"Authorities should bar doctors from refusing services like abortion and assisted death on moral grounds, and screen out potential medical students who might impose their values on patients, leading Canadian and British bioethicists argue in a provocative new commentary.
The paper by professors at Queen’s and Oxford universities, who are also editors of two major bioethics journals, throws rocket fuel onto a debate already inflamed by the new law allowing assisted death.
They argue that physicians have no right to opt out of lawful medical services — from abortion to prescribing contraceptives — that are requested by a patient and in the person’s interest.
Those who let conscientious objection affect patient care are clearly unprofessional, say Udo Schuklenk and Julian Savulescu.
“Doctors must put patients’ interests ahead of their own integrity,” they write in the journal Bioethics.
“If this leads to feelings of guilty remorse or them dropping out of the profession, so be it,” says the bluntly worded piece.
“There is an oversupply of people wishing to be doctors. The place to debate issues of contraception, abortion and euthanasia is at the societal level, not the bedside...
...Schuklenk said it is debatable whether currently practising doctors should be barred from practising because they morally object to facilitating certain legal services.
But it would be reasonable to screen applicants to medical school and eliminate those unable to put aside their moral values, he said, comparing the idea to a medical faculty in South Africa rejecting racist students.
Such screening might exclude people of certain religious beliefs from becoming doctors, but there is little evidence that would be detrimental to patients, the commentary says."Is this what we call progress? Just because something is legal doesn't make it moral. This sounds like what Hitler demanded of his doctors in Nazi Germany. It may have been legal then to perform horrid medical experiments, etc. on people, but it certainly wasn't moral.
In fact even now we wonder why presumably decent men and women performed those experiments and didn't refuse based on their (presumablely) moral objections. And now we want doctors to behave like they did in Nazi Germany.
And notice that last sentence. With Schuklenk and Savulescu, it's apparently also okay to exclude people because of their religious beliefs.
Forget morality. Forget freedom of conscience. Forget freedom of religion. Done with that. That's so old school.