Thursday, January 1, 2009

AMA at odds with majority of Doctors

While the AMA officially opposes the Bush Administration's protection of health workers' consciences, they do not represent the opinion of all in their profession.


A new national study among 1,736 physicians conducted by HCD Research reveals 50 percent of physicians support the new rules. Just 33 percent oppose the rules and the rest had no opinion.

A majority of those who responded also said they believed the "government should be involved in protecting health workers who refuse to participate in care they find ethically, morally or religiously objectionable."

A majority of physicians who responded also agreed with the statement that "doctors and hospitals have the right to refuse to perform any procedure that is inconsistent with their personal beliefs.

However, while doctors supported the conscience rights on abortion, they didn't think the rule should include revoking the funding of government entities or medical centers that violate those rights. Some 43 percent said no while 22 percent said funding should be revoked and the rest did not answer.

However, nearly three-quarters (73%) did not agree that health care professionals have the right to withhold information about where a patient can obtain the care they need.

Tip of the Schoolmarm Ruler to: Tito


SoMG said...

This poll shows that too many docs are unaware of the trick in the new policy.

Suppose you're a specialty-surgeon, say an ophthalmologist. You specialize in four different operations. People fly in from all over to have you do these four surgeries on them. One day your employee who cleans and sterilizes the surgical instruments comes to you and says he's had a religious conversion, and his new religion opposes one of the operations you do. He won't clean or sterilize the instruments to be used for that operation any more. But he doen't want to leave his job.

Now, according to the new policy, if you get rid of him, or reduce his salary in order to pay for another employee to do the work he won't do, you lose all Federal funding, including payment for Medicare patients. Gotcha!

Explain THAT to the docs and see how they poll on the policy afterwards.

Christina said...

I'll humor you and suppose that your highly exaggerated hypothetical involves a faith that does not also oppose surgical procedures.

The doctors would probably explain to you that the would find other duties for this hypothetical employee, and involve someone else in sterilizations. This is already done in situations when someone's faith prohibits him or her from, say, referring for an abortions.

...Sharon said...

I happened upon your blog while reseaching a project...

I am impressed with the depth of your attention to this matter, however you don't address the one thing that would immediately impact the volume of abortions. Education. It's a shame that we live in this modern age but will not address the subject of sex with boys and girls starting at an early age and continue to offer the complete understanding of our bodies as they develop.

Personally I am pro-choice but appalled by those whose use abortions as a form of birth control. I had had an abortion years ago after having a severe appendicitis with a complicated surgery. The child was not growing properly as a result. This is a rare situation. Trust me that I educated myself greatly before making my decision.

Educate people to allow them to make intelligent decisions.


Christina said...


Thank you for your response.

Having had severe appendicitis myself, I can imagine the ordeal you must have gone through.

I actually do address the issue of education, though perhaps not in this post. Many of my posts on Marriage and Family and on Natural Family Planning are particularly geared toward this.

I am pleased that there are programs such as the one I post about here that encourage mothers to talk to their developing daughters about their bodies and learn about their cycles and their fertility. I did receive "sex ed" in school, and knowledge about natural signs of fertility and ovulation was glaringly absent.

In combination with such education, I also believe we should encourage abstinence, which is not always easy, but is the only foolproof way to avoid unplanned, out of wedlock pregnancies.

One thing of which many people are not aware is the Catholic belief that human sexuality is actually a sacred thing, hence our belief that the proper place for sex is within the holy state of matrimony. I think that growing up with this belief helped me to have more respect for my sexuality and for myself as a person. I think if more young people had a sense of this, things would be much different.