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Thursday, March 29, 2018

Essay 7: Conscience freedoms protect against ideological agendas

Editor's Note: This is the seventh essay in a series on conscience in healthcare, by Freedom2Care Director Jonathan Imbody. For the other essays, click "ConscienceEssay" on Topics at left.
With pro-life individuals increasingly targeted,
conscience laws can help protect both
patients and professionals from discrimination.
On January 26, 2018, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposed a conscience protection rule designed to enforce and educate regarding "a long history of providing conscience-based protections for individuals and entities with objections to certain activities based on religious belief and moral convictions. "[i]
The rule specifically cited over two dozen existing federal statutes protecting the exercise of conscience in healthcare, both for patients and professionals. Included in the laws are:
·      

Monday, March 26, 2018

Comment by March 27 on new HHS conscience rule that erects a wall against ideologically driven assaults

Action: Submit your comment by Tuesday, March 27 to protect conscience in healthcare

Today I submitted a document to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services outlining the reasons why a new proposed conscience protection rule serves the interests of health professionals and their patients:

TO: Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights RIN 0945-ZA03
FROM: Christian Medical Association and Freedom2Care - Jonathan Imbody
RE: RIN 0945-ZA03 or Docket HHS-OCR-2018-0002
DATE: March 26, 2018

Protecting Statutory Conscience Rights in Health Care; Delegations of Authority

The following narrative offers answers to specific requests for comments (marked below with numbers and quotations) outlined in the text of the proposed rule.

·       "Comment on all issues raised by the proposed regulation."

The Christian Medical Association and Freedom2Care, representing combined constituencies of nearly 50,000 individuals who are committed to the moral and ethical practice of medicine, heartily applaud this proposed rule. We laud the Department for producing an outstanding tool to enforce existing conscience protection law and to educate regarding our most cherished principles of freedom.
The proposed rule clearly and thoroughly lays down the legal and rational foundation for the Department's enforcement of and education about existing federal law that protects the exercise of conscience and religious convictions in healthcare, both for patients and for professionals. Given the priority of conscience and religious freedom in our nation's founding, in our Constitution and in our legal tradition, the case could not be clearer for restoring the rightful place of these freedoms among other civil rights laws and principles.
Only willful political corruption and ideologically driven assaults on these core founding principles can explain why in 2018 the universal integration of conscience and religious freedom in healthcare remains incomplete. Therefore the proposed rule offers a welcome, if long overdue, course correction to get the nation back on track on the principles on which this democratic republic depends.
While the proposed rule offers hope of a renaissance of a political, cultural and professional commitment to freedom of conscience and religious exercise, ideological forces within government, academia and the healthcare community continue to subvert these freedoms. As a survey of medical and academic publications will indicate, abortion advocacy and a strong undercurrent of intolerance for faith-based and pro-life commitments would sweep out of medicine any and all health professionals who hold to such ideals. A radical and authoritarian ideology that marches under the false flag of "patient autonomy" would force all professionals to participate in any legal procedure or prescription, regardless of professional judgment, medical ethics or moral convictions.
The result of such intolerance and coercion, left unchecked by federal law, court action and regulatory enforcement, would be a catastrophic loss of healthcare for millions of American patients. Hardest hit by the loss of pro-life and faith-based professionals and institutions would be the poor, the marginalized and the medically underserved.
By enforcing the freedom of pro-life and faith-based health professionals to continue to practice medicine, the proposed rule protects patient access to a diverse pool of health professionals and institutions. In the process, the rule also upholds and advances core American values of freedom.

To read the rest of the document, click here.

To learn how to quickly (30 seconds) submit your own comment on the proposed rule (deadline Tuesday, March 27) using a pre-written, editable form, click here.

To watch a quick video explanation, click here.


Friday, March 16, 2018

Use our ready-made comment form to voice your view on a new healthcare faith and conscience rule

Action: Use this form to voice your view on the new healthcare faith and conscience rule

We have a brief window of opportunity to protect conscience and religious freedom in healthcare.
The U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Resources (HHS) has proposed-and asked for our comments on-a new rule that would strongly protect the religious and conscience rights of health professionals and patients.

Whom does the new rule protect?

The new rule will help protect pro-life, faith-based and morally concerned health professionals and patients from discrimination, loss of physician, coercion, job loss, loss of healthcare access, license revocation, demotions, loss of educational opportunity, forced training and much more.

What if I've experienced discrimination?

The new rule also gives us a defender-the HHS Office of Civil Rights-to  take up complaints of discrimination, educate the health community about conscience and enforce 25 federal laws related to faith and conscience freedom in healthcare.
Also on the Freedom2Care legal hep web page, you also can take legal steps to address the discrimination you experienced.

How do I submit a comment?

The quick action you can take right now is to visit our Freedom2Care web page and follow the very simple steps to submit your comment. You can also learn more there about the proposed rule.
Then just push the button and submit your comment.

Why bother?

By submitting your comment, you will be protecting your God-given, constitutionally asserted rights to choose what to believe and to act on your beliefs. You also will be protecting the rights of other health professionals, patients and all Americans to do the same.

What's the deadline for my comments?

The deadline is March 27.
Important: You can also include in your comment any discrimination in healthcare, because of conscience or faith, that you have experienced or witnessed.
(For legal help and reporting discrimination, click here.)

Thank you for taking advantage of this rare opportunity.

Npte: On the Freedom2Care web page, you can choose a quick and simple response or also a more detailed response to specific questions if you prefer.
Alternatively, you can submit your comment directly to HHS via regulations.gov here.