Final Rule Protects Providers’ Ethics

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a final rule Dec. 18, 2008 to ensure HHS funds do not support morally coercive or discriminatory practices or policies in violation of federal law.

“Doctors and other health care providers should not be forced to choose between good professional standing and violating their conscience,” HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt said. “This rule protects the right of medical providers to care for their patients in accord with their conscience.”

Specifically, the final rule:

  • Clarifies that non-discrimination protections apply to both institutional health care providers and individual employees working for recipients of certain HHS funds;
  • Requires recipients of certain HHS funds to certify their compliance with laws protecting provider conscience rights; and
  • Designates the HHS Office for Civil Rights as the entity to receive complaints of discrimination as described by existing laws and this regulation.

The total quantifiable costs of this regulation are estimated to be $43.6 million each year.

The final rule “Ensuring That Department of Health and Human Services Funds Do Not Support Coercive or Discriminatory Policies or Practices in Violation of Federal Law” went on display Dec. 19, 2008 at the Federal Register and goes into effect Jan. 20.


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4 Responses to “Final Rule Protects Providers’ Ethics”

  1. summer says:

    This rule is morally wrong. It will limit a womans right to choose her reproductive abilities. This is a sneaky way to get around the laws of the United States. Rules should come right out and tell citizens what they are about and what they will change. I am incensed at the perfidity of Mike Leavitt.

  2. mary gassen says:

    In a world where the moral decay in our society is every where. I am pleased to know this will pass. I pray that those using their conscience will use what they learn in their place of worship and carry it into the practice.

  3. Tammie Moss says:

    I am so happy that this has passed. Our state just passed assisted suicide and I know two pharmacists who were extremely affraid of having to disperse the death drug. I also worked in a practice a few years ago where one of the surgeons performed orchiectomies for males who wanted to become transexuals. The state of WA pays for this if this person is evaluated by a psychiatrist and files a report that they are having psychological problems because of the hormones. That’s a no brainer! I refused to bill out or have anything to do with billing this out to anyone. I said I didn’t want to see the bill, would not answer any questions about how to bill for it. I was worried that I may lose my job over it but did not. By the way the surgeon was never paid for the procedure as it wasn’t billed correctly. He quit doing them after he wasn’t paid for some. I believe that we have a right to take a stance as it is a direct conflict of many religious beliefs and I would rather have the wrath of society than the consequences to God for not standing in my beliefs.

  4. Rhonda Corban says:

    Women will still be able to “choose”. For those of us who belive the taking of an innocent life is morally wrong, this will keep YOUR morals from being forced on us.

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