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December 2, 2008 in News & Views
This seems very consistent to me. The Bush Administration has been all about polarizing the country, not working for harmonious solutions that bring us together.
He keeps using religion to separate us. Is that irony?
I can live with it as long as they recognize my right not to brake for Baptists or Mormons.
While this action of the Bush administration is not altogether outside the original Hippocratic oath, it most certainly fails to meet the criteria of other declarations such as the Geneva Declaration which in part has been amended to include the following clause:
I will not permit considerations of age, disease or disability, creed, ethnic origin, gender, nationality, political affiliation, race, sexual orientation, social standing or any other factor to intervene between my duty and my patient;
There are several other attempts to modernise the Hippocratic oath reported or commented on, easily found by Googling for the doctor's oath. What these show is considerable diversity of opinion in what constitutes appropriate ethical standpoints for medical practice or the doctor's "duty".
Indeed, the references in the above Wiki page on the Geneva Declaration is merely a starting point of considerations for medical ethics.
Some references try to sidestep the above quoted clause by making the doctor's decision about offering or administering treatment relative to the doctor's cultural customs and the country's laws where the medical service is rendered.
While this may at first seem reasonable, it overlooks the human rights of the individual patient by making the doctor's sense of ethics and the country's law, more important than the patient's welfare and of course, his wishes.
In a secular society, it is not unreasonable to say that if a person cannot act in accord with the above quoted clause from the Geneva Declaration, then they would be better suited to find another avenue of service where their personal ethics/beliefs will not be confronted by having to comply with such a clause.
That of course implies that for consistency across the planet, that all societies should be secular. I have no problem with the divorce of religion and politics.
If this conflicts with the individual doctor's personal ethics to the point where he cannot treat the patient, then he shouldn't be a doctor, (in my opinion.)
I can cope when the doctor says there is nothing more he can do, but when the doctor starts praying, I get very, very worried.
I've had to do a lot of thinking on this subject, mostly because I hadn't thought much about it before, so I had to start from zero and investigate my beliefs. I was about to respond, but our local intellectual with a brain the size of the continent of Australia had to beat me to the punch.
I'm an engineer, and when I design a building, I do not think about who will be occupying it other than they are human beings. That's all, and their safety is important to me. Hell, they may be Mormons or even Jerry Falwell himself, but that's not the issue to me.
I think anyone in the medical profession should think about what they're there for...healing PEOPLE. The idea that a medical professional has to take his/her own views of politics, religion, social status or whatever into their medical profession is just self serving. They've forgotten their oath. It's people they're serving, not their own dogmas.
Christ, the next thing they'll be saying is that 'I can't heal him/her because I'm Jewish and the patient is a Christian or I'm from New York and this person is from New Jersey' for Christ's sake!
The rule also allows a medical care worker to say "He's gay (she's lesbian) and I believe being gay (lesbian) is against God's laws and I won't treat him (or her) or clean his (or her) room or assist him (her) with medication or bandages or respond when he (she) is pressing the call button etc. etc."
Here is the response I personally received on this article, from someone running a clinic on dietary imbalances:
The sanctimonious bastards!
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