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View Full Version : Should doctors be allowed to refuse treatment because of their religious beliefs?



DrAstroZoom
06-22-2007, 05:37 PM
I don't post in here a heck of a lot, but abortion is perhaps the issue that pulls me furthest to the conservative side. I therefore found this article fascinating reading. Read and discuss.

Doctors and belief (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19190916/)

cnc66
06-22-2007, 05:54 PM
I read all four pages Doc, I need to digest it for a while.

ABrownLamp
06-22-2007, 06:43 PM
See this is where I get disgusted with religion. I dont really care what you believe in as long as it doesnt affect my life. I mean how arrogant and disgusting for a doctor to use his religious faith (that the other person doesnt share!) to snub the reproductive rights guaranteed for women under law.

Ya she can see another doctor, unless hes the only one she can see under her plan. Or insurance doesnt cover another visit.

DrAstroZoom
06-22-2007, 07:14 PM
See this is where I get disgusted with religion. I dont really care what you believe in as long as it doesnt affect my life. I mean how arrogant and disgusting for a doctor to use his religious faith (that the other person doesnt share!) to snub the reproductive rights guaranteed for women under law.

Ya she can see another doctor, unless hes the only one she can see under her plan. Or insurance doesnt cover another visit.

But compelling a doctor to do something against his religious beliefs isn't right either, is it?

Pagan
06-22-2007, 11:17 PM
But compelling a doctor to do something against his religious beliefs isn't right either, is it?
Then he shouldn't become a doctor. You take an oath as a physician. If it goes against your beliefs to follow up on that oath, then become a florist instead.

Alex44
06-22-2007, 11:26 PM
I'm sorry but if that girl was someone close to me I would have taken it upon myself to beat that doctor senseless, then taken him to someone who wouldn't treat him.

****ing bastard. <--- why isn't bastard censored?

DrAstroZoom
06-22-2007, 11:26 PM
If you believe life begins at conception (and a lot of people do), then terminating a pregnancy is doing harm, which stands in direct opposition to the Hippocratic Oath.

Alex44
06-22-2007, 11:27 PM
If you believe life begins at conception (and a lot of people do), then terminating a pregnancy is doing harm, which stands in direct opposition to the Hippocratic Oath.

Then don't be a doctor, it's truely simple as that.

finswin56
06-22-2007, 11:33 PM
Then don't be a doctor, it's truely simple as that.

Why? Because you say so?
So you think all doctors should be atheists, or just have no conviction in their beliefs?

Give me a break. If women are afforded the Right to do with their bodies as they see fit, then we should also have no problem with people choosing to be doctors regardless of their religious beliefs.

You don't get to give choice and restrict choice as you see fit. It's a two way street.

Alex44
06-22-2007, 11:38 PM
Why? Because you say so?
So you think all doctors should be atheists, or just have no conviction in their beliefs?

Give me a break. If women are afforded the Right to do with their bodies as they see fit, then we should also have no problem with people choosing to be doctors regardless of their religious beliefs.

You don't get to give choice and restrict choice as you see fit. It's a two way street.

First of all yes. If everyone were an atheist the world would be a better place. Please don't go off on me about values, because I have more of those than a religious person every will. Set aside the fact that God is an impossibility, religion teaches nothing but to look down upon women, and books like the bible are completely full of hate.

It is the job of a doctor to supply these things to patients. It was an item she needed, there is no law that says she can't be given that item. That item should be given to her. It's about womens rights.

If he feels that strongly about it then be a preacher, it is not his job to regulate who can and can't have children, especially when raped.

finswin56
06-22-2007, 11:57 PM
First of all yes. If everyone were an atheist the world would be a better place. Please don't go off on me about values, because I have more of those than a religious person every will. Set aside the fact that God is an impossibility, religion teaches nothing but to look down upon women, and books like the bible are completely full of hate.

It is the job of a doctor to supply these things to patients. It was an item she needed, there is no law that says she can't be given that item. That item should be given to her. It's about womens rights.

If he feels that strongly about it then be a preacher, it is not his job to regulate who can and can't have children, especially when raped.
Read it again Alex. No where did I do anything close to going off on you about values.

You're basically answering your own question with your own contradiction.
"Need" and "Want" are not the same.
When a woman chooses to have an abortion, it is a "Want", not a "Need".

Also, I would assume the doctors refusing to perform abortions do not choose who to perform them on. If they are not doing this procedure because of their beliefs, then you can bet they are consistent with it.

