Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Gays don't need doctors, says Lorne Gunter...

Anti-equality blowhard Lorne Gunter is still going on about our country's human rights commissions. Enough already! Don't you ever get tired of bitching about the same issue? Gunter and others like him have been beating this dead horse for months with zero sign of any willingness on the part of our country's politicians to seriously revisit the issue.

Barring a Stephen Harper majority government, in which anyone who is not a far right radical or someone they love would be vulnerable to malicious and surprise government attack (just like women, doctors, teachers, nurses, gays, Natives, social workers, the disabled, the poor all were under Mike Harris), I doubt we'll see Canada's Human Rights laws revisited anytime soon.

Of course, there's no doubt that the Harper-crites are hoping for a majority government in this October's expected election. It's easy to see them using this issue to throw a little bone to their base, as they are prone to do. They probably wouldn't re-open the abortion or the same sex marriage debate, but they'd sure be willing to gut or even shut down Canada's Human Rights Commission, if given the chance.

But I digress. Gunter argues that gays, who are born that way, need to compromise and tolerate discrimination, while the religious, who pick and choose their own beliefs, should not have to do so. To him, it's perfectly okay for a private citizen or business providing services to the public to pick and choose which communities they will or will not serve based purely on religious grounds. Gunter ignores the implications of his position: if doctors can discriminate based on religion, they can also discriminate based on any criteria they personally deem reasonable, in defiance of professional standards. If a patient is a woman, they could refuse treatment. If the patient is a Jew, they could refuse treatment. If the patient is dying, they could refuse treatment.

As we know, Canada has a terrible doctor shortage. Once more, it's difficult as it is to find a doctor who is "gay-friendly" outside of large urban centres. To exempt doctors as a profession from our human rights laws, as Gunter argues, would be truly despicable.

3 comments:

Jason Bo Green said...

Lorne Gunter is over the top. So are you -- I'm not a far right radical, and I'm not afraid of Stephen Harper or the Tories. Some of them are wingnuts, but most of them are conservatives of an older generation. They are slow to keep up with the progress of society, but I don't fear or hate them for this reason. They'll catch up in their own time, and until then, as much as I may disagree with some of their personal values, I don't believe they're going to throw me or you or anyone else in jail or whatever else.

Gunter is wrong. That doesn't make your rhetoric right.

Matt Guerin said...

If saying that doctors shouldn't be able to discriminate against gay patients is 'over the top', then I'm guilty as charged I guess...

Acid Reflux (acidrefluxweb.com) said...

Hmmm I didn't know that expressing an opinion is rhetoric. I have lived in Regina, and there are not a lot of choices for doctors at the time I was there. Then try living with HIV, and add that into the equation. People have the fundamental right to access to health care. If one wants to become a doctor then it must be accepted that patients come in all different shapes and sizes. If this is not acceptable to the medical student, he or she should be looking for a different career. Instead they want to make their problem our problem, and that is not acceptable.