Have you heard the latest rule from Shoe-Ducking President Dubya that permits the entire healthcare industry to turn their back on you? Yes they can.
From The LA Times:
The Bush administration announced its "conscience protection" rule for the healthcare industry Thursday, giving doctors, hospitals, and even receptionists and volunteers in medical experiments the right to refuse to participate in medical care they find morally objectionable…
The rule says providers -- including hospitals, clinics, universities, pharmacies and doctor's offices -- can be charged with discrimination if an employee is pressured to participate in care that is "contrary to their religious beliefs or moral convictions." Violators would lose their federal funds.
Did you catch that? This “conscience protection” rule is extended to the entire healthcare industry. Yes, it started out as a plan to block abortions and birth control. And the new rule also gives healthcare employees, from the ground up, the right to prevent patients from having antibiotics and blood transfusions.
Patients who live in under-served areas (impoverished inner cities, the rural south) and do not have a wide assortment of medical options could be denied treatment because of any number of “conscience protection” factors.
People, this new law isn’t just a magic bullet aimed at the proverbial Godless whores. It’s a nuclear device aimed at women first and the rest of humanity next. Here’s a short list of plausible scenarios to disturb your sleep:
* A pregnant woman needs an abortion in order to save her life. Halfway through the procedure, an anesthesiologist has fit of conscience and suddenly leaves the room. According to the new rule, the hospital does not even have to reassign the anesthesiologist to another department. Basically, the surgeon will have to scramble for a new anesthesiologist and cross his fingers.
* An elderly man is prescribed antibiotics for pneumonia. A pharmacy technician refuses to call the insurance company for authorization because her religion opposes this medication. No, she can’t get in trouble.
* While your infant son is having a circumcision before he comes home from the hospital, a nurse can refuse to staunch the bleeding at the very last minute if said nurse has any sort of moral objections to this procedure.
Anyone working in healthcare has the right to refuse to make your appointments, stop mopping your bloody floor and object to selling you that pretty box of ribbed condoms. “I will not give you RU-486, teenage incest rape victim. My pastor told me I’ll go to hell for that.” Or maybe a doc might refuse to treat your mother because he is not permitted to speak directly to women. The list is endless. Hippocratic Oath be damned.
Arguments against this rule should be vigorous and constant. Everyone is encouraged to call The White House and complain. Rachel Maddow has generously provided their telephone number, below.
Please call Dubya at (202) 456-1414.