In just a few days, Monday January 19, the “Provider Conscience Ruling” goes into effect and everyone should be concerned. The U.S. Department of Health and Human (HHS) passed this regulation in December 2008 to go into effect 30 days from the day it was passed. That date is among us. Here is a summary from an HHS news release which is the basis from the “Provider Conscience Ruling” as stated by HHS secretary Mike Leavitt “Doctors and other health care providers should not be forced to choose between good professional standing and violating their conscience. This rule protects the right of medical providers to care for their patients in accord with their conscience.”
A full report of the rules and regulations can be read here HHS Press Release. Now, Doctors and other health care providers do not have to refer you, the patient, to a doctor or provider willing to give you all the options of treatment. They can claim this conscience protection rule if their beliefs conflict with you getting many treatments. The most controversial of the treatments are birth control and abortion. On Monday, January 19, your doctor or treatment provider has the right not to give you information on these subjects or other ones at their discretion if it conflicts or violates their religious beliefs. No stipulations are in place to make your medical provider refer you to someone else for the information you seek.
Several health associations are in opposition to this new regulation. These associations include but are not limited too Planned Parenthood, Maternal Health and Family Services, The American Medical Association, American Hospital Association, American Nursing Association and many other major health organizations.
What this ruling means for American patients: Your doctor, pharmacist or any other medical treatment provider can decide not to perform, inform, or refer you to another medical provider if they determine it conflicts with their medical beliefs.
Here are just a few of the treatments that your medical provider can deny you if they claim the “Provider Conscience Rule”:
Vaccinations, abortion, birth control, blood transfusions, sex education, medical prescriptions, anti-psychotic medications, flu medicines, transplants and much more.
Your medical provider does not have to disclose to any information about procedures or treatments that he/she will not be providing either. Although the HHS encourages all medical providers to be open with patients about their religious beliefs and to be upfront about what they do and do not provide there are no stipulations in place that requires your medical provider to do so.
With the “Provider Conscience Rule” in place many American’s need to be concerned about the health care they are going to receive.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services