Jump to content
colinian

California Supreme Court: Doctors Can't Withhold Care from Gays

Recommended Posts

From KTVU.com on August 18, 2008:

California's highest court on Monday barred doctors from invoking their religious beliefs as a reason to deny treatment to gays and lesbians, ruling that state law prohibiting sexual orientation discrimination extends to the medical profession.

The ruling was unanimous and a succinct 18 pages, a contrast to the state Supreme Court's 4-3 schism in May legalizing gay marriage.

The full report is here: http://www.ktvu.com/news/17223099/detail.html

Colin :icon_geek:

Link to comment

This had to go to court?

I can't believe something as simple as this had to be ruled on by a judge. Why could doctors withhold treatment for any reason?

I've seen doctors' offices turn away patients without insurance and send them to a state/county clinic, but that's all.

Link to comment
I can't believe something as simple as this had to be ruled on by a judge. Why could doctors withhold treatment for any reason?

This decision has a potential impact that's not immediately apparent. We've had some hospitals here in Australia (very, very few, but some) that have refused to allow certain procedures to be performed because they violate religious teachings (the hospitals in question are owned by a Catholic institution, though I don't think they are owned by the Catholic Church itself). Similarly, there are stories of pharmacists refusing to dispense contraceptive medicine because of their religious beliefs.

It is only a short step from this decision to one that would address the above issues. The former will probably remain as the procedures in question are all elective (ie. optional) and as long as this is known at the start of the process there shouldn't be a problem, but the latter may be forced to fill the prescriptions.

Link to comment
In the lawsuit that led to the ruling, Guadalupe Benitez, 36, of Oceanside said that the doctors treated her with fertility drugs and instructed her how to inseminate herself at home but told her their beliefs prevented them from inseminating her. One of the doctors referred her to another fertility specialist without moral objections and Benitez has since given birth to three children.

Am I the only one that is up-set by this article?

For the supreme court to rule that it is illegal for a doctor to withhold care based on religious beliefs, even when that care is not a life or death issue, is a slippery slope to complete government control and only a few steps away from a future straight out of some science fiction writer's mind about a bleak future.

Reading the above quote, the Doctor or doctor's gave the lady all the tools she would need to have babies, and even went as far as referring another Doctor who had no moral objections.

Not to get off topic, but I wouldn't have knocked her up either, we have to many kids in the world as it is and one of the blessings of being gay is you can't get a dude pregnant.

I'm not saying that a Doctor should turn away any person when that person's life is on the line, but clearly this was not the case. I don't know these Doctor's but from the above article, they don't seem to be uncaring or hateful. I get this from the above quote, they gave her the tools, they gave her the knowledge, the only thing they refused was the actual act of knocking her up.

One of the things I despise about the gay community, is the creating of situations that are better left alone. If the Doctor watched as someone died because that person was gay, then by all means, prosecute to the fullest. But how dare the Court rule that a Doctor must ignore his basic moral or religious beliefs.

The religious right are the enemy, I agree as they spit hatred and murderous language against anyone that is different. And I also agree that the Gay activists are also the enemy, as they refuse to allow another person to follow their beliefs. Both of these parties I despise. What ever happened to minding your own business.

You can not tell me that in California, this lady couldn't find another doctor to perform this procedure. Why did she have to make a case out of something that is none of her concern?

The more freedom we take away from the opposing point of view, the more freedom we give away for our own side. Where will the line be drawn?

I believe that the average American truly doesn't care whether or not anyone is gay. Matter of fact, even those that are opposed to the gay lifestyle for religious reasons are still tolerant enough to mind their own business. I know several people who for religious purposes think gays are going to hell yet they also believe it is their right to do what they wish.

Forcing others to believe like you is the worst kind of close-minded behavior. We accuse the religious right of this behavior and condemn them for their beliefs. We are no better, or at least, those that bring up stupid cases like this are no better.

They aren't making the world a better place for gays, they are creating more problems in the long run. We will never learn to live together if we continue to create division with the breeders.

We always say we want/demand to be accepted yet we continually refuse to accept others for their beliefs. It's no wonder why breeders hate us, all we show them is hate in return.

Jason

Link to comment

Jason, as much as I usually agree with you, I don’t in this instance.

No one is asking the doctors to give up their faith. All the state is doing is saying as licensed physicians, they have to give all patients the same medical care or they are discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation, and that is a proscribed act in this state.

It was a unanimous decision by the Court, something unusual in these highly changed times with conservative and liberal religious views causing so much rancor and enmity in the world today. Even the most conservative judge on the panel voted that discriminating against this patient due to her orientation was illegal. When the court heard the gay marriage issue, that was decided by the narrowest of margins. This case was unanimously decided. All the judges, no matter what his social stripe, could see the illegality in this sort of discrimination.

