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The Bioethics of Refusing to Treat a Patient

Medical doctors should be able to refuse to treat patients based on their personal belief.

Timothy Muraoka
Block 5 11-27-12

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Thesis Statement: Medical doctors should be able to refuse to treat patients based on their personal belief.
I. Conscientious objection is being practiced and can be protected by the law.
A. Conscientious objection is a doctor’s right to refuse to offer specific treatments in a nonemergency setting, so long as alternative treatment options are provided. (Grady, May2006, para.1)

1. Pediatricians are refusing to treat children if not vaccinated first according to guidelines set by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (Andrews, September 26, 2011, para. 3)
2. A few ob-gyn doctors in South Florida now refise to see otherwise healthy women because they are overweight. (LaMendola, May 17, 2011, para. 1)
B. Some states allow and don’t allow independent conscientious objections by their medical doctors.
1. Under proposed Michigan law, licensed professionals, students at a health facility, and others in health care services at more than 15 specified locations where health related activities take place would be allowed to conscientiously object. (Grady, May 2006, para.4)

2. New Jersey’s law prohibits pharmacists for refusing to fill prescriptions solely on moral, religious or ethnical grounds. (Pharmacist, May 1, 2012, para.4)

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II. When people live a certain way it can make procedures performed by doctors more difficult to perform.
A. Some 54% of doctors who took part in a survey about “life rationing” said the NHS should have the right to withhold non-emergency treatment from patients who do not lose weight or stop smoking. (Cambell, April, 28, 2012, para.1 and 2)

1. Some medics believe unhealthy behavior can make procedures less likely to work, and that the service is not obliged to devote...
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