See, this is the thing that gets me.Kai wrote:You lose the freedom to betray the standards of your profession, yeah. Doctors lose the freedom to deny care to people who come to them for it, psychologists lose the freedom to gossip about people who talk to them in a professional context, etc. I realize this loss of freedom of expression and action must be deeply traumatic for doctors.
And, like, what are we, the people, doing? Blogging? We're adults here, what can we do to matter?
I am a registered Maryland voter and I absolutely oppose the recently proposed regulation "to help protect health care providers from discrimination".
It is disingenuous to call the uniform demands of a health care provider "discrimination." A health care provider's job is to provide for my health care, whatever it may be. Perhaps I will need a surgery. Perhaps I will need psychotropics. Perhaps I will need birth control. Whatever my needs, my doctor--and everyone else in the practice, including the volunteers--need to be able to provide for me, regardless of personal beliefs. It is not appropriate to deny me a life-saving blood transfusion because my nurse's religion forbids it.
We have wonderful freedoms in our country. They are not, however, a free ticket to do whatever we want, causing harm to whoever we want. We all must practice our beliefs in a manner that respects the freedoms of others.
Yes, this may lead doctors to hard decisions. They may need to provide care they disagree with, or even leave their job. They do, however, have these choices--choices which do not come at the cost of their patients' health. And if a doctor is not foremost concerned the health of his or her patients, it may well be time to look for another job.
I am a registered Indiana voter and find myself absolutely opposed to the recently proposed regulation regarding â€œprotection of conscience.â€
At the bottom line, enacting this proposal will make it more difficult for women to obtain necessary medical care. This is no better, and is in fact worse, than the incorrectly-labeled â€œdiscriminationâ€ against medical practitioners. Medical practitioners do not have their lives and livelihoods placed in serious jeopardy by performing services which they knew would be required of them when they chose their profession. If a woman is unable to receive birth control, on the other hand, the result can be a serious risk to her health, her life, and her ability to support herself. This is discrimination because it places a preventable risk on women that men do not face.
To say that this proposal does not threaten womenâ€™s access to treatment is inaccurate. In many rural areas, access to medical care is already severely limited. If the only provider within reasonable distance refuses to provide treatment or information necessary to receive treatment in a timely manner, access to treatment is effectively restricted. Furthermore, to say that the issue is only about abortion and not contraception is also inaccurate because the language in the proposal is sufficiently vague that doctors would be able to define conception rather than implantation as the beginning of life.
Why should this risk be considered valuable as a possible social statement, as Secretary Leavitt has suggested? If we do consider that outcome as a statement, the statement would simply be, â€œWe as a society find that women are not qualified to control their own lives and may justifiably have control of their own bodies taken from them.â€ Truly, this statement should be far more horrifying than anyone seems to realize.
Placing uniform demands on health care providers is not discrimination. We do not, for example, grant special protections for individuals entering the medical field who believe that prayer is the only morally acceptable means of healing. If the requirements of a job are against an individualâ€™s belief system, then the individual should simply choose a different career. That may be a hard decision to make, but principles are only worth anything if a person can make hard choices for their sake.
Those entering the health care field do not currently surrender any rights of conscience when doing so. They do, however, take on certain responsibilities. This is simply called â€œmaking a choice,â€ and it entails the caveat that they must be prepared to accept the results of that choice. Freedom of speech is not intended to create a carefree world where everyone is protected from all of the consequences their own choices naturally bring. Women who choose birth control face this caveat, and so too must those individuals choosing a career where the ability to provide birth control is a known requirement.
This is a wonderful rule for slackers, since it provides a legally protected way to get paid while doing no work at all. Here's the plan:
(1) Get an MD, and a job as a doctor.
(2) Become a Christian Scientist.
(3) Announce your religious objection to participating in any medical procedure, or to supporting such procedures in any way (e.g., by doing the other doctors' paperwork. This refusal would be protected under the rule.)
(4) When your employer protests, explain that your right to refuse to participate in any medical procedure at all is legally protected under this rule.
Certainly, that's been a problem for some time. This rule, however, enables them to be legally protected while being assholes.PriamNevhausten wrote:Then the problem isn't so much that the rule is bad (though it is both bad and a problem); we're more along the lines of the doctor being an asshole. Credit where credit is due.
The rule must now be submitted to both the Government Accountability Office and both houses of Congress. Congress has a period of time to review the rule (and because of the timing of the rule's publication, this period will stretch into the 111th Congress), during which time a motion to disprove can be introduced. If the motion to disprove is passed by both houses of Congress and signed by the President, the rule cannot be enforced or defended in court. Using the Congressional Review Act in this way to invalidate the regulation, however, would be "controversial," says Matt Madia, of OMB Watch. A motion to disprove has to see an up-or-down vote; it can't be attached to appropriations bills or other must-pass legislation. "Everyone has to go on record on the issue, and there's no way to fudge it," says Madia.
If this avenue fails, Congress could refuse to appropriate funds for implementation of the rule, or Congress could pass the legislation introduced by Sens. Hillary Clinton and Patty Murray that would prohibit HHS from implementing the regulation. Finally, the new administration could begin a new round of rule-making, perhaps the most time-consuming option.
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