Your statement that the clinic found another doctor to perform the procedure on her is a bit misleading, or at least at odds with the account I read. The doctors told her she should go find another clinic where the doctors wouldn’t share this clinic’s objections. This sounds very much to me like any and everyone at her own clinic refused to perform the procedure. I don’t know, but I assume she had medical insurance through that clinic, or at least knew the doctors there and had been going there for some time. I would imagine it would be very costly for her to find this kind of service elsewhere.

But this is simply detail. The fact is, and I’ll quote what I read, “The state high court said the doctor’s constitutional rights to freedom of religion did not trump the state antidiscrimination law because the state has a compelling interest in ensuring full and equal access to medical care.”

I would think you’d be celebrating this. If professionals in any field that was licensed by the state could choose their patients based on their own biases, fairness and tolerance are two things that would rapidly be eroded, and for the flimsiest of reasons. Members of any minority have to worry about that. This court decision was a move in the right direction.

C

Link to comment
Am I the only one that is up-set by this article?

...

Jason

Not so much upset as in a quandry. Both from a legal perspective (equal rights to all) and from

a medical perspective (Hippocratic Oath), the doctors should have dealt with requirements not

the result of any personal beliefs. Either that, or they should opt out of the profession.

Link to comment

I remember the original news reports of this case, well before it made it to the Supreme Court. If I recall correctly, she was treated at the fertility center, had taken all the appropriate steps (and drugs) in preparation, and there was only a small window of time when the insemination had to take place. It was at that point that she was told that the treatment couldn't proceed (I believe her original doctor at the center was sick or otherwise not present).

That is why there was a court case. This is not an artificially created case, like some I've seen, but a legitimate expectation that she would be treated, and then having treatment refused.

Link to comment

I think our expectations that professionals, and indeed other service providers, do not discriminate should be fulfilled. In this instance, it was a doctor, or clinic. But what about lawyers, or even coffee barristas? If we found it nearly impossible to be represented in court, or to find a place that would sell us a coffee, we'd be right upset. Even if they offered the advice that we could go to the next block, or next town, or next state, that wouldn't be sufficient. I too cannot agree with Jason Rimbaud on this one. I can agree that petty haranguing could be detrimental to the long range benefits to the gay community, I don't think stopping discriminatory acts is petty.

Link to comment

Something similar happened in Albuquerque, New Mexico. A commercial photographer refused to photograph a wedding between two lesbians on religeous grounds, and so stated in an e-mail. The Human Rights Commission of New Mexico ruled against the photographer.

Read the whole story.

http://george.loper.org/~george/trends/2008/Apr/909.html

Richard Norway

Link to comment

This is the part that really 'chokes me': "contending the commission violated Huguenin's constitutional rights to practice her religion".

I doubt very much that her religion forbids her from taking photographs of a commitment ceremony.

Link to comment

I've heard of cases like this - denial of care based on religious beliefs. I've usually seen it with regards to contraception and Plan B/the Morning After pill.

http://www.cnn.com/2004/US/Southwest/02/12...macy.firing.ap/

In this case, three pharmacists refused to fill a rape victim's prescription for the morning-after pill, believing that it would result in the termination of her pregnancy, which would go against their religious beliefs. According to this article, one of the pharmacists went to the back to pray and call his pastor before deciding whether or not to give the woman the medicine which her doctor had prescribed. They were fired, as this particular pharmacy's employee guidelines forbade withholding medicine for religious reasons.

This is fairly common at Catholic hospitals - 50% of them refuse to give rape victims the morning-after pill, some of them even refusing to tell the patients that the pill is an option. Based on their personal religious beliefs, these doctors are refusing to provide a legal service to people who have been recently victimized. Rather than allowing the victim to choose their course of action, these doctors enforce their own religious rules on their patients.

http://www.nbc10.com/news/9649699/detail.html

Link to comment
From KTVU.com on August 18, 2008:

California's highest court on Monday barred doctors from invoking their religious beliefs as a reason to deny treatment to gays and lesbians, ruling that state law prohibiting sexual orientation discrimination extends to the medical profession.

The ruling was unanimous and a succinct 18 pages, a contrast to the state Supreme Court's 4-3 schism in May legalizing gay marriage.

The full report is here: <a href="http://www.ktvu.com/news/17223099/detail.html" target="_blank">http://www.ktvu.com/news/17223099/detail.html</a>

Colin :icon_geek:

Great to hear, I have also heard that some pharmacist like EleCivil has said has refused to give birth control to customers because of their religous beliefs, imo they need to leave it at home.

Link to comment
Great to hear, I have also heard that some pharcist like EleCivil has said has refused to give birth control to customers because of their religous beliefs, imo they need to leave it at home.

Uh, what's a pharcist? That's a new on one me. I know what a fascist is, and a pharmacist, but am stumped trying to define pharcist.

