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Christian medical group praises new federal ‘conscience rule’ protecting patient access to healthcare

By   /   January 24, 2018  /   No Comments

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WordNews.org) Jan. 24, 2018 – The Christian Medical Association, the nation’s largest faith-based association of physicians and other health professionals, said a new proposed rule announced this week by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights (HHS OCR) would help protect patient access to healthcare.

The rule would enforce 25 existing statutory conscience protections, including major pieces of legislation passed by significant bipartisan majorities over the years since the 1973 Roe V. Wade Supreme Court decision “contravened the Hippocratic oath and suddenly made pro-life physicians vulnerable to discrimination and job loss for declining to participate in what suddenly became a legal procedure nationwide,” the organization said.

“There are already laws on the books, and this proposed rule will help address the injustices that those laws were designed to prevent,” said CMA CEO Dr. David Stevens. “Our members have been discriminated against and some have even lost positions for speaking out.”

CMA Vice President for Government Affairs and Director of Freedom2Care, Jonathan Imbody added that physicians with strong faiths would feel compelled to leave their positions rather than comply with rules that they feel violate their beliefs.

“Polling indicates that faith-based physicians will be forced to leave medicine if coerced into violating the faith tenets and medical ethics principles that guide their practice of medicine,” Imbody said. “These faith-based health professionals do not and cannot separate the faith principles that motivate them to help others and serve the needy from the faith principles that uphold the sanctity of human life.

“So conscience protections like the proposed rule announced today are key to not only protecting American freedoms of faith and conscience,” he said. “They are also key to protecting patient access to principled healthcare.”

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