Posts Tagged ‘treatment’

Religion and Government Meet at the Hospital

December 18, 2008

Today, President Bush passed the “Conscience Rule” which protects doctors and nurses from performing medical procedures that are against their religious beliefs.  The main procedure that is involved in this discussion is abortion.  The new rule enacted by Bush allows hospitals to still receive Federal funding if they choose to not perform procedures that conflict with their religious beliefs.

First and foremost, I do not believe that the Federal Government should be funding these hospitals at all.  Only hospitals that are run by the Federal Government, like the VA Hospitals, should get Washington money.  There is no point in my tax dollars going to support some private hospital in New York.  Local and regional hospitals should get their funding from local and state sources.  This will never happen though, until the Fed funds get cut off.

I also have no problem with doctors recommending or denying treatments based on their beliefs.  However, if it is in the emergency room or in a life or death situation, the doctor should put their beliefs aside and put saving the life first.

The decisions on treatments though, including abortions, life support or euthinasia, should be between the doctor and the patient and maybe the patient’s family.  If you have the same beliefs as your doctor, it should be an easy decision.  If you conflict with your doctor, you should find a new one.  The government should not get involved at all.  Why should politicians in Washington dictate the kind of care you get?

This can be hard though, because of our broken, HMO based healthcare system.  It is not easy to just find a new doctor.  Most of the time, you’re just assigned a name and number of a doctor’s office and off you go.  The doctor patient relationship is not about building a personal relationship anymore, instead it is a business partnership.

While treatment or denying treatment based on religious beliefs is a very touchy issue, we should realize that government has no say in the issue.  This is between the patient and doctor, not bureaucrats and politicians.  The sooner we get the Federal Government out of these decisions, the better for all involved.  Patients will get the treatments they want, and doctors can operate freely without the fear of government intervention.