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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Untangling healthcare bills on conscience rights

Wondering what's happening with conscience issues in the current healthcare bills?
With all the closed-door secretive legislating scheming, tracking any specific issue is a real challenge.
Thankfully, our friend Mary Harned, an attorney with Americans United for Life, has developed a chart that tracks life issues including conscience--in the Senate bill, the House bill, and the Hyde amendment law.
The bottom line is that even in the best case, healthcare professionals remain vulnerable to discrimination simply for following well established norms of medical ethics--norms as basic as the Hippocratic oath. Even the good Stupak-Pitts amendment in the House bill only applies to abortion.

Think about all the issues that a physician encounters, from birth control to reproductive technology to requests for lethal medications for assisted suicide, and much more. Add to that current list potential future challenges involving unethical genetic testing and risky manipulation, embryo-destructive research, transhumanism and you begin to get a feel for how challenging it is to be a life-honoring physician.
The lack of robust conscience protections in the House and Senate bills is even more concerning given the backdrop of the looming Obama administration's rescission of the only federal conscience-protecting regulation. To learn more about that regulation and battle, visit the Learn section of Freedom2Care.
Remember that life-honoring physicians aren't the only ones who stand to suffer discrimination. Forcing them out of medicine--and polling shows they're prepared to quit if pressured to compromise conscience--means that life-honoring patients will not be able to find physicians who share their convictions.
Concerned? Speak out now--with the help of these Freedom2Care resources--to let your legislators know you want strong conscience protections in law and in regulations.

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