Whose Conscience? The Brewing Battle Over Who Makes Your Health Care Decisions
Wilson's truncated history of provider refusals only hints at their 30 year creep and authoritarian nature. Once written to protect the conscience of individual doctors, a noble intent, they now allow institutions, most egregiously, the Vatican via the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, to determine not only what care is provided to millions of patients but what available, legal care those patients can be informed of and referred to.
Rita Marker, without such intention, most clearly noted this creep in a recent article, also for American Thinker:
Some years ago, I was speaking to a Nebraska state senator after testifying on a pending bill. I had explained that I wasn't saying that the bill would be interpreted in a certain way, only that it could be. Then he said something I've never forgotten. "Be assured that if a law can be interpreted in a certain way, it willbe -- by someone. And it will all be perfectly legal."
Unfortunately, the greatest resources and organization reside in the hands of institutions, churches, and other organizations determined to limit the use of medical technology based on denominational, theological or authoritarian principles. Not to that lone woman who is pregnant, shamed, in a traumatic situation; not to the dying elder who is suffering and no longer wants to be fed through a PEG tube in his belly, not to the rape victim; not to the doctor employed by a Catholic hospital but prevented from telling a troubled teen how to avoid getting HIV.
And here is another lesson for us about our form of Democracy. Majority rule defies the rights of minorities by supplanting individual conscience with the loudest and most funded voices in the country. If it is indeed the intention that counts, these laws are no longer intended to protect an individual doctor's conscience. They are used as tools by those who wish to make abortion, aid in dying and other patients' rights illegal -- or more importantly, legal but completely unaffordable and inaccessible.
And here is Wilson's objection to section 1533 of the health care bill: "it reframes the debate as one of civil rights, and brings assisted suicide more into the mainstream." The debate about patients' rights is alreadyabout civil rights; and it is already mainstream.
Reposted from otherspoon.blogspot.com, a blog on religion and end of life care.