Broader medical refusal rule may go far beyond abortion

Los Angeles Times, December 2, 2008

The outgoing Bush administration is planning to announce a broad new "right of conscience" rule permitting medical facilities, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other healthcare workers to refuse to participate in any procedure they find morally objectionable. For more than 30 years, federal law has dictated that doctors and nurses may refuse to perform abortions. The new rule would go further by making clear that healthcare workers also may refuse to provide information or advice to patients who might want an abortion. It also seeks to cover more employees.


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