Conscience Rights

Healthcare Rights of Conscience

Many healthcare professionals who follow longstanding ethical, moral and religious standards have been systematically fired, threatened with job loss, denied promotions, and coerced. Medical residents have been denied training opportunities and prospective medical students have been denied admissions to medical school. In December 2008, the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) finalized a regulation to implement three civil rights laws passed by Congress. The civil rights laws and the new regulation declared that American tax dollars would not fund programs in which healthcare professionals are fired, penalized, or otherwise subjected to discrimination because of their ethical stance related to abortion and other morally controversial issues. However in March 2009, responding to protests from abortion special interest groups, the Obama administration declared plans to repeal the conscience protection regulation.8

Under Hawaiian law, no person or hospital is required to participate in abortions.5

Hawai‘i currently provides no protection for the rights of healthcare providers who conscientiously object to participation in human cloning, destructive embryo research, or other forms of immoral medical research.5

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