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Doctors with religious objections- what care should they HAVE to provide?


If you have a religious objection to performing the duties of a job, then religious freedom means you don’t have to take that job. It doesn’t mean that you have the right to take that job, refuse to perform your duties, and then demand to be exempt from the consequences. If we allow people to refuse to do their jobs on religious grounds, where will it end? ~Adam Lee


Asked by IhartU at 9:26 AM on Mar. 14, 2013 in Religious Debate

Level 27 (31,412 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (25)
  • In terms of jobs that provide service to the general public, whether it be doctors, police, firefighters. I think if you have a religious objection to performing your DUTIES than you should be relieved of your position. In these fields you cannot discriminate against treating or "serving" someone based on their religious, political, sexual, etc orientation. You cannot refuse service based on discrimination. Thus you should not be able to impose your own religious/political/etc orientation or refuse treatment based on it either.

    Answer by KristiS11384 at 11:18 AM on Mar. 14, 2013

  • I think that doctors who refuse to perform any particular duties for whatever reason they may have should make it very clear to potential patients before they become patients. Patients need to know that their care will be refused before they pay for the consultation so they can go elsewhere. A lot of embarrassment and resentment could be avoided that way.

    Answer by winterglow at 11:28 AM on Mar. 14, 2013

  • I went to a doctor once who was from the Middle East. I didn't have a problem with that. But he refused to see me unless my husband went into the room with me, and then he didn't want to touch me. I was there for a sore throat and swollen lymph nodes, so I really needed the physical examination. He finally performed one reluctantly after both my husband andI said it was okay, but I didn't return to his practice after that because I felt that his views about how women should to be handled were interfering with my medical care. Actually, I felt that his views would be too limiting to make him an effective doctor, at least in modern America. But I figured the free market would decide his fate. If enough women didn't return to see him, then eventually his practice would be limited to the men he felt comfortable treating. Why he didn't just advertise to see only men, I never could figure out.

    Answer by Ballad at 1:06 PM on Mar. 14, 2013

  • I'm pro-choice, and I have no issues with doctors objecting to abortions or tubal ligations (as examples) based on religious beliefs. The best hospital in town is Catholic, and I'll continue to go there, including my children, because it means the best treatment for my needs. If a doctor somehow fails to meet those needs, we can always go somewhere else.

    I don't agree with taking away someone's beliefs just based on their job description. I wouldn't go to a diesel mechanic to fix my car, even knowing that he probably could - I'd find someone better suited to the job.

    Answer by Ginger0104 at 11:12 AM on Mar. 14, 2013

  • A doctor takes an oath to do no harm.


    They also take an oath to do what is in the best interest of the patient and not to discriminate. However refusal of treatment based on their own "religious" objections IS discrimination. Now they get away with it in many cases due to a conscience clause, however they must inform the patient of the moral objection AND refer them to another doctor. Many do NOT do this, leaving the patient to seek out the proper treatment on their own.


    Answer by KristiS11384 at 11:26 AM on Mar. 14, 2013

  • I find doctors/nurses who allow their religion to interfere with administering medical care disgusting and highly unprofessional. If you are not going to stand by the oath you took, then don't take the f*cking oath and find another profession.

    Answer by SpiritedWitch at 1:11 PM on Mar. 14, 2013

  • It's easy to say someone can go to another doctor or hospital if they live in an urban area. It's not quite the same when the nearest only doctor is 10 miles away and the nearest only hospital is 30.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 2:21 PM on Mar. 14, 2013

  • Personally, I wouldn't go to a hospital for medical care if I didn't believe in the same values. I'm not a Catholic, but for the most part the types of medical care that doctors refuse to do seem to be treatments that don't require immediate emergency treatment. Aids treatment, and abortion are generally not immediate life threatening emergencies, they are things that are ongoing and have a certain amount of time to have the treatment.

    Just as I wouldn't send my child to a school that didn't have the same values that I have, I wouldn't go to a doctor that didn't have the same values. I wouldn't expect them to conform to my standards. I wouldn't want treatment from someone who was against performing the treatment, that would concern me.

    Answer by ohwrite at 10:07 AM on Mar. 14, 2013

  • I think if a doctor is going to refuse to do any kind of treatment, no matter how minor, due to his/her religious beliefs, they need to be very clear about that with potential patients before they become a patient. I don't care if you want to refuse to do a particular treatment, but I do want to know you would refuse to do that so I can find a doctor who would if I should need that treatment. I think a prominent statement at the front desk, something to the effect of "Dr. Blah has very strong religious convictions that prevent him from performing certain treatments. If you are concerned about how this will affect your care, please ask Dr. Blah to explain." is a good way to start. That way, the doctor doesn't have to publicly announce his religious beliefs, but people are aware so they can ask and determine if there may be a reason for them to go elsewhere.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 12:55 PM on Mar. 14, 2013

  • I think that if they have objections to fulfilling their duties in a profession, then they should choose another profession.  It is not up to a doctor or pharmacist to decide which of their religious rules should apply to me.  If I need medical care, I wish to see a medical professional, not a preacher.


    Answer by jsbenkert at 1:54 PM on Mar. 14, 2013