Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Workers' "religious freedom" vs. patients' rights on birth control

  1. #1
    Elite Member Fluffy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    5,600

    Exclamation Workers' "religious freedom" vs. patients' rights on birth control

    Workers' Religious Freedom vs. Patients' Rights

    Proposal Would Deny Federal Money if Employees Must Provide Care to Which They Object
    By Rob Stein
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Thursday, July 31, 2008; A01

    A Bush administration proposal aimed at protecting health-care workers who object to abortion, and to birth-control methods they consider tantamount to abortion, has escalated a bitter debate over the balance between religious freedom and patients' rights.

    The Department of Health and Human Services is reviewing a draft regulation that would deny federal funding to any hospital, clinic, health plan or other entity that does not accommodate employees who want to opt out of participating in care that runs counter to their personal convictions, including providing birth-control pills, IUDs and the Plan B emergency contraceptive.

    Conservative groups, abortion opponents and some members of Congress are welcoming the initiative as necessary to safeguard doctors, nurses and other health workers who, they say, are increasingly facing discrimination because of their beliefs or are being coerced into delivering services they find repugnant.

    But the draft proposal has sparked intense criticism by family planning advocates, women's health activists, and members of Congress who say the regulation would create overwhelming obstacles for women seeking abortions and birth control.

    There is also deep concern that the rule could have far-reaching, but less obvious, implications. Because of its wide scope and because it would -- apparently for the first time -- define abortion in a federal regulation as anything that affects a fertilized egg, the regulation could raise questions about a broad spectrum of scientific research and care, critics say.

    "The breadth of this is potentially immense," said Robyn S. Shapiro, a bioethicist and lawyer at the Medical College of Wisconsin. "Is this going to result in a kind of blessed censorship of a whole host of areas of medical care and research?"

    Critics charge that the proposal is the latest example of the administration politicizing science to advance ideological goals.

    "They are manipulating the system by manipulating the definition of the word 'abortion,' " said Susan F. Wood, a professor at George Washington University who resigned from the Food and Drug Administration over the delays in approving the nonprescription sale of Plan B. "It's another example of this administration's disregard for science and medicine in how agencies make decisions."

    The proposal is outlined in a 39-page draft regulation that has been circulated among several HHS agencies. The FDA has not objected, but several officials at the National Institutes of Health said that the agency had expressed serious concerns.

    "This is causing a lot of distress," said one NIH researcher who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe internal discussions. "It's a redefinition of abortion that does not match any of the current medical definitions. It's ideologically based and not based on science and could interfere with the development of many new therapies to treat diseases."

    Since a copy of the document leaked earlier this month, outside advocates and scientists have voiced growing alarm that the regulation could inhibit research in areas including stem cells, infertility and even such unrelated fields as cancer.

    Dozens of members of Congress have sent letters of protest to HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt, as have scores of major medical and health groups that say their supporters have sent Congress, the White House and HHS thousands of letters protesting the proposal.

    HHS officials declined to discuss the draft, saying it is in the very early stages of review. But HHS issued a statement that reads in part:

    "Over the past three decades, Congress has passed several anti-discrimination laws to protect institutional and individual health care providers participating in federal programs. HHS has an obligation to enforce these laws, and is exploring a number of options."

    The draft states that numerous cases have been reported of health-care workers being "required to violate their consciences by providing or assisting in the provision of controversial medicine or procedures." It adds that many states have recently passed laws requiring health plans to pay for contraception, pharmacists to fill prescriptions for birth control, and hospitals to offer Plan B to women who have been raped.

    "In general, the Department is concerned that the development of an environment in the health care industry that is intolerant of certain religious beliefs, ethnic and cultural traditions, and moral convictions may discourage individuals from underrepresented and diverse backgrounds from entering health care professions," the document states.

    The regulation would require any entity receiving HHS funding to certify that it does not discriminate against organizations or individuals who do not want to provide services they consider objectionable.

    The most controversial section defines abortion as "any of the various procedures -- including the prescription, dispensing and administration of any drug or the performance of any procedure or any other action -- that results in the termination of life of a human being in utero between conception and natural birth, whether before or after implantation."

    That definition would include most forms of hormonal birth control and the IUD, which most major medical groups believe do not constitute abortion because they primarily affect ovulation or fertilization and not an embryo once it has implanted in the womb.

    The regulation would apply to anyone who participates in "any activity with a logical connection to a procedure, health service or health service program, or research activity. . . . This includes referral, training and other arrangements of the procedure, health service, or research activity."

    If the administration decides to adopt the regulation, it would undergo public comment and further review before becoming final.

    Critics argue that the broad definitions of abortion and the types of workers who could object would cover everyone from the top doctor at a hospital to the janitor.

