There’s a new law up for debate in Michigan which would permit medical professionals to refuse to treat patients they may have a moral disagreement with. This is clearly targeted at one group and it’s wrong.
The politicians are calling it The Conscientious Objector Policy Act . Under the proposal, doctors who refuse to reat patients for moral reasons would be beyond question from their employer and exempt from legal responsibility. I’m calling it the Doctors Can Discriminate Act.
Let’s get to the meat here, but first – I’m a straight, married, 30-something, Texas Republican from the middle class. I have a few gay friends, but I have a lot more straight friends. I believe people are born straight or gay, and that’s just the way it is. I don’t approve of gay lifestyle, but I don’t think it’s a choice people make. As much as I may want for people to live/behave more like I do, some people just can’t/won’t because they see things differently.
Now, Some overzealous Republicans and Catholic priests decided this would be a good way for doctors to refuse to treat gay patients. That’s crap. If you’re a doctor (or an EMT, ER nurse, surgeon, etc) then you signed on to treat people in need. Race shouldn’t matter, economics shouldn’t matter, homosexuality shouldn’t matter. Period.
What’s with this “conscientious objector” nonsense? If a doctor things it’s morally wrong to sell crack, then they don’t have to treat drug dealers? If an EMT things it’s wrong to be gay, then they don’t have to answer ambulance calls to a gay person’s home? If a nurse is atheist, can he refuse to take a blood test from a Christian?
A moral decision is definitely needed – but treating a patient cannot be the question. Doctors, nurses, and the like must ask themselves: Am I able to be a medical professional, or do I bear too much hatred to help someone in need?
A long time ago a very wise man said, “Judge not, least you be judged.”
Medical professionals have a unique opportunity and responsibility in our society. We’ve entrusted them with the care of our children, our wives and husbands, our mothers and fathers, our brothers and sisters, and our neighbors and friends.
Doctors and medical professionals represent an ideal that we all admire: A compassionate soul reaching out to help their fellow man. We cannot allow that ideal to be tarnished by bigotry and hate.