Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The "conscience" rule

While the majority of the media and seemingly most of the blogosphere are distracted with pondering what Obama might do and what his cabinet appointments might mean, Bush is busily making new rules to solidify his anti-choice agenda.
The outgoing Bush administration is planning to announce a broad new "right of conscience" rule permitting medical facilities, doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other healthcare workers to refuse to participate in any procedure they find morally objectionable, including abortion and possibly even artificial insemination and birth control.

For more than 30 years, federal law has dictated that doctors and nurses may refuse to perform abortions. The new rule would go further by making clear that healthcare workers also may refuse to provide information or advice to patients who might want an abortion.

It also seeks to cover more employees. For example, in addition to a surgeon and a nurse in an operating room, the rule would extend to "an employee whose task it is to clean the instruments," the draft rule said.
This is so many shades of wrong. I can live with a doctor or nurse being able to refuse to conduct procedures they don't believe in, but there has to be a limit to how far down the rule extends and how broadly it applies in order to protect the public health. If a practitioner doesn't want to perform abortions or offer pregnancy planning services, they should at least be required to advise the patient that such services exist and allow them the choice of being treated by a competitor. They should also have to disclose their bias prior to accepting a patient. A pharmacist need not be compelled to dispense birth control but then they should be precluded from accepting any prescriptions for anything from practitioners that prescribe it.

If professionals, who enter into fields knowing full well the range of services they would be expected to offer want to withhold those services as a matter of personal principle, fine, but they should also pay a price for their bullying others to conform to their views.

In the larger context this push to codify the merging of church and state is just more of the typical Orwellian doublespeak that has been so typical of this administration. It endangers the public and is unconscionable in the extreme.

[More posts daily at The Newshoggers and The Detroit News.]

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Blogger (O)CT(O)PUS said...

The "conscience" rule ... just another marketing ploy when one has NO "product" to sell anymore.

It is my hope the theo-cons will start disappearing after this election. If not, then we'll have to reschedule the civil war and I'll be up in arms again ... all 8 of them.

4:33:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

LOL Octopus. From your tentacles to the Great Sea Spirit's ears...

4:55:00 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

Just try to apply the same rule to other things -- like refusing to pay taxes that finance a war -- and see whether this is a general principle they believe in or whether it's all about their @#$% religious beliefs.

9:44:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Good point Fogg. They arrest Quakers for acting on their conscience, don't they?

10:44:00 AM  

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