Should doctors have the legal right to refuse care? image

Reuters, October 5, 2016
Lisa Rapaport

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It’s best for patients and for physicians for people to get care from clinicians that willingly provide it, said Holly Fernandez Lynch, a bioethics researcher at Harvard University in Boston who wasn’t involved in either paper.

“The medical profession has a responsibility to make sure there are adequate professionals willing to provide various services under its monopoly – this doesn’t necessarily mean forcing objectors out, but rather incentivizing willing professionals,” Lynch said by email.

Whenever possible, patients should ask doctors up front about any services they won’t provide, and physicians should volunteer any objections to specific types of care, Lynch added.

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