Speaking of CS Lewis’ “conditioners” in my last post, a small group of “philosophers and bioethicists” got together in Geneva, Switzerland last June and came up with a “Consensus Statement on Conscientious Objection in Healthcare.”
On the “consensus” from less than 20 self-selected individuals, we’re supposed to advocate the move from shaming doctors for objecting (to acts that have been considered shameful by Western society since Hippocrates) to some sort of judgment by tribunals.
From the BioEdge.org blog:
“After a special workshop held at the Brocher Foundation in Geneva, Switzerland, over a dozen bioethicists signed a ten-point“Consensus Statement on Conscientious Objection in Healthcare.” The group stated that “healthcare practitioners’ primary obligations are towards their patients, not towards their own personal conscience”. As a consequence, “healthcare practitioners who are exempted from performing certain medical procedures on conscientious grounds should be required to compensate society and the health system for their failure to fulfil their professional obligations by providing public-benefitting services.” They also stated that “Medical students should not be exempted from learning how to perform basic medical procedures they consider to be morally wrong.”
What’s to enforce those guidelines if the physician has no conscience? What place does “should” or “ought” – words that are flung about in the “Consensus” – have if the conscience is to be dismissed?
As Wesley Smith points out at his blog on National Review, any objectors would be re-“conditioned.” The “Consensus” demands that doctors not only be forced to explain their rationale, perform “public-benefitting services” (in addition to their jobs as doctors), and teach medical students those morally controversial procedures, they would be sent to re-education classes.
Oh, and they might not be able to get a job in the first place if they aren’t
morally pure – excuse me – able to “fulfil (sic) their professional obligations,” according to this little club:
“This implies that regional authorities, in order to be able to provide medical services in a timely manner, should be allowed to make hiring decisions on the basis of whether possible employees are willing to perform medical procedures to which other healthcare practitioners have a conscientious objection.”