Rendering Treatment, Refusing Transformation (and Destruction): Preserving Medical Conscience Rights

May 28, 2021

In an article published recently in Public Discourse titled, “Rendering Treatment, Refusing Transformation (and Destruction): Preserving Medical Conscience Rights” RFI’s Executive Vice President Eric Patterson addresses the increasing pressure faith-inspired healthcare practitioners and institutions face due to changing social expectations and legal obligations in medicine.

Patterson contends that health providers have a duty to preserve and protect human life. Under the guise of equality, however, these health practitioners and institutions may lose the opportunity to fulfill their vocations if they refuse to participate in or provide highly contested treatments or procedures surrounding abortion, assisted suicide, gender dysphoria, and non-restorative, radical bodily augmentation. He writes:

[R]eligious individuals and religious organizations may lose the opportunity to serve entirely if they refuse to participate in the controversial procedures to which they conscientiously object. Not only does this destroy the foundation of service that supports our healthcare system, it degrades the religious and moral protections necessary for the functioning of society. This bludgeoning of faith and conscience happens at the hands of employers, professional associations, universities, and state and local governments. 

Patterson continues:

There are three major medical conscience areas where people of faith will face increasing pressure to violate their principles in the years to come: matters of life (and death), gender transition treatments and therapies, and emerging issues associated with the willful transformation of the human body (“transhumanism”). 

A rise in extreme progressive expectations has left religious healthcare providers in a vulnerable position. Patterson argues that protecting the rights of these providers is essential now, and will ultimately reinforce the conscience rights of all professionals, whether religious or non-religious, whether in health care or in other fields. He concludes:

Religious professionals are not seeking an exemption just for themselves. Protecting the religiously informed conscience rights of medical professionals is a bulwark for protecting the conscience rights of all medical professionals, such as the agnostic doctor who argues that data suggest many dangers associated with gender reassignment surgery. Moreover, protecting conscience rights spans professions. Religiously informed beliefs are not just under assault in hospitals and clinics. Businesspeople, teachers, lawyers, and others have moral convictions rooted in the traditions and sacred scriptures of their religion. These convictions, and the individuals and institutions holding to them, should not be trampled by new orthodoxies of death, gender reassignment, or medically induced transformation. 

Read the full article: Rendering Treatment, Refusing Transformation (and Destruction): Preserving Medical Conscience Rights.