Most reactions to the HHS conscience rule focus on impending damage to reproductive services. But the rule will surely obstruct and delay good care in many instances, increasing the suffering of dying patients and their loved ones.
The right of conscience is a time-honored value in our society. But it is not only health providers who have rights; so do patients.
Health care providers already strain to serve women while respecting workers’ rights under existing laws. Now Secretary Leavitt has put even more obstacles between patients and the health care they need.
Under HHS’s new rule, doctors and health care workers of all kinds can deny patients vital health care information and services, without the patient even knowing.
Today’s provider conscience regulations go so far as to put the onus on patients to divine what information and services might be withheld by any given provider, and then shop around to find alternatives.
The Department of Health and Human Services today published a new regulation broadening protections for health care providers who refuse to provide health care services based on religious or moral grounds.
New HHS regulations to limit patients’ access to basic reproductive health care services and information, The Protecting Patients and Health Care Act, would prevent HHS from implementing this midnight regulation.
A fight over provider conscience in Wasilla, Alaska, has repercussions in the current debate over new HHS regulations.
If new HHS regulations are adopted, family planning service providers could be forced to hire people who have moral objections to contraception and would be unable to discipline employees who refuse to provide birth control.
Under current law, recipients of federal money cannot force medical professionals to provide abortion or sterilization services if they object for moral or religious reasons. But proposed regulations would expand these laws at patients’ expense.