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Craig24

Pediatrician refuses to care for baby with two moms

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According to the story, a lesbian couple took their 4 month old baby to see a doctor that came highly recommended but when they arrived at the doctor's office, they were informed that the doctor in question would refuse service because of her religious opposition to homosexuality.  Arrangements were made to have another doctor care for the baby.  Predictably, this case will provoke a hostile reaction from liberals and calls for anti-discrimination laws to prevent this from happening to other same sex couples.  Naturally, one can and should be critical of the doctor's irrational prejudice but how does one apply the principle of individual rights to these kinds of cases?

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how does one apply the principle of individual rights to these kinds of cases?

 

Capitalism applies. People who do not agree with the doctor; people who think the doctor was a prejudiced idiot would automatically stop visiting her. Any-case lesbians definitely wont as the doctor has made it clear that she would not service them.

 

Individual rights stays as it is. Anti-discrimination laws would be a force on the unwilling doctor. I would rather not get treated by a doctor who is forced to work on me for whatever the reason. As Capitalism is self-sufficient it not always necessary to do a wrong in order to correct a wrong.

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Naturally, one can and should be critical of the doctor's irrational prejudice but how does one apply the principle of individual rights to these kinds of cases?

By pointing out that refusing to treat anyone, for any reason, is his right?

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Naturally, one can and should be critical of the doctor's irrational prejudice but how does one apply the principle of individual rights to these kinds of cases?

I agree with the above posters. I'll add that I don't know why anyone would want to stay with a doctor who is so irrationally discriminatory. If anything, forcing a doctor only perpetuates the problem of irrational discrimination - they're still in business and getting money. There could be massive fines perhaps, but that seems to serve no advantage over denying a doctor business outright. Plus, a law like that would be a problem in so many ways, besides being a law that goes beyond protecting individual rights.

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I agree with the above posters. I'll add that I don't know why anyone would want to stay with a doctor who is so irrationally discriminatory. If anything, forcing a doctor only perpetuates the problem of irrational discrimination - they're still in business and getting money. There could be massive fines perhaps, but that seems to serve no advantage over denying a doctor business outright. Plus, a law like that would be a problem in so many ways, besides being a law that goes beyond protecting individual rights.

 

Forcing the doctor only perpetuates "the problem"?  On the contrary "forcing the doctor would be the problem".  Killing will only increase the probability of potential victim's tendency to lie...which is the problem?

 

Massive Fines? no advantage over denying a doctor business outright? .. such would be a law would be a "problem" because it goes "beyond" protecting individual rights?

 

Far from simply a law that "goes beyond" protecting rights, forcing a doctor to treat someone or fining the doctor in accordance with some law would be a law which would be a gross violation of the individual rights of the doctor.  Such would be the initiation of force, not the use of retaliatory force.

 

The doctor has a moral right to refrain from doing anything for anyone he or she does not want to treat... to force a doctor to serve anyone against his/her will is a form of slavery, the initiation of force and, far from a mere problem is wholly immoral.  

 

 

I'm shocked to hear you say those things Eioul.  As a moderator of an Objectivism forum I would expect more.

Edited by StrictlyLogical

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Forcing the doctor only perpetuates "the problem"?  On the contrary "forcing the doctor would be the problem".  Killing will only increase the probability of potential victim's tendency to lie...which is the problem?

 

Massive Fines? no advantage over denying a doctor business outright? .. such would be a law would be a "problem" because it goes "beyond" protecting individual rights?

 

Far from simply a law that "goes beyond" protecting rights, forcing a doctor to treat someone or fining the doctor in accordance with some law would be a law which would be a gross violation of the individual rights of the doctor.  Such would be the initiation of force, not the use of retaliatory force.

 

The doctor has a moral right to refrain from doing anything for anyone he or she does not want to treat... to force a doctor to serve anyone against his/her will is a form of slavery, the initiation of force and, far from a mere problem is wholly immoral.  

 

 

I'm shocked to hear you say those things Eioul.  As a moderator of an Objectivism forum I would expect more.

I'm sure Eiuol will speak for himself, but I believe you've misread him.

By "denying business outright," I took Eiuol to mean in the sense of an economic boycott -- that forcing a discriminatory doctor to do business with those he'd rather deny ironically helps to keep that doctor in business; better to allow the doctor to discriminate, and let him hurt himself financially, by turning away paying customers. It is besides the point, perhaps, but I believe that was his meaning.

Also, I should mention that the doctor certainly has a right to discriminate -- a political right. And it is moral that we respect that right, by restricting force to retaliation. But to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, in this manner, is not moral itself.

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The problem of doctors being irrationally discriminatory... We don't want people to be that way, so it's a problem, but making laws banning it would also be a bad response to that problem. My last sentence literally says laws against discrimination - irrational discrimination or not - is a problem.

Massive fines would probably be how a liberal type would respond to me. But even then, it's probably not going to work at all to prevent or end the discrimination. Respecting individual rights of even irrational people is going to work better when I refuse to see the doctor. I didn't mean denying business through law. It was a devil's advocate statement.

Thus, despite a liberal's efforts to make the lives of all individuals better by protecting rights as well as "additional" rights, we end up with a worse situation. Anything going beyond protecting individual rights is not going to turn out well.

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