Two academic bioethicists want to bar Christians and those who hold other traditional religious beliefs from practicing medicine, and even from attending medical school. The pair fear, as the National Post summarizes, doctors might “impose their values on patients.”
Of course, it is impossible — not unlikely: impossible — for doctors not to impose their values on patients. Even using a tongue depressor on a patient presupposes certain moral values. (Presumably the doctor is doing this to aid in his goal of healing the patient, a moral value.) Since morality infuses all actions, the only real question is this: what moral values should doctors hold?
Julian Savulescu and Udo Schuklenk (I will refer to them as “the SS” hereafter), in their paper “Doctors Have No Right to Refuse Medical Assistance in Dying, Abortion or Contraception” in the journal Bioethics, argue that conscientious objectors not be allowed to train for or to practice medicine. “The problem with conscientious objection,” they write, “is that it has been freely accommodated, if not encouraged, for far too long.”
In their definition, conscientious objectors are those medical professionals who refuse to kill or to disperse contraception for traditional religious reasons. Throughout their paper the SS assume, but never argue, it is a moral good that doctors kill patients when patients demand to be killed, or that doctors kill the lives inside would-be mothers when requested.
“Enlightened, progressive secular countries like Sweden, have labour laws in line with our arguments. Sweden provides no legal right of employees to conscientious objection.” To the SS, the more enlightened and progressive a country is, in effect, the farther it is from Christianity.
The SS say anti-conscientious objection laws have “not had a detrimental effect on applications to these countries’ medical schools.” This must be false. If these laws have been applied, then they have prevented faithful Christians and other religious from (openly) entering these schools. If this turning-away hasn’t happened to many, it proves only how quickly Christianity has faded in these countries.
“We don’t know of any evidence that those with religious beliefs make better medical doctors,” say the SS. This is proof the SS aren’t up on medical history. If it weren’t for Christianity, the tradition of hospitals, nursing, and even doctoring would be far different, notably far less prevalent. They say, “We are deeply sceptical that holding religious beliefs makes one better at the practice of medicine.” But the opposite of these religious beliefs lead to killing patients and the lives inside women, as opposed to healing and preventing death. In their scheme, medicine is no longer what is best for the patient or mankind, but what is most expedient.
You know what to do. So do it.