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Barack Obama is Prepared to End Conscience Protection

Barack Obama is going to allow the expanded conscience clause that former President Bush implemented to expire tomorrow night. Katie Favazza has all the details, including that the vast majority of Americans are against the rescission. Here's the background:

Last August, the Bush Administration proposed federal regulations that would strengthen existing 'conscience' laws after it became clear that medical centers and personnel were still being discriminated against. The regulations implemented longstanding, bi-partisan federal laws--many of which have been on the books for over 35 years--stipulating that organizations receiving government funds from federal programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, and public health service grants could lose federal funds if they discriminate against health care providers (including doctors, nurses, and other providers) acting on their conscience.These regulations were were finalized last December and went into effect January 20, 2009.

Please head on over to Katie's site and read up on what Obama is about to do and why you need to voice your opinion.


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Comments (16)

Next target for Obamas soci... (Below threshold)

Next target for Obamas socialistic hostile takeover.

Submission Accomplished.... (Below threshold)

Submission Accomplished. ww

Gee, I think I'll side with... (Below threshold)

Gee, I think I'll side with the American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists on this one, as it's a disgusting regulation that has nothing to do with abortion. The law already allowed for accommodation of religious beliefs, and doctors are protected from being asked to perform abortions if they found them objectionable. The bullshit, last-minute regulation imposed by President Bush expands the rule to such an extent that any health care worker in any capacity can refuse services, information, or assistance to just about anyone they want for any reason at all, as long as they claim it's "contrary to [their] religious beliefs or moral convictions."

A health-care worker, which means anyone working in any kind of health-care facility, can refuse to do his/her required duties because of services or information that are provided at the same facility that he/she is not even involved in. They can simply refuse to do any work, with no fear of consequences.

A health care worker can refuse services or information to gays, AIDS patients, single mothers, divorced people, you name it, as long as they find them morally or religiously objectionable. The rule could cover almost any procedure or service, such as blood transfusions, information about contraception, or drug testing.

Hell, under this rule a hospital could be required to employ a Christian Scientist who refuses to perform any medical procedures and will only give advice on "Christian Science treatment."

The conscience laws aren't going anywhere, only the sneaky last-minute Bush expansion rule that is most likely unconstitutional anyway.

-5 you lose again locust.<... (Below threshold)

-5 you lose again locust.

From a practical point, who... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

From a practical point, who wants to have a healthcare provider perform any service that's against their conscience? If something is against someone's conscience it's not likely they are very skilled or practiced in providing it.

Hell, without this rule a hospital could employ a Christian Scientist who performs all kinds of medical procedures they believe are the devil's work. I would rather know and find someone who believes in what they doing, but I guess that's just a conservative thing.

What if Obama forces the Ca... (Below threshold)
ziggy in jc:

What if Obama forces the Catholic hospitals into the abortion business? One in four patients are in Catholic hospitals in the USA. The American Bishops have stated they will close down these properties if they are forced into providing abortion. The heath care system would crumble if this happened. What would the federal government due in order too rectify this situation? The stage has been set already............they would just seize the Catholics private property. Authoritarianism at its best in Amerika.

914: mantis just explained ... (Below threshold)

914: mantis just explained why conservatives lose on this issue, and your response is basically "F*ck you, you got five negative votes from people who are either evil or don't understand the implications of the policies they are advocating."

Mac: bullshit. Such a shitty cop out. Do you really think someone who needs an abortion would be able to find a doctor in any part of the country who is willing to perform that legal procedure? What if someone desperately needs a blood transfusion, but the first two hospitals they are taken to are staffed only by Jehovah's Witnesses, and they die because of religious ignorance?

Stupid argument. Don't like the practice? Try and make it illegal. Insofar as it's legal, though, it's not a doctor's job to make a moral decision as to whether to perform the procedure to the best of his or her ability (upon pain of law suit, naturally). Moral decisions in a medical context are for bioethicists to make, not physicians or pharmacists.

Excuse me, but the initial ... (Below threshold)

Excuse me, but the initial fear here was that doctors will be required to perform abortions when demanded or they will suffer consequences; namely the possible loss of their job or discrimination. Yes, the law is over-broad and should be revisited, maybe even revoked. But the fact is that the President and this Congress have not answered to the most pertinent aspect of the issue. There's a certain level of fear and confusion in regards to the Freedom of Choice Act and they won't allay any of those fears. I'd almost think that they take some perverse delight in sowing fear and confusion.

If the intent of the FOCA is not to discriminate if a doctor or hospital refuses to provide abortions, then friggin say so. Because you know damn well that if lawyers get into the mix ....

And put it in writing please so we can all moveon.

hyperbolist,<blockquo... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:


Mac: bullshit. Such a shitty cop out. Do you really think someone who needs an abortion would be able to find a doctor in any part of the country who is willing to perform that legal procedure? What if someone desperately needs a blood transfusion, but the first two hospitals they are taken to are staffed only by Jehovah's Witnesses, and they die because of religious ignorance?

The abortion issue is a red herring as there are abortion mills in all parts of the nation and someone needing an elective abortion has weeks to schedule the procedure. Even doctors who view abortion as the taking of an innocent human life will perform an abortion if the mother's life is in danger and there's no abortionist available.