    Cecile Richards of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America said, "At a time when access to health care is at an all-time low, the idea that the Bush administration would be creating more barriers is frankly incredible."

    The regulation could trump dozens of state laws that require health plans to cover birth control, pharmacists to fill prescriptions for contraceptives, and hospitals to offer emergency contraception to women who have been raped, critics said.

    "You could imagine a group of people with less than honorable intentions seeking to get hired at a family planning clinic with the specific objective of obstructing access. Under this regulation, there is little you could do about it," said Jill Morrison of the National Women's Law Center.

    Others said the rule could have additional implications, including justifying discrimination against gays, single women or others seeking health care.

    "As soon as you have a definition in one part of federal law, it can become the inspiration for the reinterpretation of other statutes," said R. Alta Charo, a lawyer and bioethicist at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

    Supporters dismissed such predictions.

    "This would essentially simply require people to comply with laws that they have been required to comply with for decades," said M. Casey Mattox of the Christian Legal Society's Center for Law and Religious Freedom. "That does not mean any organization or state can't keep doing exactly what it's been doing. It means they have to make room for people who have sincere moral or ethical concerns about doing something."

    Conservative groups including the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Concerned Women for America and the Catholic Medical Association said the regulation is needed.

    David Christensen of the Family Research Council said: "Health-care professionals should not be forced to engage in an action that they see is the taking of a human life. Federal funds shouldn't be used for that kind of pressure."

    Christensen and others said the regulations spell out legitimate differing views about what constitutes abortion and when life begins.

    Richard S. Myers, a law professor at Ave Maria School of Law in Ann Arbor, Mich., said: "Religious freedom is an important part of the history of this country. People who have a religious or moral belief should not be forced to participate in an act they find abhorrent."

    washingtonpost.com - nation, world, technology and Washington area news and headlines

    --------------------------------------------
    FUCK! If you didn't want to deal with prescribing birth control, then why become a doctor!

  2. #2
    OCK
    OCK is offline
    Silver Member OCK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    chicago
    Posts
    252

    Default

    Richard S. Myers, a law professor at Ave Maria School of Law in Ann Arbor, Mich., said: "Religious freedom is an important part of the history of this country. People who have a religious or moral belief should not be forced to participate in an act they find abhorrent."
    If you become a pharmacist you should know that at some point someone is going to ask you to dispense birth control, even ::gasp!:: the morning after pill. It's a common drug. If you are against such things maybe being a pharmacist is not the job for you. It's fine to not use birth control in any form if you and your partner are against it, but to refuse it to others when dispensing drugs is your job is forcing your beliefs on others.
    ~~~Jesus please save me from your fanclub~~~

  3. #3
    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    42,527

    Default

    Stupid. You just give out the pills. If you don't believe in them,don't take them. If you can't give them out,don't take the job.
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

  4. #4
    Elite Member Aella's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Greece
    Posts
    8,899

    Default

    Fire their fundie asses!

    Honestly, a pharmacist refusing to dispose birth control and the morning-after pill...that's absurd. The mere fact this is being discussed, let alone legislature considered would be downright comical, if it wasn't that scary.
    "Remember to always be yourself. Unless you suck." - Joss Whedon

    "The only thing more expensive than education is ignorance." -Benjamin Franklin

  5. #5
    Elite Member Little Wombat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,616

    Default

    ^ I know! So if you're hired as the state executioner, you can get away with not performing your duties based on your "religion" and still keep your job??

    [I'm not for execution, but just putting an extreme example out there to show the poor logic of the argument.]

  6. #6
    OCK
    OCK is offline
    Silver Member OCK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    chicago
    Posts
    252

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Little Wombat View Post
    ^ I know! So if you're hired as the state executioner, you can get away with not performing your duties based on your "religion" and still keep your job??
    No. A lot of the pro-lifers who who cry religious persecution when there is a possibility for a zygote to be terminated are surprisingly pro death penalty and would never go for that.
    ~~~Jesus please save me from your fanclub~~~

  7. #7
    Elite Member Fluffy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    5,600

    Default

    ^Little Wombat wasn't talking about the death penalty per se, she was just giving an example of not doing regular duties associated with a job based on this religious belief excuse.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Mathematical birth control
    By hotmommy in forum Laughs and Oddities
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: November 19th, 2007, 02:30 PM
  2. Birth Control and Acne
    By ChangingEventually in forum Beauty and Skincare
    Replies: 27
    Last Post: July 19th, 2007, 10:14 PM
  3. Birth control is evil you stupid women: a religious message
    By Grimmlok in forum Faith and Religion
    Replies: 46
    Last Post: January 10th, 2007, 12:42 AM
  4. Replies: 6
    Last Post: October 31st, 2006, 12:57 PM
  5. Replies: 2
    Last Post: May 7th, 2006, 06:35 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •