Christian Medical & Dental Associations Announces Another Conscience Victory in Federal Court
Bristol, Tenn.—August 29, 2022—The 13,000-member Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA), which is the nation’s largest faith-based professional healthcare association, today praised the unanimous ruling from a federal appeals court in Texas that protects the religious beliefs of healthcare professionals from being forced to perform gender-transition procedures or abortions against their conscience and best medical judgment.
“We have been fighting in the courts against this transgender mandate since 2016, and Friday’s unanimous ruling only further protects the rights of healthcare professionals across this country,” said CMDA CEO Mike Chupp, MD, FACS. “This victory in Texas against government coercion means healthcare professionals can continue to exercise medical judgment and ethical care based upon sound medical evidence and Hippocratic standards of patient care instead of any ideology.”
Known as the Transgender Mandate, this harmful White House administration policy interpreted the Affordable Care Act to force religious doctors and hospitals to perform gender-transition treatments or procedures on any patient, including children, even if the doctor believed the procedure or treatment could harm the patient. Doctors who refused to violate their medical judgment would face severe consequences, including financial penalties and private lawsuits. The case of Franciscan Alliance v. Becerra was brought by CMDA, a group of religious hospitals and nine states.
“As our national polling proves, healthcare professionals of faith are committed to caring for all patients with dignity and respect,” said Dr. Chupp. “And protecting the freedom to exercise medical judgment and conscience convictions is essential to providing the best and safest care to our patients. This ruling strengthens conscience freedoms of thousands of healthcare professionals.”
A 2021 court decision was reaffirmed by this unanimous ruling, in which the Fifth Circuit affirmed the lower court’s order “permanently enjoining [HHS] from requiring Franciscan Alliance to perform gender-reassignment surgeries or abortions in violation of its sincerely held religious beliefs.”
CMDA is represented in this case by Becket, a non-profit, public interest legal and educational institution, and it is the only law firm that defends all religious beliefs.
“This ruling is a major victory for conscience rights and compassionate medical care in America,” said Joseph Davis, counsel at Becket. “Doctors cannot do their jobs and comply with the Hippocratic Oath if the government requires them to perform harmful, irreversible procedures against their conscience and medical expertise. For years, our clients have provided excellent medical care to all patients who need it. Today’s ruling ensures that these doctors and hospitals may continue to do this critical work in accordance with their conscience and professional medical judgment.”