I was reading an article in the Atlantic the other day about tubal ligation, an extremely common form of surgical sterilization, not being allowed in the US at Catholic hospitals. You can read the article here. Truthfully, at the time it went in one eyeball and out the other. Yeah, yeah, that’s not news…
Today I was thinking, though.
So here I am posting.
I never learned how to place an IUD in residency. We were not allowed to use them because of religious stipulations placed in the residency program’s charter. Or some such thing. So an extremely reliable, safe, and popular form of birth control was off the table for the physicians in training at the program and therefore also not available for their patients.
Along those same lines, a fellow resident approached me within the first week or two of residency, asking me to write his birth control prescriptions for him. He was planning to join a religious order upon graduation and had a moral issue with the whole concept of birth control.
So I agreed.
I often wondered how he delivered the news to his female patients. He was a good fellow. I don’t imagine he said, “I am sorry, I think birth control is sinful and you are going to hell.” Still, how did he have that kind of conversation? How did his patients feel about his views and about themselves afterwards?
I have prescribed the morning after pill. I have also refused to prescribe the morning after pill to the same person. I have placed IUDs. I am a huge fan of birth control. I do not think abortion should be illegal, but I don’t ever wish to perform one.
At any rate, what role does morality have in medicine? What is the difference between morality and ethics? Is there a difference? What do you want to see in your own physician? If your own morality can be influenced so much by family, friends, religion, politics, etc., can it even be trusted?
Tell me what you think.