I hope it's a pleasant and supportive term because I like EleCivil.

C

Link to comment
Uh, what's a pharcist? That's a new on one me. I know what a fascist is, and a pharmacist, but am stumped trying to define pharcist.

I hope it's a pleasant and supportive term because I like EleCivil.

C

Indeed I agree Cole, We certainly would hope that pharcist is not a derogatory term.

As I hope everyone knows, personal derogatory terms are not permitted in the forums.

I sure hope that pharcist couldn't mean fascist, particularly in reference to our EleCivil, whom I have never seen exercise that authoritarian attribute so needed to be called such a thing. EleCivil has demonstrated his free thinking, human compassion and humour far too often to be associated with the term fascist.

Link to comment
I understood the term "pharcist" to be a fascist pharmacist and would be referring to the pharmacists mentioned in EleCivil's post, not EleCivil himself.

just my take.......

or it could just be a typo

Thanks E.J.

That would certainly explain the reference.

You may well be right. :icon_geek:

Link to comment

As a medical professional, I'm astonished that this even needed to be ruled on by the Supreme Court or any other court. Regardless of one's religious beliefs, the medical profession carries its own set of obligations, and the choice to enter the field of medicine trumps personal beliefs. "Do no harm" applies here, and kudos to the CA courts for enforcing one of the elemental, foundationary ethical standards of our industry.

cheers!

aj

Link to comment
As a medical professional, I'm astonished that this even needed to be ruled on by the Supreme Court or any other court. Regardless of one's religious beliefs, the medical profession carries its own set of obligations, and the choice to enter the field of medicine trumps personal beliefs. "Do no harm" applies here, and kudos to the CA courts for enforcing one of the elemental, foundationary ethical standards of our industry.

The one thing that I don't understand is why did the courts have to step in the first place. Yes, the medical profession has a clear set of ethical standards, "prime directives," if you will...DO NO HARM. Is there a reason that the profession itself didn't jump in? Shouldn't the medical profession be censuring it's own members first? Well, I guess not everyone is a member. I'm a professional engineer, and you can bet your ass that if I screw up, go against my "prime directive," they'll jerk my license.

Richard

Link to comment
Great to hear, I have also heard that some pharmacist like EleCivil has said has refused to give birth control to customers because of their religous beliefs, imo they need to leave it at home.
just a typo, just chill guys seesh.

Plus I said like EleCivil has said. do you guys jump down everyones back?

Hey, Drewbie, the confusion arose because, without punctuation, your sentence said something other than what you apparently intended. See how these differ?

(1.) I have also heard that some pharmacist like EleCivil has said has refused [...]

Most people will read that and think, "Huh? 'some pharmacist like EleCivil?' Why would he write that? Did EleCivil say that? What?" And then readers react to show their confusion and defend against what they perceive is a false statement.

Making the parenthetical clause bold helps some, but is still missing what would make your meaning crystal clear.

(2.) I have also heard that some pharmacist, like EleCivil has said, has refused [...]

Most people will read that and understand you are simply explaining your view and expanding something EleCivil said.

It's the same when you explained yourself and asked people to chill out. Punctuation can sometimes make all the difference between being misunderstood and being clearly understood.

Plus I said like EleCivil has said. do you guys jump down everyones back?

No punctuation and chat-style capitalization can lead to misunderstanding.

Plus, I said, "like EleCivil has said." Do you guys jump down everyone's back?

See, that makes clear who did what, and when.

I'm sorry it seems like I'm being too picky and critical of you, but if you'd taken just a few moments to write more carefully, no one would've misunderstood what you first wrote.

Link to comment
I have never been perfect with puncation and sometimes I do forget to put them in. esp when im heated. They could of pmed me and ask, instead of just attacking.

Drewbie, you were not being "attacked."

Cole and I were concerned with thoughts that resulted in both of us (separately) from our misreading of your post's typo.

Blue, in his desire to be helpful, has pointed out, punctuation would have assisted us to see your reference more clearly.

As a rule I prefer to moderate, transparently, without resorting to private messages on issues which can be seen and misunderstood by visitors.

I have already posted that I am sorry if we seemed to be a bit jumpy, but we have suffered from previous episodes of inappropriate postings.

I am just pleased to know that it was just a typo and you have been exonerated of blame except perhaps for not using the spell-checker the forum provides, or inserting a comma or two. Neither of these are hanging offences, and I would hope you see that we are just trying to maintain decorum in the forum.

I'm not all that good on punctuation myself.

Link to comment

Let me just clear this up: I am not, nor have I ever been, a member of the Pharmacist party.

Personally, I thought of "pharcist" as "farcist" (as in, one who acts with much farce), in which case it's a perfectly accurate way to describe me.

Seriously, though: No worries, Drewbie - I caught your meaning the first time around. :hehe:

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...


×
×
  • Create New...