Health care providers in Michigan and Wisconsin may receive legal sanction to refuse to participate in abortions or other procedures that violate their consciences, if pending bills pass. Sadly, some are decrying a doctor's right to act morally.

In Wisconsin, Governor Jim Doyle has said he will veto the bill that passed the state Assembly 56-35 and the state Senate 20-13. Doyle says, "You're moving into very dangerous precedent where doctors make moral decisions on what medical care they'll provide." So, he's saying that without this law doctors shouldn't make moral decisions?

According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the bill also allows a doctor not to inform patients of treatments that might violate the doctor's conscience. "Doctors could refuse to deliver information about or perform procedures involving abortion, sterilization, human embryos, and fetal tissue or organs." The Journal-Sentinel doesn't tell readers when or how often such objectionable procedures are the only means to treat patients, but it does tell the story of one woman who had an abortion because she developed "a serious blood condition that her doctor said could kill her." As if doctors who refuse to perform abortions because they believe it is murder would give a patient with a life-threatening condition no other treatment options.

In Michigan, the state house voted along partisan lines to give doctors the same kind of discretion. The bills would "protect health care workers and insurers from being fired or sued for refusing to perform a procedure, fill a prescription or cover treatment for something they object to for moral, ethical or religious reasons," according to the Associated Press. The bill does not give pharmacists freedom to refuse to fill ...

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Launched in 1999, Christianity Today’s Weblog was not just one of the first religion-oriented weblogs, but one of the first published by a media organization. (Hence its rather bland title.) Mostly compiled by then-online editor Ted Olsen, Weblog rounded up religion news and opinion pieces from publications around the world. As Christianity Today’s website grew, it launched other blogs. Olsen took on management responsibilities, and the Weblog feature as such was mothballed. But CT’s efforts to round up important news and opinion from around the web continues, especially on our Gleanings feature.
Ted Olsen
Ted Olsen is Christianity Today's editorial director. He wrote the magazine's Weblog—a collection of news and opinion articles from mainstream news sources around the world—from 1999 to 2006. In 2004, the magazine launched Weblog in Print, which looks for unexpected connections and trends in articles appearing in the mainstream press. The column was later renamed "Tidings" and ran until 2007.
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