Apr 2, 2005

Hippocrates and Hypocrites Are Not the Same

There is a worrisome trend (among others that threaten our civil liberties) in the healthcare system. It pits pharmacists' moral beliefs versus women's legal rights. The Michigan State House passed a law giving pharmacists immunity if they refuse to fill prescriptions based on moral grounds. This, in practical terms, means that these people, who object to a single woman's birth control right, are allowed to practice their religious moral beliefs instead of fulfilling their professional and explicit obligations!

Anyone can believe anything he wants, including that birth control is immoral, even a form of abortion! Now, if someone fails to meet the secular standards under which he's licensed to practice, and is allowed to discriminate based on religious grounds, then why stop there? How about refusing treatment & prescriptions to homosexuals? And, can the moral/sex police be far behind? I mean that's the case in many countries, ie. Saudi Arabia, our ally. Practicing medicine, working in the healthcare system under any capacity denotes certain inviolable obligations: to treat everyone and dispense care without discrimination. Otherwise, anyone who objects to this humanistic rule, should seek employment in other fields.

Why should I be subjected to religious discrimination? Why, say, their religious version is superior to your Hellenistic mythology (which gave us the Hippocratic Oath, still taken) or to your girlfriend's wiccan? This is obviously absurd!

That's why every time a bigoted numbskull is elected to public office, it's a blow to reason, modernity and science. The president, for example, holds the biggest, loudest magaphone, and, thus, can shape public opinion and move the country in a certain direction--in Dubya's case, backwards to the Middle Ages.
The Michigan law has provisions to bar discrimination on racial grounds. That's hypocritical. I don't think it is OK to give me my prescription because I'm white, but then, I suppose, I have to show some ..marriage certificate before I get birth control items.

As a liberal, I believe in choice and responsibility. I'm the guardian of my body. Any medical treatment, even life-style choices, should be a matter of privacy, between my physician and myself. Any woman who doesn't want to, or it's dangerous for her to get pregnant, should not only have the legal right to her choice, but she should also have unfettered access to all legal drugs and treatments! Having a right without being able to exercise is utterly pointless.

Moral choices give us imperatives on how to live our lives. It is my belief that not all arguably moral values are equal, so it would be best if they were kept as a private guide and not as an excuse to be forced upon others. It seems to me as a moral obligation for those who object to birth control not to become practitioners in healthcare, especially in places were such an objector is the only pharmacist available.
I can't resist but offer the following point as food for thought: Can Rastafarians, who smoke pot as part of their religious rituals and beliefs, act with immunity like the Christian pharmacists who think birth control is a sin? Shouldn't we legalize pot on religious grounds?

Unless, you're of the Pat Robertson frame of mind(less)... that thinks all other religions and even Christian (ie. Protestants!) denominations are servants of Satan!
Did I mention that God told Rev. Falwell that we--the ACLU, the feminists, the lesbians/gays, the secular humanists & atheists--brought the wrath of his god to us on September 11, 2001? I wonder how his people would react to Falwell's last visit to the ER--funny, they all seek science to save themselves from death-- if he were met by a doctor who thought Falwell was a sinner and refused to treat him....

Two states - South Dakota and Arkansas - already have laws protecting pharmacists who refuse to fill birth-control prescriptions on moral or religious grounds. Ten other states, including Wisconsin, are considering such legislation - Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. For Information, visit Planned Parenthood and NARAL.
Want to compare statements by Falwell, Robertson, and ..Osama bin Laden? Click here.


Anonymous said...

If I had to choose a religion, I'd choose the Hellenistic mythology...much more humanistic!
Have you realized that our attitudes about sex have been distorted, totally screwed up, by the church!
It's no wonder why so many priests are child molestors....

JK, Sinner in the City (NY) that Falwell's god decided to punish on 911.

Andros said...

Yeah, so would I....
Look what the Greeks did with their gods:
they brought them down to earth to intermingle with common folk, they built them rather small, down-to-earth temples, and...stripped them of their clothes!

Oh, and when the Greeks offered an animal for sacrifice to the gods... they kept the best meat and burned the entrails for the gods!

I mean, how can you not like a religion that has a ..wine god!!!! (Dionysus)

By Zeus, I should have some libations tonight..

Anonymous said...

Seriously, having legal rights but no way to exercise them, it's a moot point. Not only in many places (usually in "certain" states) there is no easy access (or any at all) to birth control and/or abortion.
Walmart, for example, won't stock the "morning after" pill.


Anonymous said...

Not all religions are of equal value.... In this Christian country, we give preference to the ..christian god.
The absurdity of this is that we pick a myth and we act according to its dogmas...
But, until the majority of the people acquire the reasoning/inquiring skills and become emotionally strong enough to accept reality, things won't change...

I respect someone who acts on her moral convictions, but it's hard to accept that a pharmacist can refuse to fill a prescription for birth control due to his religious views.... He should do another job instead and leave this to others who can respect our legal rights!


Anonymous said...

Teenage pregnacy and abortions have been climbing steadily while GW Bush is in office. The worst numbers are in the called red states!

The Republicans preach to the ignorant and want to keep most people ignorant!

Take for example the "abstinence oath"... vigorously promoted by the conservatives and the rapture right, and many "moral values" organizations.
Guess what? It doesn't work! As a matter of fact, it exposes those teenage pledgers to higher risks.... more pregrancies and stds, because these young people are not properly educated regarding their own sexuality.

Condom users (same age group) have lower rates of abortion, stds.

What's up with this obsene, perverse and superstitious attitude towards human sexuality?

But, what to you expect from people who are anti-education and anti-science?!!...

Kris, MA

PS>My blue, liberal state has the lowest divorse rate in the country... the highest? those red states, in the biblically-drenched south!

Tuli said...

Ah, yes, religion, the "opiate of the masses!"

When those very same “moral pharmacists,” and guardians of God’s intention, stop filling prescriptions for Viagra, I will take them seriously.

If God wanted you to be able to have an erection, you would be able to have an erection!


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