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Opposing Conscience Rights: Driving Dissenting Health Care Professionals Out of Medicine

Posted Dec 24 2008 10:13am














The voices that yell loudest about "choice" tend to be the very ones that most enthusiastically seek to stifle it when they involve decisions about hot button moral issues with which they disagree. The St. Louis Post Dispatch is one such voice. Its editorial page weighed in today against the new federal rule protecting health care workers against discrimination for refusing to perform medical procedures they deem immoral, such as abortion or assisted suicide, a matter we have already discussed here at SHS.

I have opined that the a primary goal of opposing conscience rights is to drive people of certain moral persuasions completely out of health care. And indeed, the Post Dispatch proves my point. From the editorial:


Michael O. Leavitt, the Bush administration secretary for Health and Human Services, lauded the rule last week. "Doctors and other health care professionals shouldn't be forced to choose between good professional standing and violating their conscience," he said.

No such conflict should exist. Doctors, nurses and pharmacists choose professions that put patients' rights first. If they foresee that priority becoming problematic for them, they should choose another profession.
See what I mean?

"But Wesley," you might say, "What about Futile Care Theory? Surely the editorialists would argue just as hard for the right of patient and family to have their lives maintained?" Trust me, if it ever came up, the Post Dispatch editorialists would write that doctors and bioethicists are the ones who understand these issues best and that the religious beliefs of families or their "guilt" shouldn't get in the way of physician autonomy and their right to determine the best way to practice medicine. We have seen just such statement in the most pro choice medical journals. In fact, I could write the editorial for them it is so obvious what they would say.

Such "turn on a dimes" make no logical sense if we continue to think that all of this is really about "choice." But that isn't the ultimate issue. Always remember that these and other bioethical and cultural struggles are part of an the ongoing coup de culture that seeks to transform society from the roots. As I wrote in my recent Weekly Standard piece about the Montana assisted suicide court ruling :

Cases such as Baxter, Armstrong, and Casey--among many others--are really part of a slow motion coup de culture, a steady drive to topple the social order rooted in Judeo-Christian/humanistic moral philosophy and replace it with a dramatically different value system founded in utilitarianism, hedonism, and radical environmentalism. Once that process is complete, the courts will quickly make it clear that "choice" has limits.
Remember that the next time you see one of the MSM's 180 degree sudden turns that make so little sense you feel as if your head is going to explode from the hypocrisy.
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