"Moral Refusal" extends to healthcare in general
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Tue Dec 13, 2005 at 01:14:21 PM EST
In this previous article on Talk2Action I have reported on "moral refusal" clauses in general, and how they are being used increasingly not only to deny birth control to women (even if birth control is prescribed for medical reasons unrelated to contraception such as polycystic ovary disease) but even potentially lifesaving medication like antivirals--simply because those antivirals can be used to treat certain forms of STDs.

"Moral refusal" is now expanding to not only include telling women they cannot be treated for herpesvirus infections (including, notably, chickenpox) or use birth control, but it's now expanding to allow doctors to refuse treatment to entire classes of people--in particular, gay and lesbian individuals--simply because of their sexual orientation.

In a landmark case now in litigation in California, two lesbians are suing a clinic that has used the "moral refusal" clause to refuse to provide insemination services--because the clinic's employees feel lesbians are "living in sin".  If the clinic wins, this could have drastic--potentially deadly--consequences for pretty much all non-dominionists.

Per this article (mirrored via CourtTV here) the "moral refusal" movement in dominionist circles is now targeting reproductive services for gay/les/bi folks:
A lesbian woman will challenge an appeals court ruling that permitted two doctors to claim a religious defense in their refusal to artificially inseminate her.

A California appeals court last week sided with the doctors, Christine Brody and Douglas Fenton, saying they can claim religious liberty in refusing to treat a patient who was gay because it was against their Christian beliefs.

Guadalupe Benitez filed a sexual-orientation discrimination suit against the doctors at a San Diego women's clinic after they refused to artificially inseminate her in 2000.

Benitez claims that on her first visit, Brody informed her that while her religious principles precluded her from performing the procedure on a gay woman, another doctor in the clinic would.

Benitez says, however, that after 11 months of costly, painful tests and surgeries, when the time came for the insemination procedure, she was turned down and told that she "would not be treated fairly" or "get timely care" at the clinic because of Dr. Brody's and other staff members' religious beliefs.

The doctors' lawyer, Carlo Coppo, said his clients were committed to fair treatment of Benitez -- from fertilization to pregnancy and birth -- but that aiding the actual act of conception compromised their religious views.

"[Brody] believes that participating in the [fertilization procedure], she is acting as the male," Coppo said. "It is an elective, invasive procedure, and to be there for the moment of conception, she religiously can't participate."

Benitez's attorney, Jennifer Pizer, said the appeals court ruling was troubling because it opened the door to all kinds of discrimination.

"It certainly is a social problem and a legal problem if someone enters a commercial business and can be told they will not receive the same services that another person can," Pizer said.

Both attorneys agree the case is the first of its kind and tests whether a doctor can choose who to treat based on religious beliefs.

Coppo says denying doctors their religious rights is also a form of discrimination, and that the law allows doctors to choose who they treat consistent with their religious convictions as long as they offer alternative means for care.

Pizer says a doctor's religious freedoms should not come at the expense of a patient's care.


If the courts rule in favour of the clinic, this could open the floodgates to dominionist doctors flat out refusing to render any medical treatment--even lifesaving treatment--to people simply because they think they are gay or disagree with "lifestyle" of the person they're treating (even more so than they are open already--Mississippi's law, and proposed laws in two other states, are already so broad as to allow any medical professional to refuse to treat you simply because you may be gay or pagan and they feel treating you would "violate their morals").

I have previously reported here in regards to moral refusal, and had warned specifically that dominionists were working towards a "medical apartheid"--in that dominionists can refuse even lifesaving treatment to someone, simply because they are gay (or need a medical procedure they disagree with, or think someone is otherwise "living in sin").  

Presently California's refusal clause is for abortions only (per this site) and is one of four states that actually require pharmacies to fill prescriptions for birth control; California, however, has had proposals in its legislature to have broad refusal clauses passed.  

The ultimate goal for dominionists--and one they admit in their own churches--is "Convert or die"; that one could be refused even lifesaving medical treatment because a dominionist doctor doesn't agree with treating gays, or pagans, or people living together who are unmarried, etc.  

Ethics laws are not a major protection--technically refusing to render medical aid is an ethics violation per most professional medical groups, but dominionists have simply set up parallel certification boards when medical associations have come out against dominionist practices.  For example, when the American Academy of Pediatrics (the main certification board in the US for pediatricians) issued a formal  ruling condemning "de-gaying" or "reparative" therapy as harmful, dominionist pediatricians set up a "parallel economy" certification board called the American College of Pediatricians and are now pushing to have that recognised by state medical licensing boards as an alternative to the AAP for certification for licensing.  NARTH has been pushed, as well as smaller "psychoanalysis" groups, in similar fashion in states relying on certification from mainstream psychiatric and social work certification groups (nearly all of which have not only condemned it but several consider its practice an ethics violation)--partly so that they can avoid license revocation procedures in states that use the ethics guidelines of mainstream medical professional organisations.




Display:
You would think that people would be able to see the logical relation between saying you are religiously opposed to providing services to homosexuals, and saying you are religiously opposed to providing services to blacks.