DonShula84
06-23-2007, 12:28 AM
I think the doctor was completely in the wrong here, he took a bad situation and managed to make it worse for her. Couldnt he have said talk to my colleague about that and left it at that? I understand not forcing doctors to perform abortions that some word consider "elective" procedures. But if this guy is your doctor and the baby is killing the mother and she decides to abort it will he say no and let her die?

Skeet84
06-23-2007, 01:41 AM
Its not like she never got the medicine she wanted and I can't blame the guy for not doing it because of his religion. I don't see the big problem in what he did, but she was under alot of stress so I could see why she was so upset.

DonShula84
06-23-2007, 01:49 AM
If you're going to let your religion influence your ability to be a persons doctor (which is fine) have a private practice so you can be selective of who you treat and they understand where you're coming from. Dont be an ER doctor and put other people in this situation though.

Skeet84
06-23-2007, 02:03 AM
If you're going to let your religion influence your ability to be a persons doctor (which is fine) have a private practice so you can be selective of who you treat and they understand where you're coming from. Dont be an ER doctor and put other people in this situation though.



I agree with you, But he treated her. He just would not give her the meds when she could get it from another doctor.

DonShula84
06-23-2007, 03:16 AM
I agree with you, But he treated her. He just would not give her the meds when she could get it from another doctor.


I agree, that's why I initially said he could have handled it better by just refering her to another doctor at the hospital or something like that instead of seemingly passing judgiment on her. Especially under these circustances who can blame her?

finswin56
06-23-2007, 07:38 AM
I agree, that's why I initially said he could have handled it better by just refering her to another doctor at the hospital or something like that instead of seemingly passing judgiment on her. Especially under these circustances who can blame her?

I don't have a problem with him working in the ER, but only as long as he's willing to refer her to another doctor. In this case, I can't agree with what he did. I do feel he should be able to work there in that capacity, as long as he is willing to refer cases that he won't treat.

Skeet84
06-23-2007, 08:53 AM
I agree, that's why I initially said he could have handled it better by just refering her to another doctor at the hospital or something like that instead of seemingly passing judgiment on her. Especially under these circustances who can blame her?


I don't really think he judged her by not wanting to break his religion and my thinking is he started to treat her before he knew she wanted the meds. Also after getting raped and the girl being told he would not give her the meds it never really says if he tried to refer her to someone else or not. She was probably pretty upset and may have just left.

ABrownLamp
06-23-2007, 11:04 AM
But compelling a doctor to do something against his religious beliefs isn't right either, is it?

Bro, we're talking about not providing birth control to a rape victim.

What kind of pseudo value system is this?

I have a real difficult time believing that if this doctor's wife/sister/mother got raped and became impregnated that this doctor would not provide birth control to them. Its just another example of the hypocritical holier than thou attitude that the religious put on.

MoFinz
06-23-2007, 12:53 PM
Then he shouldn't become a doctor. You take an oath as a physician. If it goes against your beliefs to follow up on that oath, then become a florist instead.


In the oath it says "Do no harm".....i can see where the conflict comes in, and since Doctors are doctors because of free choice, they do have the right not to infringe upon their own beliefs.

PhinPhan1227
06-23-2007, 01:03 PM
I think the doctor was completely in the wrong here, he took a bad situation and managed to make it worse for her. Couldnt he have said talk to my colleague about that and left it at that? I understand not forcing doctors to perform abortions that some word consider "elective" procedures. But if this guy is your doctor and the baby is killing the mother and she decides to abort it will he say no and let her die?

By law a doctor cannot refuse life saving medical care, no matter what that care entails. So no, he would have had to perform the abortion in the case of a threat to the mothers life. Otherwise he would face criminal charges.

PhinPhan1227
06-23-2007, 01:10 PM
As I see it, doctors should be able to refuse care with certain provisions. They already have to provide life threatening care no matter what, so that isn't a consideration.

1)They must be able to refer the patient to another doctor who can provide the care quickly and with some convenience. If the only other doctor that will provide the morning after pill os 300 miles away, the doctor must prescribe it on the spot.

2)They must be willing to share ALL options with a patient. You don't have to give her the morning after pill, but you have to tell her it's available.

DonShula84
06-23-2007, 03:24 PM
As I see it, doctors should be able to refuse care with certain provisions. They already have to provide life threatening care no matter what, so that isn't a consideration.

1)They must be able to refer the patient to another doctor who can provide the care quickly and with some convenience. If the only other doctor that will provide the morning after pill os 300 miles away, the doctor must prescribe it on the spot.

2)They must be willing to share ALL options with a patient. You don't have to give her the morning after pill, but you have to tell her it's available.

