Wednesday, April 08, 2009

An important issue

Ok, so I am not trying to start an argument over politics, and really, I think this issue has less to do with politics and more about a physician's right to choose. Despite the fact that this will probably get a few people upset with me, I think it is the right thing to do. So, here's an email I sent out to my family, and I hope you do something with it too.

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I'm not a big mass emailer, but this is an issue near and dear to my heart. No matter what your political leaning, I hope you'll agree that this is something that is bad for everyone.

As recently discussed on CNN and other sources, Congress is currently planning to repeal the "conscience regulation" for healthcare providers. This provision has been in effect for nearly 30 years, and as stated on the HHS.gov website (http://www.hhs.gov/ophs/programs/policy/conscience.html) :
  • You cannot be required to perform or assist in the performance of any part of a health service program or research activity funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services if it would be contrary to your religious beliefs or moral convictions.
This will in effect mean that health practitioners will not be allowed to refuse procedures based on their own moral beliefs, and in effect can be fired or even prosecuted for refusing to perform procedures they do not believe in. In the same CNN.com article, it was predicted that "a large number of specialists in obstetrics and gynecology would leave the medical profession if the rule is repealed." (from http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/04/08/conscience.clause/index.html)

Let the government know that healthcare providers have the right to their own beliefs.

The HHS website has set up a unique email address specifically for this issue. It is consciencecomment@hhs.gov. Please send them a quick email and tell them not to rescind a healthcare provider's right to abstain due to conscience.

Thanks a lot. This really hits home for me as a medical student. I don't want to have to choose my specialty based on which area I think will challenge my morals the least instead of the one in which I think I can do the most good. I appreciate it.

Hope all else is well with you!
Love, Bridgette

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