The Medical Conscience Clause: Guard it with your life.

I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy. In purity and holiness I will guard my life and my art.
 - From the
original Hippocratic Oath used in America until the late 20th Century

Is there anything more fundamental than the right to refuse to kill for the state?  As Americans, we have given steadfast honor to this bedrock individual liberty throughout our history. 

Even in times of all-out war, when millions and millions of American citizens have been conscripted into military service, there was always respect for an individual's religious/moral beliefs in the realm of killing other human beings.  Conscientious objection has been the law of the Land.  Men could be drafted into the military, but we did not force them to fight or kill if this would violate their individually held beliefs.

Yet, President Obama has stated his intention to revoke the special conscience clause for medical personnel, which President Bush enacted in December 2008.  The clause was necessary to further codify conscience objections to abortion, due to mounting discrimination against pro-life medical personnel.  It was immediately challenged by many groups lobbying for even more strident intolerance of pro-life beliefs within the medical professions.

But who, readers may wonder, would actively discriminate against someone who refuses to kill a baby in the womb because of moral and/or religious objections?

According to this paper from the Christian Medical Association, there are quite a large number who would so discriminate (Some would say "persecute.").  A survey by the Christian Medical Association found that a full 41% of respondents said they had been "pressured to compromise Biblical or ethical convictions."  Many of those surveyed, unaware of conscience clause rights, simply resigned.  Many medical students decided to try and find a less controversial field, to leave the study of gynecology and obstetrics altogether. 

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has issued the following guideline, which puts the onus of responsibility for abortion services on the doctor whose conscience prevents personal involvement: 

"Physicians and other health care providers have the duty to refer patients in a timely manner to other providers if they do not feel that they can in conscience provide the standard reproductive services that patients request. Providers with moral or religious objections should either practice in proximity to individuals who do not share their views or ensure that referral processes are in place."

The vast majority of patients never know of the discrimination and compliance pressure that our own doctors may be consistently incurring because of their beliefs.  Most of this is hidden from public view.  It is a thing that occurs most often between doctors and licensing boards or within the private domains of hospitals and medical meetings.  But whether the discrimination is public or private makes it no less reprehensible in a Nation that promises its citizens the right to religious liberty, whether in private or professional life.

And no other area of justice ought to concern Americans more than the assault on the medical conscience clause being conducted by the Obama Administration.  We know full-well that President Obama is the most ardent proponent of abortion ever elected to our highest office.  But to strike down a regulation that acts as guardian of this most sacred right to refuse to kill may be without precedent.

And all Americans would do well to remember the tragic lessons of history in regard to regimes that force their medical doctors to kill in the name of the "common good," as defined by the state.  Nazi Germany did not commit the first state-sanctioned genocide, but it was the first nation to medicalize the process.  Social Darwinists and eugenics scientists made the decisions on who would live and who would die, according to their ideas about the utilitarian purpose of human life. 

First, Nazi doctors killed the handicapped.  Then, they killed those with mental disorders.  Then, they killed those with any incurable disease.  Afterwards, they killed 6 million Jews and thousands of citizens who refused to participate in the Nazi killing machine, mostly Christian religious objectors. 

But the very first step on this tragic, totalitarian road was to dismantle all protections for those scientists and doctors who objected to killing their patients. 

Every obstetrician is taught that he/she has two patients:  the mother and the child she carries in her womb.  Remarkable medical advancements have even been designed to carry out pre-natal cures within the womb.  Medical progress makes it increasingly possible for babies not carried to full-term to not only survive, but to thrive in the loving care of grateful parents.

This is the loving family model that any state interested in its own future ought to preserve at all costs.  To actively enable its destruction due to politically driven persecution of these valiant pro-life physicians is not only self-destructive to human society, but positively heinous.  As Germans learned the hard way, this is surely the road to ruin and perdition. 

Only 2 days remain for the public to make our voices heard on this issue.  We ought to, in my opinion, bombard this website with our objections to revoking the conscience clause.

As demands for euthanasia knock at the other end of the life spectrum, and as doctors will be increasingly asked to sacrifice their religious objections on the altar of the "common good" in a utilitarian society, every one of us has a personal stake in preserving the conscience clause.  In fact, my life - and yours - may very well depend upon it.

