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Michigan House Passes Bill Allowing Doctors To Refuse Treatment of Gays

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BayCityProgressive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 11:52 AM
Original message
Michigan House Passes Bill Allowing Doctors To Refuse Treatment of Gays

Looks like the Right wing nuts are at it again. As a gay resident of Michigan this really disturbs me. I have faith that Gov. Granholm will veto this monstrosity if it passes the senate. She has been consistantly progressive on GLBT issues and recently issued an executive order giving worker protections to GLBT state employees.


The Republican-controlled Michigan House of Representatives passed a
measure today that would allow doctors to refuse to treat gay, lesbian,
bisexual and transgender patients. The Conscientious Objector Policy
Act provides that health care workers can refuse service to anyone for
moral, ethical, or religious reasons, although the measure would
prohibit the refusal of emergency care.

The bill was strongly supported by the Michigan Catholic Conference, a
conservative religious organization that also hosted a legislative day
for Catholics at the state Capitol today. The bill now goes to the
Republican-controlled Senate, according to

In addition, three other bills that may affect health care for LGBT
patients were approved by the House today. One would exempt a health
insurer or health facility from providing or covering a health care
procedure that violated ethical, moral or religious principles
reflected in their bylaws or mission statement.

Vocal opponents of the measure included Rep. Chris Kolb, the first
openly gay legislator in Michigan. "Are you telling me that a health
care provider can deny me medical treatment because of my sexual
orientation? I hope not," he asked the House.


Rep. Bieda: "I voted against HB 5277 and 5288 because these
organizations already can decide not to offer a particular service, or
coverage for a particular service, and that this legislation is not

Rep. Meisner: "In order to become a physician, individuals must take
the Hippocratic Oath ... Nowhere in the oath does it say that
physicians shall not treat people whose ethnicity, sexual orientation,
or beliefs they may not agree with or approve of. This package of bills
would amend the Hippocratic Oath in a way that takes rights away from
people in the name of protecting the rights of others. We do not have
the moral or professional standing to do either."

Rep. Kolb: "This bill allows health care providers to deny needed
health care services to any individual not currently protected from
discrimination under the state's Elliot-Larsen civil rights act. Thus,
a health provider could refuse health care to an individual based upon
a patient's actual or perceived sexual orientation. I adamantly oppose
this legislation and believe that this is a very dangerous path for
Michigan to travel down."


Associated Press - April 22, 2004
"Michigan Votes to Protect Conscience Rights" - by Amy F. Bailey - April 22, 2004
"Michigan Preparing to Let Doctors Refuse to Treat Gays"

Lansing State Journal - March 28, 2004
"Health morality: 'Objector' bills deserve defeat"


Full text of bill:

Michigan Catholic Conference Statement:

This publication of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation
(GLAAD) can be found here:

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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 11:56 AM
Response to Original message
1. Wellstone was a big supporter of GLBT people as well.
Edited on Sat Apr-24-04 11:57 AM by HypnoToad
That's probably not why he signed the DOMA. :mad:

Don't count your chickens until they're on the grill. They might end up fried instead.

(edit: Added :mad: )
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Liberal Veteran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 11:56 AM
Response to Original message
2. A symptom of a sick society....
...that such a blatantly discriminatory bill would pass in any legislature.

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SemperEadem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 02:21 PM
Response to Reply #2
17. However, the oath that they take supercedes this bill
The Oath of Hippocrates (translated by Edelstein, 1943)

I swear by Apollo Physician and Asclepius and Hygieia and Panaceia and all the gods and goddesses, making them my witnesses, that I will fulfil according to my ability and judgment this oath and this covenant:

To hold him who has taught me this art as equal to my parents and to live my life in partnership with him, and if he is in need of money to give him a share of mine, and to regard his offspring as equal to my brothers in male lineage and to teach them this art - if they desire to learn it - without fee and covenant; to give a share of precepts and oral instruction and all the other learning to my sons and to the sons of him who has instructed me and to pupils who have signed the covenant and have taken an oath according to the medical law, but to no one else.

I will apply dietetic measures for the benefit of the sick according to my ability and judgment; I will keep them from harm and injustice.

I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody if asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy. In purity and holiness I will guard my life and my art.

I will not use the knife, not even on sufferers from stone, but will withdraw in favour of such men as are engaged in this work.

Whatever houses I may visit, I will come for the benefit of the sick, remaining free of all intentional injustice, of all mischief and in particular of sexual relations with both female and male persons, be they free or slaves.

What I may see or hear in the course of the treatment or even outside of the treatment in regard to the life of men, which on no account one must spread abroad, I will keep to myself holding such things shameful to be spoken about.

If I fulfil this oath and do not violate it, may it be granted to me to enjoy life and art, being honoured with fame among all men for all time to come; if I transgress it and swear falsely, may the opposite of all this be my lot.
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LittleApple81 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 11:58 AM
Response to Original message
3. Do you think the Catholic church is veering far right because of
the Pope being so conservative or because they want to co-opt the evangelist slant?
The Catholic Church in Latin America has been this conservative in Latin America since the Spanish conquest. But I have been noticing a right-wing veering in the American church.
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MidwestTransplant Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 12:01 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. "Michigan Catholic Conference"
May not represent the Catholic church or most catholics. It could be one of those right wing names that make people think they are legitimate.
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keep_left Donating Member (158 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 12:28 PM
Response to Reply #5
12. Right. It's almost certainly a Tom Monaghan (R-Opus Dei) front. n/t
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keep_left Donating Member (158 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 01:32 PM
Response to Reply #3
15. Both cases (sort of).
Edited on Sat Apr-24-04 01:44 PM by keep_left
The Pope is not really ultra-conservative about some things. He's from a Socialist country that bled the USSR dry and actually did a few things for its citizens besides send them to gulags. Sort of like the old Yugoslavia: Communism Lite. So he's somewhat in tune with the social Gospel movements within the Church. And in his official pronouncements, he has strongly criticized "globalization" and other movements for being what they are: corporate mercantilist policies which are very harmful for 99.9% of the world. But the Pope is very retrograde on doctrine.

