs to write your referrals, and he doesn’t feel its moral to send you for a potentially life saving termination, he would not even allowed to be told off for such behavior.
Now there were claims that “you can always go elsewhere”, well firstly in hospitals rape victims are generally in need of one stop shop treatment. That means rape kit, morning after pill, antibiotics and retroviral meds. Now I don’t understand how as a doctor you can say No to a raped woman, period, I don’t care what your beliefs are, if you are dealing with a raped woman and she wants the morning after pill, you give it to her, and if you don’t I want you seeing the inside of a jail cell for causing trauma to a rape victim.
As far as the less immediate stressful situation of giving out contraception. Lets say you are a woman who lives in a small town with only one pharmacy, and your pharmacist doesn’t believe in supplying birth control to you because of her beliefs. While there may be ways round, it certainly penalizes you exercising your legal right to birth control because of the “morality” of your pharmacist.
The final example is the most scary, and yes generally you may be able to switch your primary care doctor, or go to the emergency room, but essentially the gatekeeper to your medical care is refusing to give you access to the care you need.
You may have beliefs about what is right and wrong that might be different to mine, however you as a doctor have a moral obligation to give me the care I need, and leave your beliefs outside the office. If you do not, you have no place being a doctor, plain and simple.
Thankfully President Obama has repealed most of the aspects of this obscene executive order but has left in exceptions where nurses and doctors cannot be compelled to participate in abortions or sterilizations. Now it seems to me that its possible for a doctor or a nurse to avoid being involved in either. I think provided its limited to specific circumstances in that a Doctor may not be pushed to do a termination, under the proviso that he refers the woman to a doctor who will do the referral at no financial penalty to her. The nurse may be more tricky, but if they are working at a hospital that provides abortion services and is expected to help out in surgery, they should change to a hospital or a position that does not expect her to assist in surgery. I’m not sure if thats the interpretation of the new rules but that is my understanding.
So its a big step forward, for people’s rights to medical care, and I am please that President Obama has finally reversed this toxic policy.
Thanks to One News Now for complaining about this.