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Author Topic: Doctors accused of using faith to violate gay bias laws  (Read 5727 times)
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« on: August 07, 2007, 02:42:19 PM »

Doctors accused of using faith to violate gay bias laws
By Laura Parker, USA TODAY

When does the freedom to practice religion become discrimination?  The California Supreme Court is being asked to answer that question when it hears a legal dispute between a lesbian mom and two doctors who refused to artificially inseminate her for religious reasons.

The first-of-its-kind case is shaping up as one of the most controversial before the court in years. The court has not set a date to hear the case, but more than 40 groups already have filed briefs asking to be heard.

The court is being asked to decide how to accommodate a physician's religious views without violating California's anti-discrimination laws.

California is a major testing ground for this issue.

Longstanding dispute
What distinguishes the case of Guadalupe Benitez is that the physicians involved refused to provide a medical procedure to one patient that they readily provide to others, says Jill Morrison, legal counsel to the National Women's Law Center, an advocacy group that works to protect women's rights in the workplace, schools, sports, and health care. "Usually, providers who object to certain services object to them for everyone: 'I won't provide contraception.' In this case, they don't object to the service, just the patient. You can't pick and choose. You can't say, 'I will perform it for white people, but not for black people.' "

Kenneth Pedroza, the doctors' attorney, counters that an "all-or-nothing" rule will drive physicians out of certain specialties.

The dispute arose in 2000 after San Diego-area doctors Christine Brody and Douglas Fenton refused to artificially inseminate Benitez, a lesbian who lives with her partner, Joanne Clark, in Oceanside, north of San Diego.

By that time, Benitez had been a patient at the clinic for 11 months and been taking fertility drugs prescribed by Brody. The clinic was the only facility covered by Benitez' health insurance plan.

"I was very distraught," Benitez says. "I was very confused. I couldn't even bear to think that possibly I was never going to be able to have children."

In 2001, Benitez sued the doctors, claiming that they violated California's anti-discrimination laws that protect gays and lesbians.

Court wrangling over pretrial issues consumed three years. In 2005, an appeals court ruled that the doctors have the right to wage their religious freedom defense at the trial. Benitez appealed that issue, and the state Supreme Court last year agreed to hear the case.

After the Supreme Court rules on that narrow issue, the case will go to trial.

Some facts in the case are still in dispute. The doctors say in court papers that they refused to treat Benitez because she is unmarried, not because she is gay. Benitez, now 35, contends that the physicians originally told her the issue was her sexual orientation, then changed their reason.

Other Californians also say doctors citing an objection to single parenthood have refused them certain treatments.

Cheryl Bray, a real estate broker, says she was humiliated when her doctor refused to perform a routine physical to allow her to complete an adoption of a baby from Mexico. When the doctor discovered she was single, he says he told her his religious beliefs require that children have two parents.

"I'm upper-middle-class mainstream," Bray says. "That's why I was just so shocked."

Bray, 44, eventually found another doctor who performed the exam, and she adopted a baby girl.

In the case before the state court, Pedroza says his clients referred Benitez to another physician who would perform the procedure.

"We want to help the patient find whatever they want," he says. "But at the same time, this is a relationship. Don't force your physician to do something against their sincerely held religious belief."

Groups align on both sides
The interveners include two dozen gay or civil rights groups, such as the American Civil Liberties Union, which argues that state anti-discrimination laws prohibit doctors from refusing to serve certain patients.

The doctors have drawn support from 16 conservative law centers or religious organizations, ranging from former U.S. attorney general Edwin Meese, who wrote the brief for the American Civil Rights Union, to the Foundation for Free Expression, a California group that calls homosexuality a "sin" in court papers and compares gay activists to "suicide bombers who would destroy themselves while they murder others." That brief drew a rebuke from the two doctors, who say neither supports "the tone of some of the references" or the "offensive language."

Benitez, meanwhile, received treatment at another facility and has given birth to a son, now 5, and twin daughters, now 2.

"People ask me, 'Why are you doing this? You have your kids,' " she says. "I want to make a difference. These doctors are not God. They cannot manipulate who can have children and who cannot."
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« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2007, 02:53:41 PM »

Doctors accused of using faith to violate gay bias laws
By Laura Parker, USA TODAY

Benitez, meanwhile, received treatment at another facility and has given birth to a son, now 5, and twin daughters, now 2.

"People ask me, 'Why are you doing this? You have your kids,' " she says. "I want to make a difference. These doctors are not God. They cannot manipulate who can have children and who cannot."

She obviously wants attention. Otherwise why wuntil three children later to raise a fuss?

