View Poll Results: Should counselors be allowed to refuse treatment that violate their morals?

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  • Absolutely not! This is flagrant discrimination!

    10 28.57%
  • They should attend diversity and tolerance seminars to educate them

    3 8.57%
  • Patients should chose the counselor who suits them

    2 5.71%
  • They should be required to refer the patient to the appropriate colleague

    7 20.00%
  • They should refuse any patient they don't want to treat!

    13 37.14%
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Thread: Should a Christian counselor be allowed to refuse to counsel gay couples?

  1. #21
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    Re: Should a Christian counselor be allowed to refuse to counsel gay couples?

    It depends. Was this counselor working for a church or a public firm? That's what really matters in this case. Once you work for someone else, you agree to follow their rules as a contingent for continued employment. You can't suddenly decide you don't want to do your job because it interferes with your religious beliefs. If there was a pre-existing agreement that said counselor wouldn't see gay couples, they might have a case. If not, and they work for a private employer or for the government, they're completely out of luck.

    Religion does not *EVER* grant one permission to discriminate in public life.
    There is nothing demonstrably true that religion can provide the world that cannot be achieved more rationally through entirely secular means.

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    Re: Should a Christian counselor be allowed to refuse to counsel gay couples?

    I think that this scenario demonstrates the issue with government managed counseling services. Not all counselors are going to fit with all of those who request or need counseling services. There has to be room for counselors to state that they cannot serve a particular patient, and for patients, also, to search out a better fit. The problem with goverment mandates in these scenarios is that the consumer (and the service provider) have very little say in creating that relationship that makes these services work.

    My children went through grief counseling after my divorce, and it took a while for us to find a good fit for my son. The first two people he saw were not helpful for him.

  3. #23
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    Re: Should a Christian counselor be allowed to refuse to counsel gay couples?

    Quote Originally Posted by Catz Part Deux View Post
    I think that this scenario demonstrates the issue with government managed counseling services. Not all counselors are going to fit with all of those who request or need counseling services. There has to be room for counselors to state that they cannot serve a particular patient, and for patients, also, to search out a better fit. The problem with goverment mandates in these scenarios is that the consumer (and the service provider) have very little say in creating that relationship that makes these services work.

    My children went through grief counseling after my divorce, and it took a while for us to find a good fit for my son. The first two people he saw were not helpful for him.
    as an at will employee, the counselor has no right to refuse to follow his employer's legal directive. that said, it would not be a good fit and the couple and the counselor should have discussed that, followed by a change in counselors.

    easy peasy.

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  4. #24
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    Re: Should a Christian counselor be allowed to refuse to counsel gay couples?

    Quote Originally Posted by Catz Part Deux View Post
    I think that this scenario demonstrates the issue with government managed counseling services. Not all counselors are going to fit with all of those who request or need counseling services. There has to be room for counselors to state that they cannot serve a particular patient, and for patients, also, to search out a better fit. The problem with goverment mandates in these scenarios is that the consumer (and the service provider) have very little say in creating that relationship that makes these services work.

    My children went through grief counseling after my divorce, and it took a while for us to find a good fit for my son. The first two people he saw were not helpful for him.
    Exactly my point. There is not a one size fits all approach. I really think there should be an individualized approach, with latitude for belief systems.

    I voted that the counselor should be required to refer the patient to the appropriate colleague.

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    Re: Should a Christian counselor be allowed to refuse to counsel gay couples?

    Quote Originally Posted by liblady View Post
    as an at will employee, the counselor has no right to refuse to follow his employer's legal directive.
    His employer should know better than to issue such an absurd directive. Counseling works best when there are matching frameworks of beliefs to build upon between the counselor and the client. So, matching someone religiously is a true positive. Forcing a mismatch is simply bad policy.

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    Re: Should a Christian counselor be allowed to refuse to counsel gay couples?

    Quote Originally Posted by Catz Part Deux View Post
    His employer should know better than to issue such an absurd directive. Counseling works best when there are matching frameworks of beliefs to build upon between the counselor and the client. So, matching someone religiously is a true positive. Forcing a mismatch is simply bad policy.
    They could have avoided this whole thing easily by not expecting everyone to be alike. As long as the Christian counselor wasn't obnoxious about his beliefs, whats wrong with him referring the patient to a better suited counselor?

    Counseling people shouldn't be some type of assembly line industry. And it's different than the rest of medicine in many ways, although this scenario is comparable to asking a pro-life doctor or nurse to assist with an abortion I suppose.

  7. #27
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    Re: Should a Christian counselor be allowed to refuse to counsel gay couples?

    The report is a vehicle for another anti-Labour hit piece from the Daily Wail. Be that as it may, the employers' comment from the linked article.

    " ... " 'Relate's trusted service, both in Avon and across the country, relies on making sure that all members of society, regardless of their gender, age, race, religion, sexual orientation or relationship status are able to access respectful and professional counselling and sex therapy.
    'Relate is committed to supporting all religious beliefs working within Relate.
    'However, our primary consideration is to our clients who often need complex advice and assistance.
    'We cannot allow anything to damage our clients or to undermine the principle of trust that underpins our work.' .. "

    A previous tribunal found that he was unfairly dismissed (so they broke some aspect of employment law when they originally sacked him) but also that "he had not been discriminated against", so whatever the reason they gave for sacking him, it wasn't his religion.
    Last edited by Manc Skipper; 12-01-09 at 12:20 PM.

  8. #28
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    Re: Should a Christian counselor be allowed to refuse to counsel gay couples?

    Quote Originally Posted by MyOwnDrum View Post
    A Christian counselor in Britain got sacked because he refused to counsel a gay couple regarding their sex life. Do you think this should be allowed? Should insurance agencies, or the government, force counselors to provide mental health services that violate their individual religious and/or moral codes?

    Christian counsellor who refused to offer sex advice to gay couples fails in religious discrimination claim | Mail Online
    It's up to the employer. I have no problem with a counselor refusing service to a client due to moral concerns. Would we make someone counsel a mobster if they were uncomfortable or didn't want to? There are plenty of valid reasons to refuse service. Give a referral and be done with it. Ultimately, the employer can set the rules for this, if they really her sacked, then sacked she is. But it's absolutely not a government issue.
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