Friday, August 22, 2008

Matters Moral and Medical

Having recently returned from an effete European vacation, I was talking to The Lobbyist over a chilled flagon of chardonnay and a wheel of brie when I happened to refer loosely to a large class of hypocrites as “pro-life.” She made the kind of face she does when she spots a cockroach and said, “I really don’t like that term. It flatters them.” I had to concede the point.

When you consider it, virtually all the militantly “pro-life” are also dependably pro-war, or inextricably allied with the Mars Cultists. Is it possible to be both pro-life and pro-slaughter?

It may even be that by making cell-level potentialities the focus of your moral vision one necessarily loses the big picture, that is, the operation of morals in the sphere of actual human beings, sentient entities with hopes and dreams. (“Never mind the collateral casualties! There are stem cells to be saved!” says General Bush)
What they really are is anti-sex, mostly. I mean, what kind of sex education do they promote?

Now, as reported by the Washington Post, one of the most nauseating developments in recent memory:

The Bush administration yesterday announced plans to implement a controversial regulation designed to protect doctors, nurses and other health-care workers who object to abortion from being forced to deliver services that violate their personal beliefs.

The rule empowers federal health officials to pull funding from more than 584,000 hospitals, clinics, health plans, doctors' offices and other entities if they do not accommodate employees who refuse to participate in care they find objectionable on personal, moral or religious grounds.

"People should not be forced to say or do things they believe are morally wrong," Mike Leavitt said. "Health-care workers should not be forced to provide services that violate their own conscience."

Again: "People should not be forced to say or do things they believe are morally wrong.” That, like so much of the past eight years, would be funny, if it wasn’t so Orwellian. I wonder how this thinking at the White House applies to people serving in the military or intelligence services, people, including doctors and psychologists who ended up participating in torture. Also, how also will it apply to people who refuse to treat Republicans? Were I a doctor I’d be very tempted to draw the line right there.


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