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Commentary Opposes Proposed “Denial of Care” Legislation

Commentary published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch April 25, 2013 by Ed Weisbart, MD.

Law Should Not Put Doctors’ Wishes Over Patient Health

As a family physician who has practiced for 34 years and treated tens of thousands of patients, I’m strongly opposed to a bill moving quickly through the Missouri Legislature that would protect my personal, religious beliefs even when I could harm a patient by withholding care because of those beliefs.

The Denial of Care bill (SB84 & HB457) would prevent any medical setting (hospital, urgent care, doctor’s office, medical school) from taking action against an employee who denied certain care to a patient due to a moral objection. I should clarify that the bill would not protect me if I were to deny any type of care based on my moral objection; I’m only protected if I object to providing reproductive health care like birth control, sterilization, and assisted reproduction.  More …

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