Deep within the massive health-care overhaul legislation, a few little-noticed provisions have quietly reignited one of the bitterest debates in medicine: how to balance the right of doctors, nurses and other workers to refuse to provide services on moral or religious grounds with the right of patients to get care.
[…]The debate has focused attention on President Obama’s plan to rescind a federal regulation put into effect by the previous administration to protect workers who refuse to provide care they find objectionable. Soon after taking office, Obama announced he would lift the rule, arguing it could create obstacles to abortion and other reproductive health services. But a final decision about whether to kill, keep or replace the rule with a compromise has been pending as the debate over the health law raged. The outcome is being closely watched as a bellwether of how the administration will handle a possible thicket of conflicts under the health legislation.
“The act is thousands of pages of new government power, decision-making and funding,” said Matthew S. Bowman of the Alliance Defense Fund, which represents workers who object on religious grounds to being required to provide some forms of health care. “Any government power over health care can be exercised in a way that discriminates against pro-life health providers, especially when officials already support abortion and oppose enforcement of conscience laws.”
Bowman and others point to Catherina Cenzon-DeCarlo as an example of what they fear could become increasingly common as the government becomes much more deeply entwined with health care. Cenzon-DeCarlo was working at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York last year when the nurse was stunned to learn that she had been assigned to help abort a 22-week-old fetus. A devout Catholic, Cenzon-DeCarlo thought she had a long-standing agreement with the hospital that let her avoid abortions. But this time, despite her pleas, Cenzon-DeCarlo’s bosses insisted.
“It felt like a horror film unfolding,” Cenzon-DeCarlo said. “It was devastating. I have suffered intense emotional pain. I’ve had nightmares. . . . I felt violated and betrayed.”
Cenzon-DeCarlo, who filed state and federal lawsuits against Mount Sinai, is the only health-care worker who has filed a complaint under the previous administration’s rule, which remains in effect. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is investigating, but officials would not comment on the case. The hospital also declined to comment.
Government is necessarily secular, and it is typically run by people who are born rich and educated at expensive schools. It causes them to think they are better than other people. They become extremely disdainful of the moral law, and the Judeo-Christian worldview that supports it – because they view the moral law (and the Constitution, etc.) as a antiquated brake on their pursuit of happiness in this life. The desire for happiness now causes them to believe in anything that will push the demands of the moral law off.
And their personal views inform their political views. Those on the left favor policies that push moral rules aside, and sometimes even the people who believe moral rules – like pro-life doctors. The problem is that dismissing the moral law only works when you have a rich grandmother to bail you out. That’s why we need to elect more people like Michele Bachmann, who are self-made and had to work for a living, and who have raised their own children. People who don’t have contempt for the beliefs and values of ordinary people.