Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Total Collapse of the an Already Disastrous Health Care System

For years the states have been fighting off many of the right wing fringe groups who were attempting to deny health services for “moral, ethical and religious” reasons.

The fight is over.

After destroying the U.S.’s credibility world wide and tanking the economies at home and abroad, President George W. Bush took aim at the nation’s health care system and made it voluntary for providers, allowing them any excuse they can find to turn down treatment.

The increased anxiety, on top of getting help at a time when we're most vulnerable, is inhumane. These people are sick sons of bitches. The graph above reflects public opinion in January 2000. The Washington Post lays it out perfectly:

The Bush administration yesterday granted sweeping new protections to health workers who refuse to provide care that violates their personal beliefs. The far-reaching regulation cuts off federal funding for any state or local government, hospital, health plan, clinic or other entity that does not accommodate doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other employees who refuse to participate in care they find ethically, morally or religiously objectionable. It was sought by conservative groups, abortion opponents and others to safeguard workers from being fired, disciplined or penalized in other ways.

It will be a major obstacle to providing many health services, including abortion, family planning, infertility treatment, and end-of-life care, as well as possibly a wide range of scientific research. Pharmacists have turned away women seeking birth control and morning-after emergency contraception pills. Fertility doctors have refused to help unmarried women and lesbians conceive by artificial insemination. Catholic hospitals refuse to provide the morning-after pill and to perform abortions and sterilizations. Experts predict the issue could escalate sharply if a broad array of therapies becomes available using embryonic stem cells, which are controversial because they are obtained by destroying very early embryos. Officials at hospitals and clinics predicted the regulation will cause widespread disruptions, forcing family planning centers and fertility clinics, for example, to hire employees even if they oppose abortions or in vitro fertilization procedures that can destroy embryos.

The final rule … affects a far broader array of services, protecting workers who do not wish to dispense birth control pills, Plan B emergency contraceptives and other forms of contraception they consider equivalent to abortion, or to inform patients where they might obtain such care. The rule could also protect workers who object to certain types of end-of-life care or to withdrawing care, or even perhaps providing care to unmarried people or gay men and lesbians. While primarily aimed at doctors and nurses, it offers protection to anyone with a "reasonable" connection to objectionable care -- including ultrasound technicians, nurses aides, secretaries and even janitors who might have to clean equipment used in procedures they deem objectionable.

"Doctors and other health-care providers should not be forced to choose between good professional standing and violating their conscience," said Mike Leavitt, secretary of the Department Health and Human Services, which issued the regulation.

I am reminded of the Republican comeback about people who don’t like what they do at work: Find another job. So what if it takes 10 years of training, you should have known going in what your job duties would have required of you.

No comments:

Post a Comment