I would have rejected her for being too old.
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« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2007, 02:56:51 PM »

Try again.  She raised a fuss from the beginning.  “Court wrangling over pretrial issues consumed three years.”  You obviously never took Civil Procedure.
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« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2007, 02:58:50 PM »

People that age shouldn't be making babies.
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« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2007, 12:01:36 PM »

People that age shouldn't be making babies.
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w
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« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2007, 12:08:24 PM »


Why what age are you  Smiley
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« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2007, 12:10:31 PM »

Religion and medicine should not intertwine here in the United States.  If you are practicing medicine here you take an oath to provide medical assistance to those who need it, not make your own decisions on such because of your faith.  I believe if you want to practice under such then it must be outlined in your Medical Journals and Licenses.
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« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2007, 01:03:25 PM »

Why what age are you  Smiley

My age is irrelevant. I hate discrimination of any kind, and will always stand up for those whose rights are violated, whether I happen to be in a priviledged or protected class or not. I stand for justice.
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w
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« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2007, 04:03:03 PM »

My age is irrelevant. I hate discrimination of any kind, and will always stand up for those whose rights are violated, whether I happen to be in a priviledged or protected class or not. I stand for justice.

Powerpack bit off more than he could chew, LOL!

Why in the heck should a doctor help some poor have a single grandma for a mommy during highschool?
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« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2007, 04:03:15 PM »

Doctors accused of using faith to violate gay bias laws
By Laura Parker, USA TODAY



When the doctor discovered she was single, he says he told her his religious beliefs require that children have two parents.

seems to me as long as we have separation of church and state she has legal grounds for a lawsuit
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« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2007, 05:00:54 PM »

Quote
The dispute arose in 2000 after San Diego-area doctors Christine Brody and Douglas Fenton refused to artificially inseminate Benitez, a lesbian who lives with her partner, Joanne Clark, in Oceanside, north of San Diego.

By that time, Benitez had been a patient at the clinic for 11 months and been taking fertility drugs prescribed by Brody. The clinic was the only facility covered by Benitez' health insurance plan.


I see she has a case because they took her money for 11 months and THEN told her they wouldn't follow through.

But I do not think unless a life is at risk a doctor has to do something that goes against their religion or personal morals.   They do have to refer the person somewhere else though. 

  We discussed doctors refusing to do stuff on the religion board not to long ago.  Should a doctor have to perform an abortion if it goes against their religion/morals?   I don't think they should have to, but they should have to refer them to someone else.

  I think it is that persons right to not do something that he feels is against his faith.  BUT they should have said that before treating her for 11 months.  She has a case for that being fraudulent.

 
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« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2007, 05:05:01 PM »

Religion and medicine should not intertwine here in the United States.  If you are practicing medicine here you take an oath to provide medical assistance to those who need it, not make your own decisions on such because of your faith.  I believe if you want to practice under such then it must be outlined in your Medical Journals and Licenses.

You think she NEEDED artificial insemination?
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« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2007, 07:22:37 PM »

You think she NEEDED artificial insemination?

Of course, LOL!

5yr old boys and twin girls need ancient parents. When they graduate high school and mommy is damn near retired they can help take care of her instead of attending college. Smiley
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« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2007, 11:01:41 PM »

My age is irrelevant. I hate discrimination of any kind, and will always stand up for those whose rights are violated, whether I happen to be in a priviledged or protected class or not. I stand for justice.
Oooooooooh prickly, that was an attempt at humour Jag  Wink
I stand for justice and commen sense for EVERY one!
Just because some one has the right to do some thing does not make it right for them or the people it will effect.
VIVA!!!! Grin
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« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2007, 11:54:13 PM »


In the case before the state court, Pedroza says his clients referred Benitez to another physician who would perform the procedure.

"We want to help the patient find whatever they want," he says. "But at the same time, this is a relationship. Don't force your physician to do something against their sincerely held religious belief."

. . .

Benitez, meanwhile, received treatment at another facility and has given birth to a son, now 5, and twin daughters, now 2.


