Congressman Trent Franks of Arizona wrote an article published today by, Human Events Online, titled, "Obama Attacks Doctors' Rights of Conscience." Franks says that President Obama has begone pushing forward his effort to roll back regulations that protect physicians' right of conscience, federal regulations that prohibit recipients of federal funds from coercing professionals to perform services that violate their conscience, such as abortion.
The law requires the government to respect a physicians' right of conscience, however, the limits on professional organizations is not so clear. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), issued what it calls, Ethics Opinion # 385, which calls on OB-GYN's to disregard any medical, moral, ethical, or, religious objections to abortion and to perform or refer patients requesting an abortion.
The American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG), which is the certifying organization for OB-GYN's, in 2008, released its Bulletin for Maintenance of Certification. The ABOG bulletin provides that a physician may have his or her certification revoked or denied, if the physician violates ACOG rules or ethical principles, presumable, that would include ACOG's Ethics Opinion # 385, therefore, a physician who chooses to follow his or her; conscience, moral, ethical or, religious beliefs, and refuses to perform or assist a patient obtain an abortion, risks being accused of unethical conduct under ACOG's Ethics Opinion # 385 and could possibly face loss of certification by ABOG. Lose of a doctors board certification almost certainly will result in the loss of hospital privileges. The Hyde-Weldon Amendment, which was passed in 2004, protected a physicians' right of conscience. Congressman Franks says that the Obama administration has been signaling its approval of ACOG and ABOG's unprecedented action to threaten OB-GYN's who refuse to take part in abortion procedures with loss of certification.
The first admonition of the Hippocratic Oath is to, "do no harm." The Oath, thou no longer enforced, also specifically prohibited physicians from taking part in abortions. Over 2,000 years ago, when the Oath was first written, physicians knew that a patient with a confirmed pregnancy was in reality two patients, the mother and the unborn child, now, a physician may lose certification for obeying the Hippocratic Oath and refusing to kill an unborn child.
The American Conservative Republican asks this question, "Are we as a civilization, advancing or are we in a state of rapid moral decline? "
If a medical professionals' right of conscience can't be protected at the federal level, because pro-abortion Democrats, with some Republican support, control the White House and Congress, then at the state level we should do whatever is possible to protect not only the right of conscience, but also the right to life of the unborn child, by prohibiting the loss of certification for obeying one's conscience and the Hippocratic Oath.
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