Controversial Last-Minute Rule to Protect Health Care Providers
The New York Times reported today in "Protests Over a Rule to Protect Health Care Providers" that the Bush administration is seeking to grant protection to health care providers who refuse to provide treatment to patients based on moral grounds or religious beliefs:
The proposed rule would prohibit recipients of federal money from discriminating against doctors, nurses and other health care workers who refuse to perform or to assist in the performance of abortions or sterilization procedures because of their “religious beliefs or moral convictions.”
It would also prevent hospitals, clinics, doctors’ offices and drugstores from requiring employees with religious or moral objections to “assist in the performance of any part of a health service program or research activity” financed by the Department of Health and Human Services.
Opponents to the rule believe that many providers would refuse to perform abortions or provide birth control. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission believes that it undoes 40 years of protection against job discrimination based on religious beliefs.
ADVANCE wonders how NPs weigh in on this issue. Add your comments below!