FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 5, 2023
Contact: Laura Macklem
“MEDICAL ETHICS DEFENSE ACT” WOULD PROTECT CONSCIENCE RIGHTS OF MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS
“The Medical Ethics Defense Act” (MED Act) was introduced today to protect the conscience rights of medical professionals and entities from being forced to provide any health care service which violates their conscience. Nine out of 10 religious medical professionals say they would rather stop practicing medicine than violate their beliefs.”
“Every American has a Constitutional right to operate according to their moral, ethical, and religious beliefs, and medical professionals are no different,” said NC Values’ Executive Director Tami Fitzgerald. “There has been an attack on the ethics and personal beliefs of medical professionals, driving out doctors, nurses and other entities from medical practice, and this bill would shield them from discrimination while stopping the hemorrhage of people leaving the profession.”
According to a survey of members of faith-based medical organizations, 23% of respondents reported personally experiencing discrimination, and 20% decided against a career in certain fields due to a lack of tolerance for their moral, ethical or religious beliefs; 80% of those respondents chose not to pursue an OBGYN specialty. Thirty-six percent of medical students say they were pressured or discriminated against by medical school administrators or faculty based on their beliefs.
SB 641 would protect medical practitioners and entities from discrimination, punishment, or retaliation for exercising their rights of conscience. It would also insulate healthcare payers and institutions from financial responsibility for health care services which violate their conscience rights. This legislation would give a private right of action to any party harmed by MED Act violations.
Said Fitzgerald, “We thank Senators Ralph Hise, Buck Newton, and Norm Sanderson for sponsoring the MED Act which would protect the Constitutional rights of medical professionals and institutions dedicated to medical care for patients.”