Right of Conscience
Christian Medical Association Doctors Laud HHS Conscience Rule as Protecting Patients and Doctors
Washington, D.C.—May 2, 2019—The 19,000-member Christian Medical Association, the largest national association of faith-based doctors, lauded a conscience law-enforcing rule finalized today by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as a protection for both patients and doctors.
CMA CEO Dr. David Stevens said, "Our patients need to know that we as doctors can be trusted to conscientiously adhere to objective ethical standards and moral commitments that serve to protect them. They need to know we are not going to lay aside longstanding ethical norms and medical concerns just because ideologically-driven politicians or bureaucrats or hospital administrators might pressure us to do so by threatening our ability to practice medicine."
CMA Senior Vice President Dr. Gene Rudd, an OB/Gyn physician, said, "In recent years, some abortion advocates have proposed effectively banning pro-life physicians from medicine, essentially because we adhere to the Hippocratic Oath. That long-standing objective standard protects our unborn patients while also protecting our born patients from other abuses of medical power such as involuntary euthanasia and sexual abuse. Without pro-life OB/Gyn physicians, who will serve the millions of women and men who also hold to pro-life commitments?
Conscience protection is one of the treasures of our society. It is enshrined in the First Amendment of the Constitution, reflecting its importance. Some would want to take this right away from others when they disagree on certain issues. But protection for each person is critical to protection for all. The HHS conscience rules are critical to preserving this freedom.”
CMA Executive Vice President Dr. Mike Chupp observed, "We are committed to serving every kind of patient with compassion and competence, but that's very different from saying we will do any procedure or fill any prescription regardless of ethical or medical concerns. Healthcare professionals of faith and conscience are committed to the mantra ‘Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere but NOT Anything!’ Without conscience freedom in healthcare, whatever ideology the government chooses will be the grounds used to exclude all objectors. The result would be a loss of healthcare access for patients, and especially the patients of faith-based health professionals who often minister to the underserved and marginalized."
CMA Vice President for Government Relations Jonathan Imbody noted, "This HHS rule enforces and educates regarding existing conscience laws passed by Congress on a bipartisan basis, back when Congress was more bipartisan. The rule reminds the government and the health community that we all live in a country that values freedom of conscience and tolerance of diverse views. Conscience freedoms protect liberals, conservatives and everyone in between, on issues ranging from capital punishment to abortion to research ethics. Without tolerance for diversity and conscience convictions in healthcare, patients lose access to doctors, and health professionals lose their careers."
More information available at www.Freedom2Care.org:
- Stories of conscience violations
- Previous polling by Kellyanne Conway on conscience (e.g, 92 percent of faith-based physicians said they would leave medicine rather than compromise conscience)
- CMA comments submitted to HHS on conscience rule