Medical Conscience Victory in Vermont

by Wesley J. Smith

With the attacks on medical conscience increasing, some good news. Alliance Defending Freedom has successfully obtained a consent decree that protects doctors in Vermont from having to counsel about assisted suicide to legally qualified patients if they are morally or religiously opposed. From the decree:

Plaintiffs and similarly situated medical providers do not have a legal or professional obligation to counsel and refer patients for the Patient Choice at End of Life process [e.g., assisted suicide].

Good. 

That didn’t sit well with the assisted suicide advocacy organization Compassion and Choices–formerly the more honestly named Hemlock Society.  The group had filed a notice of appeal–showing the future intentions of assisted suicide pushers toward dissenting doctors very clearly.

But lacking standing–it wasn’t a party to the case–C & C finally took their jars of poison pills and went home. 

But let’s be clear: Vermont bureaucrats and assisted suicide advocates wanted to force dissenting doctors to be complicit in the assisted suicide process. And it took a lawsuit to stop them.

This is just a small skirmish in a much bigger policy and moral conflict. Even more concerted efforts seeking to force doctors, nurses, and pharmacists to participate in morally contentious legal activities in the medical context will be forthcoming, toward the end of forcing medical professionals to surrender their consciences as a condition of licensure regarding issues such abortion, assisted suicide, Catholic religious values maintained in Catholic hospitals, etc.

Good on Alliance Defending Freedom for standing firm for medical conscience!

 

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