Good grief.  The doctor referred her to someone else and she now has three kids.  Yet another needless lawsuit clogging the court system.  Sounds like folks trying to advance a political agenda.   
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« Reply #15 on: August 09, 2007, 01:57:34 AM »

Well Beach, ...how would you feel if your wife, or one of your children needed a blood transfusion to save their lives, but the procedure was neither given nor recommended because your physician was a Jehovah's Witness? Are we now to demand to know the religious beliefs of every service practicioner we interact with? What good would that do us even if we did? Unless we are completely versed in the dogmas and tenets of every religion, such knowledge does us little good anyway. To be required to do that would turn the US into a state similar to one of those radical Islamic countries where one wears their ideological or theological beliefs on their arms... or heads as the case may be. (colored head scarfs). Does that mean when we hire a lawn maintenance company we have to check first to ascertain their religion in order to make sure they will indeed kill the weeds? Afterall, ...they could be wiccan can consider all biological plant life sacred. Does that mean that those who worship at the alter of Versace can refuse to provide medical care to those who dress in Walmart or Kmart's blue light special? Are we stating that Dick Cheney's daughter would make a far less suitable parent because of her orientation than Joan Crawford? I'd rather have a lesbian with a sound head on her shoulders raising future members of society than an abusive, narcissistic, nymphomaniac with obssesions about wire hangers just because she was heterosexual. Good Grief people! Next you'll be saying it was ok for Muslim doctors to refuse medical services to you or your families because they disapprove of your lifestyles and your willingness to allow your women to appear in public unaccompanied by a male relative and without burkas! And before anyone starts with the racist rhetoric (even tho this is the women's board) I'd like to point out that not all Muslims are brown.

You have to stand for something or you will fall for anything, and separation of church and state exists for a reason.

Practice your religious beliefs, ...but do not force them on others, ...and if you're going to live in a secular society, interacting within a secular society, ...then do so. Otherwise pack up and move elsewhere to form your own society where you're free to practice what you want... just like the Morons did when moving to what is now present day Utah.
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« Reply #16 on: August 09, 2007, 04:09:51 AM »

Well Beach, ...how would you feel if your wife, or one of your children needed a blood transfusion to save their lives, but the procedure was neither given nor recommended because your physician was a Jehovah's Witness? Are we now to demand to know the religious beliefs of every service practicioner we interact with? What good would that do us even if we did? Unless we are completely versed in the dogmas and tenets of every religion, such knowledge does us little good anyway. To be required to do that would turn the US into a state similar to one of those radical Islamic countries where one wears their ideological or theological beliefs on their arms... or heads as the case may be. (colored head scarfs). Does that mean when we hire a lawn maintenance company we have to check first to ascertain their religion in order to make sure they will indeed kill the weeds? Afterall, ...they could be wiccan can consider all biological plant life sacred. Does that mean that those who worship at the alter of Versace can refuse to provide medical care to those who dress in Walmart or Kmart's blue light special? Are we stating that Dick Cheney's daughter would make a far less suitable parent because of her orientation than Joan Crawford? I'd rather have a lesbian with a sound head on her shoulders raising future members of society than an abusive, narcissistic, nymphomaniac with obssesions about wire hangers just because she was heterosexual. Good Grief people! Next you'll be saying it was ok for Muslim doctors to refuse medical services to you or your families because they disapprove of your lifestyles and your willingness to allow your women to appear in public unaccompanied by a male relative and without burkas! And before anyone starts with the racist rhetoric (even tho this is the women's board) I'd like to point out that not all Muslims are brown.

You have to stand for something or you will fall for anything, and separation of church and state exists for a reason.

Practice your religious beliefs, ...but do not force them on others, ...and if you're going to live in a secular society, interacting within a secular society, ...then do so. Otherwise pack up and move elsewhere to form your own society where you're free to practice what you want... just like the Morons did when moving to what is now present day Utah.

What a beautiful display of semantic obfuscation. Smiley

Artificial insemination is not a lifesaving procedure.
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« Reply #17 on: August 09, 2007, 04:16:13 AM »

What a beautiful display of semantic obfuscation. Smiley

Artificial insemination is not a lifesaving procedure.
That's not the point.  The point is religion should not play a part in a medical procedure. If the woman was married to a man and they couldn't conceive...there would be no problem, but because the woman is gay he has a problem with the procedure due to religion?  It's just wrong, she's not there for insight to religion, she's there to get pregnant and he chose to be a doctor...not a preacher.
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« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2007, 05:13:42 AM »

That's not the point.  The point is religion should not play a part in a medical procedure. If the woman was married to a man and they couldn't conceive...there would be no problem, but because the woman is gay he has a problem with the procedure due to religion?  It's just wrong, she's not there for insight to religion, she's there to get pregnant and he chose to be a doctor...not a preacher.

So do you think a doctor should have to preform an abortion if he thinks it is wrong or feels it is killing?  He should be forced to kill? 


