New bill aims to protect doctors who oppose treatment based on their conscience

LINCOLN, Neb. (Nebraska) — When making medical decisions, physicians often rely on the standard of care or best medical practice to determine the best course of treatment for a patient.

But there are times when the practitioner, due to changing circumstances or his own judgment, feels that he cannot perform or prescribe a particular treatment.

The new bill wants their right to refuse to be enshrined in law.

“Among other things, it grants a medical practitioner, medical institution, or health care payer the right not to participate in or pay for any medical service that violates the conscience of such individuals or organizations,” said Sen. Dave Moorman, spokesman for LB810. .

The LB810 will protect physicians who believe they will violate their conscience through certain medical interventions.

This means that if a pharmacist does not support the use of contraceptives, they may refuse to write a prescription for contraceptives, a nurse who does not support vaccines may refuse to give them, and a physician who does not support the patient’s personal relationship. may refuse to prescribe Viagra if they believe that the patient does not take it with their spouse.

“It’s not that I don’t prescribe Viagra, but in certain situations I think it’s wrong. I hope you see, even if you disagree with my decision, where my conscience came into play. In one, the gentleman was using Viagra for prostitution, and in the second, he was having an affair,” said Dr. Carolyn Manhart, a CHI Health physician in Omaha.

Opponents, including the Nebraska Medical Association and the Nebraska Nursing Association, argue that while a doctor’s conscience must be respected, there is a limit.

They say medical practitioners are already accommodating doctors with conscientious objections and that the bill would put an undue burden on providers who would be forced to restrict their patients’ access to certain treatment options or risk suing.

“Now imagine that, as described in this bill, I think on page five, it describes a medical practitioner. Who could this mean? This includes everyone who works in the hospital. Let’s say a vaccine arrives in a hospital in a box, and anywhere someone can say that I have a conscience objection to this vaccine. I can’t unload it, I can’t take it to the pharmacy, the pharmacist can’t syringe it, the nurse can’t inject it. This bill really impacts our ability to deliver quality healthcare,” said Dr. John Trapp of the Nebraska Hospital Association.

The bill’s broad scope also worried some who thought it would give doctors a green light to discriminate against certain populations, particularly those seeking reproductive assistance or LGBTQ patients.

“It could be about people who need IVF to treat infertility, it could be people who need medication to prevent HIV if they are sexually active adults. It’s really about the person, not necessarily the service,” said Abby Swatsworth of Out Nebraska.


Content Source

Related Articles

Back to top button