That seems reasonable to me.

Pagan
06-23-2007, 04:24 PM
As I see it, doctors should be able to refuse care with certain provisions. They already have to provide life threatening care no matter what, so that isn't a consideration.

1)They must be able to refer the patient to another doctor who can provide the care quickly and with some convenience. If the only other doctor that will provide the morning after pill os 300 miles away, the doctor must prescribe it on the spot.

2)They must be willing to share ALL options with a patient. You don't have to give her the morning after pill, but you have to tell her it's available.
Better call Satan and see if it's snowing down there Phin....I agree with you. :lol:

ih8brady
06-26-2007, 07:21 AM
What a loving person this Christian doctor is.

A woman's just got raped; she is in shock, terror and chaos. She asks about a pill, and Dr. Holier-than-thou tells her to hit the bricks. I don't think there is a word to describe the indecency of this "doctor." ******* comes to mind, but its not strong enough. What could cause one person to be so callous and cruel to a rape victim? Antiquian politics, perhaps?

ih8brady
06-26-2007, 07:25 AM
There's a church near me. After Katrina almost the entire congregation went to NEw Orleans to help with the recovery. Some of those folks were there for more than a week. One guy left his $12k bass boat there with authorities unasked for when he had to go back to work because they were short on boats. Didn't get it back for almost two months. And no, we aren't talking about wealthy people here. Lower middle class for the most part, economically speaking.

Call me crazy, but those folks seem to have some decent values to me. Oh, and for the record, churches housed many, if not most of the refugees, in some cases for months. Darned evil folks those church goers.

And hey, any time you want to discuss the mathematical possibility of God, give me a shout. Atheism is as much a faith as any other religion.

Atheism is the lack of religion;
a- is a prefix for lack of or without.
theis-root for religion.
Combine them to create "without religion or religion-less." So, how is a faithless person without a religion religious? Isn't that like discussing Richard Simmon's or Tom Brady's heterosexuality?

DrAstroZoom
06-26-2007, 09:48 AM
What a loving person this Christian doctor is.

A woman's just got raped; she is in shock, terror and chaos. She asks about a pill, and Dr. Holier-than-thou tells her to hit the bricks. I don't think there is a word to describe the indecency of this "doctor." ******* comes to mind, but its not strong enough. What could cause one person to be so callous and cruel to a rape victim? Antiquian politics, perhaps?

In his mind, he might as well have been handing her a gun with which to play Russian roulette, except in this case, he knew the gun would fire, there was a chance someone might get killed.

DrAstroZoom
06-26-2007, 09:50 AM
By the way, until this thread got moved here, I had no idea there was a new Science/Religion thread. Very cool.

Miamian
06-26-2007, 10:38 AM
This usually wouldn't be a problem, but the problem does occur so a solution is needed. The best thing would be for the woman to tell admissions that she needs to see a secular doctor and then they can refer her.

arsenal
06-26-2007, 11:08 AM
no one is telling the doctor to have his family get an abortion... all he had to do is perform his medical duties, but instead hes forcing his beliefs onto his patients... thats wrong...

no one is telling him to be pro abortion or anything like that... but he is a public servant, and nothing illegal was asked of him, he should have obliged...

Jehovah's witness are against blood transfusions, they say the bible says something about using the blood from another person is wrong... so if you were in a horrible car accident, losing a lot of blood, and go into the ER and Jehovah's witness doctor decides that he will not do a blood transfusion would that ever go over? of course not... just like this shouldn't either...

a public servant should not come with religious bias... like someone here said, open a private practice if you want that kinda control...

finswin56
06-26-2007, 11:18 AM
no one is telling the doctor to have his family get an abortion... all he had to do is perform his medical duties, but instead hes forcing his beliefs onto his patients... thats wrong...

no one is telling him to be pro abortion or anything like that... but he is a public servant, and nothing illegal was asked of him, he should have obliged...

Jehovah's witness are against blood transfusions, they say the bible says something about using the blood from another person is wrong... so if you were in a horrible car accident, losing a lot of blood, and go into the ER and Jehovah's witness doctor decides that he will not do a blood transfusion would that ever go over? of course not... just like this shouldn't either...

a public servant should not come with religious bias... like someone here said, open a private practice if you want that kinda control...
Sorry, but that example completely misses the target.

The blood transfusion would be to save her life. A doctor's obligation.
Not giving the morning after pill, according to the doctor's beliefs, would take a life.

As has been stated, the doctor should have referred her to another attending physician while she was there. He was wrong in that regard, but to compare what he did to refusing to save someone's life is a waste of time.