-Emily
emilywynn.blogspot.com

by EmilyWynn8 on Tue Dec 13, 2005 at 07:19:10 PM EST


That a "religiously based" refusal to treat Irish might be necessary to blow this open.

by Bruce Wilson on Tue Dec 13, 2005 at 11:17:23 PM EST
As I've noted in a companion thread on Dark Christianity...

Actually, if a proposed bill that died in Indiana's legislature but is expected to be possibly brought up again in the 2006 early session is any clue:
(from this link)

It defines assisted reproduction as causing pregnancy by means other than sexual intercourse, including intrauterine insemination, donation of an egg, donation of an embryo, in vitro fertilization and transfer of an embryo, and sperm injection.

The bill then requires "intended parents" to be married to each other and specifically says an unmarried person may not be an intended parent.

A doctor can't begin an assisted reproduction technology procedure that may result in a child's being born until the intended parents of the child have received a certificate of satisfactory completion of an assessment required under the bill.

The assessment is very similar to what is required for infant adoption and would be conducted by a licensed child placing agency in Indiana.

Some of the required information includes the fertility history of the parents, education and employment information, hobbies, personality descriptions, verification of marital status, child care plans, letter of reference and criminal history checks.

A description of the family lifestyle of the intended parents is also required, including individual participation in faith-based or church activities.

The legislation appears to affect some married couples, although the rough draft is unclear at times. Miller said the draft will be cleaned up before a vote.

The bill does not apply to assisted reproduction in which the child is the genetic child of both of the intended parents - i.e., the sperm is from the father and the egg is from the mother.

But married couples that need one or the other would still have to go through an assessment process and establish parentage in a court.

A judge couldn't establish parentage of a child born through assisted reproduction without the assessment certificate and a separate certificate from the physician involved.

A court would also be prohibited from granting a petition to establish parentage if the parents have been convicted of several specific crimes listed, such as murder, reckless homicide and neglect of a dependent.

Others include felony battery, arson and any felony drug conviction, although if the offense were committed more than five years before the petition, the judge could choose to grant the petition.

The bill would also establish criminal penalties for those participating in artificial reproductive procedures without following the process. The maximum charge is a misdemeanor.

Indiana Civil Liberties Union Attorney Ken Falk said his office began hearing about the bill Friday - one day after the rough draft was discussed by the Health Finance Commission.

He has not read it fully but said it sets up a clear discrimination that would be difficult to uphold. He considers the bill to be unique nationally.

"My question is `What is the danger that we are legislating against?' Are we saying that only married persons should be able to be parents, which is certainly a slap in the face to many same-sex couples but also to many who don't have a partner but have undertaken being a parent," he said.

Miller said the state often reacts to problems and she instead wants to be proactive on this issue.

"We're not trying to stop people from having kids; we're just trying to find some guidelines," she said.

She did concede it would stop single people from using methods other than sexual intercourse but said "all the studies indicate the best environment for a child is to have a two-parent family - a mother and a father."

In other words, if you are gay or even in any kind of relationship that dominionists disapprove of (many dominionists consider single parents and even divorcees to be "living in sin") it'd be flatly illegal.

As an aside, yes, this counts out gay/les/bi/trans people entirely:

a) in many states gays are not only not allowed to marry but (thanks to FotF and AFA state affiliate lobbying) states cannot even legally recognise domestic partnerships, legal contracts giving "similar status" to adoption, or adult adoption; in Texas the law may be so overbroad as to have outlawed straight, conventional marriage)

b) in at least six states gays cannot legally adopt (two states ban it outright, and four others automatically consider gays as "unfit parents"--meaning even in custody cases they can lose the kid just by virtue of who they are)

Dominionist groups usually promote two separate procedures as alternatives for parents who can't have kids:

a) "Adoption" of "snowflake babies" (extra embryos from embryo transfer programs that have been stored to guard against failure of an embryo transplant procedure)--this is increasingly promoted in the dominionist community, including by the President and by Focus on the Family, and several different groups exist promoting zygote "adoption".

b) Conventional adoption of a child by dominionist parents; these are frequently kids of teenage moms who have either been tricked into dominionist "halfway houses" by dominionist-operated "crisis pregnancy centers"--which force kids to essentially sign themselves over to the agency, live in a dominionist household for nine months, and then either raise the kid in a dominionist home or turn it over to a private adoption agency that only adopts to dominionists--or are committed involuntarily by parents of dominionists

Needless to say, the "adoption agencies" (either zygote "adoption" or the dominionist "halfway-house" adoption agencies) do NOT let single parents adopt, would never consider allowing gays to adopt, and require religious questionaires--occasionally requiring a statement from a minister as to your religious life. Non-dominionist Christians have been documented as being refused adoption by these agencies (including Catholics refused by dominionist adoption agencies; notably, the adoption agency in question was receiving state funding).

by dogemperor on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 08:30:32 AM EST
Parent



The Catholic Church denounces IVF and has tried to make it illegal wherever it has authority.  It's ironic that the church will block people from having children, as well as blocking those who need to terminate a pregnancy.  

Here is an article about the church standing in the way of IVF for ANYone in Costa Rica.

The big picture is about controlling women's reproduction from top to bottom.  Where are Feminists for Life?


by cyncooper on Thu Dec 15, 2005 at 10:56:35 AM EST



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