"What It Means to be Human" Podcast: Conscience Clauses
Posted Dec 23 2008 9:15pm
In this edition of What It Means to be Human, I get into conscience clauses as a potential way for us to co-exist together, given our profound cultural differences over what I call "an emerging culture of death." I conclude:
I strongly support the rights of conscience for health care professionals regarding elective procedures, that is procedures that are not necessary to save life or to prevent serious physical health consequences for the patient. Such accommodations would seem to be in keeping with a multicultural and tolerant society. But the culture of death is not about tolerance: It is about cultural hegemony. Once its supporters perceive they are in control, they will work hard to punish dissenters because refusing to participate sends a clarion message that certain activities are just plain wrong. And that is a truth spoken to power that they simply will not tolerate.
Expect the fight over conscience to become a political conflagration.