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Personal Beliefs Can Pit Healthcare Workers Against Patients and Colleagues

Personal Beliefs Can Pit Healthcare Workers Against Patients and Colleagues

John Rossheim / Monster Senior Contributing Writer

An EMT instructed to transport a woman to an abortion clinic declines, citing personal beliefs. A nurse ordered to administer a large dose of morphine to a terminal cancer patient in pain refuses, saying the medication could hasten death. A physician turns away a gay patient, apparently on the basis of his sexual orientation.

Are these scenarios examples of healthcare workers asserting their right of individual conscience, or are they unethical, perhaps illicit denials of patients’ rights to receive medically appropriate treatments?

This question is at the center of a simmering debate that is moving beyond pharmacists who refuse to dispense contraceptives to other hot-button issues, such as in vitro fertilization, physician-assisted suicide and stem-cell research, affecting a wide variety of specialties in healthcare. Although there’s no reliable statistical evidence that more US healthcare workers are refusing to treat on moral grounds, anecdotal evidence indicates the phenomenon is growing. A variety of bills and laws, mainly on the state level, either grant or deny healthcare workers the right to refuse treatment.

Healthcare Workers’ Conscience vs. Patients’ Rights

Employer-Employee Communication Makes a Difference

Personal Beliefs May Impact Career Choices

Treatment of Gays and Lesbians Is Also a Battleground


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    coach22

    14 days ago

    1880 comments

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    BarbaraBriceno

    over 4 years ago

    32 comments

    Patients right of convenience is ok but a nurse has the same right and it is against God law to take a life so she should not have to a person that it does not bother should be ask to do it and papers should be signed to let employers know that it is her right to say ask someone else to do it. When can take it as love that it is there wish and can see there pain like with cancer I truley thank it is ok.

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    filagator

    almost 6 years ago

    8 comments

    In the above scenarios the people who are in their respective professions are being paid to provide a service not to push their own beliefs on others. We may not always agree with someone's personal choices but we do have to perform our jobs which involves treating people holistically and by respecting their choices. For someone to not follow through with another persons care based on their own beliefs I say Mc Donald's is hiring but don't go to Burger King cause there people 'get it' their way. Get off your moral high horse and treat the pt..

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    smschaflePHN

    almost 6 years ago

    38 comments

    I don't like the way abortion, euthanasia, and treating a gay person are all lumped together. Abortion and euthanasia are much different then treating a person regardless of age, sex preference or creed. Two are about killing the other about persons rights to be treated medically. Get a grip!

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    crosaros

    almost 6 years ago

    10 comments

    Excuse me, but don't tell me to go and kill a child when it is not deemed a real medical reason or do something against my moral obligations. One thing is to provide REAL medical assistance and another thing is to do something EVIL!!! I have personally refused to perform abortions, if some other health care professional does it then that is their personal issue and choice, but DO NOT FORCE IT ON ME!. We all have our own choices of what we deem appropriate so if your into lame procedures that are called "medical" then that is your problem. I do believe in patients first, but not when it comes to doing what is right or wrong. You who claim that you don't want others to put their moral beliefs on you, you are a hypocrite because you yourself want to push your moral beliefs on others who do not think like you. You are just going to have to eat that fact and deal with coworkers who do have morals. As far as finding another job, maybe you should work in a slaughter house or a baby killing clinic!

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    chattycathy

    about 6 years ago

    32 comments

    You got it sister!

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    kittymom62

    about 6 years ago

    4 comments

    If any health care worker has a problem doing their JOB because of MORAL beliefs than maybe those workers need to find another profession. Where in the H@@L do these peopel get off...using their religion bull crap to deny anyone medical attention. What has this country become?? I blame it on the law makers of this country. The law should state that no one is denied medical care for "ANY" reason...whether it be religion or your own personal stance. If anyone is denied care because someone wants to push their moral beliefs on someone else then that person (healthcare) should have their license revoked. To have someone to not fill my birth control because they don't believe in it....please!!! Go find another job!!!

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