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The Paradocs Podcast with Eric Larson

The Paradocs is a fun and lively discussion with a couple of docs on the practice of medicine. Occasionally serious, usually lighthearted, and accidentally informative. A show for physicians to learn more about what is going on and a great place for them to direct their friends and family to better understand the challenges they face.

Jul 9, 2019

The topic of abortion seems to have gained more momentum in the news cycle of late with states passing laws relaxing or loosening restrictions on the practice. It feels like the 1973 ruling of Roe v. Wade might actually come before the US Supreme Court with a chance of reversing or affirming the 46 year old opinion.
As a physician and hospital, the social and ethical questions that surround abortion are both personal and professional. What is the obligation of institutions to perform abortions? How about the physicians or nursing staff? Do you have a legal obligation to perform a procedure that you find morally reprehensible?
To answer those questions, today I have Stephanie Slade on the show from Reason magazine. Stephanie is a managing editor and follows the public and legal debate on the subject. She wrote a piece for the America magazine a year ago documenting the efforts of the ACLU to compel catholic hospitals to perform abortions and other reproductive health procedures (sterilization, gender reassignment, etc.).
As with all political discussions, this one is nuanced and also uniquely American as our legal focus is heavily directed by our founding documents and the Bill of Rights. What role freedom of speech and association has for private institutions like catholic charities and what rules can the government impose on those same hospitals is what is under dispute with these ACLU directed claims. The ACLU believes that hospitals are a uniquely public institution that provides critical care to large populations and therefore should be compelled to perform abortions and other medical procedures that the catholic church finds morally objectionable.
To date, the ACLU has been unsuccessful in any of their lawsuits even with sympathetic federal judges who point to the first amendment as the basis for their rulings. However, the ACLU is now bringing forth cases of gender reassignment against the catholic church to see if that issue will bring a different ruling. Finally, as state legislatures continue to pass laws that allow abortion up to the moment of birth or ban abortion as soon as a heartbeat is present (~6 weeks gestation or around when a typical urine pregnancy test is positive) the US Supreme Court may feel its hands are tied and have to reexamine Roe v. Wade.
  Stephanie Slade is the managing editor for Reason magazine where she writes but mostly edits. She also writes for the American and resides in Washington, D.C.
show notes

Why is the ACLU Targeting Catholic Hospitals?: Stephanie Slade's article that we discuss during the show highlighting the history of the catholic church and charitable ministries in the US and the ACLU's attempts to force the hospitals to perform abortions.

Reason magazine: Where Stephanie Slade is managing editor. The magazine is dedicated to advancing libertarian thought and "Free Minds and Free Markets."

Acton University: Acton University is hosted annually by the Acton Institute in Grand Rapids, MI. Its synopsis: Acton University is not your typical conference. It’s a four-day celebration with 1,000 of your newest liberty loving friends from all over the world. Each day is packed with thought-provoking presentations on the intellectual foundations of a free society. Sharpen your intellect. Expand your worldview. Explore theology, philosophy, business, development, and market-based economics at the most unique conference in the liberty movement.

Twittering for Stephanie Slade: @sladesr

Episode 29: Overcharged - Why American Health Care is So Expensive with David Hyman.

Episode 48: A template for a better health care system where I describe the trends in health care today and how they might lead to something better for all of us.

YouTube for Paradocs: Here you can watch the video of my late son singing his solo on the Paradocs YouTube page.

Patreon - Become a show supporter today and visit my Patreon page for extra bonus material. Every dollar raised goes towards the production and promotion of the show.

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