Last week a woman in Calgary took a photo of a sign on the door of a health clinic that advised patients that the doctor on duty would not prescribed birth control.
The doctor said that birth control goes against her religious beliefs, and she has a legal right to not prescribe it. But what about the legal right of her patients?
There was a very interesting debate held on CBC’s Day 6 this morning about this issue. The debate between two medical ethicists looked at both sides of the issue. While I do believe that a doctor has a right to their own beliefs, when it comes to birth control I have rather strong feelings.
Birth control is medication for me. I have polycystic ovarian syndrome and I was prescribed birth control before I was even sexually active to help me control my hormones. There are other diseases that have the same treatment, but this doctor would refuse to treat my PCOS or another woman’s endometriosis because she believes that birth control is morally wrong.
A bigger issue for me, though, is that if I am going to a doctor that won’t prescribe me birth control because he or she is opposed to it, I am much less likely to discuss other medical issues that I am having for fear that he or she will judge me and my lifestyle. We do not live in a country where your religion dictates my life.
And let’s face it, when this doctor talks about being morally opposed to birth control, that opposition comes from religion because there is no scientific reason. It seems that a doctor who is so religious as to be opposed to a totally legal and widely available medication should maybe reconsider going into a general practice.