By Moishe Bane and Nathan Diament
Earlier this month, a federal judge in New York struck down a new federal regulation protecting the rights of doctors, nurses and other health care workers to decline to participate in medical procedures that violate their conscientious objections. The rule was intended to ensure that medical professionals would not be compelled to sacrifice their profession and livelihood in order to adhere to their religious beliefs and practices.
Though the regulation was struck down on purely technical grounds, its dismissal was celebrated by the plaintiffs, Planned Parenthood and others as a victory for those minorities they claimed would have been harmed by the conscience rule, including women, LGBT persons and other minorities. In reality, however, the only minority groups truly harmed by the court’s ruling are those Americans who choose to adhere to their religious principles and conscience.
American law, both legislative and judicial, has a magnificent tradition of accommodating the rights and needs of individuals with conflicting interests. Surely, such mutual accommodations should be the aspiration of regulations regarding health and medical care. Sadly, in certain contexts — such as regarding women’s reproductive rights and euthanasia — achieving a balanced approach to competing rights is not the goal of some judges and legislators who instead seek to diminish and dismiss the rights of those Americans committed to abide by their religious tenets.Source: The Washington Times