Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Conscience Protection for Healthcare Professionals

The new health care reforms that are now part of federal law are quite weak if not a step backwards on conscience protection for health care professionals. In our federal system, however, each state can act to fill in the gaps left in federal law. We now have three states (Louisiana, Mississippi and Idaho) that provide comprehensive conscience protection. Idaho is the latest addition to this list. Here is a portion of a report on that development from Americans united for life (AUL):

“Idaho has become the third state to provide comprehensive protection for health care freedom of conscience. Governor Butch Otter has permitted Senate Bill 1353 to go into effect without his signature. AUL worked with Idaho Chooses Life, a state pro-life policy group, to help enact this important legislation.

The new law protects any licensed health care professional from being required to participate in “any health care service that violates his or her conscience.” “Health care service” is specifically defined to include “abortion, dispensation of an abortifacient drug, human embryonic stem cell research, treatment regimens utilizing human embryonic stem cells, human embryo cloning or end of life treatment or care.” A health care professional declining to participate in these services may not be discriminated against or held liable for exercising his or her conscience.”

Read the entire article here.

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