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War and Politics    Discuss the latest in the War on Terrorism and the Political Arena. Remember, the war is against terrorists, not fellow UB members, no "Flames" allowed.

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Old 08-03-2007, 09:48 AM   #1
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Topic of the Day: Doctors refuse services for religious reasons

USA Today

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Doctors are becoming more assertive in refusing to treat patients for religious reasons, expanding the list of services they won't provide beyond abortion to include artificial insemination, use of fetal tissues and even prescribing Viagra.

The shift is prompting a new round of debate in courts and state legislatures over the balance between protecting the constitutional right to religious freedom and laws prohibiting discrimination.

More than half the states in the past two years have debated expanding legal protections for health care providers, including pharmacists who refuse to fill prescriptions for the "morning after" pill. Two states have passed them.

"We've wound up with statutes that are incredibly broad," says Alta Charo, a University of Wisconsin law professor who studies bioethics. She says the use of fetal tissue in the development of chicken pox and measles vaccines also has become an issue.


Most disputes arise out of beginning-of-life and end-of-life issues, such as assisted suicide. No doctor is required to perform particular treatments.

The collision between religious freedom and rules against discrimination occurs when physicians perform procedures selectively, offering them to some patients but withholding them from others, says Jill Morrison, legal counsel to the National Women's Law Center.

This year in a case generating wide interest, the California Supreme Court will hear a first-of-its-kind lawsuit: fertility treatment denied to a lesbian.

In Washington state, a gay man recently settled out of court with a doctor who refused to prescribe him Viagra.

"He told me he had prescribed certain drugs for married people, but he wasn't going to do that for me," Jonathan Shuffield says. "It was very painful having the trust broken between my doctor and me."

Patrick Gillen, legal counsel for the Thomas More Law Center, a Michigan-based public interest law firm that defends religious freedom, says the political clout of gays and lesbians has led to a situation that "is ripe for conflict." Gillen says no doctors should be required to perform procedures that violate their religious faith, especially "if the patients can get the treatment elsewhere."
So, should doctors (even those serving in public hospitals) who have taken an oath to do whats best for their patients regardless of their own personal beliefs be allowed to refuse medically "necessary" treatment to patients?

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Old 08-03-2007, 09:56 AM   #2
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Health care is quickly inventing problems that never needed to exist. Hint: don't ask my mom or sister about the subject
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Old 08-03-2007, 10:10 AM   #3
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I can understand this issue but I cant at the same time, if your going to be a doctor you need to be open to other's opinions and beliefs and respect them, I do not think that you should impose your beliefes on patients though, because not everyone thinks the same and deny people their rights to Birth control/Morning after pill/abortions/fetal material etc/blood transfusions.

Also if someone doesn't want a type of treatment I think every option should be used to respect that opinion, but if they are going to DIE if a procedure needs to be done that the treatment should be done.

I guess the political forum isn't too bad but this is like something that would just pop up in the Lounge from time to time.
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Old 08-03-2007, 10:53 AM   #4
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As a doctor you should legally practice medicine to the benefit of the patient. This is America, you can be any religion you want, but your religion should not be imposed onto others. This is like the taxi drivers that wouldn't allow certain people in their car because of religion. If you want to live in a religious state where a ethnic group is oppressed for religious purposes go live in a third world country. This is America and you have no right to attempt to hinder other's rights because of what you worship.
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Old 08-03-2007, 12:02 PM   #5
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I'm not quite sure how i'd approach it. On one hand, if you're against abortion (not saying I am or not) it would be against your morals to perform the procedure. But at the same time its unethical to not be responsive to your patients wishes, and if your patients wishes is to get an abortion, then you should respect that.
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Old 08-05-2007, 04:01 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RSF5
As a doctor you should legally practice medicine to the benefit of the patient. This is America, you can be any religion you want, but your religion should not be imposed onto others. This is like the taxi drivers that wouldn't allow certain people in their car because of religion. If you want to live in a religious state where a ethnic group is oppressed for religious purposes go live in a third world country. This is America and you have no right to attempt to hinder other's rights because of what you worship.
i think we can all (sort of) agree on what America should be, fact is many groups be it because of race, gender or religion are in fact oppressed or discriminated against and its a fact of life. i am not surprised by the article.
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