Medical professionals who oppose abortion, sterilization, certain contraception, or other medical procedures for moral or religious reasons still have a friend in President Bush. The Bush administration formally issued its "conscience rule" today, which prohibits recipients of federal money from discriminating against doctors, nurses, or other healthcare providers who refuse to participate in procedures as a result of their convictions.
The current secretary of Health and Human Services explains that "This rule protects the right of medical providers to care for their patients in accord with their conscience." But such protection might not last for long, since Barack Obama's already looking for a Plan B. The transition team has dedicated time to figuring out how to reverse the right of conscience as soon as possible. It could take some time though.
Since a conscience is inherently subjective, it seems problematic to let a sliding standard determine healthcare available to patients. Can you think of any other job a person would get if he refused to do part of it? Do you think requiring healthcare professionals to provide legal services that offend their morals is discrimination or reasonable?