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Views on Pro-Life Medical Professionals

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I'm very keen to know the general pro-choice stance on pro-life doctors (including GPs) and nurses. Do they have the right to refuse a woman an abortion because they consider it to be infanticide? If so, should s/he pass on the patient to a pro-choice colleague? Where do you guys stand on this?

I'm yet to come to a solid view and I can see the conflict on both sides of the debate, although I'm very much leaning towards the idea that when one becomes a medic, one's personal views must be totally irrelevant - sacrifices come with the job! Petty politics shouldn't interfere - I personally view communism as one of the most powerful forms of authoritarianism, totalitarianism, anti-freedom, and corruption this world has ever seen, but I wouldn't refuse to treat a Marxist because I disagree with him/her.

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replied March 8th, 2008
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I don't think they have a right to continue their practice, personally. If the care they give their patients/customers is going to be colored by their prejudice bias they should be expelled from the field. I chose not to become a veterinarian because I strongly disagree with declawing, ear-cropping, tail cropping and other un-necessary cosmetic surgeries performed on animals for human convenience/preference. My personal morals would have been conflicted.

With people it's even more important to keep the line between personal morals and duties. If you can't do the job you can find another line of work.
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replied March 8th, 2008
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I believe they have the legal right to refuse, but I also believe in that situation they have the legal obligation to provide a referral.

Personally, I think doctors are there to perform a job which is separate of themselves. When it comes down to it, they aren't being paid because they have a degree in philosophy.
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replied March 8th, 2008
Experienced User
Re: Views on Pro-Life Medica Professionals
Kypros wrote:


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In an emergency situation, doctors should be required to perform an abortion if necessary. Any doctor who will not agree to that should lose his license.

In non-emergency situations, the doctor should provide a referral.
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replied March 8th, 2008
Especially eHealthy
Re: Views on Pro-Life Medica Professionals
Snug wrote:
Kypros wrote:


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In an emergency situation, doctors should be required to perform an abortion if necessary. Any doctor who will not agree to that should lose his license.

In non-emergency situations, the doctor should provide a referral.

I can agree with that.
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replied March 8th, 2008
Experienced User
Birch wrote:
I believe they have the legal right to refuse, but I also believe in that situation they have the legal obligation to provide a referral.

Personally, I think doctors are there to perform a job which is separate of themselves. When it comes down to it, they aren't being paid because they have a degree in philosophy.


Aren't they antithetical concepts, though? If doctors aren't being paid for their philosophical expertise, why should they have the right even to refuse a patient?

After deep thought, I must say that doing such a job has a considerable possibility of making sacrifices, be them personal views on morality and ethics. As far as I'm concerned, doctors exist as professionals to treat and listen to their patients, not to foist their own desires and preferences upon others. Some might say my stance is one of inequality: yes, it is, and I couldn't give a monkey's. I reject any politically correct labelling to serve a particular bias and resign myself to common sense. You're pro-life and you want to become a gynaecologist? Well, choose which you'd prefer to be.

If I were a doctor I wouldn't refuse to ligate the tubes of a left winger because I personally abhor socialism. Nor would I expect to have that 'right'. There is no conspicuous reason why the same rule should not apply to anti-choice medics.
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replied March 9th, 2008
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Yes, the law is in conflict with my personal feelings on the matter.

It's like going to the bank to withdraw money and the teller decides it's a bad decision for whatever reason and refuses to give you your money.
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replied March 10th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
Concientious objection, theoretically, only applies to the treatment (and therefore not referral) but I think it is fairly common practice for a gp to pass a patient onto a colleague if they are uncomfortable with even referring that patient. Also, the right to object doesn't apply at all when the abortion is to save the life of the woman so it is feasable that a pro-life medical professional may be asked to assist in treating a woman aborting and not legally have the right to object.

Personally I think if a gp, for example, is that uncomfortable making the referral then they should simply have a colleague do it for them but it certainly shouldn't prevent a woman obtaining an abortion because of the pesonal beliefs of her doctor
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replied March 10th, 2008
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Here in Canada, GP's don't do abortions, ob-gyn's do. I don't think any doctor should be required to do abortions against their conscience, unless it's an emergency situation. In that case, the only doctor I could see being put in that situation would be an ob-gyn on-call at a hospital. If I go to my GP for a referral to an ob-gyn for an abortion, and she refused to do the referral, she should refer me to a GP that will do it.

Darkmoon, veterinarians absolutely do (and should) have the right to refuse to do ear cropping, tail docking, declawing etc. I have heard of vets who refuse to do some or all of those procedures. They can refuse to do any procedure they choose to not do.
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replied March 10th, 2008
Especially eHealthy
Yes but that's because those veterinary procedures are NOT being done to save the animal's life OR prevent disease. They are purely cosmetic operations, and proven to be 100% unnecessary and in fact harmful. Objecting to mutilation is one thing; objecting to a life-saving procedure or one that prevents and detects disease is another thing entirely.

I'm sure even the most anti-ear-cropping vet out there would crop the ear off a dog if the tip was gangrenous and posing a serious, incurable health-threat to the animal. They remove entire limbs quite often for the same reason: to save the animal's life.
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