Monday, January 30, 2006

No Medicine For You

Well just when you think the right to lifers can't get any more ridiculous with some of their extremist positions, you read articles like this.
Basically, the premise is that doctors, nurses, and pharmacists would have to violate their core moral beliefs in order to do something like allowing a woman to obtain birth control or the morning after pill. This violates their "core" beliefs because of the supposed possibility (albeit it is as of yet entirely unproven and purely hypothetical and unlikely) that birth control might cause an "abortion." Never mind the fact that these drugs function entirely on a basis of preventing fertilization, and disregard the fact that non-successful implantations (the supposed and unlikely "abortion") of zygotes naturally occurs all the time in all mammals depending on a large number of factors.

The idea is, therefore, we need laws to protect medical professionals so that no one can punish them for simply following their "core beliefs." Obviously, for such legislation to have any chance of being constitutional, this moral statute could not be explicitly tied to conservative Christian beliefs.

Indeed, this proposal is not specific to just birth control, it would span broadly:

Doctors opposed to fetal tissue research, for example, could refuse to notify parents that their child was due for a chicken pox inoculation because the vaccine was originally produced using fetal tissue cell cultures, said R. Alto Charo, a bioethicist at the University of Wisconsin.

"That physician would be immunized from medical malpractice claims and state disciplinary action," Charo said.

This would also seem to extend to a surgeon refusing to treat a patient who was injured whilst involved in a criminal act, which as I understand it is currently mandatory. Moreover, the libertarian doctors could start refusing medical care to the uninsured, and maybe some homophobic pharmacist might decide it is within his right to deny AIDS drugs to a gay man, an intravenous drug user, a former hooker, or anyone who happens to offend one of his delicate sensibilities.