Friday, December 05, 2008
The religious right and the socialist left could potentially deliver a one-two punch against your health by putting government guns behind the irrational beliefs of certain medical workers.
The outgoing Bush administration is planning to announce a broad new "right of conscience" rule permitting medical facilities, doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other [medical] workers to refuse to participate in any procedure they find morally objectionable, including abortion and possibly even artificial insemination and birth control.This rule would bar "any entity" that gets federal money (e.g., private companies that happen to be funded in part by a grant) from disciplining any employee, including one "whose task it is to clean the instruments."
If this rule is not dropped by the Obama Administration, which has plans to further (if not complete) the process of nationalizing the medical sector, it could very well end up forcing patients to accept care from superstitious zealots who want to withhold from them a full range of treatment options.
If liberal commentators, reporting their own Obama-Rorschach test results, think that "their man" will likely repeal this rule, it will be because they are forgetting that (a) he is very religious, and (b) the left has been pandering to certain religious minorities for years through various misguided (at best) laws aimed at ending discrimination, such as "hate crime" legislation.
And we might as well throw in a (c): In a sort of mirror image of the global warming (agenda) "debate", everyone on the left will be myopically focused on the excuse for this rule, whose purpose is plainly to give religious conservatives a way to prevent some women from taking the "morning after pill". (The Slate article inked above focuses on the falsehood being used to lend a scientific "case" against this pill, for example.)
If leftists really didn't want to be under the knife of fundamentalist doctors, they would support freeing all medical care from government control, and then take advantage of that freedom to boycott such physicians. Likewise, if conservatives really valued freedom of conscience for physicians, they, too, would begin working to get the government out of medicine. They could have whole hospitals that didn't practice abortion! (But then, they would have to give up on their dream of forcing everyone else to abide by their arbitrary dicta.)
In fact, neither side values freedom, and we already have another precedent to back my claim: In education, where the precious minds of children are entrusted to their teachers for hours a day, every day, leftists will not have the state monopoly of education challenged in any way, shape, or form (despite its disastrous results), and religious conservatives, far from opposing it, simply try to co-opt it -- in order to deprive developing minds of the care they need on religious grounds. Creationism is just the most prominent example.
As with education, so it will be with medicine: Two anti-freedom sides will haggle over small swaths of control, with victory by neither being a victory for individual rights. Americans must repudiate both left and right, and demand the freedom to live according to their own best judgement. As a corollary, Americans must also renounce all attempts to use government force to get others to do their bidding. If we do not respect the rights of others, how can we hope for reciprocation?