The Bush Administration has proposed new regulations which would deny federal money to medical facilities if they required employees to act against their religious conscience in providing certain health benefits.  This raises a number of pertinent questions:

Does this go too far, or is it just what religious employees need?  Is the proposed regulation too broad, or just right?  Should the regulation define what types of procedures should be included in religious objections, or should it be open-ended? Should it have been heard in Congress as a bill, or is the regulatory method of submitting it into law sufficient?

EXCERPT:

Workers' Religious Freedom vs. Patients' Rights
Proposal Would Deny Federal Money if Employees Must Provide Care to Which They Object
By Rob Stein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, July 31, 2008; A01

EXCERPT:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/30/AR2008073003238_pf.html

A Bush administration proposal aimed at protecting health-care workers who object to abortion, and to birth-control methods they consider tantamount to abortion, has escalated a bitter debate over the balance between religious freedom and patients' rights.

The Department of Health and Human Services is reviewing a draft regulation that would deny federal funding to any hospital, clinic, health plan or other entity that does not accommodate employees who want to opt out of participating in care that runs counter to their personal convictions, including providing birth-control pills, IUDs and the Plan B emergency contraceptive.

Conservative groups, abortion opponents and some members of Congress are welcoming the initiative as necessary to safeguard doctors, nurses and other health workers who, they say, are increasingly facing discrimination because of their beliefs or are being coerced into delivering services they find repugnant.

But the draft proposal has sparked intense criticism by family planning advocates, women's health activists, and members of Congress who say the regulation would create overwhelming obstacles for women seeking abortions and birth control.

There is also deep concern that the rule could have far-reaching, but less obvious, implications. Because of its wide scope and because it would — apparently for the first time — define abortion in a federal regulation as anything that affects a fertilized egg, the regulation could raise questions about a broad spectrum of scientific research and care, critics say.

Read the full article at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/30/AR2008073003238_pf.html

 
 

14 Comments

  1. daryl says:

    I agree to what the Bush administration have done with regards to having a proposal to protect the health care workers that helps in promoting the use of birth control pills. This step of the administration is one effective way of solving the problems of the economy especially on population control. With regards to the part of the church, no one can blame for how they reacted with what the Bush administration did. they are also promoting the dignity of the people. They are just following the law of God. This step of the administration not only bring chaos between the state and the church. It also have benefits for the people of the state and to the economy of the state. I assumed that before the administration did this step, they already think of the results and the possible reactions of the people. In my own opinion, there is nothing wrong with what the administration did. there are just doing their job in promoting and safeguarding the people of the state.

  2. daryl says:

    I agree to what the Bush administration have done with regards to having a proposal to protect the health care workers that helps in promoting the use of birth control pills. This step of the administration is one effective way of solving the problems of the economy especially on population control. With regards to the part of the church, no one can blame for how they reacted with what the Bush administration did. they are also promoting the dignity of the people. They are just following the law of God. This step of the administration not only bring chaos between the state and the church. It also have benefits for the people of the state and to the economy of the state. I assumed that before the administration did this step, they already think of the results and the possible reactions of the people. In my own opinion, there is nothing wrong with what the administration did. there are just doing their job in promoting and safeguarding the people of the state.

  3. Jay Wayne says:

    I believe in the separation of Church and State. Medical professionals have the right to select a field of work and/or refuse to perform certain duties. But, they should not be protected by the Government instead Hospital Management should make these judgements.

  4. Jay Wayne says:

    I believe in the separation of Church and State. Medical professionals have the right to select a field of work and/or refuse to perform certain duties. But, they should not be protected by the Government instead Hospital Management should make these judgements.

  5. Brandon says:

    What a complex issue! On the surface, this appears to be a great idea as medical workers should not be forced to perform procedures or provide services they object to morally. But, is it the governments role to provide these protections? The best case scenario would be for the employees to work things out with management- if they cant, they should find a new place to work. But we all know that this wont happen as the government continues to expand the nanny state.

  6. Brandon says:

    What a complex issue! On the surface, this appears to be a great idea as medical workers should not be forced to perform procedures or provide services they object to morally. But, is it the governments role to provide these protections? The best case scenario would be for the employees to work things out with management- if they cant, they should find a new place to work. But we all know that this wont happen as the government continues to expand the nanny state.

  7. trish says:

    I agree with what the government is trying to do. Medical workers should not have to perform procedures that they feel are morally wrong. I feel that the hospitals should protect it's workers, but if that is not happening, then the government must step in. The reason that we have all of the immoral things happening today is because of people taking God out of everything, there is no separation of church and state, or should not be. Everything belongs to God.

