“1,300 complaints alleging discrimination in a health care setting on account of religious beliefs or conscience issues” (NHS official data)

“Just today we finalized new protections of conscience rights for physicians, pharmacists, nurses, teachers, students and faith-based charities,” Trump said during a speech in the White House Rose Garden to mark the National Day of Prayer, on May 2, 2019. “They’ve been wanting to do that for a long time.”

25 federal laws protecting conscience and religious rights

We exerted a piece of news from PBS NEWS, According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the rule requires hospitals, universities, clinics and other institutions that receive funding from federal programs such as Medicare and Medicaid to certify that they comply with some 25 federal laws protecting conscience and religious rights.

Most of these laws and provisions address medical procedures such as abortion, sterilization (gender transition processes) and assisted suicide.

Institutions will also be protected from conscience and religious rights

Clinicians and institutions would not have to provide, participate in, pay for, cover or make referrals for procedures they object to on moral or religious grounds, HHS said. The rule also addresses conscience protections involving so-called advance directives that detail a patient’s wishes for care at the end of life.

Asserting that previous administrations have not done enough to protect conscience rights in the medical field, HHS under Trump created a new division within its Office for Civil Rights to investigate complaints.

Dramatically increase in complaints

HHS said last year the office received more than 1,300 complaints alleging discrimination in a health care setting on account of religious beliefs or conscience issues. There was only a trickle of such complaints previously, officials said, about one per year.

The National Women’s Law Center, which advocates for abortion rights, said in a statement that the regulation will allow “anyone from a doctor to a receptionist to entities like hospitals and pharmacies to deny a patient critical — and sometimes lifesaving — care.” Read entire article HERE.

The official explanation of the new regulation

“Finally, laws prohibiting government-funded discrimination against conscience and religious freedom will be enforced like every other civil rights law,” Roger Severino, director of the Office for Civil Rights said. “This rule ensures that healthcare entities and professionals won’t be bullied out of the healthcare field because they decline to participate in actions that violate their conscience, including the taking of human life. Protecting conscience and religious freedom not only fosters greater diversity in healthcare, it’s the law.” Read the entire article about Severino statement.

Bioethical assessment

In our opinion, the aforementioned article focuses on conscientious objection in the practice of abortion, but the regulation goes further, including the practice of assisted suicide, euthanasia, hormonal treatments and surgeries to transsexual people. These issues have been debated for years and now they reach a definitive solution. The announced regulation is a great step to restore the freedom of thought.




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