I am amazed at the lack of press coverage about the Obama plan to remove civil rights job protection against health care providers. (google news: 54articles, many in church news services).
Most of the editorials are from the feminist pro abortion advocates. Fair enough.

But why do so few papers cover the implications? The few major stories on line call those opposing removing the regulations “Christian” (as in “rabid right wing Republican Christian fundamentalists”).

Well, there go those of us who are prolife Democratic Catholics.

Indeed, few articles mention that the Catholic bishops are up in arms about the regulations too.

But anyway, who cares. How many physicians are so old fashioned that they might not cooperate?

Well, a poll in the New England Journal of Medicine gives a rough answer: 29%.

Maybe more, since those answering the poll eliminated docs over 65, and statistically had fewer Foreign Medical Graduates (many of whom are Muslim and Catholics and who refuse to do abortions)  and had an excess of female physicians who responded.

Sixteen percent would not refer for procedures that they think are immoral.

But those questions are theoretical.

When it comes to concrete examples, the numbers may be higher:

 The proportion of physicians who object to certain treatments is substantial. For example, 52% of the physicians in this study reported objections to abortion for failed contraception, and 42% reported objections to contraception for adolescents without parental consent.

The activists who propose removing the law assume that physicians will obey the new law.

Yet even if five percent of physicians quit, or if pro life students no longer enter the medical field, I suspect this will cause a loss of physicians in areas that need physicians the most. I am basing this prediction on my own experience, but I wonder why no one has bothered to do a poll to find out.

Of course, the present argument is about doing abortion and prescribing a “morning after pill” that can cause early abortion.

But once physicians can be fired for following their consciences it means that the Hippocratic oath is dead.

Since the press is already reporting complaints about physicians for not prescribing euthanasia pills to their patients, you can see where this  could  be going.


Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. She writes about human rights at Makaipa blog. 

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