  8. trish says:

    I agree with what the government is trying to do. Medical workers should not have to perform procedures that they feel are morally wrong. I feel that the hospitals should protect it's workers, but if that is not happening, then the government must step in. The reason that we have all of the immoral things happening today is because of people taking God out of everything, there is no separation of church and state, or should not be. Everything belongs to God.

  9. Aaron says:

    This is a wonderful proposal. Employees should receive the same rights as those who go to school seeking religous/moral protection from saying the Pledge of Allegiance. Many youngsters (including college age) seek protection from reading certain books due to religious/moral differences. If we allow our kids the option to not participate in something, then shouldn't we as adults have the option to not participate in an abortion? Should doctors be forced to perform assisted suicide? Yes, the effects of this proposal could/will go much further than abortion and assisted suicide, but the choice to not perform such exam should be available. It is sad though, that we must seek government assistance to ensure our liberty to choose. Even sadder that if the medical facilities do not allow their employees to choose based on moral/religious objection that the government will strip them of the needed funds to provide necessary procedures (heart surgery, brain tumor removal surgery, etc.).

    All of us, regardless of profession, should have the liberty to choose what is right for our beliefs. I would like to see this carry through, maybe with some refinement.

  10. Aaron says:

    This is a wonderful proposal. Employees should receive the same rights as those who go to school seeking religous/moral protection from saying the Pledge of Allegiance. Many youngsters (including college age) seek protection from reading certain books due to religious/moral differences. If we allow our kids the option to not participate in something, then shouldn't we as adults have the option to not participate in an abortion? Should doctors be forced to perform assisted suicide? Yes, the effects of this proposal could/will go much further than abortion and assisted suicide, but the choice to not perform such exam should be available. It is sad though, that we must seek government assistance to ensure our liberty to choose. Even sadder that if the medical facilities do not allow their employees to choose based on moral/religious objection that the government will strip them of the needed funds to provide necessary procedures (heart surgery, brain tumor removal surgery, etc.).

    All of us, regardless of profession, should have the liberty to choose what is right for our beliefs. I would like to see this carry through, maybe with some refinement.

  11. Alison Agins says:

    "The reason that we have all of the immoral things happening today is because of people taking God out of everything, there is no separation of church and state, or should not be. Everything belongs to God."

    "today" does not have a claim to being more immoral than "yesterday". History shows us just how really bad things can become when the state is run by the church.
    Do a google search for Protestant Reformation or Inquisition.

    As the holder of "everything" God does not force anyone to obey or worship Him. Since God does not do this, then mankind should never place themselves above God and think to do the job better and more complete than God. That smacks of self righteousness and pride and above all hypocrisy. Which is something that God really does hate.

    There is a saying that Molly Ivans used a lot.

    "You dance with the one that brung you." Meaning that those institutions that accept government money which is in fact citizens money have to follow the rules of the one supplying the money.

    But there must be an answer to this. This is a clear sort of thing that the institutions should always try to accommodate and work out a solution.

    It would seem really stupid if someone went to a Catholic hospital and demanded an abortion. But if it is a state run hospital then that is a different story. For the person that is working there that could not perform an abortion because of religious or moral issues, then they should not be fired or punished. And the institution should make other arrangements with someone else.

    Personally, I would not want a health care worker doing any procedure on me that they thought was morally wrong to do. I don't think the level of care would be what I would want for myself or anyone else for that matter.

  12. David S says:

    Will this apply to all government funded activities. What about soldiers who refuse to serve in overseas wars because of moral or religous objections?

    The Administration is only happy to support the religous freedoms of those it agrees with.

    I believe no one should be forced by their work to perform actions they believe to be immoral. But sometimes a person will have to sacrifice their job in order to follow their beliefs. If you cannot agree with the moral position of the employer you should leave. Why should this particular belief (it's abortion again let's be clear) be privileged over others?

  13. David S says:

    Will this apply to all government funded activities. What about soldiers who refuse to serve in overseas wars because of moral or religous objections?

    The Administration is only happy to support the religous freedoms of those it agrees with.

    I believe no one should be forced by their work to perform actions they believe to be immoral. But sometimes a person will have to sacrifice their job in order to follow their beliefs. If you cannot agree with the moral position of the employer you should leave. Why should this particular belief (it's abortion again let's be clear) be privileged over others?

 
 
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