The laws and regulations of the United States protect medical professionals from being forced to participate in abortion and sterilization and other procedures against their religious beliefs by prohibiting discrimination in employment.
The medical establishment thus responds to the creation of a new Conscience and Religious Freedom Division in the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR). How awful, they yell. We want our pro-life colleagues, and those who believe in the Hippocratic Oath, to be forced to violate their religious and moral beliefs in their professional lives.
For example, the Massachusetts Medical Society doesn’t want a division formed to protect their colleagues. From the Society’s statement:
As physicians, we have an obligation to ensure patients are treated with dignity while accessing and receiving the best possible care to meet their clinical needs. We will not and cannot, in good conscience, compromise our responsibility to heal the sick based upon a patient’s racial identification, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, religious affiliation, disability, immigration status, or economic status.
Baloney. It won’t “compromise” anything. Doctors are not “on demand” technocrats who fill patient’s orders, particularly with regard to non-life-threatening and elective procedures, which are the real subjects here.
It could, however, protect employees from being forced by their employers to choose between their faith or moral beliefs, and their careers.
In a society as profoundly rent as ours is about fundamental moral beliefs around the sanctity of human life and the proper role of medicine in fulfilling lifestyle and other personal desires, basic comity requires such focused enforcement of legal conscience protections.
Otherwise, pro-lifers will be driven entirely out of medicine — an outcome, I assume, that the the leaders of the Massachusetts Medical Society would heartily applaud.
Cross-posted at The Corner.