This subject again.
CNN, that bastion of upstanding
plants ethics, objects to doctors with morals – or at least the ones who act on them.
The CNN video (not a “news piece”) shows interviews with a woman who was refused contraception by one doctor and a second interview with another doctor who is Catholic and who does not believe that contraception is moral and so he does not prescribe it.
The reporter is shocked that 60% of doctors feel that it’s okay to tell patients our moral views.
The reporter asked the patient whether she felt “rejected.” The woman said that she did and that she felt that the doctor was judging her and imposing his morals on her. She said that any doctor who would not do what his patients wanted should not be in practice.
The woman isn’t judging or imposing her morals on every doctor, is it?
Doctors make “judgments” all the time. We are not simply dispensers of products that people want. We must “impose” our judgment on patients who smoke (a perfectly legal drug) and drink (ditto) or who have become overweight from eating legal food and choosing not to exercise enough to burn off calories faster than they take them in. We are responsible for determining whether a patient is becoming addicted to pain medications, asking for a note for missing work when they were never sick, or a handicapped parking sticker when they’re not disabled.
Much more often, we make judgments about the cause of a patient’s symptoms or disease and how best to treat it. Our job is not to make the patient feel good about themselves, although most doctors I’ve met prefer to do so. What we do is diagnose and treat in order to help the patient be as healthy as we are able.
While I don’t object to non-abortifacient contraception, it is an elective service in most cases. It is very rarely necessary to maintain the health of the body of patients. It is truly a “choice.”
As I’ve said before, it would be simpler for people who feel that contraception is important to arrange to pay doctors who will write and dispense those medications and devices to go around to the areas where they are needed.
The alternative is to find a way to trust a doctor who will act against his conscience – to do what he considers the wrong thing for your pet issue – to do the right thing every other time.
Hat Tip: Blog.bioethics.net