Tag Archives: health care

Do Doctors Have the Right to Prescribe Based on Their Personal Morals

I posted the link to an article from my city at the bottom.

To me, this is a very interesting case. There is a doctor in my city who is refusing to prescribe birth control to patients based on her personal beliefs. This is unheard of, which is why it is making headlines. If you want to know the details, I suggest reading the link.

But what interests me most is people’s responses to the article. Most people are of the opinion that this doctor is there to help people. Her job is to prescribe medicine to those who need it. It is not her job to push her moral values on other people, and, if that is what she is going to do, she should not be a doctor. I agree with these people. If prescribing certain medications goes against your religious beliefs, then you should not be a doctor.

But this is not the response that you would get everywhere. While most Canadians that I know would say that if you have moral obligations that prevent you from doing your job you should find another job, I’ve spoken to many Americans who are of the opposite opinion. That’s not to say all Americans believe one thing and all Canadians believe another, but it is a trend that I have noticed when interacting with different people. Many Americans that I have spoken to would say that she has the freedom to believe what she wants and she cannot be forced to do something that goes against her religion.

Personally, I think this is a result of how both countries view religious freedom. The United States makes a lot of noise about the separation of church and state. It’s in the constitution. There’s a lot of court cases revolving around the separation of church and state. But in Canada, we have no such separation. In fact, the Anglican church is the established church of Canada. But we have a culture of religious belief is private. It tends to not be something we discuss openly and it is generally thought that religious beliefs belong at home and at church. There are certain problems with this, but it does generally mean that people won’t use their religion to avoid doing some aspect of their job. And we also don’t generally have to worry about religion being taught in public schools.

So, should this doctor be allowed to use her personal morals to avoid doing some aspect of her job, or should she have to find another line of work?


CFI Calgary made a statement. http://centreforinquiry.ca/cfi-calgary-statement-re-calgary-doctor-refuses-to-prescribe-birth-control/

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