The Church in Latin America is far right because until recent times, it was an agency of imperialism. There's an old saying that goes something like "work and pray, toil all day, and there'll be pie in the sky when you die". Eventually the people of Latin America decided they weren't going to wait for the pie in the sky, and some in the Church agreed. That's the essence of the modern Church. But there has also been a strong counter-tendency (e.g. Opus Dei), because those in power don't want the gravy train to end. Tremendous ultra-violence was used to repress the progressives in Latin America.

The right-veering nature of the US Church is not a lot different, but has uniquely American elements. The main one is concentration of power and $$$; in particular, the rise of right-wing foundations which began in the '70s. Everyone lined up for a handout from the corporations to start up a RW think tank, and the retrograde elements in the Church were no different. Hence you have "Catholic" think tanks like the Acton Institute, and corporate money from people like Tom Monaghan goes to bogus "Catholic" organizations like EWTN and Monaghan's entire line of profit-making scams (investment plans, long-distance telephone companies, law schools with no accreditation, you name it). These people consciously emulate the fundies, especially in their media organizations like EWTN.

These people do NOT speak for the majority in the Church, not even a sizable minority. Forget about abortion; these people would love to see the Comstock Laws (no contraception) reinstated as Federal law. That's how extreme they are.
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SemperEadem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 02:25 PM
Response to Reply #3
18. The Catholic League rears its ugly head once again
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Don Claybrook Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 11:59 AM
Response to Original message
4. Maybe they're just poor spellers
It could be that they thought it was called the Hypocritical Oath.

Of course, it's more likely that they're hate-filled scum, but I thought I'd mention the other possibility.
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BayCityProgressive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 12:02 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. they are a crumbling useless corporation
and nothing more. Now that the light has been shined on their scandals they have to deflect the scrutiny. Also, Bush supports State sponsored church welfare..they don't want to give up that pie.
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cosmicdot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 12:07 PM
Response to Original message
7. I feel as if I'm watching the 4th Reich entrench itself on the Homeland
... it's frightening ...

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Loki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 12:12 PM
Response to Original message
8. Another way to love your fellow human beings
brought to you by those folks who brought you the "Inquisition." As a health care professional, I am appalled and deeply ashamed. I am deeply offended by what the Republicans in the State of Michigan have done. Hell is obviously a place that they will become well acquainted with.
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keep_left Donating Member (158 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 12:14 PM
Response to Original message
9. Okay, let me hammer away at a couple of points here.
First of all, WTF???!!! Don't these people have anything better to do? The good folks of Michigan had BETTER fire these idiots in the next election!

Second, I personally witnessed a medical school graduation (Creighton, a CATHOLIC med school) where the graduating class wrote the Hippocratic Oath in their own words, adding on items that were in the spirit of the original. Several of these items included race, creed, economic status, and sexual orientation. The good Jesuits at the med school didn't appear peeved about this. They certainly knew about it--it was printed in the damn program!

I KNOW who is behind this, because I've been watching these people for years. It's Tom Monaghan and his band of thugs, who basically think they can buy off all the politicians in Michigan with Monaghan's Domino's Pizza fortune. He's an extremely malignant force in politics and the Catholic church alike. There are virtually NO Catholics who agree with this guy, but he has tons of $$$ and gives it to reactionary organizations like the EWTN network, Franciscan University at Steubenville (we call it "Stupidville"), and far right think tanks. He's just scum.
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tedzbear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 12:15 PM
Response to Original message
10. It's time for you to move to San Francisco.
Any city that the Republicans call "the belly of the beast" is a safe place for the likes of us.

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AspenRose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 12:20 PM
Response to Original message
11. This trend is disturbing
Hippocratic Oath
This version: Written in 1964 by Louis Lasagna, Academic Dean of the School of Medicine at Tufts University, and used in many medical schools today.

I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:

I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.
I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures which are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism.
I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon's knife or the chemist's drug.
I will not be ashamed to say "I know not," nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient's recovery.
I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God.
I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person's family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.
I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.
I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.
If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.

NOWHERE did I see it say "...all my fellow human beings, except those I disagree with or don't like."

I would like to see DR. Howard Dean make a statement about this.

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IronLionZion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 12:33 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. We need Howard Dean in Kerry's cabinet
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Pathwalker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 01:21 PM
Response to Original message
14. Also included: ABORTIONS, BIRTH CONTROL , etc.
This bill also includes the right of pharmacists AND ALL OTHER HEALTH CARE WORKERS the right to refuse care FOR ANYTHING they do not believe in. This bill is not limited to just refusing to treat gays, but is really much more sweeping in its scope. VERY scary.
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moondust Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 01:46 PM
Response to Original message
16. The Nazis didn't like Jews or gypsies.
Or people with disabilities. How long before the Michigan House gets to them?
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