Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Morals and Medicine

Today's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that there are measures under consideration in about 12 states to allow health-care workers to refuse care to patients based on moral reasons. In some cases health workers have objected to providing care to homosexuals.
The tension between some health-care workers' personal beliefs and patients' rights is getting plenty of attention these days. Although abortion gets most of the coverage, there are also medical professionals whose conscience or religion won't let them take part in other procedures, from drawing blood to in-vitro fertilization.

This has set off a rush on the part of many states to develop proposals to protect health-care employees who won't provide care that conflicts with whatever they believe in. But why all the coddling? Nobody forces anyone to be a health-care professional.

If employees don't like doing certain completely legal procedures, they should quit their jobs -- or employers should make the decision for them, and let them go.

Finally, some common sense. Quality health care (or any profession for that matter) cannot operate with only some of its employees willing to perform certain procedures. Health-care workers have to do their jobs like anyone else or find another line of work.


Chris said...

If an individual owns a business, it is no right of the government or anyone else to tell them what they can and cannot do and who they can and cannot serve.

This is an issue of choice, and anyone involved in this business should be do as they please. If the owner of a business wants to fire someone for not "wanting" to sell something they should be able to. Just like if a conservative didn't want to sell birth control at their shop, they shouldn't be forced by anyone to have to sell it.

We have to remember that businesses are in business for a profit and that people will choose to shop there based on their goods and services offered. Let the shoppers decide where to take their money and leave it at that.

abi said...

Kathy, this is America (in case you haven't noticed). No health care provider or anyone else for that matter should be forced to provided services that offend their principles.

So if you're a homosexual and you're wheeled into my emergency room, I have a right to tell you to take a walk (if you can walk, otherwise roll your ass on out of here, homo).

And if you have a swarthy Middle Eastern look and you stroll into my grocery store for some Syrian bread, I'll just remind you that 9/11 changed everything as I escort you out the door. (Actually, I wouldn't even carry Syrian bread.)

And if you are now or ever have been black or hispanic or a woman, or if you are known to fraternize with blacks or hispanics or women, you need not apply at my business for work.

And if you're Italian . . . wait a minute — I'm Italian. Never mind...

Kathy said...

Chris, if a fireman decides to sit and watch your house burn down because you're Arab, is that acceptable?

If a restaurant owner refuses to serve an interracial couple, is that acceptable?

If I have the financial means to seek care from a nursing home, but they turn me away because I have AIDS, is that acceptable?

I agree with the Post-Gazette. People know going into a profession what is expected of them. If they don't morally feel comfortable dealing with abortion, AIDS, homosexuality, etc., then they should go into another profession.

I do agree with you that businesses are in business to make a profit, but nursing homes, hospitals, doctor's offices, etc., are unique in that they employ people who take an oath to help people - all people. I guess I view it similar as the oath (or call it job description) that many professionals agree to when they take a job.

Kathy said...

Abi, paesano! I'm Italian too - or at least 50 percent.

abi said...

That's your better half.