The Health Care and Conscience Debate

Engage, Vol. 12. p. 121, June 2011

7 Pages Posted: 26 Mar 2011 Last revised: 18 Feb 2016

See all articles by Luke W. Goodrich

Luke W. Goodrich

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty; University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law

Date Written: June 27, 2011

Abstract

Can a hospital require a nurse to assist in an abortion in violation of her religious beliefs? Can a pharmacy fire one of its pharmacists for conscientiously refusing to dispense the morning-after pill? During the Bush administration, the Department of Health and Human Services issued a regulation designed to protect health care workers’ right of conscience. But the Obama administration recently rescinded that regulation and issued a new one. This article first explains how the new regulation reduces protections for conscience; second, it rebuts the principal arguments against broad conscience protections; finally, it highlights where the next big fights over conscience will occur – in courts, state governments, the executive branch, and Congress.

Keywords: Health Care, Conscience, Religious Liberty, Religious Freedom, Conscientious Objection

Suggested Citation

Goodrich, Luke W., The Health Care and Conscience Debate (June 27, 2011). Engage, Vol. 12. p. 121, June 2011 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1791866

Luke W. Goodrich (Contact Author)

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty ( email )

1200 New Hampshire Ave. NW
Suite 700
Washington, DC 20036
United States

University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law ( email )

383 S. University Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0730
United States

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