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U.S. Health Care Workers Granted Right to Refuse “Morally Objectionable” Treatments or Pharmaceuticals

November 30, 2008
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The Bush Administration is set to announce new rules that would allow health care workers to refuse service to patients on moral grounds. It’s a rule designed to allow pharmacists to refuse to prescribe “Plan B” pills, for example, or to allow doctors and nurses to refuse to participate in abortions, artificial insemination or even the prescribing of birth control pills.

Not surprisingly, the rule has the full support of the Christian community, as the Christian Medical Association has thrown its full support behind it.

But that’s not the news here. The real news is this: Note carefully that the Bush Administration isn’t proposing any rules that would allow patients to refuse medical care on moral grounds?

What about parents who wish to refuse vaccines for their children, for example? Or parents of cancer-stricken teens who wish to refuse toxic chemotherapy for their children and seek naturopathic cancer treatments instead? The Bush Administration is proposing no rules that would protect the rights of those who morally object to mandatory vaccines, chemotherapy or other dangerous treatments offered by western medicine.

The upshot of all this, then, is that the Bush Administration believes doctors should have to right to refuse treatment for patients but that patients should have no right to refuse treatments they do want. Thus, Americans continue to live under a system of medical tyranny rather than medical freedom where free citizens might choose the health care modality they wish.

Or, put another way, health care workers no longer have any responsibility to treat YOU if they don’t want to, but YOU will be forced (at gunpoint, if necessary) to submit to whatever treatment THEY want you to undergo. See

What’s wrong with this picture?

In a truly free society, patients should be able to refuse any treatment they morally object to, either for themselves or their children. But rather than boosting the rights of citizens to exercise free choice in their health care, the Bush Administration is focusing its efforts on allowing health care workers to refuse care to patients.

By the way, also note that this rule could potentially allow informed pharmacists to refuse to prescribe psychiatric medications to children if they object to it on moral grounds. This could bring up some fascinating conflicts in the future where some better-informed pharmacists might refuse to fill prescriptions for drugs they know to be dangerous, such as psych meds or chemotherapy drugs.

By attacking abortions and Plan B pills using such rules, the Bush Administration may be unwittingly opening the door for pharmacists and health care workers to refuse to participate in all kinds of treatments.

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U.S. Health Care Workers Granted Right to Refuse “Morally Objectionable” Treatments or Pharmaceuticals

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