As well as our fear of death and homophobia, in today’s article, “Birth Control fears addressed.”
Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt has denied that a controversial draft regulation would redefine common birth control methods as abortion and protect the rights of doctors and other health-care workers who refuse to provide them.
In a statement posted on his blog on Thursday, Leavitt appeared to try to allay fears that the proposed regulation would create sweeping new obstacles to women seeking a variety of commonly used contraceptives, such as birth control pills and the Plan B emergency contraceptive.
“An early draft of the regulation found its way into public circulation before it had reached my review,” Leavitt said. “It contained words that lead some to conclude my intent is to deal with the subject of contraceptives, somehow defining them as abortion. Not true.”
Leavitt’s statement, however, failed to alleviate concerns among members of Congress, family planning advocates, women’s health activists and others.
At issue is the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ Ethics Statement “Opinion #385, Limits of Conscientious Refusal in Reproductive Medicine,” which states that
Providers with moral or religious objection should either practice in proximity to individuals who do not share their view or ensure that referral processes are in place. In an emergency in which referral is not possible or might negatively have an impact on a patient’s physical or mental health, providers have an obligation to provide medically indicated and requested care.”
It goes on to declare abortion “standard reproductive care” and demands that doctors who “deviate from standard practices” (object to abortion) “practice in proximity to individuals who do not share their views or ensure that referral processes are in place” (with a willing abortionist).
After publication of the Opinion, the President of ACOG then wrote letters asking Congress to pass laws to force these limits on our consciences: to force doctors who object to abortion to either change their practice so that they don’t take care of women and girls of reproductive ages, or move close to a willing abortionist.
Somehow, the pro-abortion crowd has turned this into an “physician assisted suicide” and “gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, transexual” issue as well as one of hyper-support for abortion and one more opportunity to bash the Bush administration.
Kathryn Tucker, director of legal affairs for Compassion & Choices, which advocates for physician-assisted suicide, said she remains concerned that the regulation could apply to health-care workers who refuse to participate in a variety of end-of-life care, including the withdrawal of unwanted feeding tubes and ventilators.
. . . and . . .
“Until the regulation removes the re-definition of abortion and it clearly states that it deals solely with abortion (and not with any other procedure, nor with any refusals based on the nature of the patient, such as single or gay), I would not be satisfied,” R. Alta Charo, a lawyer and bioethicist at the University of Wisconsin wrote in an e-mail. “There is no reason to extend any benefit of the doubt to this administration when it comes to reproductive rights or the civil rights of gay people.”
You want to talk about “alarmed”? If an ethicist like Charo can’t distinguish between negative rights and positive rights, then the state of “ethics” is worse than I thought. (See “Ethicist for hire”)
Remedial ethics 101: you have the right to expect someone not to act, but only in very rare cases can you force them to act when they don’t want to. You have the right to liberty, meaning society will protect you from someone who wants to turn you into a slave. But you can’t make others to do your will, either. You have the right to swing your arm if you want, but your right to swing your fist ends at the other guy’s nose.
In case you’re wondering, the Post took their only prolife quote from the Secretary’s blog.didn’t quote a single pro-life advocate. How hard would it have been to get a quote from the Christian Medical and Dental Association?
I would have never guessed that the attack on physician’s conscience rights would somehow become a gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered/transexual/pea-green-with-lavender-stripes issue, although I predictedthe involvement of “Compassionate Choices” and other pushers of intentional physician killing.
In Oregon, I have the right to a prescription of barbiturates if I want to die. The State limits that right and tells me when my right kicks in, of course. According to lawyers Charo and Tucker, I can go up to any MD or DO and demand that he or she write the prescription.
I ask again: “How far do you trust doctors who will violate our consciences?? How much practice will it take until we do what the State tells us to, rather than what our patients ask – without regard to silly notions of “right” and “wrong?””