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Hobby Lobby, Assisted Suicide, and Slippery Slopes…

In the future might you be able to sue a doctor who refuses to help you kill yourself? Or will the government be paying for the "procedure"?

by
Theodore Dalrymple

Bio

July 6, 2014 - 8:00 am
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The distinction between what the law permits and what the law enjoins is often blurred. An absence of proscription is sometimes mistaken for prescription. The more the law interferes in our lives, the more it becomes the arbiter of our morality. When someone behaves badly, therefore, he is nowadays likely to defend himself by saying that there is no law against what he has done, as if that were a sufficient justification.

The recent Supreme Court decision in the cases of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Burwell illustrates the difficulties when two or more rights clash irreconcilably. The complex issues involved were the subject of an article in a recent edition of the New England Journal of Medicine. The matter is still far from settled. It seems to me likely that the Supreme Court will one day reverse itself when its philosophical (or ideological) composition has changed.

The two corporations were owned by strongly religious people. Corporations of their size were enjoined by the government to provide their staff with health insurance which would cover contraceptive services. However, some contraceptive methods violated the religious beliefs of the owners of the companies. Did the companies have the right to except these methods from the policies that they offered to their staff (who, incidentally, numbered thousands, many of whom would not be of the same religious belief)?

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Top Rated Comments   
Good point. But this is just another several yards down that slippery slope that was created when a progressive income tax was installed in 1913.

When our founders spoke of taxes they recognized the need for uniformity and equal protection to all citizens - understanding the corruption that would occur if Congress could tax one group and confer the benefits on another. They were appalled at the notion of a flat percentage rate let alone what has eventually happened.

Fast forward to 1941 with Roosevelt proposing a 99.5 % marginal rate on all incomes over $100,000. When that was rejected he created an executive order for a 100% tax on everything over $25,000. This was eventually repealed by congress and replaced with a 90% top tax bracket . So it is not a surprise at all that today all kinds of other taxes, costs and requirements are placed upon some for the benefit of others. And no surprise that the beneficiaries are strident supporters of the party who delivers these benefits to them. Yes they have their arguments and reasons - blah, blah, blah, blah - but they are no more valid than anyone else's reasons. Exactly what the founders feared and predicted.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
We're already having this debate in Canada. The health system authorities have taken to reminding us that the highest health care costs are usually incurred in the last six months of life, oh, and wouldn't assisted suicide be a nice idea?

I've taken to asking folks why they support offing the inconvenient people. Strangely, that question often makes them uncomfortable.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Real rights do not clash. Whenever legal rights clash, it is because the law (at least on one side) is violating rights and not protecting them.

Case in point, corporations should not be compelled to provide *anything* other than that which is mutually agreed between them and their employees. Compel a business to provide birth control medication, aspirin, whatever - you are violating rights there and then. Regardless of who the owners are or what they believe.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (43)
All Comments   (43)
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23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
Anything not mandatory is forbidden.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
Strange, I always thought the right to something was there if I had the right to either do it, or buy it if I could afford it. Only among the deranged totalitarian minds of leftists is the right to something denied if they cant force me to pay the bill for it.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
The comparison to blood transfusions is bogus. Blood transfusions are an actual health-promoting and often life-saving medical procedure. On the other hand, birth control is purely a lifestyle choice, other than in those few cases where the drug or device actually performs a MEDICAL function.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
Some religions do not allow blood transfusions. For that owner, it is a Religious issue similar to Hobby Lobby. And there is probably a woman out there who has been told if she gets pregnant again, it will kill her so it is a life-threatening issue (for her). What if she goes to work for HL? The Government does not belong in the Health Insurance Business (or Health Care, either). This should be left between a business and is employees as a private, contractual matter..
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
The only way it does make sense is if you ask the question "should the gov be able to mandate anything like this". Once you allow them to mandate forced purchase of something most people regard as sensible (blood tranfusions), they will then claim the right to mandate forced purchase of completely stupid things like birth control. The gov should not be forcibly mandating any company to purchase any health care. That is a decision reserved between them and their employees, and if they make the wrong decision, the company pays the price (either excessive costs, or inability to retain quality employees).
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
Some years ago, for a brief period, car manufacturers required you to have a certain filter regularly replaced on your car, available only through the dealership, or you voided the warranty on the car. To no one's surprise, they were hideously expensive, and everyone recognaized it as a scheme to drive people to the over-priced and otherwise un-competitive (and largely crappy) dealer service centers.

Congress had the responsible answer, (And IMHO, should apply to DRM laden printer carts and coffee KKKups): the manufacturer must provide such mandatory filters or other maintenance items for free to anyone who owned the car.

So, those oddball consumable parts that only fit one car and have only one source have largely disappeared. An oil filter is an oil filter, after all.

With Obozo-care, the opposite is true - we're forced to pay for crap and quack medical services, because they've paid someone at HHS to put it in the mandatory coverage column. Same thing with birth control - a payoff for women to allow them to shove even more of their elective medical costs onto men, all based on a fictional narrative and selective media outrage.

The right answer would have been to get the government out of it, and let consumers have the most options possible. If it's crap, no one will get it, no one will demand it, and it will die on it's own. If there's a demand and less red-tape in getting it, it will become cheaper and better.

With Obozo-care - the right stuff costs more, is harder to get, and the money you are forced to spend up-front (instead of care you're actually needing or using) is on those who's political favor drives the HHS to mandate it.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Rights to tangible goods and services tend to create corresponding duties upon someone to provide them"

Doesn't that make that someone a slave?
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hold on a second here; why are these people bitching and moaning? They can always put themselves into the Obamacare exchanges. Problem solved (*snickers*).
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Obamacare act does not provide a conscientious objectors clause for health care workers and doctors who object to abortion or euthanasia on religious grounds, and the Lefties have no problem with telling them to get another job if they don't like being forced to violate their consciences. So why can't Hbby Lobby employees do that?
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
As someone else remarked, "Suppose a woman's chosen form of birth control is keeping her clothes on. Does that mean her employer should buy her wardrobe?"
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
Your statement makes no sense.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes, Brian, that's the point.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
And let us not forget that the employee has the right to find another job if she finds Hobby Lobby's terms too onerous. This tends to be ignored in the ongoing envy-fest that assumes the world consists of Evil Corporations and poor honest proles.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is a moot discussion. There is no such thing as a "right to tangible goods or services." If someone else is required to provide goods or services, then you don't not have a right to them.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
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