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10 Bumps

Should Religious Freedom extend to the Medical Field?

Should people have the right to refuse medical intervention for themselves or their family members on a basis of religious belief?

Should hospitals or surgical centers have the right to refuse to treat people who hold certain religious beliefs simply because their beliefs could affect medical treatments?

Answer Question

Asked by SabrinaMBowen at 9:15 AM on Jun. 8, 2011 in Religious Debate

Level 40 (122,988 Credits)
Answers (52)
  • Tricky situation. What if the family member is not of sound mind and body? Then the family is making the choice not to treat due to their religious beliefs that may not be the person they are speaking for. I am absolutely against it for children. Not fair at all for the child.

    Answer by pookiekins34 at 9:16 AM on Jun. 8, 2011

  • Well I know they do with immunizations. If a grown adult wishes to go against doctors suggestions and not receive treatment then that is up to them and I believe they have that right. Anyone under the age of 18 on the other hand I do not believe it is right.

    Answer by jujubean1979200 at 9:18 AM on Jun. 8, 2011

  • The only time a religious belief comes in to refusal of vaccines is for schools. Most parents who refuse them are doing so on medical or physiological beliefs rather than religious.

    Comment by SabrinaMBowen (original poster) at 9:20 AM on Jun. 8, 2011

  • For themselves, sure. For others, I don't think so, especially if we're talking about children. I know it's hard to think that way, though, since I know there are some groups who do believe that allowing certain things to be done to their child would be harmful to their soul or relationship with God. But I don't think it's fair to the children to allow their parents' beliefs to dictate whether they live or die, especially when the child may grow up to reject such beliefs him/herself...

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 9:21 AM on Jun. 8, 2011

  • I feel that if a child is brought to a medical center and it's a literal matter of life and death, saving the life of the child should take priority over religion. Other than that, religious beliefs should be respected. For example there shouldn't be raids on amish communities or anything but if they seek medical help at a facility then saving the life should be priority #1. JMO.

    Answer by MegMurry at 9:21 AM on Jun. 8, 2011

  • You could be right but I do know when I worked as a MA they would refuse based on their religious belief and these kids were home schooled.

    Answer by jujubean1979200 at 9:23 AM on Jun. 8, 2011

  • Regardless of religious beliefs, I believe I should be the one to decide on medical treatment or not as it pertains to me. As far as my children, that's a little trickier. I still believe I should have final say so - I say this because my kids doctors have suggested so many unnecessary treatments (I'm not talking vaccines here) and I would hate if those decisions would have been forced upon me/my child but I could not let my child die due to religious beliefs or otherwise if there was a even a slight chance that a treatment or procedure could save his/her life.

    Many hold doctors up on a pedestal as if they were Gods themselves but doctors have to respect parents' intelligence and beliefs as well.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:25 AM on Jun. 8, 2011

  • I don't know why they would need to Juju... Since vaccines do not need any reason for rejection. You simply say NO. Although there are small groups (some JWs & Jewish beliefs) which do not allow vaccines... The majority of us reject them for other reasons... In fact of the hundreds of non-vax parents I know, none of them were for religious reasons...

    Comment by SabrinaMBowen (original poster) at 9:26 AM on Jun. 8, 2011

  • I think as long as this is a free country than yes it should extend. Now if a child is sick I believe in order to insure the parents are of sound mind a Guardian ad Litem should be appointed to make sure the childs rights are also being heard. But for any other things yes if you are religious and dont want medical treatment for whatever reason it should not be forced. If you are a doctor you also should not be forced to say give an abortion to someone if it is against your beliefs and so on and so forth.

    Answer by gemgem at 9:29 AM on Jun. 8, 2011

  • Vaccines are a touchy subject and a different debate.

    I too believe that if a parent brings a child to a major medical facility with a life or death situation that is the priority. Somewhere the parent must feel that too or they would not have sought out the additional help.

    Answer by sipn_mom at 9:29 AM on Jun. 8, 2011

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