As for you other red herring, blood transfusions are so common that no hospital would employ someone who wouldn't perform them in a capacity where they would have that responsibility.

Next time you need your botox injections go find some doctor who consciously objects to the procedure and force them to do it. I'm sure you'll like the results.

Typical to your atheist religion, you think others are ignorant, and in doing so you only prove your own ignorance. There are many reasons why doctors consciously object to various procedures and drugs that have nothing to do with a specific religion. You would require a doctor to implant eight embryos into a women because of your own ignorance. As the "right to die" movement gains acceptance, you and your ilk would force doctors to administer lethal drugs. What you are doing is driving the vary best doctors out of the profession because you won't give them the right to follow their own conscious. Shame on you.

What's an "atheist religion... (Below threshold)

What's an "atheist religion"? Is that like a vegan porkchop?

Mac, doctors are not bioethicists (though some bioethicists are doctors). It is not their job to make tough ethical decisions. Bioethicists do that. So, if someone wants 8 embryos--and I think that's a seriously bizarre request--but the law permits it, then--assuming the bioethicist can't come up with a valid way of denying the request, e.g. a shortage of embryos to distribute among a number of people--then the doctor should be obligated to implant them. If there were actually an epidemic of these f*cked-up requests, then there would probably be a legislative effort towards making it impossible, or at the very least extremely difficult/costly.

When we let doctors pick and choose what procedures they want to perform, that creates an incredibly slippery slope. Certainly I would seek out a plastic surgeon specializing in botox if I wanted it, and not force my well-intentioned GP to inject me with it if he/she has a problem with it; but when it comes to more essential procedures, there ought to be no room on the doctor's part to refuse to perform a legally sanctioned procedure.

Don't like performing abortions? Then don't be a doctor in a country with legal abortion. Don't like euthanasia? Already practicing medicine in America? Then you should lobby like hell to ensure that it doesn't become a legal procedure. But again, someone wanting to be euthanized would probably not make their pro-life GP kill them, and would likely go to a clinic that performs only that procedure.

Hyper,A Dr. Mengele ... (Below threshold)

A Dr. Mengele would have loved you.

There's no law saying a 10 year old cannot have breast implants... so in Hyper's world, as soon as some spoiled brat with a damaged self esteem and irresponsible parents visit a surgeon, he or she should just go ahead outfit the tot with "Partons"

"Typical to your atheist re... (Below threshold)

"Typical to your atheist religion, you think others are ignorant, and in doing so you only prove your own ignorance."

Maybe you should take a look in a mirror, Mac.

hyperbolist,<blockquo... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:


Mac, doctors are not bioethicists (though some bioethicists are doctors). It is not their job to make tough ethical decisions. Bioethicists do that.

So now you think someone else should decide what's right and what's wrong and a person should ignore their own conscious. Well that nonsense didn't work at the Nuremberg trials. Saying I was just following orders is no excuse in war, yet liberals want to force that behavior on others.

I think there's a case to be made that forcing someone to perform a procedure or service against their conscious is a violation of the 1st amendment, both as a form of speech and as a hindrance of the exercise of religion.

What's telling is that the left wing of the left wants for force highly educated and skilled people of good will to act against their own conscious. Shame on them.

Max,Maybe... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:


Maybe you should take a look in a mirror, Mac.

Good advice, you should take it.

They would need parental co... (Below threshold)

They would need parental consent, would they not, SCSI? Beyond that, what can you do apart from shake your head at the stupidity of certain people? It's elective; it's paid for out of pocket, and so places no burden on the public/the insurers...

Don't pretend to be so thick as to conflate someone who accepts the ramifications of legalized euthanasia, with a contemporary Dr. Mengele. I didn't once advocate for euthanasia in this thread, though I think that with informed consent, there is no reason to prevent autonomous individuals from deciding when they can end their own lives. Mengele wasn't interested in informed consent. He killed people against their wishes, a practice that we typically refer to in the shorthand as "murder".

What would you say to a Jewish person whose grandparents survived the Holocaust who support the right-to-die movement? "You're a modern Mengele!!!"? You're not an idiot, so asking that you employ a shred of tact when analogizing isn't an awful lot to ask of you.

What would you say to the parents of this rugby player? He made an informed decision, and his parents respected it. Would you exhibit compassion, or would you rat them out to the police, like the monsters who did just that?

Hyper,So you do thin... (Below threshold)

So you do think the Dr should not be able to say no? If the parents say yes, the only choice the Dr has is to perform an ill-advised procedure, or to abandon his/her career and calling?

I never said a word about euthanasia, so try not confuse things anymore than usual. I have no problem with an adult offing themselves. I find it tragic, but the decision and the consequences of their action in this and the next life are theirs.
Abortion, on the other hand... forcing a Dr. to commit what he/she believes to be murder? Can't abide that, won't support it.

As for talking to survivors of the camps, I only need to talk to the handful of my family that made it out of Poland, or are descended from same. That is not a guilt trip that'll work on me, Sonny Jim.

You're the one that want's to remove an individual Dr's own morals from the equation, not me. Mengele is the poster child of Drs with out morals...

BTW, where is my beer?!?






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