White Coat Underground

Accomodation or contortion?

Remember those pesky conscience laws the Bush administration is trying to ram into our collective orifaces on their way out the door? No?

Let me remind you

You see, the theocrats who are on their way out on Tuesday want to step up enforcement of the so-called Church Amendment, which protect health care providers (defined broadly) from the consequences of their own malpractice. With Church in place, your doctor (if she receives federal funds) can refuse to tell you about or prescribe birth control (as one example). Of course, she can do that anyway, but the Church Amendments protect her from being fired on account of her idiocy (although I’m not sure if they protect her from malpractice suits).

The Washington Post is reporting today that the new regs are being challenged, and not a moment to soon. What kind of idiocy are we dealing with here?

“The regulation is important, because we increasingly are seeing discrimination against health-care personnel who hold religious beliefs having to do with abortion and contraception,” said David Stevens, chief executive of the Christian Medical & Dental Associations. “Unless these conscience rights are protected, people are going to be driven out of health care.”

What a steaming pile of guano. The CMDA needs to stop their whining. If their particular cult’s beliefs prevent them from practicing medicine properly, the should be driven out of health care. If fact, it would be a very good idea to let pre-meds know quite explicitly before they matriculate that their own personal beliefs are going to take a back seat to those of their patients for the rest of their lives. Medicine is full of ethical conundrums, but this isn’t one of them. If your morals don’t allow you to follow the standard of care of your profession, get the hell out. I don’t give a rat’s ass what your beliefs are, I just want the best medical care available, and if you can’t provide it, then get a job at Starbucks and make me my damned coffee.

(End of rant)


  1. #1 J-Dog
    January 16, 2009

    I wouldn’t call it a rant – I would call it common sense.

    That said, I hope that there is a short progression from “end of rant” to “take action to solve problem”. And Mr. Stevens – Please shut up about your imaginary sky fairy.

  2. #2 Dr Scott
    January 16, 2009

    “Unless these conscience rights are protected, people are going to be driven out of health care.”

    In other words, the impending demise of primary care isn’t related to falling reimbursement, onerous paperwork, bureaucratic strangulation, and diminishing respect after all? It’s rather because fundy pre-meds are turning away from their professional calling in droves, because their Conscience Rights aren’t being respected?
    So…this is actually the gubmint’s solution to the health care crisis?
    Wouldn’t surprise me. Just sayin’.

  3. #3 Yagotta B. Kidding
    January 16, 2009

    My personal religious beliefs object to keeping nonproductive parasites alive, sucking up social resources. See me when you’re on Medicare and I’m not going to tell you about that hypertension — it’s doing the Lord’s will!

  4. #4 Mike
    January 16, 2009

    Very dangerous to allow their religious beliefs to cloud medical judgment.

    Maybe there is a darwinian solution. Small, rural towns and many rural counties are screaming for docs. They often share the religious fundamentalism these loons want to protect. I see a marriage made in heaven…;-) The docs provide less than stellar medical care to fundies who want that care. No problems and maybe fewer fundies.

  5. #5 Danimal
    January 16, 2009

    All I can say is only 4 more days left. Then the asshole will be gone.

  6. #6 george.w
    January 17, 2009

    For that matter, by their logic a Jehovah’s Witness couldn’t make you your damned coffee. Or is it the Mormons who don’t drink coffee?

  7. #7 Lou FCD
    January 19, 2009

    Exactly so. I’m rather sure that final paragraph could not have been presented any better.

  8. #8 Kelly
    July 5, 2009

    I’m confused. So are you saying that I, as a Christian, should not be able to choose a well trained doctor who refuses to perform abortions? It’s beautiful that we (for now…) live in a country where I can choose not to give my money to a doctor who practices abortion. Should I be denied a well trained doctor because I have religious beliefs? How is that just?

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