Wednesday, April 1, 2009

If Conscience Protection Goes, What's Next?

Lots of nervousness around with the Obama Administration’s wish to rescind Health and Human Services regulations that guarantee conscience protection for health care workers. It certainly ought to make historians antsy. Our nation was founded for religious liberty, sought by both Protestants and Catholics centuries ago.

The regs the Administration seeks to abolish merely support freedom of conscience, so why rescind them? Does rescinding these regs suggest other rights will be eroded soon afterwards?
Conscience matters, and, personally, I’d rather have someone with a sensitive conscience providing my medical care than someone who goes mindlessly on his/her way ignoring the effects of his/her work.

Conscientious objectors to killing in wartime always have been protected and defended by the U.S. government. In recent times, medical personnel rightly object to giving lethal injections in prison. That’s within their rights. It’s easy to see that were someone to provide prisoners medical care with one needle, he/she would feel squeamish about taking a prisoner’s life with another (let alone what the prisoners might think).

Clearly the rights of medical personnel and institutions who cannot participate in ending a life as part of their calling to serve and do no harm ought to be protected. More info can be found on the conscience protection page of the USCCB Web site.

Citizens have until April 9 to voice their concern about rescinding the conscience protection regulations. Info on how to do so can be found at the Web address above.

No comments: