Thursday, February 08, 2007

doctors inflicting their beliefs on patients

Significant numbers of doctors -- mostly males who consider themselves capital-C Christian -- don't believe they have an obligation to inform us about certain legal medical options, or to perform certain legal medical procedures, if those medical options conflict with THEIR beliefs. Many of them won't even make a referral to another doctor who IS willing to perform whatever allegedly dastardly, immoral, unChristian but LEGAL medical procedure the patient needs, if it conflicts with the doctor's religious convictions.

Here's my religious conviction. You, Doctor, have a professional, moral and legal obligation to provide the best care possible for a patient, within the constraints of the laws and regulations of the state you practice in. You do NOT have the right to inflict your beliefs on patients by refusing treatment any more than an accountant has the right to refuse to enter my gambling losses into my tax return as a legal deduction because he or she disapproves of gambling.

If there are treatments that offend you, go into orthodontics, become a veterinarian, or get a law degree. Or become a friggin' minister for pete's sake, where you are paid and expected to inflict your religious beliefs on your customers, who are listening to you just for that purpose.

Leave room in med school for people who are willing to treat patients, not judge them.

Meanwhile, I'd think there has to be an interesting medical malpractice test case out there for a patient who has suffered pain or worse because of a holier-than-thou doctor's refusal to use or recommend a legal medical procedure... Trial lawyers, are you listening?


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