Kyle-Anne Shiver is an independent journalist and a frequent contributor to American Thinker.  She welcomes your comments at kyleanneshiver@gmail.com.
I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy. In purity and holiness I will guard my life and my art.
 - From the
original Hippocratic Oath used in America until the late 20th Century

Is there anything more fundamental than the right to refuse to kill for the state?  As Americans, we have given steadfast honor to this bedrock individual liberty throughout our history. 

Even in times of all-out war, when millions and millions of American citizens have been conscripted into military service, there was always respect for an individual's religious/moral beliefs in the realm of killing other human beings.  Conscientious objection has been the law of the Land.  Men could be drafted into the military, but we did not force them to fight or kill if this would violate their individually held beliefs.

Yet, President Obama has stated his intention to revoke the special conscience clause for medical personnel, which President Bush enacted in December 2008.  The clause was necessary to further codify conscience objections to abortion, due to mounting discrimination against pro-life medical personnel.  It was immediately challenged by many groups lobbying for even more strident intolerance of pro-life beliefs within the medical professions.

But who, readers may wonder, would actively discriminate against someone who refuses to kill a baby in the womb because of moral and/or religious objections?

According to this paper from the Christian Medical Association, there are quite a large number who would so discriminate (Some would say "persecute.").  A survey by the Christian Medical Association found that a full 41% of respondents said they had been "pressured to compromise Biblical or ethical convictions."  Many of those surveyed, unaware of conscience clause rights, simply resigned.  Many medical students decided to try and find a less controversial field, to leave the study of gynecology and obstetrics altogether. 

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has issued the following guideline, which puts the onus of responsibility for abortion services on the doctor whose conscience prevents personal involvement: 

"Physicians and other health care providers have the duty to refer patients in a timely manner to other providers if they do not feel that they can in conscience provide the standard reproductive services that patients request. Providers with moral or religious objections should either practice in proximity to individuals who do not share their views or ensure that referral processes are in place."

The vast majority of patients never know of the discrimination and compliance pressure that our own doctors may be consistently incurring because of their beliefs.  Most of this is hidden from public view.  It is a thing that occurs most often between doctors and licensing boards or within the private domains of hospitals and medical meetings.  But whether the discrimination is public or private makes it no less reprehensible in a Nation that promises its citizens the right to religious liberty, whether in private or professional life.

And no other area of justice ought to concern Americans more than the assault on the medical conscience clause being conducted by the Obama Administration.  We know full-well that President Obama is the most ardent proponent of abortion ever elected to our highest office.  But to strike down a regulation that acts as guardian of this most sacred right to refuse to kill may be without precedent.

And all Americans would do well to remember the tragic lessons of history in regard to regimes that force their medical doctors to kill in the name of the "common good," as defined by the state.  Nazi Germany did not commit the first state-sanctioned genocide, but it was the first nation to medicalize the process.  Social Darwinists and eugenics scientists made the decisions on who would live and who would die, according to their ideas about the utilitarian purpose of human life. 

First, Nazi doctors killed the handicapped.  Then, they killed those with mental disorders.  Then, they killed those with any incurable disease.  Afterwards, they killed 6 million Jews and thousands of citizens who refused to participate in the Nazi killing machine, mostly Christian religious objectors. 

But the very first step on this tragic, totalitarian road was to dismantle all protections for those scientists and doctors who objected to killing their patients. 

Every obstetrician is taught that he/she has two patients:  the mother and the child she carries in her womb.  Remarkable medical advancements have even been designed to carry out pre-natal cures within the womb.  Medical progress makes it increasingly possible for babies not carried to full-term to not only survive, but to thrive in the loving care of grateful parents.

This is the loving family model that any state interested in its own future ought to preserve at all costs.  To actively enable its destruction due to politically driven persecution of these valiant pro-life physicians is not only self-destructive to human society, but positively heinous.  As Germans learned the hard way, this is surely the road to ruin and perdition. 

Only 2 days remain for the public to make our voices heard on this issue.  We ought to, in my opinion, bombard this website with our objections to revoking the conscience clause.

As demands for euthanasia knock at the other end of the life spectrum, and as doctors will be increasingly asked to sacrifice their religious objections on the altar of the "common good" in a utilitarian society, every one of us has a personal stake in preserving the conscience clause.  In fact, my life - and yours - may very well depend upon it.

Kyle-Anne Shiver is an independent journalist and a frequent contributor to American Thinker.  She welcomes your comments at kyleanneshiver@gmail.com.