Dr. Jason Valentine of Mobile, Alabama has stated that he will, effective Oct. 1, no longer treat patients unvaccinated for COVID 19. The Web site, “THINK” attempts to examine the ethics of the good doctor and others who have made similar choices or have indicated they are weary of treating patients who have refused to get the vaccination.
The site’s title “THINK” is rather ironic, as it appears little thought has gone into their evaluation. It is also revelatory of the deterioration of ethics in America and in the medical profession that such questions are even considered in the first place. Drawing their ethical standards out of thin air they try to make the case that while denying treatment for patients because you are angry with their choices may be unethical, you only need dig a little deeper to concoct an ethic for such a denial.
Their argument is that a physician may choose which patient has a more reasonable expectation of a good outcome and then deny treatment for those who don’t make the cut. The assumption made, without support, is that there are fixed number of available beds, medicine, personnel, etc., which forces doctors to ration care and therefore, it is may well be appropriate to refuse treatment for those they deem to be ill due to their own bad choices. No mention is made of how these facilities might seek greater flexibility so as to handle increased patient-loads when emergencies occur. The caveat that they should direct the patients to other sources of care does nothing to mitigate the obvious: they believe the unvaccinated are unworthy of care.
Now, we could launch into satire, pointing out that Dr. Valentine has provided a remedy to the nation’s skyrocketing medical costs. If we have no ethical responsibility to provide treatment to those who have brought on their own medical issues through bad choices then we no longer need to treat smokers, drinkers, obese, drug users or those who refuse to exercise regularly. People who participate in any sport or dangerous activities like hang gliding or mountain climbing should also expect no medical treatment when things go wrong. Driving has certain inherent risks, so hospitals should no longer be required to treat accident victims. After all, these people have made the choice to endanger their lives, so they should not burden care givers with their self-inflicted injuries!
It is not surprising that as America spurns God and Christ we see a progressive deterioration of our historic compassion and mercy. Christianity is THE religion of mercy! Scriptures are clear that the foundation of salvation itself is the mercy and grace of God. In Christ’s self-sacrificing death on the cross, He manifested the epitome of mercy. While we deserved the wrath of God for our wanton rejection of His Person, will and goodness, Christ stepped into our place, took the wrath upon Himself and bestows love and eternal life upon all who come to Him. Scriptures note that God is merciful to those who deserve judgment, and He calls us to imitate Him.
In fact, He stated that those who refuse to show mercy will themselves receive no mercy. James 2:13 states, “judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” NIV. And “Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy,” Matt. 5:7. Mercy, by definition, is giving relief to those who through their own failures have brought disaster upon themselves!
Most Americans hold medical professionals in high regard for a reason. We have believed that they enter such careers understanding the personal sacrifice which attends the work and are therefore worthy of praise. If Dr. Valentine’s attitude is characteristic of most in the medical field today, then it may be that they are not so noble after-all and are unworthy of the high regard generally accorded the profession.
I would certainly hope that such a conclusion is unwarranted!