A nurse listens to the heartbeat of an unidentified woman at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix. An overwhelming majority of Americans -- 83% -- said they support conscience protection rights for health care professionals because they should not be forced to perform procedures against their moral beliefs. (CNS photo/J.D. Long-Garcia, The Catholic Sun) See POLLS-HEALTH-WORKERS-CONSCIENCE Sept. 19, 2019.

What Are Conscience Protections?

July 24, 2023

Conscience freedoms are foundational in the healthcare process, and it applies to both healthcare professionals and patients alike. Our increasingly amoral society and gradual move away from the commitment to and practice of Hippocratic medicine creates a great need for conscience protections for healthcare professionals—so they will not be forced to choose between their career and their conscience, ethics, and faith.


In collaboration with Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), we have worked to introduce and pass healthcare conscience protections in select states. A model ADF-prepared bill, known as the Medical Ethics and Diversity (MED) Act, protects diversity of belief within the medical profession and benefits patients by protecting the supply of healthcare professionals and healthcare entities within the healthcare system. Such conscience protections could include protecting from having to train for, participate in, perform, or refer for a procedure in which a medical student, resident, or healthcare professional has a conscientious objection. The bill does not permit healthcare professionals, institutions, or payers to decline to serve a person based on their race, color, sex, or any other protected characteristic. The bill simply protects from being required to perform specific procedures. Read an example of the model bill here.

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