 As for Jag's blood transfusion reference - I hope there is at least ONE doctor at the hospital who isn't a Jehovah and could give the transfusion.   Roll Eyes



 Here's the thread on the Religion Board:

  http://www.getbig.com/boards/index.php?topic=155968.0
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« Reply #19 on: August 09, 2007, 05:19:47 AM »

So do you think a doctor should have to preform an abortion if he thinks it is wrong or feels it is killing?  He should be forced to kill? 


 As for Jag's blood transfusion reference - I hope there is at least ONE doctor at the hospital who isn't a Jehovah and could give the transfusion.   Roll Eyes

I'm not for termination of baby as a form of birth control, but as a victim of rape, yes, unless the doctor would like to carry the child to term, deliver it and either pass it along to an adoption agency or care for it for the next 18 years.  I also believe that is a far different story than saying you won't artificially inseminate a woman because she's gay, or a single woman due to your religious beliefs. 
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« Reply #20 on: August 09, 2007, 05:26:20 AM »

I'm not for termination of baby as a form of birth control, but as a victim of rape, yes, unless the doctor would like to carry the child to term, deliver it and either pass it along to an adoption agency or care for it for the next 18 years.  I also believe that is a far different story than saying you won't artificially inseminate a woman because she's gay, or a single woman due to your religious beliefs. 

 I think even in the case of rape the doctor can refuse to do an abortion as long as he refers her case to someone who will do it.    But if I understand what you are saying, your are determining what reasons are valid to say no, if it is a form of birth control he can say no, but it is because of rape he can't? If the doctor believes that abortion is a form of murder he will suddenly find it acceptable to murder an innocent? I don't think so.

  You can't pick and chose.  If the procedure is not a medical emergency then IMO, I think a doctor has a right to refuse as long as he refers her to someone else. 

 In the case that was the start of this thread, I think the Dr was fraudulent because he treated her for 11months and THEN told her he wouldn't see it through.  He should of not taken her as a patient from the start.
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« Reply #21 on: August 09, 2007, 05:32:58 AM »

I think even in the case of rape the doctor can refuse to do an abortion as long as he refers her case to someone who will do it.    But if I understand what you are saying, your are determining what reasons are valid to say no, if it is a form of birth control he can say no, but it is because of rape he can't? If the doctor believes that abortion is a form of murder he will suddenly find it acceptable to murder an innocent? I don't think so.

  You can't pick and chose.  If the procedure is not a medical emergency then IMO, I think a doctor has a right to refuse as long as he refers her to someone else. 

 In the case that was the start of this thread, I think the Dr was fraudulent because he treated her for 11months and THEN told her he wouldn't see it through.  He should of not taken her as a patient from the start.

Not really, saying you won't perform an abortion because you feel like you are taking a life and not giving a life is one thing.  It isn't a religous reason, it's because they feel like they are killing a life.  Stating you are not going to "give" life because your religion says it's wrong for 2 gays to be together, to love each other enough to bring a life into the world (as any other loving couple would) is definitely wrong, in my book. 
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« Reply #22 on: August 09, 2007, 05:38:40 AM »

Not really, saying you won't perform an abortion because you feel like you are taking a life and not giving a life is one thing.  It isn't a religous reason, it's because they feel like they are killing a life.  Stating you are not going to "give" life because your religion says it's wrong for 2 gays to be together, to love each other enough to bring a life into the world (as any other loving couple would) is definitely wrong, in my book. 

  or their religion is against abortion, and is against non heterosexual relationships. 

I am not saying I agree with their views, but I do think it is their right to have those views and if it not an emergency they shouldn't have to go against their views and do something they feel is not right.  Then THEY(the doctor) would be committing a sin in their eyes.   How can you force someone to commit a sin that is not a medical emergency/necessity?
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« Reply #23 on: August 09, 2007, 05:57:43 AM »

  or their religion is against abortion, and is against non heterosexual relationships. 

I am not saying I agree with their views, but I do think it is their right to have those views and if it not an emergency they shouldn't have to go against their views and do something they feel is not right.  Then THEY(the doctor) would be committing a sin in their eyes.   How can you force someone to commit a sin that is not a medical emergency/necessity?

If they choose not to do it for everyone, then fine, but to say yes to heterosexuals and no to homosexuals for the sake of religious purpose is wrong.

And as far as forcing someone to commit a sin...I believe when you are going to medical school you are faced with all possible scenarious of the medical world.  If you feel your religion is more forth coming than medical oath...you don't belong in general medicine.  They should be specialized, stating they are religiously correct (so to speak).  Then the patient is aware and will look for a more suited doctor to take care of their personal needs.   
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« Reply #24 on: August 09, 2007, 06:05:02 AM »

WOW!........................ ....that's a lot of reading

(is there a "summary" key?)
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