PHOTO: a bright pink Oregon Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment form or POLST for Thomas Kraemer POLST registry number OR19943 is shown next to a refrigerator magnet that is supposed to be followed by emergency workers who enter my house and by any hospital or other health care facility that may be treating me. It specifies "do not attempt resuscitation (DNR) and allow natural death (AND), No antibiotics, no artificial nutrition by tube. (See my previous post POLST for Thomas Kraemer OR19943 (7/3/10).
Recent court decisions have forced parents, against their religious beliefs, to provide lifesaving medical care to their child. Likewise, other court decisions have stopped parents from providing medical treatments, based on religion, to convert their child from being gay to straight because mainstream medical organizations consider these treatments to be unnecessary or potentially harmful to a child.
I support freedom of speech and religion, especially in the age of managed care and government-mandated health insurance, but I agree with several judges' decisions that found religious conservatives still have the free speech rights to advocate for sexual orientation conversions or to oppose medical treatments not based on their religious beliefs. One judge added parents should not have more medical rights than their children do. For example, parents are not are not exempt from legally established and rational medical regulations, such as prescription drug regulations, because regulations apply equally to everyone. Thus, parents do not have a right to prescribe for their child any medical treatment that requires the approval of a state-licensed medical care provider.
These decisions have led many religious conservatives to complain it makes them victims of religious intolerance, which is ironic because conservatives are normally the ones who accuse liberals of "playing the victim card" as an excuse instead of taking personal responsibility.
See previous posts and related links:
- Arthur S. Leonard, professor at New York Law School, "9th Circuit Rejects Constitutional Challenge to California Ban on Conversion Therapy for Minors," artleonardobservations.com posted Aug. 29, 3013 and later printed in newspaper by Arthur S. Loonard, "California Ban on “Conversion Therapy” for Minors Upheld," gaycitynews.com posted Sept. 4, 2013
- Wayne Besen, "Exodus Is Gone, But the 'Ex-Gay' Message Stubbornly Persists," huffingtonpost.com posted Aug. 25, 2013
- John Becker ex-gay expose on Corvallis PBS TV tonight (9/5/12)
- Rachel Zoll, AP Religion Writer, "Religious Exemptions on gay marriage continue to create division in churches," Gazette-Times, Aug. 31, 2013, p. A8
- Rachel Zoll, AP Religion Writer, "Religious Exemptions on gay marriage continue to create division in churches," Gazette-Times, Aug. 31, 2013, p. A8 bigstory.ap.org posted Aug. 25, 2013
- Mid-Valley Health Care Advocates mvhca.org MVHCA, PO Box 242, Corvallis, OR 97339-0242
- "The Board of Directors" Mid-Valley Health Care Advocates mvhca.org accessed Aug. 31, 2013
- Jeff Nielson, "Big changes coming for low-income patients, hopefully increasing options and curbing growth in spending," www.mvhca.org posted July 07, 2013 - Jeff Nielson is a Corvallis freelance writer and a member of the board of directors of the Community Health Centers of Benton and Linn Counties. He can be reached at: email@example.com
- Jeff Nielson, "Honoring patient's wishes, POLST helps ID patient directives and improve overall care," Gazette-Times, Sunday, Aug. 25, 2013, p. B10
- POLST for Thomas Kraemer OR19943 (7/3/10)