October 26, 2009

Conscience clauses not just about abortion anymore

By Kelley Luckstein

Faced with a request to give an unmarried female patient a prescription for birth control pills, Dr. Michele Phillips looked to her conscience for the answer.


"I'm not going to give any kind of medication I see as harmful," said Phillips of San Antonio. The drugs would not protect her patient from "emotional trauma from multiple partners," Phillips reasoned, or sexually transmitted diseases. "I could not ethically give that type of medication to a single woman."…


Often, experts say, the debate boils down to a question of convenience versus conscience, of personal choices affected by medical personnel. "Do we really want co-workers deciding if our religious motivations and reasons are correct?" asked Joan Henriksen Hellyer, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.


USA Today by Adelle Banks, 10/24/09

Tags: Ethics, Mayo Clinic Rochester

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