Stitches
06-26-2007, 11:28 AM
As I see it, doctors should be able to refuse care with certain provisions. They already have to provide life threatening care no matter what, so that isn't a consideration.

1)They must be able to refer the patient to another doctor who can provide the care quickly and with some convenience. If the only other doctor that will provide the morning after pill os 300 miles away, the doctor must prescribe it on the spot.

2)They must be willing to share ALL options with a patient. You don't have to give her the morning after pill, but you have to tell her it's available.

I agree with this, but only one question I have about solution 1, is that are we assuming any referrals he makes would be covered by the woman/patient's insurance?

ih8brady
06-26-2007, 11:33 AM
In his mind, he might as well have been handing her a gun with which to play Russian roulette, except in this case, he knew the gun would fire, there was a chance someone might get killed.

This man should not be a doctor given his beliefs. Suppose he believed that desecrating a body is wrong, and therefore refused to assist people in need who had tattoos. Suppose he believed people should not recieve blood transfusions and refused to perform a transfusion. Should a doctor have the ability as a professional to refuse his duties to oblige his patients with whatever means are at his/her disposal?

Should a man who believed in absolute non-violence be a police officer or a soldier?

DrAstroZoom
06-26-2007, 11:39 AM
This man should not be a doctor given his beliefs. Suppose he believed that desecrating a body is wrong, and therefore refused to assist people in need who had tattoos.

Completely different situation. A doctor in that situation wouldn't be creating the tattoo and, thus, acting directly against his own beliefs


Suppose he believed people should not recieve blood transfusions and refused to perform a transfusion. Should a doctor have the ability as a professional to refuse his duties to oblige his patients with whatever means are at his/her disposal?

See finswin56's excellent answer above.


Should a man who believed in absolute non-violence be a police officer or a soldier?

Probably not. But someone who wants to save lives shouldn't be judged for not wanting to take a deliberate action to end one.

arsenal
06-26-2007, 11:47 AM
Sorry, but that example completely misses the target.

The blood transfusion would be to save her life. A doctor's obligation.
Not giving the morning after pill, according to the doctor's beliefs, would take a life.

As has been stated, the doctor should have referred her to another attending physician while she was there. He was wrong in that regard, but to compare what he did to refusing to save someone's life is a waste of time.

yes it would be to save a life, but its the principal of the matter im talking...

now your saying, well if the practice saves a life then its ok to go against a religion, but if its not life threatening, i have to abide by my religions beliefs?

Stitches
06-26-2007, 11:47 AM
Completely different situation. A doctor in that situation wouldn't be creating the tattoo and, thus, acting directly against his own beliefs



See finswin56's excellent answer above.



Probably not. But someone who wants to save lives shouldn't be judged for not wanting to take a deliberate action to end one.

There should really be some sort of final judgement by the medical community then, as to what constitutes life. Unless it could survive outside the mother's womb under normal conditions, I personally wouldn't even consider it "alive."

finswin56
06-26-2007, 12:12 PM
yes it would be to save a life, but its the principal of the matter im talking...

now your saying, well if the practice saves a life then its ok to go against a religion, but if its not life threatening, i have to abide by my religions beliefs?

That' not what I'm saying. It's what the Hippocratic oath, that all doctors must abide by, says.

The principal is lost on me because the intentions are two opposite issues.

ih8brady
06-26-2007, 01:01 PM
Completely different situation. A doctor in that situation wouldn't be creating the tattoo and, thus, acting directly against his own beliefs

Ok, replace tattoo with breast implants. If placing cosmetic foreign objects into the body is against your religion, don't become a plastic surgeon. If you know you'll have a problem like this because of your belief, chose a different line of work or at least a different branch of medicine.

See finswin56's excellent answer above.

His answer ignores the obligation a doctor has to her patient doesn't end when the procedure is not life threatening. Earlier you mentioned playing Russian Roullete with a life, but is that not occuring everyday in medicine. How many procedures, medicines or surgeries feature no risk of complication? If a patient gives consent, then its her choice, not the doctor's.



Probably not. But someone who wants to save lives shouldn't be judged for not wanting to take a deliberate action to end one.

I'm a judging a man who thumbed his nose at a woman who was just raped, dehumanized and scared. He took a tragedy in her life and a disgusting crime acted upon her and he made it worse. The guy's a fish.

finswin56
06-26-2007, 02:38 PM
Guys, start a new thead to continue the Christian charity debate. It's off topic here.

