Richard Nishman: When health care meets government
April 7, 2009
Re. Morgan Liddick’s March 31 column “Government overreaching on medical issues.”
Mr. Liddick is right in my opinion, and Mr. Wayne has left a few important things out.
If the government coerces physicians to perform certain procedures that they find “morally and ethically repugnant” or just ineffective, or “wrong” under threat of legal action, then the government has created an “audacity of belief.”
Mr. Wayne believes that “it is not the intention here” to “expose” (or punish) doctors and physicians who have moral obligations that would limit their practice. Well I happen to believe that it is in fact the “intention,” but intention or not, punishment would be the effect.
Mr. Wayne states “why shouldn’t an entity receiving federal money be obligated to the will of the people?” Well to some extent, every person in the country benefits from federal money. Any person who uses any public service, or drives on a public road, has to some extent “received at least one dime of federal money.” What if he (Mr. Wayne) was told he must protest in front of his house of worship with a sign reading “God is dead,” or “God kills little children?” If he doesn’t “believe” how about being forced to wear religious symbols, and carrying a sign saying “God saved my soul” or “God showed me the way”?
I have worked in several states with physicians from numerous countries and varying religious and ethical beliefs. I have seen physicians “refuse” to perform certain procedures based on their beliefs. While I might not agree with them, I wholeheartedly believe they have the “right” to follow their moral principles as long as they “do no harm” to a patient.
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Mr. Wayne believes “this repeal clearly takes morality out of the picture.” What it does is not allow for morality, or replaces one physicians morality with that of the “government’s.”
I believe we are entering a frightening time. The government is expanding into many more areas, and deeper into them than before. The banking system, the automotive industry, and most importantly to us: all health care.
Your ability to have your health care needs met, may or may not depend upon which party is in power at the time. Health care is too important, and too basic a need to be controlled by agenda-driven politicians. This potential decision to rescind federal regulations protecting the rights of medical practitioners who have moral objections to performing certain medical procedures, is just one of many small steps on the “slippery slope” toward removing all individual rights in favor of the government.