There’s a new rule coming from Health and Human Services (HHS). It’s called “Protecting Statutory Conscience Rights in Health Care”, and you can read it here. The statute collects a bunch of existing laws and amendments that are already on the books — sometimes there for decades — and punches them up. The laws are designed to protect individuals from having to perform or be treated for conditions that are against their beliefs.
Some protections already covered by various laws
Federally funded organizations (including medical schools) can’t force doctors, other providers, or any personnel to be trained in, perform, or assist in sterilizations, abortions, or assisted suicide if the procedures run counter to their beliefs.
Insurers who offer Medicare Advantage or Medicaid can’t be compelled to cover any services objected to on religious or moral grounds, including those considered essential benefits by the Affordable Care Act.
Medicare or Medicaid programs or providers are not required to counsel individuals concerning assistance for assisted suicide, euthanasia, or mercy killing, including in cases of advanced directives.
States don’t have to compel hearing loss screening for newborns or vaccinations over parental religious objection, and religious parents can’t be compelled to have their kids treated for certain conditions, including suicide intervention. Some states prosecute parents for child abuse if they refuse life-saving medical treatments for their kids. However, the Feds won’t force states to penalize such parents.
Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP must accommodate services that use spiritual methods in place of standard evidence-based medical treatment.
So what does this new law do?
Click on link above to find out.