Should the conscience rights of medical practitioners be protected?

Unsplash

Nearly 60 percent of respondents believe that the conscience rights of medical practitioners need to be protected; 40 percent do not.

Readers were also presented with a list of 11 medical interventions and asked from which of those interventions doctors and other medical professionals should be allowed to exempt themselves. Euthanasia drew the most votes, with 67 percent of respondents saying that medical professionals should be allowed to exempt themselves. After that, 61 percent indicated doctors should be allowed to exempt themselves from performing abortions.

Advertisement

However, when asked if doctors should be required to refer patients to another physician who will perform a given procedure, 71 percent of respondents said yes.

In their written responses, several readers invoked the Hippocratic Oath, from which the phrase “first do no harm” is derived.

Maura Martin, a nurse from Broomfield, Colo., wrote, “I would appreciate laws that protect my call to ‘first do no harm’ in regards to abortion and euthanasia. I went into this profession to help and heal. I don’t know how I would continue in my profession if this becomes a requirement in workplaces.”

Norma Kreilein, a physician from Jasper, Ind., believes that medical professionals should not be allowed to exempt themselves from any of the interventions listed.

“Doctors should not have to perform procedures they feel unqualified for, but there has to be a sound reason in their skill set,” she wrote. “Each of the procedures listed is a bit different ethically.”
 

[Want to discuss politics with other America readers? Join our Facebook discussion group, moderated by America’s writers and editors.]

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
Dale Athlon
2 months 3 weeks ago

Of course conscience rights should be protected. We are Catholics and we believe in freedom of religion in this country.

The fact that the headline is asked as a question is pathetic.

Advertisement

The latest from america

Light streams into St. Gabriel’s Passionist Parish in Toronto. (Photo courtesy of Larkin Architect Limited)
The daily light show at St. Gabriel's in Toronto is not just aesthetically moving, writes Dean Dettloff. It is part of a church design that reminds us of human dependence on the earth.
Dean DettloffAugust 23, 2019
“The Church is a family of families,” Pope Francis writes in “Amoris Laetitia.”
Kerry WeberAugust 23, 2019
Our commitment to God is expressed through living out the gospel, but also in your fidelity to prayer. Day in and day out. “Showing up and shutting up,” as my friend likes to say about daily prayer.
James Martin, S.J.August 23, 2019
In this Aug. 20, 2019 drone photo released by the Corpo de Bombeiros de Mato Grosso, brush fires burn in Guaranta do Norte municipality, Mato Grosso state, Brazil. (Corpo de Bombeiros de Mato Grosso via AP)
A record number of wildfires and the rapid deforestation of the Amazon are prompting Latin American bishops to plead for international action, writes America’s correspondent in Brazil, Eduardo Campos Lima.
Eduardo Campos LimaAugust 23, 2019