Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Randy Sly

1/19/2010 (5 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Senatorial Candidate Martha Coakley objected to providing the right of conscience to health care professionals. The CMA responded with outrage.

'Running roughshod over conscience rights is not only wrong in principle; it will harm patients as faithful, ethical health-care providers are driven out of practice.'

'Running roughshod over conscience rights is not only wrong in principle; it will harm patients as faithful, ethical health-care providers are driven out of practice.'

Highlights

By Randy Sly

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

1/19/2010 (5 years ago)

Published in Politics & Policy


WASHINGTON, D.C. (Catholic Online) - On Monday, the Catholic Medical Association (CMA) responded to statements made by Democratic Senatorial candidate Martha Coakley concerning respect for freedom of conscience rights for health care providers. Her comments were made during an interview on the Ken Pittman radio program out of New Bedford, MA on January 14.

Coakley faces a fierce battle for the senatorial seat formerly held by Ted Kennedy against Republican contender Scott Brown, who is now leading in some polls. However, the election is still too close to call.

"In the course of the interview, Martha Coakley demonstrated hostility to conscience rights in general, and to the beliefs of faithful Catholics in particular," stated John F. Brehany, Ph.D., S.T.L., executive director of the CMA.

Of course, the irony is obvious to any observer. Coakley claims to be a Catholic Christian. Yet, she seems to be one of those whom my good friend and Catholic Online Editor in Chief has called "Anti-Catholic Catholics". She denies the fundamental human right to life as revealed by the Natural Law, confirmed by medical science, and, taught infallibly by her own Church!

Under the constitutionally protected freedom of conscience clause, workers in health-care environments, whether they are doctors, nurses, even maintenance men, can refuse to offer services, information, or advice to patients regarding abortion contraception, blood transfusions, etc. if the workers are morally opposed to it.

During the program, Pittman brought up a question of whether Coakley would support healthcare legislation that removed such legal protection for the conscience clause.

Pittman stated on his website, "I chose this (question) based on her vitriolic campaign attack on Scott Brown's participation with a bill allowing medical people with religious principles to find another emergency room care provider to administer a pill or service to end the life of an unborn in the womb."

When asked if she would support federal legislation that protected the conscience rights of health care providers, Coakley replied, "I don't believe that would be included in the health care bill."

Moving on she stated that, "I would not pass a bill... to say that people who believe that they do not want to provide services required under the law and under Roe v. Wade that they can individually decide to not follow the law. The answer to that is no."

Another excerpt from the program follows:

Ken Pittman: "Right, if you are a Catholic, and believe what the Pope teaches that any form of birth control is a sin. Ah, you don't want to do that."
Martha Coakley: "No, we have a separation of church and state. Ken, let's be clear.
Ken Pittman: "In the emergency room you still have your religious freedom."
Martha Coakley: (......uh, eh...um...) "The law says that people are allowed to have that. You can have religious freedom but you probably shouldn't work in the emergency room."

According to Dr. Brehany, a faithful Catholic and outstanding medical professional, there are a couple of important things to notice about Coakley's comments.

"First," he noted, "Although much attention has been paid to Coakley's comments about 'working in the emergency room,' her comments reveal hostility to the rights of all medical providers regarding any procedure under the law.

"While it is true that focused attacks on conscience rights have centered on abortion and reproductive services, there is nothing to prevent advocacy groups from insisting that providers cooperate with euthanasia, assisted suicide, and any number of other unethical actions. Coakley specifically disagrees with objecting to any services 'required under the law and Roe v. Wade'."

"Second," Brehany commented, "Coakley's statements reveal a specific hostility to faithful Catholics. While some news stories of the interview have referred to 'devout Catholics' in the emergency room, the interviewer actually referenced Catholics who 'believe what the Pope teaches.' This is the definition of a real Catholic, not of only a "devout" Catholic.

"Coakley's dismissal of their faith and rights and is a shocking display of disrespect for members of one religion. Even on legal grounds, it is inadequate, as Matt Bowman of the Alliance defense fund has pointed out here."

When asked what Democrats would do with a Coakley win in the senatorial election on Tuesday, he stated, "They would take it as an endorsement of Obamacare, and the version of it, if you will, that we see emerging - number one, a huge Federal takeover of healthcare that is arguably unworkable, expensive, flawed and a huge entitlement expansion.

"Number two, an entitlement program that has been built on partisan secrecy and deal-making. The unions just got a deal worth $60 billion.

"And third, what looks like an evident disregard for the very serious religious and ethical objections that have been raised (such as) abortion and conscience rights.

"They will say, 'Well, hey, she stood up for insisting that people to follow the rule of law in Roe v. Wade; so we don't need to listen to the U.S. Bishops, we don't need to listen to Catholics, we don't need to listen to pro-life healthcare providers. We can do what we want."

Brehany observed that many Americans, particularly independent voters but even some Democratic voters are experiencing buyer's remorse, "thinking that Obama would be a pragmatic post-partisan candidate. He's nothing like that at all."

