The Government Cannot Dictate Your Conscience

February 26, 2021

*This article is the first in a series that will delve into issues of medical conscience rights.

In an article published Feb. 25, 2021 in the National Catholic Register, Michael S. Parker, M.D., president of the Catholic Medical Association, argues, “Government restrictions on conscience protection should be opposed by all in a free society.”

Dr. Parker writes, “The goal of medicine is to ‘do no harm’ and to seek the best methods of care as determined by the doctor and the patient.” Elaborating on the interplay between the consciences of doctors and patients and the provision of medical care, Dr. Parker maintains, “Healthcare is about relationships, not transactions.” He continues:

Patients seek providers whom they trust, respect, and with whom they share common beliefs. At the core of the doctor-patient relationship is the essential trust to do what is right to promote the patient’s physical and spiritual well-being. You cannot remove moral agency from this interaction. Determining the best treatment requires providers have a well-formed conscience that has been influenced over many years by their interpretation of objective scientific data, patient experience and values, patient care, personal convictions, and sometimes, religious faith. This conscience cannot be dictated by the government; instead, it must remain with the individual.

Read the full article: The Government Cannot Dictate Your Conscience.

When interviewed on EWTN News Nightly a few days later to discuss the same set of issues, Dr. Parker offered a number of similar sentiments. Dr. Parker speaks about a growing coalition of organizations that seek to promote medical conscience protections, which are under threat.

“The Catholic Medical Association along with other like-minded organizations…are joining together to bring the truth out about conscience protections and why they are so important..and also to promote an authentic healthcare that respects not only the individual but the spiritual nature of healthcare.”

From the perspective of patients, Dr. Parker continues:

“Healthcare is about relationships. People choose their healthcare providers because they have a shared value system and they want someone that they feel will be best for them…so it is very important we get our patients to advocate for conscience protections.”

Dr. Parker interviewed on EWTN News Nightly March 1, 2021

Additional Articles in This Series:

Our Conscience Points Us to True Freedom (March 26, 2021)