Catholics back freedom of conscience for doctors in US states
The Michigan Catholic Conference has backed four bills which allow doctors and hospitals to refuse to perform abortions or other procedures they object to.
Health care providers in Wisconsin will also receive legal backing for their conscientious objection if pending bills pass.
The Wisconsin bills also allow doctors not to inform patients of treatments that might violate the doctor's conscience.
The legislation is focused on abortion, but the 365gay.com news service reports concern in the gay community that gays could be refused treatment by doctors because of their homosexuality.
Christianity Today speculates that the California Supreme Court decision forcing the Catholic Charities' health plan to pay for birth control had something to do with the Michigan Catholic Conference pushing for the bills.
Mich., Wisc. to Give Doctors Freedom of Conscience (Christianity Today 22/4/04)
Michigan Preparing To Let Doctors Refuse To Treat Gays (365gay.com 21/4/04)
Women's health debate intensifies (Milwaikee Journal-Sentinel 20/4/04)
Catholic Bishops Warn over 'Gay Marriages' (The Scotsman 22/4/04)
23 Apr 2004