Whose morality comes first; the doctor’s or the patient’s?

From a press release by The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice:

“In Good Conscience -Guidelines for the Ethical Provision of Health Care in a Pluralistic Society,” which was released in 2007, was conducted with Protestant, Roman Catholic, Jewish, and Muslim clergy, ethicists, theologians, healthcare providers, and healthcare advocates. A major finding was that American religious and secular values hold that medical professionals have a responsibility to provide timely and adequate medical care and that, while an individual’s conscientious objection must be protected, it cannot be at the cost of good patient care and it cannot control or restrict the legal and moral decisions of the patient.

ACOG’s [American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’] principled and sensible policy would leave untouched a physician’s right to refuse to provide abortions–a right that has been spelled out in law since 1973–but would ensure that the patient received the services she needed and wanted. [HHS] Secretary Leavitt’s dogmatic indifference to the patient is bad medicine, misguided ethics, and political pandering. A great nation must make room for diverse beliefs–especially a nation founded on the principle of religious freedom.

The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice includes the Episcopal Church, United Church of Christ, three bodies of the Presbyterian Church (USA), two agencies of the United Methodist Church, Reform, Conservative, and Reconstructionist Judaism, Unitarian Universalism, Catholics for Choice, and other groups.

Read it all here.

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