Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Patients Rights? Not at Catholic Hospitals

In the New Year, Catholic hospitals are getting read the riot act that their doctors have to follow the holy edicts of the Mother church. This is of particular concern where DNR (do-not-resuscitate) orders are involved, not only ethically, but legally as well: "But the bishops' language appears to conflict with a hospital's legal duty to follow a patient's instructions to withdraw life support, as expressed in an advance written directive or by a close relative or friend who knows the patient's intentions."

Suffice it to say, not every nurse or physician on staff at these hospitals is a Christian, and yet your own moral judgment in determining what is best for your patients is now being micromanaged by an organization that says condoms cause AIDS. Ladies and gentlemen: if you choose not to exercise your moral imperative and think about this conflict, you are still effectively making a choice. I have personally quit a job over less. A real one, not working at an ice cream shop when I was a teenager. It was one of the best decisions I ever made.

This is one of those areas of life where religious and non-religious people do in fact make very different moral decisions, and it's anything but academic.

No comments: