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Letters & Op-Eds - 2009

christian science monitor

LTE: There Is Ample Middle Ground between Patient Rights and Doctor's Conscience

Jon O'Brien

1 April 2009

Regarding the March 26 article, "Obama weighs patient rights vs. doctor's conscience": In this article the Monitor presents a false choice between the "freedom of conscience for healthcare workers and unfettered access to healthcare, especially reproductive services." There is ample middle ground between those two scenarios to meet the needs of healthcare workers and of those who seek care.

The goal of any reasonable conscience clause must be to strike the right balance between the right of healthcare professionals to provide care that is in line with their moral and religious beliefs and the right of patients to have access to the medical care they need. So, when a pharmacist refuses to fill prescriptions for contraception, they are negating the right to conscience of the woman, or man, standing in front of them. This does not fall under anybody's definition of what a good conscience is.

JON O´BRIEN

President

Catholics for Choice

This letter was published in the Christian Science Monitor.