Obama administration may repeal 'right of conscience' rule
As expected, the Obama administration has moved to take back a federal "right of conscience" rule put in effect in the last hours of the Bush administration. HHS has filed a proposal to completely rescind the rule, which protects medical providers who refuse to perform procedures to which they object morally.
As things stand, recipients of federal money must certify that they're complying with laws prohibiting discrimination against healthcare workers who refuse to perform controversial procedures, such as abortions, due to their beliefs.
In its filing, HHS said that it had concerns that the rule could limit access to patient care, especially in rural and other underserved areas. The agency has said that it wants to review "a number of questions that warrant further careful consideration."
To learn more about HHS's proposal:
- read this Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report piece
Bush administration finalizes stronger provider 'conscience' rule
HHS supports stronger 'provider conscience' options
MDs might not mention treatments they oppose