Christian Medical Association Physicians Gain Support from Congress and States in Court Fight Against Discriminatory Firing
States and Members of Congress file brief supporting conscience rule protections
Washington, DC—May 26, 2020 - Christian Medical Association physicians (CMA*, www.cmda.org) received support from states, Members of Congress, minority groups, medical affiliate organizations, and legal experts who recently filed legal briefs in a case regarding a federal conscience protection rule for health professionals.
In New York v. HHS, CMA and Dr. Regina Frost are defending against attempts by states that want to discriminate against doctors and nurses who refuse to violate their consciences and medical judgment by performing procedures such as abortions or physician-assisted suicide. This case is now in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
CMA CEO Dr. Mike Chupp noted, "As a general surgeon who did patient care for over 30 years, my professional judgment has been based upon available medical evidence, training and experience, and a deep sense of obligation to care for my patients in a way that best benefits their health. The conscientious practice of medicine depends upon the integration of these factors by a healthcare professional. The informed conscience of every healthcare professional serves as an inner compass for the best kind of patient care. The HHS conscience rule affirms that our CMA members must be protected from violating their deeply held beliefs as they seek to serve all patients with excellence and compassion."
CMA Senior Vice President for Bioethics and Public Policy and Obstetrician-Gynecologist, Dr. Jeffrey Barrows noted, “As an Ob-Gyn physician, I have delivered many babies of mothers and fathers who specifically sought a life-affirming physician for their care. The conscience rule not only upholds and enforces decades of federal law passed on a bipartisan basis; it also helps ensure that patients will have a choice of life-affirming physicians who match their values.
"All health care professionals must have the freedom to practice medicine without being forced to violate their conscience. The updated conscience rule released by HHS in 2019 ensures this freedom, establishing conscience protections for all health care professionals, regardless of faith background."
Evidence indicates that conscience protections help ensure patient access to healthcare at a time of physician shortages nationally. National polling commissioned by CMA and conducted in 2019 by an independent polling firm found that while faith-based health professional respondents overwhelmingly said that they care for all patients regardless of agreement with patients' choices, none of ten said that being required to violate their consciences would force them to leave the practice of medicine.
For more information on the court case and access to the amicus briefs, see https://www.becketlaw.org/case/new-york-v-hhs/.
For legal perspectives and attorney interviews, contact Ryan Colby: firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-349-7219.
*The Christian Medical Association serves approximately 19,000 members and, along with the Christian Dental Association, forms the Christian Medical & Dental Associations.