Home Features Religious freedom in the medical field discussed at Religious Freedom Conference

Religious freedom in the medical field discussed at Religious Freedom Conference

Eric Patterson, executive vice president of the Religious Freedom Institute, spoke alongside other panelists Thursday, June 16, at the BYU Religious Freedom Conference, about a bill that he and others are attempting to pass.

The Medical Ethics and Diversity, or MED, Act provides fundamental conscious rights of doctors, nurses and any other healthcare professional.

Patterson shared an experience of a young nurse who, after being told to scrub in to assist in a surgery, went into the operating room to perform an abortion. The lead surgeon turned to her saying, “Don’t hate me.”

The nurse had been tricked into helping with the surgery because her religious beliefs went against abortion.

“Do we want our doctors and nurses to leave their values at the door?” Patterson said.

The MED Act, if passed, will help ensure religious rights for four categories of people involved in the healthcare system:

  • Health care practitioners. This includes mental health professionals.
  • Medical Institutions and their employees.
  • Insurance agencies and taxpayers.
  • Patients; specifically parental rights.

Patterson the went on to share an article written by Regina Frost, a religious woman and practicing OBGYN.

In late 2019, Planned Parenthood and the state of New York cracked down on regulations that disabled the right of medical professionals to opt out of procedures they didn’t feel comfortable with.

Frost wrote an article for the publication, the Federalist, in early 2020 expressing her concern for the profession that she loves.

“I cannot leave my humanity at the door,” Frost said.

Frost also explains that if restrictions keep getting tighter, she will have to either go against her conscience or be forced to leave.

“I cannot take the life of a child in one room and guide another child into this world in the next,” Frost said. “Nor can I care for one elderly woman while helping another end her life.”

Going against deeply held religious beliefs is something Frost is not prepared to do.

“My faith is at the heart of who I am,” Frost said. “It is what drives me to put the needs of women and their children first every day.”

The full article is available here.

Patterson closed his remarks by discussing three ways that we can help in this cause: Host a conference within your church, find first account testimony and ask them to share it with others, and educate others about the problem.

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