Christian Medical & Dental Associations responds to its federal court victory in protecting conscience rights
Bristol, Tenn.—August 11, 2021— The 19,000-member Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA), which is the nation’s largest faith-based healthcare organization, responded today to its victory in federal court to protect the conscience rights of healthcare professionals.
Earlier this week, a federal court in Texas blocked a harmful White House administration policy known as the Transgender Mandate, which would force religious doctors and hospitals to perform gender transition procedures on their patients—including children—even when the procedures can be medically harmful. The case of Franciscan Alliance v. Becerra was brought by CMDA, a group of religious hospitals and nine states, and this is now the second court ruling blocking the administration from enforcing the policy.
“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,” said CMDA CEO Mike Chupp, MD, FACS. “As our national polling proves, healthcare professionals of faith are committed to caring for all patients with dignity and respect. And protecting the freedom to exercise medical judgment and conscience convictions is essential to providing the best and safest care to our patients."
In 2016, the federal government issued a mandate that applied to nearly every doctor in the country — interpreting the Affordable Care Act to require them 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. Immediately, religious organizations and states sued, challenging the legality of the mandate in multiple courts. In 2016, a federal court in North Dakota put the rule on hold, and in 2019 another federal court in Texas struck it down. Recently, the White House administration announced it would revive the same policy. This ruling stops that attempt.
“We are thankful for Becket’s representation of our members,” said Senior Vice President of Bioethics and Public Policy Jeffrey Barrows, DO, MA (Ethics), an OB/Gyn. “All patients are better off when the law protects doctors who follow the Hippocratic Oath to ‘do no harm’ and act in the best interest of their patients.”