In our Nation, with our First Amendment, why doesn’t someone threaten all the bodies placing restrictions on conscience clauses and against religious-based practices?
In Portugal, the Health Minister has been threatening to take the Portugal Medical Association to Court for its policy that states that doctors should respect human life from fertilization to natural death.
Then, there’s the woman doc in England, who is being threatened with charges of “unprofessional conduct” and being removed from the National Health Services, for telling women to “think twice” before they have an abortion.
The American College of Obstetricians has a new statement on ethics, #385, entitled, “The Limits on Conscientious Refusal in Reproductive Medicine.”
Worse, according to the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, ACOG ACOG sent a letter to Senators in Washington:
“Dr. Michael Mennuti, writing as the President of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG), has requested the United States Congress to “require doctors with moral objections to refer for abortions.” Urging the Senators to alter the current Abortion Non-Discrimination Act, Mennuti states, “Doctors who morally object to abortion should be required to refer patients to other physicians [for an abortion].””
Any ethics statement by ACOG carries the weight of “standard of care,” and places all doctors, nurses and other medical professionals at risk of legal penalties if we do not follow the guidelines.
Even though I haven’t delivered a baby in 10 years, I may still be the primary care doc for a woman who sees an obstetrician for her pregnancy and I still care for a women in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy, as far as diagnosing the pregnancy and caring for threatened miscarriage and tubal pregnancies. I am careful to meet the guidelines of ACOG, because I know that I could be sued – and it would be a slam dunk for the patient if I am ever accused of varying from them.
ACOG now says that I shouldn’t care at all for women who might be or are pregnant unless I am willing to make arrangements for an abortion if the woman wants one. That organization also says that hospitals shouldn’t offer emergency care for rape victims or maternity care if the organization has objections to elective abortion or sterilization.
The ACOG statement essentially mandates that all of us must offer abortion and/or referral for abortion – and that if we don’t offer abortion ourselves, we probably should either practice “in close proximity” to some one who does and/or that we shouldn’t practice in areas that don’t have easy access to an abortion!
Family Practitioners and other pediatricians are more likely to be religious and those who practice in Rural areas are more likely to be from a rural area. If ACOG’s policy is followed, there would be an acute shortage of primary care doctors for women of childbearing age.
The Position Statement mixes “emergency” and “reproductive” care, and severely goof in calling the conscience an inner voice that tells us that we couldn’t live with ourselves if did so and so. As Dr. Robert Orr (a Family Physician and ethicist) says in his rebuttal written for the Christian Medical and Dental Association, the conscience is much more – the conscience cannot be separated from the world view of the person and people of faith often consider the knowledge of right and wrong and the conscience that leads us to follow it to be part of what we call the “Image of God.”
Non-believers can be “pro-life” and they also have consciences which they should not be forced to violate.
Again, a person who will go against her or his conscience is a person who will do what he knows is wrong
I still think it would be simpler for all the proponents of abortion to pay to move the abortionists around than for them to try to force docs to act against our conscience.