Health Overhaul Provisions Raise Moral, Religious Debates
The new health law has renewed concerns about some moral and religious issues, such as the government's role in providing sex education and health care workers' ability to opt out of providing end-of-life care and abortions.
The Washington Post: Those who think health workers should be allowed to make their own moral decisions about treatments "argue the new law leaves vulnerable those with qualms about abortion, morning-after pills, stem cell research and therapies, assisted suicide and a host of other services. Proponents of patients' rights, meanwhile, contend that, if anything, the legislation favors those who oppose some end-of-life therapies and the termination of pregnancies and creates new obstacles for dying patients and women seeking abortions. Both sides acknowledge that the scope of any new conflicts that might arise under the legislation will become clear only as the implications of the overhaul unfold. But both agree that clashes are probably inevitable" (Stein, 5/11).
The New York Times: "In a sharp departure from the abstinence-only message of the Bush years, the new health law pours hundreds of millions of dollars into sex education programs that aim to provide teenagers with comprehensive information about protecting themselves from pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. The programs, to be financed by $375 million in grants to the states over five years, are meant to encourage teenagers to delay sexual activity but to use protection if they are already active - as half of all high school students are" (Rabin, 5/10).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.