On April 21, 2004, in Lansing, Michigan, the republican-dominated legislature passed (69-35) the so-called "Conscientious Objector Policy Act" which means that health care providers, including doctors who have sworn an oath to heal the sick, can refuse treatment of a patient based on religious beliefs.
This is the most backward, inhumane law ever considered.
A Jew could refuse to treat a Muslim, a nurse could refuse to treat a homosexual, a white doctor could refuse to treat a person of color . . . the list could go on.
The Michigan Catholic Conference was watching from the gallery and had just hosted a lovely legislative day for themselves on the grounds of a public building (in clear violation of the United States Constitution), and have been exerting pressure on Michigan legislatures to pass this wholly unChristian law.
Imagine your gay or lesbian friend or relative calls an ambulance because they are in a medical emergency, the ambulance crew can refuse to help them because they object to homosexuality! Imagine a black teenager is on a stretcher in an emergency room because he's been shot by a cop or in a gangwar, the doctor can refuse to treat him because he thinks blacks are inferior to whites. Imagine a Muslim police officer is injured in the line of duty, a Jewish doctor can refuse to treat him based on religious conflict.
Now . . . this will never happen to a black person or a religious minority, because this law is designed to marginalized homosexuals. Since the church can't call for outright extermination of homosexuals, they have decided to take the next best approach: refusal of medical treatment.
In New York City, St. Vincent's Catholic Medical Center and Hospital was, and is, one of the country's leading institutions in the fight against AIDS. Would the Catholic Church have St. Vincent's stop this most-Christlike work?
If the Catholic Church does not want homosexuals in its buildings, it should close its doors; but it should keep their hands off our laws.
How any Catholic can sleep at night knowing that their money is being used for this unChristian work is beyond me.
If you are Catholic, please call your local priest and ask him if he knows about this and what he thinks of it.
If you are a health care professional, please contact your professional association inquire about their position, and demand they work to stop this.
If you are a Michigan resident, please contact your elected officials and tell them you object to this law.
Here are some links:
First Amendment Center Article
Send feedback to the American Medical Association's Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs
If you are in Michigan, this is the Opinion form for the Michigan governor