madshutterbug (madshutterbug) wrote,

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Personal, and Professional, Rights

I tend to surf through the friends of friends' journal entries; it's related to that bit about having a monkey on my back (see the entry immediately preceeding this one in my LJ). I run across all kinds of interesting things this way, and I've also made new acquaintences and refreshed old ones. I should also state that while I'm not apolitical (politics is nothing more, nor less, than people interacting on a large scale), I eschew political naming, whether it be via a party name, or a position. I flex; my positions may change, though know there's a strong foundation upon which they are built. Bamboo flexes before the wind, ans so survives the storm. So there's not been much written in my little corner of the world of a political nature.

I do partake in the process. Along with the right of casting my ballot in an election, I've been priviledged to travel to my nation's capitol and meet, in company with many of my professional nursing colleagues, with my specific legislators and with the legislators from other states. Even there, I am well aware that greasing those wheels requires getting along. Getting along means you find those places, those topics, upon which you may flex, and the ones near and dear to your soul which embody that foundation. Like, individual rights. Call them moral rights, if you will. And so this comes along un response to a couple of postings I've encountered recently in Betnoir's LJ, as well as a thread on Community Zoe, and another posting more recently in fgwriter's LJ :

OK, I hear a trend here which greatly disturbs me: that health care professionals are not allowed to act on their own moral beliefs. All health care professionals, because restricting members of a single profession from being able to act on their moral beliefs carries across the continuum.
Deny any health care professional the right to refuse delivery of care, then you deny the rights of all health care professionals to do so. This denies them their humanity.

The error committed in the first instance is the refusal to immediately defer the specific care request to another health care practitioner. The error is not the exercise of their moral choices. Deny them that, and you become no better than those who you see as denying you your moral choices. The problem cited in the second instance is, again, not the exercise of moral choices, but the provision of a legal means to avoid a professional responsibility, to whit that if the professional is morally prohibited from providing that care then they should refer to a practitioner who is capable of provideing that care.

Rhetorical Example: As a Registered Nurse, I have the moral right to say, "I will not care for substance abuse patients because I believe their addiction is due to their lack of faith and moral strength." I do not have the right to say, "This individual does not deserve substance abuse treatment. It will be with-held."

You are entitled to your position. I'm entitled to mine, and since I'm a practicing health care provider, I feel pretty strongly about this. Since I'm a Registered Nurse, I also hold the position that I'm a patient advocate. So while I do support my right to refuse treatment, I also hold my professional colleagues to the second aspect of my rant; you can refuse to do it, but you can't refuse them getting it.

So: Don't tell me that a pharmacist can't refuse to dispense medication to you. Don't tell me that a physician can't refuse to prescribe contraception to you. So alright, get out your sticks and get ready to beat me: Because They Can.

And when you're done beating me, remember, I believe you've got a right to those medications, to contraception, to abortion whether or not I am willing and able to deliver it, and because I'm a patient advocate, this went along to my Representative and Senators:

I am writing to express some concerns regarding H.R.5006, the House version of the Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations Bill. (NOTE: and to the senators, this sentence included "which is coming before the Senate for consideration."

While I strongly support the right of health care practitioners in any field to exercise their moral standards in decisions about their provision of care, I can not say the same in terms of supporting a legal right for any health care practitioner to refuse to refer a recipient of health care to another practitioner who may not hold the same moral standards. This is to me a violation of a basic tenet of a professional code, that all people are entitled to receive the health care they believe they need.

I am speaking to the Federal Refusal Clause ammendment to H.R.5006. I myself, as a Registered Nurse, have exercised my moral right to refuse care to a woman who elected an abortion; I can not support a position which would allow me to interfere in any way with that same person finding a practitioner to meet the needs she felt she required.

Consequently I can not support legislation which would provide a legal means for any practitioner to so refuse to provide the information as to where such care could be legally obtained. While the appropriations addressed in this legislation are vital, I believe this particular ammendment needs to be addressed and removed from this appropriations bill.

Thank you for your consideration in this matter

Rant Mode OFF. YMMV


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