Brehany concluded, "This should be a wake-up call to all Catholics and even all health care providers. Conscience rights in medical practice are under attack as never before. People should demand legal protection of their human and constitutional rights in any new health care legislation.

"Running roughshod over conscience rights is not only wrong in principle; it will harm patients as faithful, ethical health-care providers are driven out of practice."

Founded in 1932, the Catholic Medical Association is the largest association of Catholic physicians in North America. For more information, go to http://www.cathmed.org.

-----

Randy Sly is the Associate Editor of Catholic Online. He is a former Archbishop of the Charismatic Episcopal Church who laid aside that ministry to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for June 2015
Universal:
That immigrants and refugees may find welcome and respect in the countries to which they come.
Evangelization: That the personal encounter with Jesus may arouse in many young people the desire to offer their own lives in priesthood or consecrated life.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Politics & Policy

Supreme Court 'unwrote laws of nature' GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee declares Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Saying that the Supreme Court tried to "unwrite the laws of nature and the laws of nature's God" when it legalized gay marriage across the nation last week, GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee also pointed out the fact that President Barack Obama himself ... continue reading


'They will stand behind lying Brian Williams, but won't stand behind people that tell it like it is': Donald Trump fired from NBC for controversial immigrant statements Watch

Image of Donald Trump retired from The Apprentice after announcing his presidential bid.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

NBC has made the decision to cut ties with Donald Trump, over his political view and controversial statements regarding immigration made during his presidential announcement. Donald Trump and NBC have had a relationship, including Trump's produced Miss USA and Miss ... continue reading


When is the best time to take out Social Security? Watch

Image of 100-year-old woman.

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Financial advisers usually advice their clients to take Social Security benefits at the age of 70 for maximum growth. However, it is found that most people don't take that advice, as they are likely to withdraw what they have saved up as soon as they hit retirement. A ... continue reading


IT'S NOT OVER: Freedom of Religion may trump same-sex marriage victories Watch

Image of

By Matt Hadro and Adelaide Mena, CNA/ETWN News

Friday's Supreme Court ruling against the traditional understanding of marriage may pose huge obstacles to the free exercise of religion and conscience across the U.S., the nation's bishops have said in response to the decision. Washington D.C.(CNA/EWTN News) - ... continue reading


Decisions on same-sex marriage, power-plant emissions now in the hands of Supreme Court Watch

Image of Six major cases, all of them affecting the American Way of Life are in front of the Supreme Court.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Six major cases, all of them affecting the American Way of Life are in front of the Supreme Court. Decisions regarding same-sex marriages, power plant emissions and execution methods will all be rendered by either Friday or early next week. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett's family has strong communist roots, files prove Watch

Image of Valerie Jarrett's father, pathologist and geneticist Dr. James Bowman, has been found to have had extensive ties to Communist associations and individuals.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Does the apple truly fall far from the tree? Recently uncovered files show that Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to U.S. President Barack Obama and trusted confidant has family ties with those with communist leanings. These uncovered files prove that Jarrett's ... continue reading


Donald Trump surges in popularity polls in New Hampshire Watch

Image of Dismissed by political professionals, who view him as little more than a

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Dismissed by political professionals, who view him as little more than a "novelty candidate," there's no denying Donald Trump's surge in popularity in opinion polls in New Hampshire. The billionaire developer and reality TV show star comes in at second among ... continue reading


Terrorists who pose as journalists will no longer have protection from the U.S. new Pentagon manual states Watch

Image of The new manual from the pentagon is designed to reflect the fact that many fighters do not wear military uniforms or pretend to be trusted civilians to hit targets.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Pentagon has released new instructions on dealing with terrorists, or more specifically, terrorists who pose as journalists or journalists who work with terrorist groups. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The "Department of Defense Law of War Manual" is a ... continue reading


Offensive or not? University of California issues bizarre speech police to tell you what not to say Watch

Image of The University of California administration issues handout that recommend students refrain from using some words.

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

University of California is providing suggestions on what to say and what not to say within the campus grounds. However, the words and statements they deem as offensive, sexist and racist are not simply explicit words with direct negative connotations. According to ... continue reading


President Obama applauds Pope Francis' stance on climate change Watch

Image of Pope Francis will be traveling to the United States September for the first time. His itinerary begins in Washington, where he will meet Obama and speak at Congress.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

United State President Barack Obama has lauded Pope Francis' encyclical,  "Laudato Si," and says he wants fellow world leaders to acknowledge its message about climate change. Published last week, the encyclical calls for humanity to change its approach to ... continue reading


All Politics & Policy News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Genesis 19:15-29
15 When dawn broke the angels urged Lot on, 'To your ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 26:2-3, 9-10, 11-12
2 Probe me, Yahweh, examine me, Test my heart and my ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 8:23-27
23 Then he got into the boat followed by his ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for June 30th, 2015 Image

First Martyrs of the See of Rome
June 30: The holy men and women are also called the “Protomartyrs of ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter