Holy War or Civil Rights?

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In today’s modern era, everyone expects to be treated by a doctor whenever we fall ill or are in need of medical attention. There is this oath called the Hippocratic Oath that doctors have been taking for thousands of years declaring that they will do all that they can to treat the ill to the best of their ability (Wright, “Ideals and the Hippocratic Oath). But according to the American Medical Association (AMA) doctors are allowed to decline treatment if it is incompatible with their personal, moral and religious beliefs (MyFOXDetroit.com). Doctors cannot refuse treatment to patients of a different sexual orientation, but in this case, it may be what just happened.

According to MyFOXDetroit.com, Krista and Jami Contreras had made an appointment with their local pediatrician to take a look at their newborn girl named Bay Windsor Contreras. When they arrived, a different doctor from that whom they had originally made the appointment with came in telling them that Doctor Roi, the doctor who originally would look at Bay, prayed on not coming into work in order to skip their appointment. Krista and Jami were astonished and believe that it was due to their sexual orientation. Dr. Roi refused to provide a comment to MyFOXDetroit.com about the situation.

It is clear that there homophobia plays a major factor in this, especially when it is religiously based. This gave rise to the issue that some doctors are facing on whether they can refuse treatment on homosexual patients due to their religious beliefs. In California, a woman who was denied treatment at a fertility clinic after her doctor discovered that she was a lesbian, even though she had been taking the drugs needed for almost a year (Regan). The doctor told her that going through with the procedure would be going against everything his religion has taught him, therefore going against his faith. Will this lead to a new global issue? It is the heterosexist norm that only heterosexual couples are meant to reproduce and have families but in today’s modern age, we accept queer couples having families and raising kids. Why must this be such an issue with doctors, who don’t have the right to judge us by who we are and who we love?

Many homosexual couples face the challenges that have already derived from gay marriage laws, but we cannot let the gender binary affect the way we see them as parents. Everyone can be a parent, whether they are homosexual or not, disabled or able bodied. Whatever faith we are, we cannot let it affect the way we see others and discriminate them. This new challenge, especially for those in fields that affect lives such as medicine and law enforcement, will bring challenges but we should take example from those who strive to do what is right. We should not be influenced by our religious belief and discriminate homosexual couples for their sexualities. Dr. Roi had no right to refuse treatment to a child who has done nothing wrong. Her response to the family makes the matter worse as she responded by saying, “After much prayer following your prenatal, I felt that I would not be able to develop the personal patient-doctor relationships that I normally do with my patients.” (MyFOXDetroit.com). This rising issue brings tension between two parties that have been battling it out for a long time. Whether or not in this day and age do we have the ability to stop basing our judgment from misinterpretations of a book that was written nearly a thousand years ago will be the new issue that we as a society will have face (Religioustolerance.org). We must act together to fight for a world where everyone has equal rights, for a world where no doctor will deny a gay couple’s child just because of their sexuality or even race. Religioustolerance.org claims in their article that according to the bible, change is necessary for growth. Can we change ourselves to respect one another? We have done it before through other civil rights movements such as equal rights for coloured people. We have a pope who supports gay marriage and states in the US that allow for gay marriage. But for this to be possible, we must act as united force.

-Mejicanluis

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Works Cited

MyFOXDetroit.com. “Doctor Refuses Treatment of Same-sex Couple’s Baby.” – Fox 2 News Headlines. FOX, 18 Feb. 2015. Web. 10 Mar. 2015. <http://www.myfoxdetroit.com/story/28142401/doctor-refuses-treatment-of-same-sex-couples-baby&gt;.

Regan, L.K. “Can Doctors Refuse to Treat Gay People Based on Their Religious Beliefs? Calif. Supreme Court to Decide.” Can Doctors Refuse to Treat Gay People Based on Their Religious Beliefs? Calif. Supreme Court to Decide. Real Jock, 18 Jan. 2015. Web. 10 Mar. 2015. <http://www.realjock.com/article/1130&gt;.

ReligiousTolerance.org. “Part 3: Six Biblical Reasons Why Christians Should Embrace Same-sex Relationships.Better Believe It… The Bible Shows Us SIX Reasons!” Six Reasons Why the Bible Is Not against Gays. 25 June 2008. Web. 10 Mar. 2015.

Wright, Michelle. “Ideals and the Hippocratic Oath. Medical Information. | Patient.co.uk.”Patient.co.uk. 22 June 2011. Web. 10 Mar. 2015.

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6 thoughts on “Holy War or Civil Rights?

  1. I really appreciate the way you looked at this situation as a systematic problem, rather then a one-time occurrence. I agree with your statement that “we cannot let it affect the way we see others and discriminate them” however I think it is much more difficult then it would appear to be. People who were raised with specific beliefs identify with those beliefs as making up who they are and how to lead their life; the doctor obviously has very strong religious beliefs and it is important to look at this situation from that point of view as well as from the mothers’ point of view.
    Furthermore, I question why you say that homophobia plays a major factor in this discriminatory situation, “especially when it is religious based”. Why is it clearer that this comes from a homophobic viewpoint simply because it is based in religion? Would it not be equally homophobic coming from any other non religious basis? I do not believe that all religious people fear or hate homosexuals, rather it may be more that that is what their set of beliefs says?
    Great viewpoint though; these are just things to consider.
    -rayofsunshine

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    1. I agree with your statement that those raised with specific beliefs will believe them throughout their life. But I also believe that we can change our views on anything if we take the time to understand things better, for example I was also raised with a catholic perspective in life but I didn’t allow it to completely take over how I felt about things like same sex marriage. And You are absolutely right when you say that not all religious people fear or hate homosexuals. It is true that not all fear them but there are those who take extreme measures to belittle them and make them feel unequal. Those are the people who I was referring to. I hope I didn’t insult you or made you angry in anyway, but I do appreciate your comment and will take your points onto consideration.
      -Mejicanluis

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  2. I especially like how you explain in detail the obligations of a doctor, that have an oath to treat the ill to the best of their abilities. Although I feel that the debate on not treating someone based on sexual orientation is directly related to personal and religious beliefs and therefore the doctor may have a valid ( although questionably immoral and homophobic based) reason to decline treatment. I also agree that gender binary shouldn’t affect our vision on who can be a parent, while the media and pop culture may shows same-sex couples living happily with their children they ignore/gloss over the stigma that is present and how hard it is having to deal with it.
    Furthermore, while religion has always been the blame for homophobic behaviour we can not simply ignore other non-religious factors as there are religious people who would support gay parents and by grouping them together in a stereotype that all religious people are homophobic we become the ignorant ones.
    Great review overall.
    -secretlybatman

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  3. I enjoyed your review and liked how you brought up the other instance in California where a homosexual woman was denied help at a fertility clinic due to her sexual orientation, it helps one understand further that this case is not an isolated incident, but rather an occurrence that leads to a bigger picture. I agree with you where concerning most of the points you made about the importance of doctors remaining impartial to a patient’s sexual orientation and how it can be harmful how professionals can refuse to treat people do to their personal beliefs and situated knowledge. I do however think that by refusing to treat the couple, Dr. Roi is doing them a favor as they do not want to be treated by someone who isn’t giving them her full attention, respect and care. I do understand how this entire issue is pressing because Dr. Roi is a trained, medical professional that should care for all living beings the same way, and not value certain individuals less than others, but at the same time I commend her honesty and he understanding that due to her personal beliefs she finds herself unable to help this couple to the best of her abilities. I felt that she could have dealt with the entire thing in a more tactful manner and maybe addressed the couple personally when refusing her care because her actions made me question her professionalism entirely, but I do understand where she is coming from.
    I’m interesting in knowing what you think doctors with strong beliefs, that borderline on the grounds of homophobia, should do when placed in a situation like this? I, myself, have thought about this but haven’t been able to come to an informed, unbiased and concrete solution of how doctors can treat all people equally, regardless of microagressions or just plain prejudice, and remain faithful to their belief systems. It is most definitely a seriously sticky predicament that is not at all just black and white.
    Well done!!

    – MasalaCHICKen

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  4. I feel as though you have a very negative view point of religion. Although the world has definitely come a long way since the Bible was written, it definitely helps to keep some people doing very positive things so I think it was a little degrading to call it just some book written over a thousand years ago.
    I really enjoyed your introductory paragraph describing the oath doctors take, I didn’t really know much about it before so it was interesting to see that this oath doctors take and allowance the AMA have provided doctors sometimes contradict each other.
    Nice post, a little degrading to religious people, but interesting points brought up for sure!
    – NoSpeakAfricano

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  5. I appreciate all of your comments. I just want to clear some things up. As NoSpeakAfricano pointed out, my tone may have been a little degrading to religious people. But I believe in matters like these you have to be a little aggressive in order to push the message and stop issues such as these. I feel that some people, for instead those who are part of the Westboro Baptist Church are so closed minded and will take anything that they read and interpret it in such a horrible way and do horrible things as rallying up for a soldier’s funeral with picket signs saying “god hates fags”. I’m not saying that every christian is like these horrible people but what I am trying to say is that we need to stop discrimination like this and try to be more open minded. I too come from a religious background, but as I said to rayofsunshine, I opened my mind to the way things are in the 21st century. I hope I didn’t insult anyone.

    I also want to touch on what most of you commented on by saying how the doctor may had have a valid reason, although not the right one. I am ok with her having her beliefs and doing what she wants with it but in a profession that requires you to treat the health of others such as medicine, you should not be judgemental and cannot reject and discriminate them, even if your faith makes you feel like that. I just don’t agree with that and feel like it’s really wrong.

    Once again, I appreciate all of your comments and agree with what you all have to say and I apologize if I offended anyone.
    -mejicanluis

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