Friday, February 27, 2009

Overturning the Conscience Rule

The LA Times reports today on the Obama Administration's "clarification" of a policy put into place by President Bush that allows healthcare workers the right to deny services because of their own personal moral beliefs.

I will admit my own ignorance of the law as it pertains to healthcare in some respects, but I think the big question on my mind is to wonder why in the hell Bush ever even had to put forth any kind of policy regarding this in the first place.

Without getting into the morality of abortion, because it is truly a black-or-white issue in that you will either believe it to be morally reprehensible or morally justifiable depending on who you are, I really don't understand what it is Obama thinks he's trying to accomplish by proceeding down this path. He's not going to do anything but completely enrage the majority of people in this country. Even if you are pro-choice, you absolutely have to recognize that this action cripples the freedom of people to choose with whom they do business.

I work in construction and I deal every day with a multitude of different companies. I like to think that I make good choices in the companies with which I do business, choosing them not only based on price and performance, but based on whether or not they are honest, upstanding people. I cannot make a decision to give a plumber a subcontract without my own morality coming into the decision-making process.

A doctor receives payment for treating a patient. It is a business relationship. A pharmacist receives payment for the medicine he or she provides to a customer. It is a business relationship. Either of them, while ethically motivated to treat their patients and customers with the utmost care and respect, must be allowed to define their ethical decisions based on their own moral values.

A doctor who believes abortion to be murder should never, under any circumstance, be compelled to perform or aid in performing an abortion. Likewise a pharmacist who believes that life begins at conception should not be compelled to provide any customer at all, or even carry, the "morning-after" pill.

Similarly, patients and customers seeking these purely elective procedures or drugs should not ever expect that a business that does not wish to serve them, should be forced to serve them anyway. This is not a "hate crime." This is not "discrimination." You wouldn't go to Congress demanding that every Starbucks should serve Whoppers. You would just go to Burger King.

This is simple Capitalism, and it is the only remedy necessary for anyone who is denied an abortion or any related services by people who do not wish to be paid to provide them.

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