Imagine being a post-secondary student for 10 years and accruing a debt of $200,000. Then imagine having to decide whether to continue in the profession you’ve dedicated your life to or leaving it behind to save your conscience.
That is the dilemma many face who are part of the medical profession today.
It’s been ongoing since Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton legalized abortion from conception until birth in 1973.
Let’s remember: there’s a shortage of physicians in the US. And that situation is getting worse. America will need to train more physicians. So far, most states protect the rights of medical personnel to not participate in objectionable procedures such as abortion. But in some cases, that is already changing.
The issues are what you might expect: abortion, euthanasia, and transgender drug treatments and surgery.
Some history: In May of 2019, the US Department of Health and Human Services issued a rule stating that health care workers could not be “compelled to participate in abortion, sterilization, or assisted suicide procedures.” But the rule was “vague about other services — such as hormonal and surgical treatments for transgender individuals — that some health professionals may also find objectionable on moral grounds.”
Peter Sullivan quotes Roger Severino, senior fellow and director of HHS Accountability Project at the Ethics & Public Policy Center at the time: “This rule ensures that healthcare entities and professionals won’t be bullied out of the health care field because they decline to participate in actions that violate their conscience, including the taking of human life.”
The rule affected not only doctors, nurses, and other medical staff, but also pharmacists who didn’t want to dispense contraceptives (many of which are abortifacients) and morning-after pills (also abortifacients).
Now the conflict has expanded from abortion and euthanasia (in the states where it’s legal) to transgender treatments and surgeries.
Severino again, “[HHS Secretary Xavier] Becerra is threatening to put doctors and hospitals that disagree with current transgender ideology out of business, including those with medical, religious, or moral objections to conducting sex-reassignment surgeries on minors.”
So if you believe that it’s wrong to surgically alter someone, a child in this discussion, with an operation from which there is no return, the government wants to put you “out of business.”
As things stand today, many medical professionals of faith, including those we’ve praised and lauded during the COVID pandemic, are employed in a hostile workplace.
When Adam and Eve ate the forbidden apple, they had no idea how bad their fall would turn out.
Our government has bitten a poison apple, rejecting Hippocrates’ admonition that medical professionals “first, do no harm,” and placing people of conscience between two bad options.
Damaged career or damaged patients? That’s their choice.