Right of Conscience
Washington, D.C., September 18, 2019—The Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA, www.cmda.org) the nation's largest faith-based association of health professionals, today released findings of a national survey showing that conscience-protecting laws and regulations help protect patient access to healthcare while addressing rampant discrimination against faith-based health professionals.
The survey, a nationwide poll of faith-based health professionals, conducted by Heart and Mind Strategies, LLC, found that 91 percent said they would have to "stop practicing medicine altogether than be forced to violate my conscience." That finding holds significant implications for millions of patients, especially the poor and those in underserved regions who depend upon faith-based health facilities and professionals for their care.
The survey of faith-based health professionals also found that virtually all care for patients "regardless of sexual orientation, gender identification, or family makeup, with sensitivity and compassion, even when I cannot validate their choices." The finding puts the lie to the charge that somehow conscience protections will result in whole classes of patients being denied care.
"Faith-based health professionals actually seek out and serve marginalized patients to provide compassionate care," explained CMDA CEO Emeritus Dr. David Stevens. "All we ask as we serve is that the government not intrude into the physician-patient relationship by dictating that we must do controversial procedures and prescriptions that counter our best medical judgment or religious beliefs."
CMDA is currently represented by the Becket law firm in two related cases: Franciscan Alliance v. Azar, which addresses an Affordable Care Act transgender mandate, and New York v. HHS, which addresses a new federal conscience protection rule.