January 3, 2023

Biden HHS Proposes Rule to Strip Conscience Rights from Medical Professionals

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposed new regulations that would limit medical professionals' abilities to object to immoral procedures (such as abortion or assisted suicide).

“Some doctors, nurses, and hospitals, for example, object for religious or moral reasons to providing or referring for abortions or assisted suicide, among other procedures. Respecting such objections honors liberty and human dignity. It also redounds to the benefit of the medical profession,” the proposed rule states, “[but] patients also have autonomy, rights, and moral and religious convictions. And they have health needs, sometime[s] urgent ones. Our health care systems must effectively deliver services to all who need them in order to protect patients’ health and dignity.”

Groups focused on pro-life and religious liberty issues express concerns that the new rule will require medical professionals to refer patients for controversial procedures even if they object to those procedures.

A federal district court in California recently sided with the Christian Medical Dental Association when it agreed that a law requiring medical providers to refer patients for assisted suicide likely violates the First Amendment.