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Thursday, August 21, 2008

HHS Moves Forward With Right of Conscience Protections

Despite the howling of liberals for more than a month, the Bush Administration has gone ahead with plans from the Health and Human Services Department to provide greater protection for health care workers in facilities receiving federal dollars to exercise their right of conscience not to provide goods or services that could result in the loss of life of an unborn child.

From Fox News, Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt says

"Freedom of conscience is not to be surrendered upon issuance of a medical degree," said Leavitt. "This nation was built on a foundation of free speech. The first principle of free speech is protected conscience."

The proposed rule, which applies to institutions receiving government money, would require as many as 584,000 employers ranging from major hospitals to doctors' offices and nursing homes to certify in writing that they are complying with several federal laws that protect the conscience rights of health care workers. Violations could lead to a loss of government funding and legal action to recoup federal money already paid.

Abortion rights supporters served notice that they intend to challenge the new rule.

The Christian Medical Association, the nation's largest faith-based association of healthcare professionals, applauded this step today.

CMA CEO Dr. David Stevens said, "These regulations are desperately needed to protect First Amendment rights and implement federal law in what is becoming a jungle of coercion in healthcare. Two of five of our members indicate they have been subjected to pressure and discrimination in the healthcare profession simply because they adhere to life-affirming, patient-protecting standards of medical ethics such as the Hippocratic Oath.

"Clearly, unless we act now to protect the right of healthcare professionals to make standards-based ethical decisions, patients will be penalized with less access to healthcare. If current trends of coercion are allowed to continue, patients will not be able to find physicians who share their life-affirming values."

CMA Senior Vice President Dr. Gene Rudd, an Obstetrician-Gynecologist, said, "Vital issues including abortion, assisted suicide, end of life decisions and other important ethical matters must not be matters of coercion but of conscience."

Those intent on receiving abortions and abortifacients could still seek those goods and services elsewhere, even within that facility if other health care workers were present who didn't have those same moral reservations.

Nothing in the new regulation in any way changes a patient's right to any legal procedure," he said, noting that a patient could go to another provider.

"This regulation is not about contraception," Leavitt added. "It's about abortion and conscience. It is very closely focused on abortion and physician's conscience."

But that will not be good enough for the advocates of complete sexual license. They showed that when a pharmacist in Montana exercised his conscience, they showed it again in Wisconsin, and showed it vehemently in South Dakota during the 2008 legislative session when liberals came up with such a twisted bill to quash pharmacists right of conscience that it actually made the pharmacist sound like an agent of the government.

It isn't about rights for the Left. It isn't about access for the Left. It's about using the brute force of government to force the backwards, superstitious, religious, moralist Christians to capitulate their moral convictions. It's about wiping away all vestiges of moral condemnation for their immoral acts so they can (they hope) soothe their hurting consciences.

Some thought when we began throwing off the objective moral values of our Judeo-Christian foundations that we would inherit more freedom. But when you abandon objective values, then the debate over whose concerns receive the highest regard quickly degenerates into "might makes right."

At this point in the devolution of our civilization, "might makes right" involves whoever can convince the majority to see it their way--or more often, whoever can convince a group of black-robed oligarchs to see it their way.

Eventually, though, even that won't satisfy, and we will likely slip away from the enlightened way of handling differences we've known in this nation for over 200 years, and degenerate into the "corruption, intimidation and violence makes right" that still rules so many nations of the earth.

As Benjamin Franklin said, "Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters."

Just like in the Garden of Eden, we will have traded some simple restrictions and a life of peace, in exchange for a broken promise yielding the yoke of bondage and turmoil.

We never seem to learn.


1 comments:

Michael said...

How do I get Congress to get me out of doing those aspects of my current government job I don't like? I spent 23 years in the military, and never once did anyone consult with me or give me an out for anything that clashed with my conscience. (Going to Leavenworth is not a reasonable option.) Now I'm in the same situation. I guess I need those who normally rail against government interference to step in.

 
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