ABrownLamp
06-26-2007, 03:24 PM
What kind of a-hole doctor with these "values" decides to go into OBGYN anyway? Maybe to force their beleifs onto women?

I don't know. I didnt go to med school so I have no idea what goes into choosing one field over another. Just seems a bit odd, if not suspicious that this, of all the fields they could have gone into was what they chose. I would say proctology would be a better fit for these guys.

DrAstroZoom
06-26-2007, 03:53 PM
What kind of a-hole doctor with these "values" decides to go into OBGYN anyway? Maybe to force their beleifs onto women?

I don't know. I didnt go to med school so I have no idea what goes into choosing one field over another. Just seems a bit odd, if not suspicious that this, of all the fields they could have gone into was what they chose. I would say proctology would be a better fit for these guys.

I'm sorry, but that is about the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. That's like saying somebody started working in the produce section to convert all his or her customers to vegetarianism.

ABrownLamp
06-26-2007, 04:49 PM
I'm sorry, but that is about the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. That's like saying somebody started working in the produce section to convert all his or her customers to vegetarianism.


No you start working in the produce section because your supervisor needs you to work there.

There is a voluntary decision involved in choosing one field of medicine over the other in med school. Why someone would choose a field knowing full well that they would not provide treatment to women who wanted it because of their religion, (presumably on a very regular basis since women go to OBGYNs many times go there for birth control pills) is a bit suspicious to say the least. I mean why go into a field you know you are regularly not going to be able to help people because of your religion? There are about 100 different fields you can go into in medicine.

finswin56
06-26-2007, 05:13 PM
All off topic posts about Christians, Good or Bad and Charity were separated into their own thread.

Sponge
06-28-2007, 11:31 AM
no one is telling the doctor to have his family get an abortion... all he had to do is perform his medical duties, but instead hes forcing his beliefs onto his patients... thats wrong...

no one is telling him to be pro abortion or anything like that... but he is a public servant, and nothing illegal was asked of him, he should have obliged...

Jehovah's witness are against blood transfusions, they say the bible says something about using the blood from another person is wrong... so if you were in a horrible car accident, losing a lot of blood, and go into the ER and Jehovah's witness doctor decides that he will not do a blood transfusion would that ever go over? of course not... just like this shouldn't either...

a public servant should not come with religious bias... like someone here said, open a private practice if you want that kinda control...

I was starting to come around to the idea that doctors should not be forced to go against their beliefs, but your Jehovah's analogy put me right back to my original position. As you said, the doctor is there to serve the patient, not the other way around. When his needs and the patient's needs come into conflict, the patient's needs should prevail. Any oath sworn by a doctor should include that basic concept.

To clarify, the doctor should not have to perform the action that he or she objects to, but neither should they stand in the way of someone else doing it. If for some reason, there are no other doctors available, then the patient's rights and wishes should prevail.

PhinPhan1227
07-02-2007, 11:22 AM
What kind of a-hole doctor with these "values" decides to go into OBGYN anyway? Maybe to force their beleifs onto women?

I don't know. I didnt go to med school so I have no idea what goes into choosing one field over another. Just seems a bit odd, if not suspicious that this, of all the fields they could have gone into was what they chose. I would say proctology would be a better fit for these guys.


Since the woman was in the ER following her rape, I would assume that the doctor wasn't an OBGYN, but rather just the attending physician. Sorry that doesn't suit your conspiracy theory. It also doesn't change the fact that the doctor, as described, is a complete turd for not treating a rape victim with more sympathy and kindness, regardless of his religious beliefs.

DrAstroZoom
07-02-2007, 11:28 AM
Since the woman was in the ER following her rape, I would assume that the doctor wasn't an OBGYN, but rather just the attending physician. Sorry that doesn't suit your conspiracy theory. It also doesn't change the fact that the doctor, as described, is a complete turd for not treating a rape victim with more sympathy and kindness, regardless of his religious beliefs.

Maybe I need to re-read the article, but a lot of people have reacted as if the doctor called the victim a dirty whore who deserved everything she got. It sounded like he treated her respectfully, he just didn't give her the morning after meds. I'll have to read it again.

PhinPhan1227
07-02-2007, 12:10 PM
Maybe I need to re-read the article, but a lot of people have reacted as if the doctor called the victim a dirty whore who deserved everything she got. It sounded like he treated her respectfully, he just didn't give her the morning after meds. I'll have to read it again.


I put "as described" in quotes because the rape victim described the doctor as judgemental, aloof, and uncaring. Not the way a doctor should treat a woman who is claiming to have just been raped. But again, that was her perspective.