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Religion in the doctor's office

August 30, 2008

Re "First, do no harm based on religion," Opinion, Aug. 23

Richard Sloan does not seem to distinguish between what is legal and what is moral. Fortunately, others have. The civil rights movement was based on that distinction. Physicians in Nazi Germany had to make similar distinctions. Immoral laws were not to be obeyed.

Further, the Hippocratic Oath -- do no harm -- is being complied with in this case, because it involves an elective procedure. The client's health is not in question, except for the normal risks of pregnancy.

Finally, because we have no established religion, religious freedom means that all religions are in an entrepreneurial relationship with all other religions -- and with no religion. It is this freedom that has made religion dynamic in our society.

Ken Savage

Palm Desert

Sloan has thoroughly depressed me with this article.

I thought I had the perfect solution for avoiding fundamentalist religious bigotry by avoiding organized religion altogether. Now, it appears, I could be at risk if a doctor or nurse believes they can play the God game with me because of their "correct" beliefs and my "incorrect" ones.

Going forward, I plan to administer a questionnaire to anyone I approach for medical services, in the hopes that I can ferret out these zealots in favor of practitioners who entered the medical profession for the noble reason of helping humanity.

The others, alas, should consider working in some profession in which their narrow-minded views never play a role in their job performance.

Don Linde

La Verne

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