This is preposterous.

The practice of medicine ought to be- and supposedly is– based on the ideal of universal compassion, regardless of personal feeling. A truly ethical doctor will treat any patient, whether or not he or she happens to agree with that person’s beliefs, sexual orientation, personal lifestyle etc. Any doctor who would even consider refusing someone treatment, for whatever reason, shouldn’t be in the damned medical field in the first place. They’re not in it for the right reasons. That refusal alone ought to be grounds for malpractice.

Worse, the wording of this legislation covers not just doctors but any of their staff. If the receptionist decides he or she doesn’t like your piercings or tattoos, or suspects you’re gay, or thinks maybe you vote for a party she doesn’t like, this legislation gives him or her a free pass to simply not book you an appointment. It’ll never even get to the point where you’ve got to convince the doctor you’re not evil incarnate. He or she simply should not have that right.

Need a prescription filled? Pray your pharmacist doesn’t have any personal objections to you. This legislation covers his or her ass if he/she decides to refuse you your meds.

The federal penalty for a medical group (rightly) chastising any practitioner who does this reveals the corroded basis for the current medical field: the government will withhold funding. As in everything else: follow the money. That the federal government expects this to be effective legislation reveals the truth about the sort of medical practitioners who’d find refuge in it. They’re in it for the money and nothing else.

The scope of this legislation is ambitious and infuriating. Anyone from surgeons and physicians all the way down to the janitor suddenly have their bigotry and prejudices not only protected but tacitly condoned by federal law, enacted by a pseudo-conservative God-botherer of a president and his ethics-challenged administration.

How much you want to bet the first time a gay doctor refuses care to someone like Fred Phelps, though, the hue and cry is deafening?